A Cautionary Tale

There is no doubt that this gorgeously drawn one-page story, "Uptight" from Young Romance #166 (June/July 1970) by Black Cat artist Lee Elias, is a great example of the diversity of artists featured in the romance comics. Unfortunately, it is also a good example of the kind of story that helps propel today's notion that romance comics are filled with worthless drivel deserving of a few laughs and nothing more.

Lee Elias Romance Comic book cautionary tale Black Cat

On one hand, this story serves as a handy historical document and a reminder of how far our notions of women in the workforce have come. The same year this story was published in Young Romance, a very important stride concerning equal pay for male and female workers was made with the case of Schultz v. Wheaton Glass Co. Though legally this case helped to solidify the Equal Pay Act of 1963, it is obvious from this story that not all facets of society had embraced the concept of the career-driven woman.

On the other hand, though, I myself as a woman who is actively pursuing a career, can sympathize with the obvious internal conflict felt by our protagonist, Carol Loring. Balancing a career, and the ever-present cultural and biological pressures to "have it all" are something I think that many young women still feel today.