Romance Comic Book Ads Starring Wonder Woman and Supergirl!
What I love most about long term research (which I consider Sequential Crush and my pursuit of romance comic knowledge to be) is that over time, various pieces of information come to the fore. As many of you probably remember, last spring I presented at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association's annual conference a piece titled, "The Look of Love - The Romantic Era of DC's Lois Lane, Supergirl and Wonder Woman." One of the sections of my presentation chronicled the ways in which the marketing campaigns of Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane, Adventure Comics starring Supergirl, Supergirl's solo title, and Wonder Woman were designed to be highly attractive to the readers of romance comics. Recently, I came across a few more examples of house ads which illuminate the tactics to win over already established romance fans of the time. Have a look!
The above two-page spread is from Girls' Romance #134 (July 1968). On the left-hand side is an advertisement for Wonder Woman #177 (July/August 1968) -- the issue directly prior to the issue debuting the "new," mod Diana Prince. The ad lifts the cover image of Wonder Woman #177 where Wonder Woman and Supergirl are seen fighting over a potential husband -- Klamos. Now pan to the right-hand side of the spread to the splash page of "Memory of Heartbreak!" The page depicts two Jay Scott Pike charmers "battling" it out over a potential mate -- Bruce. Interestingly enough, the positioning of the characters on the advertisement and the splash page mimic each other; dark-haired vixen to the left and light-haired beauty to the right. Intentional? Coincidence? Either way, it is probably safe to say that DC editors were gearing up to court the romance reader accustomed to female rivalry in their romance titles.
The next example that I recently found in Girls' Love Stories #145 (August 1969) is more clear-cut. Addressed to "Girls!" who "dig romance," there is no doubt that in this ad, DC was trying to sway romance readers to give Wonder Woman a try. With those awesome fonts, wouldn't you have?!
This final ad selling Supergirl #6 (August 1973), appeared in Falling in Love #142 (August/September 1973). Besides the imagery of Supergirl smooching a presumed "Gang Lord," readers are given a sense of the romantic content from the copy of the ad. Implying that Supergirl has to choose between her emotions and making peace amongst the bad guys (part of her superhero job description), this ad posits Supergirl as being one in the same as her romance comic counterparts.
Like I mentioned earlier, one of the exciting parts of learning about a topic in-depth is all the nuanced pieces of information that seem to pop up as time goes on. These ads may not be earth-shattering revelations or long-lost drafts, but they do add nicely to the body of evidence suggesting that DC was attempting to lure fans of romance comics over to the superhero genre. If I find any more such examples, I will be sure to share them! Until then... have a great weekend!!!