Alex Toth's Masterful Story of Frenemyship! "Hide Your Love" - Young Love #74 (May/June 1969)
When you read a lot of romance comic stories, it is understandable for some of the art to feel like it is getting repetitive and start looking like just some generic romance comic book art. Artists like Alex Toth sure helped to spice things up and his recognizable style from the pages of Young Love #74 (May/June 1969) makes "Hide Your Love" an excellent story.
The dynamically illustrated splash page introduces us to Betty -- a sweet brunette, and her nemesis -- Elaine, who has invited Betty to her engagement party. Betty is less than thrilled to attend the bash because, you see, Elaine and Betty were best friends at one time, but Elaine was a man-stealer!
Betty winds up attending the party out of obligation. Having had enough of the celebration for her less-than-loyal friend, she goes out to get some air. Betty is joined by a handsome and friendly young man also looking to escape the soiree.
While the nameless suitor goes to grab Betty some punch, she thinks back on all the times Elaine stole her man -- the first one being a guy Betty had been going steady with for six months! Like all backstabbers, Elaine was eager to justify her atrocious behavior:
"Do you really think he was in love with you in the first place if I could steal him away from you so easily...?!"
As Betty waits for her punch, a reel of memories continue to play in her head of date after date, boyfriend after boyfriend -- stolen away by Elaine. Elaine's cliché mantra, "All is fair in love and war" echoes in Betty's thoughts.
Betty remembers back to when she fell deeply in love with Roger. She wouldn't let him pick her up at her dorm for fear that he would be enchanted by witchy Elaine. Her anxieties were eventually confirmed when Elaine reveals that she had also been dating Roger -- for weeks. She had her reasons of course:
"Do you really believe Roger would be seeing me, behind your back, if he loved you?"
Betty's tragic memories are pleasantly disrupted by the return of her new admirer, who comes back sans punch due to a shortage. The handsome young man takes Betty by the hands and asks her if she wants to leave the party with him. Just as she accepts his offer, Elaine walks up -- hands fixed firmly upon her hips. Much to Betty's surprise, her new friend is none other than Elaine's fiancé! How thrilling it must have been for Betty to boldly declare to her sworn frenemy:
"If he really loved you, he wouldn't be walking out on you, with me -- would he?"
Ah yes, Karma. It is a very powerful thing! As is the art of Alex Toth!