A Hunk, an Orange, and a Runaway Bride - "Perfect Match" from Girls' Love Stories #158 (April 1971)
Hello! This evening I have for you a story that is rather unusual for the romance comics. Most stories of love involved rather innocent displays of affection -- a goodnight kiss after a trip the soda fountain, a peck on the cheek, or at most, a visibly clothed tumble in the grass. Presumably, all necessary depictions within the constraints of the original Comics Code and practical too, considering the varied demographics of readers -- some of who were quite young. "Perfect Match" hailing from Girls' Love Stories #158 (April 1971) is different. Read on to see what I mean!
As Louise prepares for her wedding day to Philip, she cannot get a man named Kirk out of her mind -- no matter how hard she tries.
How did Louise come to doubt her marriage to Philip, you ask? Well, it all started one day at the construction site of the couple's future home -- a gift from Philip's father. As the couple examines the property, a well-muscled stranger (Kirk) catches Louise's eye.
Later that day, Louise visits with her mother who senses her misgivings about the impending marriage. She reminds Louise what a good and stable life Philip will give her. But security means little when the gorgeous stranger consumes Louise's thoughts as she lies in bed.
Despite feeling guilt over fantasizing over another man, Louise goes to visit the construction site the next day. Alone. She tells the hunky construction worker that she is afraid of heights and silently, he takes her by the hand. When he turns his back on her, she becomes enraged. However, the stranger's coolness towards her doesn't prevent Louise from taking comfort in her fantasy of the chiseled mystery man.
That evening while dining in a crowded restaurant, Kirk asks to join Philip and Louise due to lack of seating. Philip reads his menu while Kirk essentially undresses Louise with his eyes and the two press their knees together under the table.
Louise stuns herself when she realizes she has slipped out of her shoe to start a game of footsie with Kirk. She is momentarily stunned, but quickly becomes entranced by Kirk once more when he seductively (and a bit strangely) eats an orange. After dinner and after parting ways with Philip for the evening, Louise waits in the darkness for Kirk. When he shows up, the two passionately embrace... and embrace some more...
The two daring lovebirds continue to see each other right up until the wedding. As Louise makes her way out of her house for the church on the big day, Kirk appears. After a steamy kiss, Kirk picks Louise up and puts her in his car and drives off.
"I froze... melted... was burned by my volcanic love..."
Thinking she has been kidnapped, Philip and Louise's father call the police. When the escapees are pulled over, the officer inquires as to Louise's compliance in the affair. Ascending from her past guilt over her infatuation with another man, Louise declares loud and clear that she loves Kirk and intends to marry him. As the two speed away, Louise's father is left in a state of bewilderment.
Interesting, no?! Between the images and the text, "Perfect Match" reads unlike most romance comic book stories from the '60s and '70s. Few are so blatantly sexy, mildly erotic, and full of potential euphemisms. Though the Comics Code had been loosened somewhat in early 1971, this story when read closely, still seems as though it just slid under the radar.