If you read comics you know the bitter sting of disappointment. Be it scooping up that issue of Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane whose cover, yet again, boasts the much anticipated matrimony of the titular character or all those issues of Batman whose cover's featured the death of Robin. (Well, except for that one time.)
Reading Romance Comics is no different! Bitter "Cover Disappointment" runs rampant. Like a man with a sock down his pants, appearances are not always what they seem.
Today I am going to share with you three prime examples of covers that make you think the inside story is going to totally kick-ass but that, in the sad light of day, is just another loser who doesn't look nearly as much like Cary Grant as you thought he did at last call.
Marvel Comics Our Love Story #35 1975
Oh, I know what you are thing, "Quick! To eBay!" but please don't jump the gun here. This good looking cover by John Buscema is like a slap in the face. In "And So We'll Be Married!", an actual "As Told To: Stan Lee" feature, our leading chick IS NOT in love with some yellow jump-suit wearing dork with a red sash tied around his thick middle. Nope! She is only at a Woodstock style hippiefest where the only band shown is too far away to see. There is no "Super Star" infatuation.
"Broken Promise .. Broken Heart!" is right!
DC Comic's Young Romance #157 1969
Damn! This looked like a great one. Sad, crying daughter, hussy of a mother both competing for a scarecrow of a man with a white Nehru jacket and, possibly, a black pompadour. But no, this Nick Cardy cover is a complete lie.
The mother is actually a dignafied redhead with a cute bob of a hair cut, an adorable button nose and a pair of respectable flats. The boy in questions, a clean cut blonde whose wardrobe seems to consist of only turtle-necks, v-neck sweaters and slacks.
The pain of this particualer disappointment was acute.
DC Comics Girls' Romances #144 1969
If stealing my 15¢ isn't enough, what exactly DOES Nick Cardy need to do to get arrested? Kill a man? Needless to say, in "I Couldn't Be Faithful" Diane COULD actually be faithful. And NEVER does she dance with a young Uncle Sam.
As with any hurts, the pain of disappointment does heal but, as it should, it leaves you a bit jaded.
Remember: Books should be judged by their covers, NOT comics.
I had the chance to do a little comic hunting this weekend and had a little better luck then usual. I was able to snag myself a DC "Falling In Love", several Charlton titles including "For Lovers Only" and "Hollywood Romances". I was even able to snatch up a little bit a 70's horror and a even a 1986 "Elvira's House of Mystery". (Oh yeah, I can feel the jealously.)
Well, while flipping though my new "Falling In Love" number 140 I came across an ad for a photo book. An ad for a photo book about a man I have never heard of.
So I would like to pose the question ... Who the Hell is Chad Everett? I mean really, I looked at like a thousand pictures of him on Google images, with and without a shirt and I do not know who this dude is. It is just hard to believe that a man that I do not even slightly recognize in 2010 warranted a photo book boasting "Many of the pictures have captions written by Chad ..." in 1973.
If you actually own this book you will, if only temporarily, be the coolest person I know. And EVERYONE wants to be the coolest person I know.
"Apron Strings" Charlton Comics Just Married Art: Art Cappello Number 107 1975
Anyone who has ever told you that the most important thing in a relationship is communication is either a fool or a liar.
The only time communication is even a close second is when you are giving specific directions on the first.
In Apron Strings we meet a newly wed Vikki Driscoll whose husband doesn't seem to understand this basic truth. But it is pretty obvious that his mother does and will do just about anything she can to stop that horrible strumpet Vikki from deflowering her son.
It didn't look like poor Vikki had much of a chance against Mother Driscoll whose plan of attack was multi-faceted.
She may not have been able to stop her son Carl from marrying but she could certainly hinder his love life by working overtime to fatten Vicki up.
And, just as critical to the plan to destroy Vikki's dream of gettin' some, fattening up her son.
Nothing cripples the libido like a large snack before bedtime and Mother Driscoll knew it.
Mother Driscoll: 1 - Vikki: 0
Mother Driscoll's next move was to keep her son and his new whore too busy to even steal a moment alone. Busy with joyous family gatherings and, when absolutely necessary, with tragedy born of her own hands.
It wasn't long before the strain was just too much for poor Vikki to bear and soon the strain began to leak out into her only free moments with Carl.
And Carl, unaware of what was really lacking in his life, starting filling the void with other things.
And the seed of discontent planted by Mother Driscoll began to take on a life of its own.
Until it nearly destroyed everything Vikki was fighting for. A chance to make it with her lawfully wedded husband.
But even when all things appeared to be turning around, like Pavlov's dog, Carl's desires seem to trigger another kind of hunger.
So Vikki made one last desperate attempt to interest his husband in sex. The old standby, dirty movies. But even that didn't work out as she would have liked.
Vikki was beaten. She she was giving up. She just needed to tell Mother Driscoll that she had won.
If Carl could obtain all he needed from food, so could she.
Vikki's surrendered brought the approval of the entire family. But it also seemed to remind Carl why he had married her in the first place.
When I first discovered romance comics I was amazed. How had I never known that something so ridiculously wonderful existed? Romance stories where girls (which apparently ALL women prefer to be called, not just me!) were never truly complete without a man by their side. Girls that wanted nothing more than a boy to take them away from their day-to-day lives as store clerks, socialites, or, god forbid, unpopular high school students. *gasp*
Some of the best stories were from Marvel, where many of them touted "As Told to Stan Lee". Now don't get me wrong, Stan Lee rules, but I refuse to believe that any girl ever felt compelled to pour out her soul to him and then let him publish it all in comic form.
These comics where full of loneliness, "hip slang", rich men and misunderstood bad boys just waiting for the right girl to come along.
So, lets forget all about Elizabeth Gaskell and Jane Austen. Let's sit down and enjoy stories of secretaries and the architects that will let them quit their jobs and support them.
I am a great fan of comics, View-Masters, magazine and book cover illustrations from the 50's, 60's and 70's, as well as old horror films. So that I don't drive my husband too crazy (or distract him too long from his own obsessions) I have chosen to obsess to strangers.