Monday, October 31, 2011

Are you afraid to grow up?

I'm the first to admit that I have never been good with growing up.

On my 23rd birthday I cried because I thought that 22 was the best age you could ever be and now it was behind me. And it could only be down hill from there, right?

I'm glad to announce that I was wrong.

When I was 29 my husband and I bought a house. A few days before signing the loan papers I was in full panic mode. Thoughts of living in a houseboat or moving from youth hostel to youth hostel flashed through my head. Anything but being tied to a specific piece of land FOREVER.

On this one I was a little bit right.

But oddly nothing has ever made me feel more grown up than giving up my Jeep for a family car when my 2nd son was on his way. Not the house, not turning thirty, not even when Saturday morning cartoons changes from a bunch of adults hanging out in our loft eating trashy cereal and watching Superfriends on DVD to hanging out in bed in a pile of children while eating muffins and watching the Brave and The Bold on DVR. (At least I drive Aaron's Jeep most mornings. But mine was a bright yellow that looked great with my hair, so it still isn't the same.)

How about you? Are you afraid of growing up? Perhaps you're not sure and are in dire need of a scientific test to give you the answer. No need to fear! Cosmo isn't the only publication with the insightful self-tests you so desperately need in order to function within your own very complex life or to answer such taxing questions. No longer do you have only one resource for the answer to questions such as Is Your Boyfriend Jealous of Your Friends? or Are You Ready For A Thong Wardrobe Maker? - nope, not with DC Comics' Heart Throbs.

It's time to find out: Are you afraid to grow up?

Heart Throbs No. # 144 - August 1972, DC Comics

Being the dedicated blogger that I am, I have not only taken the test, but I'm willing share this rare glimpse into my psyche.

I scored a 52 so I've come along way! How did you score? I've shared mine. Now you must share yours.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's my Anniversary!

Career Girl Romances #67, February 1972
Country Girl or Country Star
Charlton Comics

When my mother was fifteen she started in a new school. She said that through her entire first class some dorky guy in glasses kept watching her. When class was dismissed he came up to her and the first and only words out of his mouth were "I'm going to marry you someday." She though yeah, right.

Less than two years later they were being driven down to a North Carolina justice of the peace by two very, very disappointed fathers.

You really have to admire my Dad's ability to set a goal and meet it!

I get my determination from my father.

Aaron claims he knew he would marry me after our first telephone conversation. I'd like to say it was because he had discovered that my devastating good looks were rivaled by my keen wit but actually it was because I told him that something he said was like that episode on Star Trek where Nomad thought Kirk was his creater. I have now confirmed for all that, apart from being irresistibly charming, I am also a dork. A confirmation only strengthened by the cake topper at the wedding.

Now, when I first saw my husband, I will admit that marry was not necessarily the verb going through my mind but I had certainly set my sights. The fact that I could see past his mutton chops says a lot about my vision. It wasn't until our third date that I began to suspect that this was definitely the man for me but even I won't go into that.

Well, whether you believe in love, love at first sight or none of the above, As Told To Stan Lees certainly does. And, since I'm feeling a bit sentimental this week, whether from my anniversary or too much Death Cab For Cutie, I decided to share my own young romance.

Once there was a boy who really really liked hats.

And a girl who was always smiling on the outside and look damn good in a leisure suit.

They were unlikely to meet since they grew up a State apart. And one tragic day the little boy was hit by a car while jaywalking across a highway and died.

But, of course, love knows no obstacle too large to conquer.

So, the boy was brought back, a little worse for wear and was allowed to grow up.

In fact, eventually, they both did.

And the boy received a scholarship to a school in the city where the girl lived.

But, while the girl spent all her free time dancing in clubs, the boy worked on his art so, they never ran into each other. (Okay, so perhaps he watched a lot of television. The outcome was still the same.)

Until one day the girl noticed the boy while he was working at a local music store. But he never seemed to notice her. (Bastard!)

The girl was lonely and eventually bought a dog and walked that dog everyday.

It was on one of these walks that she made a discovery. The boy lived in her apartment complex. (Kickass!)

She walked by his apartment every day with her dog. But the boy still never noticed her. (Son of a Bitch!)

But the girl had too much of her father in her so she continued to walk by his apartment everyday. Refusing to be intimidated by the gigantic Winona Ryder poster on his wall and praying that the old Vana White poster wasn't his. (It hasn't! Thank God!) But the boy still didn't notice her. (Mother F---er!)

It wasn't until the girl had nearly give up that it happened. While shopping for a CD the boy asked if she wanted help. She said no but thought better of it and before he had gotten more than a few steps away, called him back. She made ups some bullshit question and they actually spoke.

The boy was very funny *sigh* and very nice *swoon* and when he suggest a band the girl bought the CD even though she totally didn't want it.

The same night the girl's brother, whom she lived with, decided he was going to the same store. So the girl volunteered to go to, hoping that the boy was there. (He was!) Despite the urge the girl did not run, jump up and wrap her legs around the boys waist and arms around his neck and say hi! but they did talk.

The boy finally gave the girl his number. (Damn! Was that so hard?) And the girl gave him hers.

The dog didn't care much for the boy but they learned to love each other.

The boy tried to change the girl but it didn't work. (much)

The girl tried to change the boy. She was better at it and he shaved the mutton chops.

They shopped for a lot of comics and watched a lot of movies.

A few months later he asked her to marry him.

Love Diary #76, January 1972
Love Will Never Come
Art by Charles Nicholas and Vince Alascia
Charlton Comics

They had many bridal showers and received many, many classy gifts.

At the wedding the groomsmen and brides maids all wore tuxes. The girls were upset because the bride would only let them wear a bra under their jackets. (Hey it was my day!) And all the boys acted like James Bond.

There were many, many terrible pictures taken. And the boy and girl danced very poorly.

Later they had a little boy that looked a lot like his father.

One that looked a lot like his mother.

And another for good measure.

The boy and girl still shop for a lot of comics. See far less movies and never get any sleep.

The End.

Happy Anniversary Aaron!

Girls' Romance #119, September 1966
Ask Me About Love .. I'm an Expert!
Art by Bob Oksner and Bernard Sachs
DC Comics

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nothing is as romantic as a stalker love story!

"To Walk Alone"
Romantic Stories
Charlton Comics
Cover Art by Art Cappello
Story Art by Charles Nicholas & Vince Alascia
Number 126

Okay, so I hadn't actually planned to do this story when I grabbed this particular Romantic Story this morning. I had actually planned to do the cover story but PLEASE passing up a stalker story is just too much to ask. They just make me so happy.

Before you worry yourself about what nightmare inducing images might be found in this stalker story you should know that there are actually three kinds of stalkers, and not all scenarios end with you chained in a disused bomb shelter secreted under an above ground swimming pool.

Type One: The kind that creepily watch you, stages accidental run ins and eventually kills you or tries to kill someone to impress you.

Type Two: The kind that creepily watches you, stages accidental run ins and eventually is found in your closet trying on your clothes and you are forced to call the police.

Type Three: The kind that creepily watches you, stages accidental run ins and you inexplicably end up spending the weekend dancing with them in a gay club in Southern Ohio, crashing in the same hotel room with a little voice in your head telling you that it probably isn't the best idea to share the same same bed with them no matter how casual or numerous her offers, so instead stay awake as long as you can by watching People Under the Stairs a little concerned that you might be awoken in a previously unplanned manner.

I am most intimately familiar with type three and feel secure in saying that this story falls safely somewhere between the last two.

Before we begin I just have to say that I totally want this first outfit. If that yellow raincoat and those boots are shiny plastic or patent leather (my personal kryptonite) I am SO there.

Anyway, with To Walk Alone we meet Tracy Rankin a recently jilted city girl with a fab scents of style and the legs to pull of a killer pair of boots. We can only guess that Arther, her previous fiance, realized he was gay. I mean look at her. Assuming she isn't stupid even I'd hit that!

Rule number one: When you think you are being followed please don't take the time to ask. So maybe she is kind of stupid but still you can't have everything.

After questioning the large man behind her, she discovers it is actually her upstairs neighbor and that he was following her. But he was following her to keep her safe. Which, of course, is what all stalkers say.

But even though Dennis tells her she is beautiful, a compliment she soaks up like a Bounty Paper Towel, the following evening she heads out alone again.

Like any stalker worth his salt, Dennis is waiting for her outside.

And, even though Dennis is obviously a TOTAL stalker, Tracy agrees to go out with him. I guess we shouldn't be too hard on her. Dennis is a red head, and, as a fake red head (most days) since I was seventeen, I can assure you we are irresistible.

Dennis takes Tracy to a nice restaurant and the dates goes wonderfully. In fact in goes better than all the dates he had ever fantasized about while weaving potholders from the hair he secretly collected from her hair brush.

Okay, Jonnie Love leads me to believe that in 1973 steaks could only be afforded by the very rich. Does Tracy think money grows on trees? I don't know how much this stalker gig pays, but I don't think she should assume it pays steak money.

Dinner at Tracy's house seems to go even better. It goes well enough that Dennis feels it is time to tell Tracy that he loves her. Oddly Tracy's tears are not because she is afraid he is going to kill her and wear her skin as a suit.

Wow, Dennis's timing could not have been better. Rebound girl is CRAZY!

Wow, that relationship moved even faster than the relationship between me and my husband. I may have been the stalker in that scenario but he was first with the I love you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

There is Always Time for Workplace Romance!

"Beware, My Love"
Career Girl Romances
Charlton Comics
Story Art by Charles Nicholas & Vince Alascia
Number 75

I have a confession. I've never dated someone I met through work *gasp* but Career Girl Romances leads me to believe that if you were so inclined you'd be hard pressed to throw a stapler without hitting a would be lover.

In fact a friend of mine once claimed to have met the man of his dreams at "the office". He worked at one of those 900 numbers and was always trying to get everyone else to join up because the pay was okay and it "was a fun place to meet other people". Assuming you wanted to meet other people who had the same terrible job you did.

Of course that totally didn't happen because the outcome would have inevitably been a bad one. Lonely Pervert: Hi, how are you doing? Me: Been better. Lonely Pervert: What are you wearing? Me: A Welcome Funeral Directors T-Shirt and men's wing tips I got at the thrift store for $3. Isn't that a bargain?! Lonely Pervert: Um ... Can I talk to someone else? (No offense to the lonely or perverted. Only the lonely and perverted willing to spend $4.99 per minute.)

So perhaps I just missed my workplace affair window. Unless of course you would count the guy who was always trying to corner me alone in the dressing rooms after closing when I worked retail, a writer for the newspaper I freelanced for that said he'd "really find me attractive if I didn't dress so weird." (Okay, if you don't appreciate Fall of the House of Usher chic why are even bothering me?) or the strange man who, after a short conversation about his cable bill when I worked at a customer service call center, went on to explain, in a deeply seductive voice, every detail of how he wanted to drive to my house, sneak inside, feel the side of my oven still warm from where (he hoped) I had been baking, quietly open its door, pull the racks free and climb inside. (God I miss that job!)

Yeah, didn't think they counted either.

"Beware, My Love" is a short story that shows us just how easy it is to find true love at the office. Even while dressed like you're in a barbershop quartet.

When the attractive Derek Ames walks into Lila Cooper waiting room she can't help but like him. Firstly, he wears a tie and all women like ties on some level (probably because it is kind of like a leash), he sports a black shirt like he is in the mob (it's that bad boy thing again) and he asked her to lunch even though she is dressed like a carnie.

Despite the fact that Miss Cooper has probably let hundred, if not thousands, of unsuspecting men into her bosses office to be screwed over, and good, this time, with Derek Ames' resent kindness fresh in her memory, Lila feel true remorse.

After tipping Ames off and suggesting he does not sign the contract, Derek, not great at improve, makes an awkward exist and Lila's boss becomes belligerent.

Derek asks Lila to lunch once again hoping she will explain why he shouldn't have signed the contract. And this time, slipping on a jacked that helps her to look less carnie and more Mary Poppens, Lila accepts.

I like the crows feet on Derek's eyes. If those were on a female the story would inevitably be about being too old to love.

When they part ways after lunch Lila has high hopes for both a new job and more time with Derek.

Drive-In! At this rate she'll be able to quit that new job any day now!

Lets hope Lila is a WAY better kisser than a typist because that could really lead to an uncomfortable yearly review.

Friday, October 7, 2011

First Impressions - Comics I just had to buy.

With my husband working nights again I decided to do a quick search through my ever growing romance comic collection for something to post and quite frankly I just couldn't decide. There were just way too many covers that sold me on the book before I even opened its pages.

First impressions are everything. And that is doubly true for romance.

It. Is. Everything. I can not stress that enough.

I remember once meeting the mother of a man I was dating only to have her eyes rake me from tights to t-shirt and say "So, how old is she?" A question she didn't even both to direct to me. Perhaps I should have upgraded my jean cut offs for a skirt or something because she, obviously, was not impressed. And I'm awesome!

My husband once threw-up on a first date. Yep, and he wasn't even drunk! Did he get a second date? I don't remember for sure, but I am guessing no.

Then of course, coming at it from the other side, I once had a guy try to pick me up at a club who had, no more than three weeks early, tried for 20 minutes to grope me in a mosh pit and was saved only by the fact that eventually some gigantic would-be-viking man decided that I fell under his protection. Was I not supposed to remember that? Well I did. Woman remember EVERYTHING.

Good or bad, you only have one shot at a first impressions. Just like in life, a comic also has only moments to sell you on it value. In my opinion, the following did their job. And did it well.

(Time For Love #20, 1972. Cover artist unknown)

I'm not sure what the misunderstanding is but if it involves cage dancing, I'm in!

(Just Married # 86, 1972. Cover artist unknown)

I like how her husband's thrown out arm, with its pushed up sleeve, imply that the guy must shoot up with heroine or something. I'll let you in on a little secret ... it's LSD.

(Sweethearts # 123, 1972. Cover artist unknown)

We all know how much woman hate a man who has an island! This cover makes me what to buy it AND feed that woman a sandwich.

(Young Love # 119, Dec./Jan 1975, 76'. Cover artist Art Saaf?)

I hope when one of my sons goes to prison (because there's no doubt really) that they have a good woman to love them.

(Secret Romance # 29, 1974. Cover artist Art Cappello)

I'm just plain drawn to the gentleman with graying hair who seems to be having a rather elaborate internal dialog about that couple making out in public. What does he know that we don't?

(Secret Romance # 23, Dec./Jan 1973. Cover artist Art Cappello)

I think the blind, even the temporarily blind, should be more often represented in comics.

(Time For Love # 23, 1971. Cover artist by Art Cappello)

Like a dream come true. Another blind guy. Apparently women with low self-esteem love to score with the visually impaired.

(Romantic Story # 126, 1973. Cover artist by Art Cappello)

If he can't be blind, he can at least be dead. She seems more upset that she already paid for the honeymoon than she does that her man is dead. Just to prove that I'm right, I'll let you know she hooks up before the end of the trip.

Now, aren't you just dying for me to post these stories? I thought so.