Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Love Poems of Len Wein

The late writer Len Wein was best known as the co-creator of the All-New X-Men...
Secret Hearts #148 (1970) art by Gray Morrow
...including Storm, NightCrawler, Colossus, and particularly, Wolverine!
But before he hit the comics equivalent of the motherlode, Len took writing assignments in a variety of genres, including romance!
And, when DC romance titles needed poems on their intro/contents pages, the then-neophyte scribe was eager to try his hand...
Secret Hearts #146 (1970) Art by Jay Scott Pike
Secret Hearts #147 (1970) Art by Jay Scott Pike
Secret Hearts #150 (1970) Art by Gray Morrow
Young Romance #170 (1971) Artist Unknown
This last one is more an intro than a poem.
 Next Week:
We don't know what we'll publish...yet!
But, You'll Cry Your Eyes Out If You Miss It!
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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

ROMANCES OF THE WEST "Cowboy or the Playboy?"

Did she want a man...or a real man?
This "modern" Western (set in the present) has the answer!
This never-reprinted tale from Timely's Romances of the West #1 (1949) was one of Marvel mainstay John Buscema's earliest assignments, and only his second romance tale!
To see other examples of his romance comics work from the 1950s to the 1970s click HERE!
Next Week:
We don't know yet what we'll present, but we can guarantee...
You'll Cry Your Eyes Out if You Miss It!
And now a word from our sponsor...
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Agonizing Love

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

TENDER LOVE STORIES "Spark of my Heart!"

...with a never-reprinted tale about a guy, a girl, and gearshifts!
Written by May Sterling, penciled by Kurt Schaffenberger, and inked by John Celardo, this tale from Skywald's Tender Love Stories #4 (1971) was the final original story from the short-lived company's longest-running title!
While Schaffenberger and Celardo were both long-time pros who began their careers back in the Golden Age of comics, this is May Sterling's only writing credit!
Schaffenberger, in the 1950s and 60s, was DC's "go to" artist for female characters with long stints on Lois Lane, Supergirl, and Mary Marvel as well as occasional assignments on Wonder Woman and Mighty Isis!
Oddly, he had very few romance comic assignments over his long career...
Is "May Sterling" a pseudonym, or was she a comics neophyte who went on to other things after this one script?
Sadly, we'll never know...
Next Week:
We don't know yet what we'll present, but we can guarantee...
You'll Cry Your Eyes Out if You Miss It!
And now a word from our sponsor...
Please Support True Love Comics Tales
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Agonizing Love

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

MARVEL ROMANCE REDUX "I Was a Beach Blanket Barbarian" / TEEN-AGE ROMANCE "Summer Must End"

Five years after Truer than True Romance...
...Marvel did a mini-series based on the same concept...except it was written entirely by men!
Re-written by John Lustig, who had experience doing similar re-writes of Charlton's First Kiss series as Last Kiss.
The original version of this tale was the cover-featured story in Atlas' Teen-Age Romance #84 (1961)...
This was the original splash page...
...but the Marvel Romance Redux appearance wasn't the first reworking of this story!
When the tale was reprinted in Marvel's Our Love Story #9 (1971), it wasn't rewritten...it was redrawn!
"Why did they do that?" you may ask...
With sales falling on most non-superhero genres in the late 1960s (including Western and war as well as romance), this "updated reprinting" became a common practice on romance comics until the genre all-but died out in the late 1970s.
Publishers would do a new 6-12 page lead story and use retouched reprints to fill out the book.
Editors felt that:
a) the plots were relatively timeless.
b) updating the art was cheaper than totally-redrawing the story. 
c) the artists were better-utilized doing stuff that sold better (like superheroes).
d) the audience for romance comics, unlike superhero comics, totally-changed every 5-6 years anyway, and wouldn't notice the "old" plots.
You can read both the earlier versions HERE.
Next Week...
We Don't Yet Know What We'll Present, But We DO Know...
You'll Cry Your Eyes Out If You Miss It!
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

TRUER THAN TRUE ROMANCE "Too Dumb for Love" / SECRET HEARTS "Summer Heart"

Long after romance titles disappaeared from the comics racks...
...a snarky one-shot took classic DC Comics tales and re-wrote them!
Already-successful author Jeanne Martinet decided to rewrite a number of existing romance comics tales (all written by men) with a female-oriented (and humorous) slant.
Here's the original version from DC's Secret Hearts #45 (1958)...
Art for both versions by Bill Draut.
Next Week: Marvel's take on the same theme...
You'll Cry Your Eyes Out if You Miss It!
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