When is a contemporary love story not a contemporary love story?
When it was "contemporary" a decade earlier!
You'd think a tale heavily-oriented about current fashion would have been written and drawn, well, currently!
But this story published in Skywald's Tender Love Stories #4 (1971) wasn't scripted and illustrated in 1971!
It was created almost a decade earlier...in 1963!
Published in Prize's Young Romance #124 (1963), the original version illustrated by Bob Powell presents the male ingenue first as a leather-clad biker, then as a preppie, and finally as an average Joe.
The reworked version, inked by Bill Everett, presents the guy first as a leisure-suited layabout, then a double-breasted suit-clad dandy, and finally, again, as an average Joe.
You'll also note in both cases, Bob starts out with extreme hairstyles, then gets trimmed as the tale goes on!
Of course, looking back on these tales decades later, both stories seem like "period pieces"!
And, yes, we did wear clothes like you see here in both those time periods!
They were considered "cutting edge" then.
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 8-20 page lead story and use retouched reprints to fill out the book.
Editors felt that:
a) the plots were relatively timeless.
b) "updating" existing art was cheaper than totally-redrawing the story.
c) artists were better-utilized doing stuff that sold better (like superheroes).
d) the audience for romance comics, unlike superhero comics, changed every 5-6 years anyway, and wouldn't notice the old plots!
We Don't Know What We're Presenting...Yet!
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