cover to Young Love #73

Young Love #73, March-April 1969

The Christmas period brings us all kind of goodies — including online sales! I cleared out a couple of comic sites of their romance comics stock, dropping about 1500 dollars in the process. Well, I actually paid half that, roughly, given the deep discounting that was on offer. I picked up comics going all the way back to the 1940s for a song. Could it really be that no-one collects this stuff? Okay I know the stories are cliched and repetitious, but the art is often quite lovely, and sometimes stunning.

The likes of Gene Colan, John Romita, Don Heck and George Tuska cut their eye teeth drawing tales of love and loss, and they expended no less effort on it than on the later super-hero stuff. By the 1970s it’s fair to say that artists were perhaps less than thrilled to be working on romance, and the books were the only ones still to lack credits, probably to allow them a degree of anonymity, but even then there’s some great art to be found. The occasional appearance of a Filipino or Spanish artist is a real treat that’s well worth the trawl through a hundred pages of badly touched-up reprints (1950s haircuts would be updated to hippy length — often by Win Mortimer).

So, get out there and give them a try. They’re cheap, and you never know what you might find.

Cover by Dick Giordano, who was then also editing the book.

Image ©2010 DC Comics