Feb 8, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 714: Time For Love #38, September 1974

https://www.comics.org/issue/169541/

I read an issue of this series earlier last year and was thoroughly underwhelmed with it. The art was quite lovely, as is most of the art from 70s romance comics, but the stories were horrendous sexist programming that told young ladies they had to give up everything for their man, leap at the first marriage proposal that was offered, and always be really, really pretty.

Today's comic breaks from that slightly. The art is still excellent. And the characters all wear that CW level of prettiness. But there's a couple of stories in which the female lead wrestles with her feelings, rather than leaping straight into them, pondering whether or not what she feels is actually love or simply a brief infatuation. Which, I think, is a rather intelligent way of looking at relationships, occasionally. The best part of the comic, however, was the "Teen-Age Troubles" advice column, in which young women sent letters to Dr. Harold Gluck. There's a little more information about him here at the wonderful Sequential Crush. The young lady who wrote in was complaining of a weight problem that was keeping her from getting dates. Dr. Gluck's advice was rather excellent, as he stressed that before she plunged into some diet, she seek advice from a doctor. He even goes so far as to say that weight isn't necessarily a problem if one accepts one's own body. Forward thinking advice for the 70s, I think.

I think we need to see some contemporary romance comics, ones that tell a compelling story without devolving into stereotypical portrayals. Any artists out there want to collaborate with me? (I'm pretty sure "Stick Person Romance" would not be a success.)

To be continued!

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