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Who in the blue hell is Bobby Sherman? – Teen-Age Love #83

July 14, 2010

This is my maiden foray into the dark realm of romance comics. Pray for me.

This issue contains three stories. The first, from an unknown creative staff, is entitled “Can Love Die so Quickly?” Beth and Alan are our fresh-faced newlyweds, and we open with full barrage of male insensitivity:

“Ghastly” may be a bit strong, but you can’t deny that she looks pretty damn frumpy.

The magic has disappeared fairly quickly in their marriage, but they decide to make a half-hearted stab at salvaging things.  They each start to go their own ways, and Beth starts to tart herself up quite nicely:

All the looks the Beth keeps getting drive Alan mad with jealousy, and that’s apparently enough to reaffirm their love:

I’m really not sure what the moral is for this one.

Oh, and here’s the horrifying Bobby Sherman pin-up:

Our second story, “Misfit,” comes from an unknown writer but was pencilled and inked by Charles Nicholas and Vince Alascia — at least I can give you that much. It’s a coming of age story, as a young lass named Ruthie is horribly awkward in social situations and goes off to spend the summer with her more worldly cousin Michelle. While there she meets a young man named Ed who ogles her one day by the pool:

It only takes a short time for her to realize that it’s love:

She returns home a new young woman.  Apparently all that was needed was the touch of a man to rid her of all those horrible traits that made her unique.  You know, like opinions and things.

Our last tale is the real gem of the three. Once again from unknown authors, “Who Needs Love” chronicles the efforts of a pretty young secretary to snare an eligible executive:

Luella starts off slowly — she’s all-business at first, but after her erstwhile probationary period is over she amps up the sex appeal. Her arsenal of wiles includes presenting like a horny baboon:

Should we be shocked that Mr. Ridgely soon offers her a ride home?:

Things are moving along pretty quickly, and at dinner we’re treated to Luella’s greedy internal monologue:

That night they share a kiss, and soon all bets are off at the office:

“Miss Carroll” and “Mr. Ridgely” are out the window — now it’s all “Pete” and “Luella.” Luella soon realizes that she’s been snared by Pete just as much as he’s become enamored of her:

I guess that counts for love.

I liked going through this issue, but I’m not quite sure what to make of it. I wasn’t anticipating deep ruminations on life and love, but this? If I was looking for something to support any misogynist impulses that I might have, then I couldn’t ask for a more successful effort than Teen-Age Love #83. Women (and men, but mainly women) are portrayed throughout as horribly vapid creatures. I realize that there isn’t a enough space to generate a great deal of depth with these folks, but these characters are just so incredibly shallow in every possible way. Only Ruthie, in the second short, has a semblance of humanity about her, and even she’s cured in the end by the simple palliative of a boy’s love.

Then again, what did I expect? It’s par for the course, I suppose.

I had a good time with it, though, and at least I now know who Bobby Sherman is. Thank you, Google.

And for those of you that can’t get enough of romance comics, head over to Sequential Crush. You’re sure to get your fill there — it’s a veritable smorgasbord.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. booksteve permalink
    July 15, 2010 5:01 am

    Wow. You can’t begin to know how big Bobby Sherman was in his day with multiple gold records and top ten hits. He influenced fashion with his love beads and fringed vests. He had a hit TV series, guest-starred on the Monkees and the Partridge Family and sold out concert tours to 12 year old girls throughout the country! And yet no teen idol seems to have so completely faded. Only one of his big hits even turns up on oldies radio stations and even then rarely! Sigh….how quickly we forget.

    • July 15, 2010 8:52 am

      I recognized the name, but I had absolutely no idea who he was until I made a trek to his Wikipedia page. He really fell off the face of the Earth, and was gone completely well before I was born. Are you listening to this, Justin Bieber?

  2. Thelonious Nick permalink
    July 15, 2010 11:34 am

    I have a handful of old romances I got when I bought a stack of old comics one time. I actually find them fairly entertaining, in a campy way. The titles seem interchangeable, though for all I know, romance readers at the time considered them starkly different.

  3. July 15, 2010 3:09 pm

    As a matter of fact, I had a Bobby Sherman lunch box when I was in the first grade. I can’t name any of his songs or recall why I had to have his lunchbox. I remember my mother thought it was very strange that I would want this.

    • rich permalink
      October 11, 2010 3:58 pm

      Im 43, born in ’67, and was just talking to my brother about my Bobby Sherman lunch box, I must have been between the ages of 6 and 8. I don’t really remember any of Bobby Sherman’s songs, or why I had the lunch box either. I think there must have been a mass hypnosis to get kids back then to buy his lame lunch box. Be Groovy


  4. July 16, 2010 12:07 am

    booksteve summed up the Bobby Sherman situation admirably. I’ll just add that “Julie Do Ya Love Me” is a real guilty pleasure.

  5. booksteve permalink
    July 17, 2010 10:31 am

    Here’s some Bobby Sherman comics for ya!

  6. July 19, 2010 9:43 pm

    Splendid job, Jared!

    Not all issues of romance comics are hits as you have found out, but reading lots of them you start to see patterns. Lately, I have been noticing a lot of close up panels of certain body parts in Charlton books a la “Who Needs Love.” Keep up the good work, and thanks for the plug!!!

  7. July 20, 2010 12:26 pm

    Thanks to everyone for their Bobby Sherman memories — and Jacque, I’m almost afraid to know what body parts get the close-up Charlton treatment.


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