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Eat your heart out, Girl from the Wrong Side of the Tracks – Girls’ Romances #133

October 3, 2010

A while back I looked at one of Charlton’s romance books. It’s time for another foray into this pink-hued realm, and this go around we’ll tackle a Silver Age effort from our friends at DC.

A couple of notes on this cover from John Rosenberger… First, there’s flesh aplenty with this trio. ‘Nuff said. Second, I like the postures of the two young ladies. The brunette’s twisted stance is a nice reflection of her stated anguish, and the blonde’s submission to her man is accentuated by that left arm hanging down. They’re nice touches from the artist. Even a pig like myself can appreciate them.

Now for the interior.

Our first story, “Cindy the Salesgirl” (pencils from Jack Sparling), has a shrewy little tart browbeating her sartorially deficient boyfriend into changing his looks:

She immediately takes him shopping to update his attire. Each outfit is more preposterous than the next, but the people in the story seem to think that they’re just swell, so whatever:

Apparently she wants him to look like Sherlock Holmes.

Thankfully, there’s some comeuppance for this nagging wench — she’s made him irresistible!:

Story number two, “Shadow of Love,” is a turgidly narrated affair. A young girl falls in love with an older man (boy), though they look to be in the same age group to me. The whole thing is replete with him telling her she should find someone her own age and her gnashing her teeth. To wit:

The story revolves around her leaving town, and her older(?) boyfriend not wanting to say goodbye, but coming to say goodbye anyway, and… you know what? I don’t really care. Here’s the last page if you’re curious how these two leave things, and please note the clunky narration:

Need some relationship advice? Here’s Julia Roberts to answer all your queries — no, not that Julia Roberts:

“Don’t Throw Your Love Away!” is the closer. The brunette, Nancy, a girl of modest means, is jealous of the blonde, Susan, because Susan has everything:

Nancy’s “from the wrong side of the tracks,” and in case you missed that, we’re reminded of it on the very next page, after she fantasizes that she’s the rich girl:

Things change quickly. Susan is impressed with an oral report that Nancy gives (that sounds perverted), and soon the two are the best of friends. Nancy’s completely taken in by her more affluent classmate. There follows a dangerous tamping down of Nancy’s own wants and needs for the benefit of her new friend — she denies herself a boy’s affections because he’s Susan’s beau, and she gives up on getting the lead in the school play so Susan will win the role. She really goes 180 degrees in this relationship.

That summer, after graduation, they go to Susan’s summer place on the lake, and bikini-clad cavorting ensues:

Susan falls for a boy named Bill and tells Nancy all about it, and then one day, while swimming alone, Nancy meets her own man. She falls in love in mere minutes, but that’s all before she learns his name — Bill! She immediately tells him that their love can’t be, that he belongs with Susan, and she runs away. Later she sees him with Susan, and she prays that Nancy won’t realize how much she cares for Bill.

But wait — this Bill is Susan’s cousin Bill. Susan’s boyfriend Bill is a different Bill. Do you follow that? Good.

Nancy explains what happened, and why she acted the way she did — Susan has done so much for her (I’d argue that things are actually the reverse, but okay) and she couldn’t do anything that might hurt Susan. Then Susan brings us full circle:

“The wrong side of the tracks” again. Was that phrase just invented when this comic was written? Was its freshness the reason it was so overused in this story?

Anyway, it all ends with one of the Bills saying what would be on any red-blooded heterosexual male’s mind:

This last story was rather interesting — and I’m not sure about the message in coveys. Selflessness is one thing, slavish devotion is another. At the outset I thought it was going to turn into a Single White Female stalk-fest, but I guess that’s just my modern sensibilities imposing themselves.

And one final note — See if you can tell me which of these ads, both of which I scanned from this comic, doesn’t belong in a romance book:

      

I’m not saying that girls wouldn’t want to go fishing, but it seems that the demographics for that ad are a little outside the romance audience’s purview. It’s kind of like seeing a Tampax commercial during Monday Night Football.

And, as always, if you want more romance comics, head over to Sequential Crush. Tell Jacque I sent you.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2010 12:28 am

    I am so behind on my blog readin’! Great overview!!! I really like that “Cindy” episode. Even though I love Win Mortimer, it is cool to see other artists tackle the adventures of the ever dutiful salesgirl.

    I have always been mystified by the fishing ad too. Maybe DC had to put the ad in a certain number of books a month?

    Thanks for the plug, friend of romance!

    • October 13, 2010 9:20 pm

      I hadn’t really thought of the quota angle for the ad. It certainly makes more sense than it being in there for the “three-guys-on-Earth-who-read-romance-comics-while-fly-fishing” demographic.

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