Friday, December 30, 2011

Sequential Crush - Best of 2011!

It's almost 2012! Hard to believe the year has flown by so quickly! I am hoping that 2012 will be the best year yet for Sequential Crush! I have lots of great post ideas floating around in my head and I hope to get an "about me" page up soon! But, before we move on to another year of romance comic book goodness, let's take a look back at 2011 here at Sequential Crush!

The following are some of my favorite posts!
Just click on the image to take you to the original post!


Do you have any favorite posts
from this past year? Please share!


I am going to take the first week of the year off from posting in order to prepare posts for the next couple of months. I am starting a new 9 to 5, so I just want to get a little ahead of things around here! See you the week of the 9th!

Happy New Year!!!

1.) Mustache Mania! 2.) Are You Ready for Marriage? 3.) My Chat with Jim Steranko 4.) Cigarettes and Smoking 5.) The Mammy Archetype 6.) Squirrels! 7.) That Strange Girl 8.) The Bechdel Test 9.) Ugly Duckling Week 10.) Miss America Featurette 11.) A Hunk, an Orange, and a Runaway Bride 12.) Gallery of Regrettable Fashion

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Time Travel Tuesdays - Marriage Now or Later

Welcome to another installment of Time Travel Tuesdays! Today I have for you a 1951 page of advice on marriage from the original romance title, Young Romance! Just click to enlarge!

Young Romance #38
(vol. 5, no. 2)
(October 1951)

The advice is a little surprising given that today we are always given the impression that women of the '50s were encouraged to marry young and forgo personal achievements and developments. Though in the end Ms. Hale recommends that marriage is the "only normal way of living,"she still advocates that the inquiring reader take time to find herself and take a "fling at freedom."

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mad Mad Modes for Moderns Mondays - Winter Party Fashions

Not sure what to wear to your upcoming New Year's Eve party? Take a few cues from "Mad Mad Modes for Moderns" as featured in Girls' Romances #146 (January 1970)!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

"Merry Christmas"
Time for Love #22
(May 1971)

Because no office holiday party would be complete without mistletoe!!! No matter how you celebrate the holiday season, I wish you and yours the very best!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday House Ad

Holiday-themed house ad from
DC's
Falling in Love #74 (April 1965).

Imagine receiving the gift of romance comics!!! I know... it seems strange that a comic book with a cover date of April would have a Santa inspired ad, but most comics were actually published two months before the date on the cover. In the case of this issue and going by that lag time, this ad is still a little out of place! I guess those gifts of romance comics would have been a little late for the holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Because You Demanded It! My Mother, the Mantrap!


Thanks to everyone who weighed in on which pink cover they liked best! Today I have for you the winner -- "My Mother, the Mantrap" from Falling in Love #131 (April 1972). I believe the pencils on this one are by Mike Sekowsky, though the cover art comes from the hands of Win Mortimer and Vince Colletta. Enjoy!


The awesomely titled, "My Mother, the Mantrap" introduces us to Sheila, her beautiful 36 year old mother, and her mother's suitor -- Dr. Elliot Marsh. Sheila is devastated after overhearing her mother refuse Elliot's marriage proposal. Why you ask? Sheila can't stand to have her mother continue to attempt to live her life rather than her own!


Sheila lashes out at her mom while she helps her daughter prepare for a party. Sheila sees her enthusiastic and fun mother as a man stealer, which puts her young adult self constantly on edge.


At the party, the boy Sheila likes runs off to dance with mother dearest. To add insult to injury, he thinks Sheila's mom is her sister. Ouch!


That night while in bed, Sheila cries herself to sleep. Her mother overhears her, but she cannot console Sheila who is hell-bent on keeping all prospective beaus away from her.


A short time later, Sheila is set up on a blind date with a guy named Neil Sawyer. They spend all their free time together and fall in love. Ultimately, Neil proposes.


Sheila manages to keep her mother out of the picture until Neil inquires as to why she hasn't let him meet her. Sheila finally tells her mom who is delighted and anxious to meet Neil... perhaps to steal him?


Having had enough of her mother, Sheila flips out and yells, "hands off, mother!" Sheila then announces her plans to move out. Her mother begs her not to, and retorts with the fact she never realized Sheila resented her so. Neil is supportive with Sheila's decision to get her own apartment. But when Sheila finally moves out, Neil can tell that all she can think about is her mom.

After moving, the betrothed go and visit Dr. Elliot Marsh for their premarital blood test and to inquire if he will act as a witness to their marriage. Elliot agrees and says he is anxious to see Sheila's mother. Sheila reveals that her mother will not be there -- they didn't invite her! Elliot and Sheila then get into it. Sheila tells him how her mother was constantly trying to ruin her life, while Elliot contends that her mom was just trying to ensure Sheila's happiness by making sure she was never alone like she had been while growing up.


Feeling terrible about how she treated her well-meaning mother, Sheila goes with Neil to apologize. Her mother's love is unfailing, and all is forgiven. I guess she wasn't trying to steal Sheila's boyfriends after all!

Quite the plot, eh?! What did you think? Was her mother as sinister as Sheila made her out to be? I happen to like this one because it focuses on the mother/daughter relationship and demonstrates how family is often inextricably linked to romantic attachments -- whether one likes it or not!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Joe Simon 1913 - 2011

Joe Simon via kirbymuseum.org

I had another post prepped for today, but I am sad to say that I just heard the news that romance comic book genre pioneer, Joe Simon has passed away. As the founding father of romance comics (along with Jack Kirby) I just want to take this time to both remember him and thank him. I can't really imagine what the comic book industry or my life would be like without his monumental contributions. Rest in peace, Mr. Simon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Long Running Romance Comic Book Serial "Reach for Happiness!"- Episode Five

I recently realized that it has been quite a while since I last posted an episode of the long-running, Peyton Place based romance comic serial, "Reach for Happiness!" Oops!

Today I shall correct that with the fifth installment from Secret Hearts #114 (September 1966). Since many of you are new readers, I encourage you to catch up with the first four episodes here! You can also read the handy "What Came Before..." page right below to get up to speed on all the drama and anguish!

The art for all previous episodes was moodily executed by Gene Colan. In this episode, you will notice that the art duties are shared between Colan and another artist. The Grand Comics Database credits John Rosenberger as the second artist.

After being dropped off at her house by Greg close to dawn, Karen is confused to say the least. Just as quickly as Greg turned on the charm, he turned it off and left her hanging. Needing to talk to someone about the kiss, Karen notices that her sister Peggy is still awake. But Peggy is worried about her own problems (which are unknown to us at this point) and isn't receptive in the least to Karen's woes.

The next day, Rita (Karen's competition for Greg) visits her father at his hardware store. Rita lets her dad know that she is planning on giving Greg an ultimatum that very day.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the tracks, Roger and Lila Smathers continue to fight about their son Richie and his spoiled ways. Richie does little to show remorse for the accident he caused.

After being spurned by her sister, Karen goes to Lila looking for a sympathetic ear. But Lila isn't much help either, and grills Karen on why she gave up Greg in the first place for movie star Frankie Summers (now deceased). When Karen tells Lila about Rita, Lila advises her to take action... and quick, if she doesn't want to lose Greg.
Karen walks home and tries to avoid dropping in at Greg's office. Naturally, she can't help herself and stops in. She tells Greg that she had a wonderful time the night prior. An awkward silence grows between them and she motions to leave. Greg stops her and declares, "Karen -- I'm so sorry --" and just like that, Rita slinks out to brag about her conquest. Noooooooooo!!!

Oh! Oh! What's next? I guess you will just have to wait and see! But, I promise not to make you wait another six months this time!

Thanks again to Pat over at
Silver Age Comics for the scans for this episode!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Guest Post Over at the DC Archives Message Board - Issue Review of Falling in Love #49 (March 1962)

Hello! I hope you had a great weekend! As you probably have noticed, I usually post romance stories from the mid-sixties and onward. If you find yourself curious about early '60s romance you should head over to the DC Archives Message Boards and read the guest post I did on Falling in Love #49 (March 1962) for their December 1961 Time Capsule feature! My section is on the bottom of page three. Enjoy!

Also!

Don't forget to let me know
which is your favorite pink cover!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Favorites - DC's Gorgeous Pink Romance Covers!

You may remember a collection of green romance covers from last spring -- this evening, I have for you five gorgeous pink covers from DC! Nothing says romance quite like these rosy hued beauties!

Falling in Love #131
(April 1972)

Girls' Love Stories #164
(December 1971)

Heart Throbs #124
(February/March 1970)

Young Love #80
(May/June 1970)

Young Romance #159
(April/May 1969)

So tell me, which cover is your favorite? Let me know in the comments and next week I will feature the corresponding interior story! Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Marvel Schools You on Hair Styles

This fashion filler page from My Love #9 (January 1971) is one of the only such pages I know of in the Marvel romance comics of the '70s. This page is unlike the original DC fashion pages in that the illustration is a conglomeration of images from previously published Marvel romance stories. Despite the eye-catching design, the brief copy, "For the man in your life-" doesn't come off as the most empowering message!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Malt Shops, and Drive-Ins, and Bowling Alleys! Oh, My! Typical Settings for Romance!

We all know that romance can happen anywhere -- but in the romance comics, love generally blossomed at a few select places. The following panels illustrate perhaps the most popular settings for 1960s and '70s romance stories. As you go through this post you may ask yourself, why no romance scenes in the bedroom? Bedroom scenes in the romance comics were few and far between and typically, reserved for married characters. Another thing to remember -- prior to the in-home entertainment revolution (e.g., devices such as VHS and DVD players) most amusements happened outside of the home, thus accounting for the public nature of the romantic venues shown here.



The great outdoors is always a perfect spot for love when the weather is nice!

Park Benches
"Too Beautiful to Spoil"
Falling in Love #63 (November 1963)

♥ Beaches ♥
"Don't Bet on Love!"
Falling in Love #64 (January 1964)
Pencils and Inks: Jay Scott Pike

♥ Under Trees ♥
"Cry Alone!"
Heart Throbs #115 (August/September 1968)
Pencils: Tony Abruzzo

A little vigorous exercise never hurt the heart, so say the characters of romance comics!

♥ Tennis Courts ♥
"The Most Bitter Lesson of Her Life!"
Falling in Love #113 (February 1970s)
Pencils: Lee Elias

♥ Bowling Alleys ♥
"No Time for Love!"
Girls' Romances #141 (June 1969)
Pencils: Win Mortimer, Inks: Vince Colletta

♥ Ski Slopes ♥
"Swinging Singles Hotel"
Heart Throbs #134 (October 1971)

Nothing like being afloat at sea with the one you love as the many boaters in the romance comics demonstrate!

♥ Sailboats ♥
"Easy to Kiss"
Girls' Romances #145 (December 1969)

♥ Canoes ♥
"Tame a Wild Heart"
Girls' Romances #151 (September 1970)
Pencils: John Rosenberger

Miscellaneous entertainment is always available for those characters fortunate enough to live in the city!

♥ The Zoo ♥
"I'll Never Love Again!"
Girls' Romances #146 (January 1970)
Pencils: John Rosenberger

♥ Malt Shops ♥
"The Face in My Dreams!"
Girls' Love Stories #94 (April 1963)

♥ Nightclubs ♥
"Substitute Sweetheart"
Heart Throbs #129 (December 1970/January 1971)
Pencils: Win Mortimer

♥ Amusement Parks ♥
"Ring of Gold!"
Young Romance #159 (April/May 1969)

♥ Museums and Art Galleries ♥
"How Can I Love a Member of the Establishment?"
Our Love Story #20 (December 1972)
Pencils: Don Heck, Inks: John Verpoorten

It is no surprise that the popularity of cars in mid-century popular culture infiltrated the pages of romance comics as intimate spaces for young lovers.

The Drive-in
"The Lost Love"
Young Love #123 (January 1977)
Pencils: John Rosenberger, Inks: Vince Colletta

♥ Lookout Points ♥
"A Million Laughs in Every Kiss"
Young Romance #167 (August/September 1970)
Pencils and Inks: Tony DeZuniga

Many romance stories took place where characters spent a majority of their time -- the workplace.

♥ Hospitals ♥
"My First Love Was My Last Love!"
Young Romance #161 (August/September 1969)

♥ The Office ♥
"Hide From Love!"
Secret Hearts #139 (October 1969)
Pencils: John Rosenberger

♥ School ♥
"Don't Bring Him Home"
Young Love #117 (August/September 1975)
Pencils: Creig Flessel

♥♥♥

This list is by no means conclusive, but is a nice sampling of some of the most common settings for romance in the comics! Maybe you now even have an idea or two of where to take your next date!
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