Showing posts with label Quiz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Quiz. Show all posts

Monday, March 31, 2014

Loving is Believing - Jealousy in "Free to Love"

Hello there! How are you all doing? I had wanted to post this earlier, but a string of technical difficulties prevented me. Anyhow! As we say goodbye to March and hello to April, let's look at one last story for Women's History Month -- "Free to Love" from Young Love #99 (September 1972). This beautifully illustrated story (which looks to be courtesy of Tony DeZuniga, at least in part) shares a little bit in common with the last story I posted, which prompted some really interesting discussion . "Free to Love," like "Cry Like a Real Girl!" depicts the power of female friendship, and what happens when women work together, as opposed to against one another. However, I think you'll find this story (and the extra added bonus of the quiz that immediately followed) a much more productive representation of the Women's Movement. 

In this "true story," readers are introduced to Gail who is immediately depicted as "a jealous girl." When her friend Eileen comes to town, Gail is certain that upon meeting Eileen, her boyfriend Brent's affections for her are on a downward trajectory. Gail doesn't hesitate one bit to let Eileen know to keep her mitts off Brent.

When Brent takes the two girls out to the theatre and dancing afterward, Gail catapults further into a sour mood. By dancing with Eileen (in his eyes being friendly), Brent has embroiled himself in quite the uncomfortable situation with Gail.

After declaring that he doesn't want to be owned, Brent leaves Gail to stew.

 A few days after the fight, Gail asks Eileen to coffee. Anyone in their right mind knows that a conversation that begins with, "You haven't done anything wrong, not yet! But..." probably won't end well. Eileen socks it to Gail bluntly and instructs her to go to Brent and show him that she has learned to be understanding. But has she?

Nope! The next day when Brent shows up to talk, another fight ensues. By the end of it, Gail accuses Eileen of being vicious and calculating. Brent accuses Gail of making mountains out of molehills, and once again, expresses his need to not feel like he is owned. Needles to say, the two former lovers do not part on good terms.

A week later, Gail stumbles into a horrific scene -- Eileen and Brent hanging out in the park together. Though it seems to be platonic, Gail is beyond hurt. She realizes that she really has lost Brent. She then quits her job, gets a new one, and attempts to forget Brent by dating other guys. Not long after, Eileen drops by. Eileen insists that it isn't she who has hurt Gail, but Gail herself.

The two women then have a heart to heart and Eileen helps Gail realize that she is sorely lacking self-confidence, and in effect, has been led down the path of jealousy.

As a result of their conversation, Gail attempts to be less jealous when out with other men on future dates. One evening while out dancing, Gail bumps into Brent and his date. When alone, Gail sucks it up and wishes Brent the very best with his new lady and hurries off to "powder her nose" (AKA sob into a tree). Brent follows her and tells her she has changed. And clearly, if his kiss is any indicator, he is attracted to that change.

"You see, I knew the secret, then. 
Every grown-up girl knows it. Loving is Believing!
I'll never forget that in the years ahead!"

Following the sequentially illustrated story is the quiz, "Are you Jealous of Other Girls?" I haven't seen this tie-in between a story and a quiz before, so it is rather unique. Click to read in more detail, or take the quiz yourself! 

"Free to Love" is in essence, a cautionary tale. This story (and the ensuing quiz) is interesting because it takes an age old condition of romance -- jealousy, and uses it to sound off about the Women's Movement. "Free to Love" is most certainly a continuation of the recurring theme in 1960s and '70s romance comics that loudly and clearly instructed readers that jealousy would, without a doubt, kill a man's love. Though there is definitely a huge amount of truth to that, I can't help but think that this cautionary framework is somewhat a byproduct of men writing stories for women. What do you think? I'd love to hear! And hear your quiz results of course!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Are You Ready for Marriage?

The quiz "Are You Ready for Marriage?" from Girls' Romances #147 (March 1970) is quite possibly one of my favorite romance comic book quizzes. The 30 questions were designed to test the reader's marriage preparedness. It is actually rather sophisticated for a comic book! Much of it, such as questions on financial arrangements and independence are good things to think about for anyone heading into marriage -- regardless of time period.

A few of my favorite
questions (and answers):

8. Have you ever done something together like working to complete a chore at work or school, shoveled snow or mowed a lawn, painted a room, or combined your monies to buy something? (this should be answered yes)

11. Do you love him less after a scrap or continue to love him just as much? (yes again, on the second part of course)

17. Are you uncomfortable being alone at night if he has to work or go out of town on business or goes bowling with the boys or must train for two weeks during the Summer with his military or naval service unit? (ah, trick question! This one should be answered with a "no")

22. Do you retain leftovers from your meals, know how to prepare them attractively? (this is to be answered yes -- and remember, you may not have had a home microwave in 1970!)

Give it a read!
It is really quite fascinating!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Romance under the Covers - Love Stories #148 (January 1973)

Let's get the week started off right -- with DC's Love Stories #148 (January 1973)! Jam-packed with what the cover advertises as "burning romance revelations," this issue has a little something for everyone!

First on the docket is a story of mistaken identity, "Wrong Face!" The not-so-confident Ginny starts a pen pal relationship with dashing Craig Anderson. Instead of sending a picture of herself along with the letters though, she sends him a head shot of her brunette sister, Alice. So when Craig shows up for a surprise visit, Ginny has no choice but to convince Alice to go with the flow and pretend that she is Ginny.

The three go out for dinner and the real Ginny feels left out as her sister has a great time with Craig, resulting in a romantic embrace as she looks on.

Ginny makes a dash for it, but Craig goes after her. Even though he locked lips with Alice, Craig says he was able to read between the lines and figured out that Alice was an impostor. The simple story ends with Craig kissing the right face.

The second story in the issue, "Make Me Beautiful!" is about another insecure leading lady, Suzan. Though she pines over the school's basketball star, she is immobilized to make a move...

...that is, until her friend Carol brings over a mysterious bottle of "Moonglow Moisturizer," a seven day treatment that promises the appearance of one's dream man. Suzan hops in the shower to get ready for the dance and try out the beauty aid.

You don't even have to read one of the following panels to get the feel for what the outcome of the "Moonglow Moisturizer" was for Suzan. In two words -- not good!

After her new scent being compared to "a tank of embalming fluid," Suzan makes a dash for it -- despite the stormy weather. The heavy downpour works in her favor, however; and the park attendant who goes after her is entranced by of all things, her smell -- that of a fresh summer's rain!

"No More Kisses!" is a little strange, if you ask me. The story starts out innocently enough with a game of spin the bottle. Carol is not unlucky in love like our first two protagonists. Quite the opposite actually! She can't get boys to stop kissing her!

Though Carol seems to see a ton of action, she is sick of not feeling that magical spark when she locks lips with potential suitors. As luck would have it, she is assigned to the kissing booth at the charity carnival, a task which she likens to, "force-feeding a freezing Eskimo ice cream sundaes!"

And so it goes for Carol, with her eyes tightly shut... kiss after kiss after kiss...

...after kiss after kiss! Not expecting to be lifted off her feet with any of the customer's kisses, Carol is shocked when her last kiss at the booth blows her away, but since she had her eyes closed she has no idea what the man who kissed her looks like. A frantic search ensues.

Out of nowhere, Carol is blasted with softball. She goes down for the count, but is swiftly attended to by the pitcher -- whom she instantly recognizes by his touch as the mystery kisser. At last she has found "the one!"

Most every romance book had some sort of filler, whether it be a text article or as seen here in this issue of Love Stories, a quiz! Go ahead, take it yourself -- how sexy are you? I'll wait.

Doing okay so far? Just a few more questions and then on to the results! So, how did you fare? According to the "score analysis" I had 37 points. Hmmmm... reading the results -- it doesn't really answer the question, "How sexy are you?" Probably for the best, considering romance mags were in part, aimed at girls as young as 12 years old!

The final story in this second issue of Love Stories is titled, "The Extra Woman" and deals with the insecurities of a woman married to a widower.

Though Angela loves Alan deeply, she cannot be convinced that he isn't over his deceased wife, Kathleen. Alan's sister -- Susan, is able to talk Angela into just going ahead and marrying Alan. Angela's doubts of Alan's commitment seem to start to fade away.

The newlyweds return after their honeymoon and as Angela begins to settle in her new home, she notices a grand painting of the deceased Kathleen. She tells Alan it doesn't bother her, but as time goes on it becomes obvious that she is haunted by the possible memory of Kathleen. It doesn't help when Angela catches Alan standing in front of the portrait, lost in thought.

After living in the sprawling mansion for some time, Angela eventually comes across a room from which she was kept from entering -- the study of Kathleen. Convinced she hears the rustling of Kathleen's dress, Angela shouts out, "I know you're here, Kathleen! But -- you're not going to get Alan back!"

After witnessing Angela's meltdown and essentially being given an ultimatum, Alan grows distant from Angela, feeling he can't reason with her. Angela in turn packs some belongings, intent on leaving. Angela is stopped by Alan's sister who sets her straight on Kathleen, and how as she lay dying, she made Alan promise he would never marry again.

Finally, Susan gets through to Angela and convinces her to fight for Alan's love. When confronted about the promise he made, Alan fesses up but reminds Angela of their promise of "for better or worse!" All's well that ends well, right?! We can only hope the happy couple wound up donating the portrait to their local Goodwill!

Overall, Love Stories #148 isn't a terrible issue, but at the same time, not terribly compelling either. Were there any stories that you particularly liked? Though probably not intentional on the editors' behalf (Robert Kanigher, assisted by Deborah Anderson), the issue seemed to be fraught with young women with confidence issues... and hot pink outfits!
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