§ Happy Valentines day, all! To honor this day of love, flowers, candy and anxiety, here’s the cover of the very first Rangeland Romances from June 1935. NO it isn’t a comic, but it does have a feisty lady and an Owlshoot. Because before there was Tinder, there were Owlshoots.
Ladies who liked to pick up a gun and shoot were not uncommon on these covers.
But others were surprised while bathing and had to endure it with a smile.
And some were helpless before the erotic lure of the most romantic prop of all: a harmonica!
§ For actual romance comics covers, here’s a gallery of romance and “good girl art” because where there’s a girl there must be romance!
§ I was trying to find some romance covers featuring black people, but it was very hard because…I guess black people don’t romance? Incredible! Jacque Nodell has a series of posts about this on her Sequential Crush blog, including an intriguing story about how a white romance comics was redrawn with people of color a few years later in 1972:
This phenomena of redrawing and recoloring is extremely fascinating to me. When I thought about the why of it all and the reasons behind a comic book publisher doing this, I had a couple thoughts. First simply being that reprinting a story with the characters redrawn was probably a time saving, cost-effective way to repackage a story for a more modern audience. But then why not just change the hairstyles and outfits like usual? After thinking a bit more about it and coming across the Kerner Commission Report of 1968 (also known as the Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, which can be read here), a line in Chapter 15 (p. 18) stuck out at me. It advised media outlets to:
“Integrate Negroes and Negro activities into all aspects
of coverage and content, including newspaper articles and
television programming. The news media must publish
newspapers and produce programs that recognize the existence
and activities of Negroes as a group within the community
and as a part of the larger community.”
§ But finally the great Gene Colan to the rescue with a story from Our Love Story #5 (June 1970)
§ I think Gene Colan drew the best kissing scenes in comics! But I couldn’t find any online so this will have to do.
§ And some equal time!
§ Continuing our LOVE theme, a roundtable on Love & Rockets V.4 #1
Love and Rockets Vol. 4 #1 feels, format-wise,like what it is, a magazine. The light stuff leads — two short stories from Jaime, ‘I Come From Above to Avoid a Double Chin’ and ‘Zinefest,’ each stars Maggie, Hopey and a few of the Locas crew — followed by the issue’s centerpiece, ‘Begin Again’ from Gilbert which finds Fritz and her many mammary-endowed imitators as she discovers a grandchild she didn’t know existed, and concludes with an off-the-wall un-titled Princess Anima story from Jaime. I’d like to begin with Princess Anima and one panel in particular which immaculately illustrates (ahem) my reaction to this issue — so immaculate, in fact, it could be an internet meme for this (wonderful?) what-the-fuck-ness frustration machine.
§ And Chynna Clugston Flores reads Love and Rockets on the Comics Bulletin podcast.
§ And not comics, alas, but 11 Romance Authors of Color You Should Be Reading.
§ It’s been a year since we lost Alvin Buenaventura and Ken Parille remembers him.
§ Women Write About Comics have released their first print publication, Secrets of the Goat People #1, an anthology of comics and prose!
§ There’s the first ever Saudi Comic-Con this weekend.
Saudi Arabia’s first ever Comic-Con is shaping up to be a must-attend event. Top international stars from the popular series Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Hannibal have all been confirmed as speakers. Yes, you read right. So, get excited! Here’s a look at the celebrities heading to the event between Feb. 16 to 18 as all the kingdom’s nerds descend upon Jeddah’s Takeoff Social & Air Sports Center.
§ David Harper talks with Jim Valentino, probably the least known Image founder, but one of the most important. (Look they were all important.)
§ Rumor has it that Ben Affleck doesn’t want to play Batman any more. Now where could they have gotten this crazy idea??!!??
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.