SDCC’16: Captured Aural Phantasy Theater brings the romance comics of old to life

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If you really love comics, then you know Hall H wasn’t the only place to be Saturday during Comic-Con. Room 26a held a different type of celebration, one of comics and Weird Love…the comic book, not the actual act of weird love. A group of performers calling themselves Captured Aural Phantasy Theater did voice over to some classic romance comics from a bygone time, but can now be read through IDW.

I enjoy when Ralph Garman and Kevin Smith voiced their Batman 66’ Meets the Green Hornet comic, but CAPT group performs with so much heart it’s hard not to be infected by their passion for comics. This passion extends to books from every genre EC Comics produced, but Saturday’s panel was about cheesey romance comics we love that somehow both helped and hindered the women’s movement of the 50s. Comics about communist sex clubs and girls in the perils of abusive men which probably wouldn’t be accepted today, but many stories were surprisingly ahead of their time. Tales that dealt with the perceived shame of lesbianism and identity issues many today face. If anything else the crowd would walk away with an enlightened perspective.

Before the groups performances the crowd was given a brief insight and history into romance comics by Eisner Award winner Craig Yoe. The creator is retelling some of the classic stories in volumes of Weird Love collected at IDW, one of which features an introduction by Comics Beat E-I-C Heidi MacDonald.

Later on in the panel Geek Chic Promotions CEO Kristen Simon and LA Zine Fest’s Adriana Yugovich talked about how the female voice in comics has evolved over the years and how far it still has to go. Yugovich brought up interesting points about how some of the best female stories don’t necessarily have to be written by women, such as Love & Rockets, just like some of the best male character stories are written by women. Simon a former editor at Image Comics talked about the changing landscape of female creators and how the talent is out there but may not necessarily know how to go about getting on the path to making comics professionally.

The panel was a mix of fun and information most strive to be but few succeed in.

Here’s the CAPT group’s reading of First Love, and if you ever see Captured Aural Phantasy Theater on your convention’s programming list be sure to catch it.

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