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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Romance Comics

First Love Illustrated, Vol. 1, No. 64, May 1956 & Wedding Bells, No. 19. November 1956.

"... The comics were written and drawn almost exclusively by men, and they tended to reinforce notions that a woman's primary goal in life was to marry. True to their time, they perpetuated an ideal of hetero-monagamy, which is now somewhat outdated. However, these stories very frequently dealt with complex, mature issues. Their protagonists were almost always working women, and their problems were often quite realistic. Workplace power struggles between the sexes, out-of-wedlock children, marital infidelity, and divorce were tackled between stories of pure escapist fantasy. In this manner, romance comics responded to needs that were historically significant: young, working women saw representations of themselves as intelligent, modern people - people who valued love and dreamt of romance, but who also negotiated life in the real world. Furthermore, men were reading these stories, and seeing these representations, too, if the ads in the comics are any indication. At least half the advertisements in the romance comics in this collection are clearly aimed at boys and/or men. ..."
The Golden Age Romance Comics Archive (via del.icio.us / robbytherobot)