- “In the summer Manhattan is a bore…it’s too hot, there are few cocktail parties, and the most eligible men are gone!”.
- “I used to date too, laughing and loving like other girls! But now I walk alone, my yearning embracing only groceries.”
With lines like that from Marvel Romance, I’m already sold on the idea of buying this book. I just watched Down With Love and it was perfect time to be in the 1960s female swing again. Romance comic books were very popular during the 1960s all the way to the 1970s (thanks to the Comics Authority Code banning anything violent), so it was a pleasure to read about some of the most campy and absurd tales of female hopeless romantics. By campy, I mean that the tales are very outdated with overwrought melodrama, but are enriched with a sense of nostalgia: women have no common sense but are dressed in gorgeous attire, they are exclusive to only rich men commenced with a happy ending, they marry at first sight but everything works out well in the span of eight pages. Many of the stories are written from Stan Lee showing his demonstrations for ditzy, flighty, and useless women (sorry, but it’s true) in his super heroines like The Wasp, Marvel Girl, and the Invisible Woman. The latter tales have more common sense since the feminist movement kicked in, but they are far cry from the earlier tales of the upper echelon. Many of the artists are legends from Jim Steranko, Dick Giordano, Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky, John Buscema, Jim Starlin, and Gene Colan. My absolute favorites are from artist John Romita Sr. because he makes women look breathtakingly perfect. I would recommend these short 24 tales for anyone interested in gorgeous art of beautiful women and great romance stories from the bourgeoisie 1960s and the groovy 1970s. They’re hilariously absurd, but still great to read.
My Rating: A