All is well this Valentine’s Day. The champagne or sparkling grape juice is chilled and the Rat Pack playlist has been chosen. After dinner and chocolates, you and your sweetie, (perhaps just by yourself) are getting into bed with rose petals and a big fat juicy stack of comics. That’s right, Earth Prime Time has your most romantic four-color stories this week to read to your baby this Valentine’s Day.
King of Comics, Jack Kirby and partner Joe Simon are known for creating Captain America in 1941. Jack and Joe spent most of the 40s and 50s creating all manner of heroes and funny books but were strangely passionate about the romance genre of comics. Panels that permeate pop culture were later stolen by artist Roy Lichtenstein in the style of Kirby and Simon’s Young Love, Young Romance and In Love books. Initially it was Simon’s idea to get pulp readers to pick up 10¢ illustrated tales of torrid romances, triangles and scandal. Dressing the girls and boys in current hairstyles and high fashion helped move the books along, as well as rare photo covers featuring bombshell cheerleaders. [Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics Hardcover, Fantagraphics]
Another great comic team are brothers Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, creators of Love and Rockets. Love and Rockets was created in 1981 delving into the relationships of teenage chicano punks. The adventures of “Maggie” Chascarrillo and “Hopey” Glass are often recommended as alternates to superhero stories, but some sci-fi and magic are sprinkled in for fun. Strong female characters and lesbian relationships are portrayed as well as a passage of time that is realistic, all of which are unusual for the comic medium. [Love & Rockets Vol. 1: Music for Mechanics -- Fantagraphics]
Our pal Jughead is frequently seen gorging on cheeseburgers at Pop Tate’s Chocklit Shoppe, an unhealthy way to deal with your romantic feelings but one we can sympathize with. Archie is perpetually stuck with his stripy straw in between Betty and Veronica. Archie: The Married Life series explores two distinctly different futures, whereby Archie walks down Memory Lane and sees two roads diverge. One path fast forwards to a life of leisure where he marries rich girl Veronica Lodge, the other path to the the life of the 99%, a marriage to Betty Cooper. [Archie: The Married Life -- Archie Comics]
Another other sweet couple we’ve told you about before in Riverdale are the wedded Lt. Kevin Keller and Dr. Clay Walker. Let Riverdale be the model for our country, and let’s hand Life with Archie #16 to all of the legislators holding us back from progress, I mean, what’s the big deal?
[Kevin Keller: Welcome to Riverdale (Archie and Friends All-Stars) -- Archie Comics]
Like your love stories with some angst, blood, and a lump in your throat? We’ve got that uncomfortable sadness right here with Daredevil and The Kingpin in Marvel’s 1990 Daredevil: Love and War. The beautifully painted story of how the Kingpin of Crime chooses to mend his disabled wife’s body and mind by blackmailing a famed psychologist. The art is beautifully painted by Bill Sienkiewicz and Frank Miller’s storytelling is of the dark and brooding sort you come to expect with the hero having the upper hand in the end. The Kingpin’s love for his wife is demonstrated as the most important motivation for all he does. Wilson Fisk would give that all of that power and his empire for his wife and you can feel it.
[Daredevil: Love and War -- Marvel Comics]
Need to special order a book? Sure, there’s the Amazon links above, but we recommend the fine folks at Harvard Book Store. Buy local and all that. The Daredevil book is hard to find, New England Comics may be your best bet for that one.
BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE! CHECK OUT LEAGUEPODCAST.COM — BOSTON’S COMIC BOOK AND POP CULTURE PODCAST — “Thinking about Comics since 2009″!
League of Ordinary Gentlemen Podcast Episode #142 — Hobo Solo League of Ordinary Gentlemen Podcast Episode #142 — Hobo Solo
Josh, Clay and Dursin talk The Walking Dead mid-season premiere, G.I. Joe #1, the two new Who and… Hobo Solo!
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