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When the Going Gets Tough, The Love Gets Weird

With super heroes being so dominant in the world of comic books, It’s sometimes hard to remember that comics, being as popular as they were, spotlighted many types of fiction, including humor, war, science fiction, horror, and love and romance. Also, many of the greats of comic books, produced many comics in the love and romance genre.

Since they haven’t been around since about the late 1970s, thankfully, many of them were published by now defunct publishers and have lapsed into the private domain, or those that were produced by still extant publishers have been allowed to lapse into the public domain.

The new series from archivist Craig Yoe, in partnership with publisher IDW takes a look at some of the more odd moments from the age of romance comics. Like a lot of comics, romance comics incorporated concerns and fads of the time, sometime to hilarious effect as seen from the current age.

One of the stories in the first issue of the series, “Weird Love” takes a look at two concerns from the 1950s. The first is finding a steady swain for an unattached girl. The second, is the threat of communism. What if, heaven forfend, a likely beau was, likely, a communist?

Well, there will be no spoilers here, but trust that the story ends on a happy note as the majority of old romance comic stories do.

Not only do these comic stories elicit a chuckle, but there’s also, mostly some good comics art in this initial volume. There was a time when comics artists had to keep abreast of such things as current fashion and interior design to capture the realistic milieu that was the province of the romance comic. Also, since romance comics were set in a realistic environment, romance comics artists had to draw realistic figures.

It is fun to chuckle and guffaw at some of the silly situations set up by the romance writers and artists, but in reality, they weren’t much sillier than many other comics of the times. At the very least, Craig Yoe’s “Weird Love” can remind us of a time when the superhero wasn’t the only thing available in the world of comics and consumers had a variety of types of titles to choose from. The weirdness of the love depicted in these particular issues is just the icing on the cake. A variety of comics fans should enjoy these.

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