Today is Valentine's Day, and as we've been doing all month, ComicsAlliance is celebrating this time of hearts and flowers with some of the most tragic stories of love gone wrong from the pages of Romance Comics! Today, we finish our heartbreaking retrospective with the pain of Our Love Story #24's "Joe Howard's Chick!"

From 1973, Stan Lee and Don Heck bring you a tale of woe that may be the most overwrought tearjerker in Romance Comic history. The heartbroken subject today is one Connie Smith, and unlike most of the genre's tragic heroines, she's a) happy, and b) gainfully boyfriended.

In fact, she's been that way for a while, having decided long ago that dreamy Joe Howard was the boy for her. They've been going steady for years, and, if Connie's conversation with her friends is any indication, they have a pretty healthy relationship based on a mutual love of BSDM.

Unfortunately, no amount of bondage can keep their romance going forever, and eventually Joe and Connie drift apart, leaving her single and alone. But she's young, pretty and outgoing, so no problem, right?

WRONG! She dated Joe Howard and only Joe Howard throughout "the most important dating years!" Now that they've broken up, every other decent boy in town is "off to school or married by now," leaving no one to marry her and thus fulfill her purpose as a woman. Connie's foolish devotion to monogamy has led her to the unthinkable horror of spinsterhood at age 18.

Obviously, she has to leave town in shame.

So let this be a lesson to you, young ladies: Don't fall into the trap of dating someone just because you're in love with them! Date as many dudes as possible -- maybe even some of those older guys like dentists or teachers at schools for the blind or oh I don't know guys who make comic books for a living. Otherwise, you will be exiled from polite society, doomed to spend your early 20s among other spinsters, slowly amassing a hoard of cats until a lonely death finally claims you.

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody!

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