Since romance comics had gone out of style well before I was born, I had no idea just how popular and prolific the genre had been. I had always assumed it was some kind of short-lived craze that fizzled out like other comic fads, but then I started noticing how high the issue numbers were on so many of the covers I selected. Turns out romance comics enjoyed an incredibly successful three-decade run from the late 1940s to the late 1970s. I also learned that the comic that launched the genre, 1947’s Young Romance, was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby! You know, the guys that created Captain America a few years earlier.

This was without question the easiest one of these galleries I’ve ever had to pull together, because almost every single cover I came across was a home run. They’re all just amazing! There was no sorting and sifting and really trying to get through all the underwhelming garbage to get to the good stuff. It’s all good stuff.

It’s kind of stunning, really, that every cover I looked at had some aspect that made me say, “Yes. This one is definitely going in the gallery.” For some of them, it’s the great art by some of comics’ most legendary names like Kirby and John Romita Sr. For others, it’s the quirky, retro design sense employed in the logos and layouts. For others, it’s the delicious, over-the-top, tear-soaked melodrama that makes every break-up and broken heart feel like the absolute end of the world. Anguished faces that practically leap, sobbing, from the pages, and story titles like “The Danger of Being a Good-Time Girl!”, “The Woman Hater!”, and “I Loved a Teen-Age Beatnik!” that positively demand to be read! And, finally, there are the ones that are so strange you can’t believe they were actually published. I won’t spoil any in particular, but I have no doubt you’ll know them when you see them.


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