Saturday, May 17, 2014

Cartoonists Make Better Lovers : Simon and Kirby

Romance Comics were a co-creation by the stellar artist team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. S&K were the biggest name in the industry in the early 1940’s and the duo had created two of the best selling comic book strips of the entire era in Captain America and with the Boy Commandos. Both men served their country during WW2 and when they returned to the industry, post war, they found that costumed heroes were fading from public favor. So they used their genius to exploit of a variety of other types of stories. One such milieu was true crime stories and another was humor, but they were keen on discovering something unique. Joe took notice of how well confessional romance magazines were selling and he sensed a fantastic opportunity. Not only might a love comic be something distinctive, such a story-form held the potential to tap into an underserved audience in female readers In 1948 the pair convinced Prize Comics to take a chance with the new format. That fall S&K produced the first issue of ‘Young Romance’ and it was an massive, overnight smash.

Here is a sample of their magic, “Your Money Or Your Love!” from a 1950 issue of that seminal title.


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