When I happened upon the romance comic anthology recently I never though I would ever read any more after I had finished it, but I did turn up a few others. Most romance comics are such that the entire issue itself a collection of usually two or three stories, follows one of a few certain plots, and so give or take it is not so much different from watching the Kardashians or the Bachelor as the stories meld into one another so easily. Something which occurred to me while reading these is that the world’s that the characters inhabit are essentially as fantastical as those of any super hero. Maybe the setting is a little more normal, but the means by which some of the events is just as unrealistic. As with many of the comics at the time, the reader didn’t just get a story but also got a lesson in something or other. Wonder Woman comics had the Wonder Women of History and later Marriage Customs of the world, while Mystery in Space had Giants of the Telescope or all kinds of astronomical facts. Romance comics correspondingly had a lot of dating and fashion advice, but this really brings it all back to the realm of the fantastical. As with the advice pages shown here the fashion advice is not as bad I guess (though I never had to dress myself in the 1970s) but I would say the dating advice is so horribly misplaced that it is worse than useless. The fans reading it would become just as misled by the fantastical world as someone reading Batman that was looking for advice on how to drive a performance automobile. As a portion of comic book history, romance comics have their place, and mostly a forgotten one, but it is interesting to note that these comics created imaginary worlds just as much as any other comic, with the danger of course being that on the surface that they appear more real.
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