For Lovers Only #76
Charlton Comics 1974
This one seems to be the closest to an adult take on the romance genre, with stories about being grown up, moving on your own and the like.
The first one stars a young woman named Terri, who has just moved to New York and everything seems to be going great for her. She's got a nice job, a good roommate and what seems to be a super cool boyfriend.
Until the boyfriend invites her to move in with him, and then laughs when she mentions marriage to him. This leads her to flee the city to seek refuge with an older aunt in New Jersey, who wants her to go into business with her. She agrees and things seem to go okay, though she starts to feel longings for the boyfriend in the city.
When he invites them both to the city for lunch she agrees and starts to realize that he perhaps isn't as bad as she initially thought. In the reverse he starts to gain a better appreciation for the slower pace of her life and the values she grew up with but he'd always shunned. So he eventually transfers to her city and the two agree to be married, and decide to stay with her aunt in a second floor loft.
This story was fairly sweet, yet kind of typical of many romance stories. The young purehearted woman wins over the wordily man and changes his views to mirror hers. The art was very solid and distinctive. Though it had a surprising teasing part, with Terri shown topless on her stomach wearing only small panties in bed. That was unexpected given that I would think the target audience for this is young girls.
The second story is a bit more like the Teen Confessions ones, with a young girl inviting her new beau to a party at her parents house. She'd initially been invited to it by a long time friend of hers and the family, but this new guy's approach seemed so fresh to her.
At the party his brashness starts to wear on her though, especially in regards to his rudeness to her parents and friends. When she invites him outside to try and convince him to tone it down, he instead takes it as an opportunity to try to grope her. Luckily for her the family friend comes to her rescue, and punches the guy out while confessing that she's always been the girl for him.
Later she reveals to him that he's always been the guy for her too, and the other guy was just her try to make him jealous. He "jokingly" warns her that it better be the last or he'll have to teach her a lesson to.
This story's message of go for the nice guy is a good one I suppose, especially when they reveal that the mean guy was a very grabby fellah. Yet I wonder if the message of only choose people who your parents approve of was supposed to come through quite so strongly.
Probably the best story of all of this weekend was the last one in this volume titled "Fast & Furious." Judy Farrel is a strong minded young woman, who finds herself speeding in her car a lot in order to get back and forth to work. It has sort of become a game with her in order to try and get by a cute young officer who watches the stretch of highway she normally speeds on.
One day she gets lax and he does catch her speeding, and despite all her sweet talk he still gives her a ticket. This makes her one ticket away from losing her license for 6 months. Rather than slow down though, she finds herself even more determined to beat young Officer O'Rourke at the game.
She times her journey home one day perfectly, so that just as he is coming one way to go back to the station, she'll be speeding from the other leaving him no time to catch her. Her plan works and she's very pleased with herself.
Until a knock at her door find an off duty O'Rourke who has come to talk with her to try and get her to slow down given that he'd just come from a wreck that killed four people. Judy's roommate overhears and invites him to come out with them for dinner and dancing that evening. He agrees to and Judy finds herself strangely attracted to him, and the two have a great time.
The next day as she's speeding again, she's stopped again and angered to be given a ticket by O'Rourke who she thought would let her slide since they'd had a good time. He does not though, and in anger she tells him to never speak with her again because he's cost her her license for 6 months.
Afterwards Judy starts to feel awful, though she can't figure out why. When Judy's roommate suggests it is because she liked O'Rourke and has treated him horribly for just doing his job. Judy scoffs, but while walking in the rain to the bus stop the next day, O'Rourke pulls up and offers her a ride home.
On the way the talk and agree to dinner, where he quickly proposes to her and she accepts. With the humorous line of "someone has to drive me around."
This was just such a fun story because Judy reminds me of some people I've known. The tension and dynamics of their interaction was funny and yet touching and just really pulled me in. Yeah O'Rourke looked like an older version of Jimmy Olson, orange hair and a ton of freckles, but he had a charm about him that you could understand Judy would be seduced by him.
While Judy's strong minded nature and obvious competitive nature was a strong draw for me, and made me like her despite her fairly selfcentered nature.
This story showed to me that not everything to be read in this era had to be taken with the idea of letting things go because of the time it was published. As it showed that there were some stories who knew what they were doing, and whose work was timeless.