Saturday, September 04, 2004

Teen Confessions #88
Charlton Comics 1975

The second installment of my look at some old romance comics focuses on Teen Confessions #88. Which seems most remarkable for being a series about teens. Yet none of the character look much like teenagers to me, but then this is an era where the Legion of Super-Heroes characters didn't look much like teens either.

The first story is a fairly unremarkable tale about two teens whose parents want to arrange a marriage between the two. They are both quite opposed to the idea, despite being friends with each other since childhood while on joint family vacations, wanting to be able to pick their own spouses.

Yet as they go back to their daily lives, and the boyfriends/girlfriends they have. The two come to realize that the people they are with don't interest them as much as they thought they would. While they come to realize they are most happy with each other, and so in the end decide to choose each other.

The art on this story reminds me a lot of some of the Spider-Man art of this era, so I'd love to find some type of credits for it. Overall the story is fairly unmemorable though, no real insight or even goofy elements. Well beyond the girl's boyfriend back home being named Bonk.

Second story is fairly confusing though, to the point where after reading it three times still don't really understand it. A young woman meets a seemingly great guy, named Guy, at her birthday party. Everything about him seems so perfect, from his looks to his behavior to even his job as a real estate agent.

Even the girl's parents love him, and decide to go into business with him to buy some type of land from a company he is working with. A friend of the family doesn't trust him though and launches and investigation of him and the company and finds out that the company is a sham.

When no one can get in touch with Guy the poor girl and her family feel as if they have been duped. Until suddenly Guy knocks on the door revealing that he didn't trust the company either and had just put the money in a bank instead. Which leaves me just scratching my head going "Huh?" because I don't get the point of the story at all.

The third feature was apparently an ongoing story with this as its latest chapter. Starring a young guy named Jonni Love, yes I laughed at the name as well, who travels the country on his motorcycle helping young women out.

Here he's just saved a young woman from drowning as she tried to escape a yacht where her date tried to take advantage of her. Jonni is K.O.'d by the jilted would be lover and his first mate who looks like a cross between Gilligan and Popeye. Who then take the girl back on the yacht where they hope to take lurid pictures of her and have their way.

Jonni follows on his motorcycle though, and when the yacht docks. He comes to the girl's rescue, and after some fisticuffs takes the girl back to her home.

Unlike the comic I covered yesterday, the stories in this were fairly tame and dull. An overall theme seemed to be that teens should listen to their parents when it comes to everything, including their relationships. Good message to point towards communication, yet gets a bit too close to "let your parents pick your friends" which is kind of iffy.

Other material was basically the same as with the Just Married comic, right down to the scary squeeze the fat out of you clothing gear. Was kind of freaky how every single ad was about how to lose weight fast.

Letter column was still strangely interesting. Just as with the JM comic it had young teen girls asking what to do about their 20 something year old boyfriends. Yet also one about a girl asking for advice on how to attract boys, given that her mom's invites has had no success.

While other letters had a girl talking about a cheating boyfriend and an actual boy writing in asking how to prove to a girl he likes that he truly does love her.

I wish the stories would have been as interesting as the letter subjects.


Jon Silpayamanant said...

weird, seems like three's a little Romance Comics meme going around or something. I was thinking about posting a review of some myself...

James Schee said...

Please do! I have one more that I'm trying to get done today, got called into work in the middle of wrting it. Yet I'd love to see more coverage of this really odd era of comics.

Jon Silpayamanant said...

Yeah, it is a rather odd genre, and what has been really weird is that I came across this recently:

"The paucity of reprint material is problematic for even a cursory glance at some genres right now. I know I can't find the material that most intrigues me. Can anyone name a hardcover reprint book featuring the Kirby of romance, Matt Baker? I mean this guy is to the romance genre, like Barry White was to music...I'm referring to his titles like Teen Age and War Time Romances, Diary Secrets and the like. They tell the story of their age; the titles large put out by St. John Publishing led the romance trend."which is a quote from Manuel Roth from here, and I also came across Matt Thorn's article "Whatever Happened to Romance Comics?"

And all that after I had decided to dig through my boxes to find what few Romance Comics I have to review them--and then I stumble across your review...bizarre!

James Schee said...

Wow great quote!

Yeah that is strange, perhaps it was fate making me write this so you'd be sure to review yours too?:)

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