What are the rarest romance comics?
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It had me when I saw "I was branded by a tattoo artist". Not a common theme back then...

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23 hours ago, Sqeggs said:

I didn't bid on it but I can see a couple of bidders pushing the price up even for a mid-grade copy of a tough book. 

 

23 hours ago, PeterPark said:

granted, some precode romance are extremely rare, but for a 4.0? It's not like its thought to be the best copy out there...I think it is a cool cover but I didn't expect that price...

Damn, I picked up a raw 6.0 on ebay a year or so ago for less around $30. Cool Romance is getting tough to find cheap.

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9 hours ago, Robot Man said:

It had me when I saw "I was branded by a tattoo artist". Not a common theme back then...

Sadly, it's a fake tattoo.

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Here's a few Infantino romance covers - there weren't very many.  The last one from '67 screams Carmine from 10 ft away.  Supposedly inked by Esposito, but I think a solo job.

 

a7cd206e-d3c6-4d93-bec4-d66b960d261f_zps

Girlconfessions19fc100_zps7qsqzqno.jpg

GirlsLove126fc100_zpspcrqx3ld.jpg

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2 hours ago, Dr. Love said:

Today's multi billion superhero movie industry rests in part on this book.  (All of this came to me one night, in a fevered dream.)

1962's Falling in Love 50 is where Romita absolutely dialed it in for his "look" - the blonde is the Gwen Stacy prototype, fully realized.  He'd been working on the look for about 4 years at DC, finding his own way while staying within the parameters set by the accomplished stable of established artists (Sekowsky, Sachs, Novick, etc) and the brilliant strong editorship of three successive women:  Zena Brody, Ruth Brant, and Phyllis Reed.

When Romita moved to Marvel in 1965 and quickly found his way to Spiderman, it was his renditions of Gwen and particularly MJ with that whole good girl/bad girl vibe that blew the doors off the title.  Ditko didn't have much sexuality going on, the poor schmo.  Romita brought it in spades, and for sex starved teenage comic geeky nerds, it was like manna from heaven (speaking for myself and the rest of you, of course.)

The cinematic success of Spidey 1, on the heels of the first XMen, helped establish the money making potential of superhero movies.

Herego and ipso facto.  Nuff said!

 

FallinginLove50f_zpsn2ue9jgy.jpg

Thank you Dr,Love ! everything i know about romance comics i learned from you !!  (and from  @Sqeggs)  

(worship)

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11 hours ago, Dr. Love said:

This is a big book, though many wouldn't know why.  It's one of the sought after Lichtenstein romance books.

GirlsRomances105fc100_zpsajta7pvm.jpg

Is she sad or is something bad happening there?

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15 hours ago, Dr. Love said:

This is a big book, though many wouldn't know why.  It's one of the sought after Lichtenstein romance books.

GirlsRomances105fc100_zpsajta7pvm.jpg

:takeit:!!!

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There's a lot of special going on for this issue.  Just the cover alone.

Out of 160 issues for the title, only a handful have a delimited title box.  It's actually the exception to the rule for Girls' Romances.  Handled the right way, this can actually add interest to the cover.  Especially for this issue - the art extends beyond the box lower border, and has the "3D" effect that brings something different to the party.

Pink covers are always a big plus.  DC pink is awesome.

The color green used in the title text is unique - no other title text is a shade of green for any Girls' Romances issues.  Nice tie-in to the guys jacket.

The pink coloring for the issue number, bolded for the month, is absolutely unique - tying into the color of the main panel.  Just fabulous.

And of course it's Tony Abruzzo art.  Abruzzo's art was swiped over and over again by Lichtenstein.  With good reason.  “The finest artist in the romance field bar none,” Bob Kanigher once said, as quoted in Steve Duin’s 1998 book, Comics Between the Panels.

 

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Pink covers in that shape are amazing to look at :headbang:

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6 minutes ago, Dr. Love said:

Here's the Lichtenstein painting, "Sleeping Girl", swiped from the Abruzzo 12 page story from this issue, "Don't Kiss Me Again".

361635-2012-05-10t023001z_1_cbre84906ye0

 

Here's the page/panel it is swiped from

21913_01_zpsuchjjojr.jpg

 

Abruzzo's portrait type work was incredible.  The 3rd and 4th panels are outstanding examples of his fine work - signature close up moments, very dramatic, very expressive.  His "ordinary" art that moves the action along from panel to panel is much less satisfying.  Lichtenstein was very good at pinpointing the panels that really promoted an emotional response.  For Lichtenstein, the graphic elements of the comics’ artwork excited his eye, clichéd features of the stories and artwork appealed to him, and he had fun picking out the “pregnant moments” in a narrative which would make a tasty canvas.

"Sleeping Girl" was painted in 1964 and sold at that time for $1,600.  It remained in the same private hands until 2012, when it sold for $45 million at Sotheby's.

Someone should get that painting slabbed.

Seriously, for once Lichtenstein was fairly close to the original. In so many cases his work looks like a cheap copy, although I still like it. He certainly found his niche.

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He certainly did, Ron.

Which comes around full circle to Lucky Baru's question, " Is she sad or is something bad happening there?"  The answer is yes to both.  And amazingly, it's a somewhat timeless slice of the human condition, at least from the female point of view.  Just last week a gal I know, in her late 20's somewhat younger than me, was telling me a tale of woe about a friend of hers who was head over heels for some guy who had a girlfriend, but she was unable to resist his advances.  She knew it was wrong, and wouldn't work out well, but she felt helpless to push back.

DC almost exclusively keyed in on the painful side of romance.  They were The House That Sad Built.  Other publishers went in a different direction.  Fawcett, for instance, had 100% photo covers, and almost 100% of them were positive shots of couples in relationship.  Mostly everybody had a mix of sad/glad covers, but the overwhelming majority were of a dramatic nature that featured pain, heartbreak, longing, betrayal and despair. 

And these were the shots that Lichtenstein went for.  This is the kind of work that at the time was considered shocking and compelling.

 

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I love it when you shed light on the heretofor unheralded artists. Nobody knew this man? He was the house style. The examples you show are exquisite. 

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2 hours ago, Dr. Love said:

Here's the Lichtenstein painting, "Sleeping Girl", swiped from the Abruzzo 12 page story from this issue, "Don't Kiss Me Again".

361635-2012-05-10t023001z_1_cbre84906ye0

 

Here's the page/panel it is swiped from

21913_01_zpsuchjjojr.jpg

 

Abruzzo's portrait type work was incredible.  The 3rd and 4th panels are outstanding examples of his fine work - signature close up moments, very dramatic, very expressive.  His "ordinary" art that moves the action along from panel to panel is much less satisfying.  Lichtenstein was very good at pinpointing the panels that really promoted an emotional response.  For Lichtenstein, the graphic elements of the comics’ artwork excited his eye, clichéd features of the stories and artwork appealed to him, and he had fun picking out the “pregnant moments” in a narrative which would make a tasty canvas.

"Sleeping Girl" was painted in 1964 and sold at that time for $1,600.  It remained in the same private hands until 2012, when it sold for $45 million at Sotheby's.

Really great and interesting information Andy. 

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2 minutes ago, Inaflash said:

Really great and interesting information Andy. 

thanks Ken, Ron

the Lichtenstein DC's are one of the most underground niches.  Even the list is closely guarded Illuminati type info.  Blissard had a particular lot of 4 VG silver DC romance on Ebay, containing of the Lichs, and it went for like $500 or some such.

Canadian Andy and Mick would have a mouthful or two to say about Lichtenstein and his war swipes.

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I could go on and on about DC.  (All romance, actually)  Second to Charlton (!), in terms of overall output over the years - 932 issues.  The Savannah ped is very comprehensive, but for romance, only kicked in starting about 1962 or so.

Eric Estrada really stood out for me, too

GirlsLove141fc100_zps833c563a.jpg

 

917a1525-8a27-46bc-a378-d3e1776de354_zps

 

FallinginLove103fc100_zpsqfd9rvbr.jpg

 

 

Edited by Dr. Love
editd the DC number for truthiness

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