Truer Than
True Romance

Classic Love Comics Retold
Jeanne Martinet
It's an idea whose time has come, right? You take a few of those mooshy love comics from forty years ago and leave the drawings just like they were but you change the dialogue to where, say, that blonde young lady with the perfect face and lips is talking to that russet-haired stud --- but instead of talking about her giving him up to marry Charlie because she's tired of being poor, with exactly the same pix, you get the following:

    She: "I can't help it, doctor! He's the only man who really likes me --- the only man who doesn't think I'm fat."

    He: "You're being self-destructive, Can't you see what a wonderful woman you are? Sick, but wonderful."

Then, below: "My Heart Said Yes --- But My Therapist Said No!" It's True Love Romances for today.

Next image: a guy with blue hair (their hair was always black, russet, blonde, or blue) looking at her, and the introductory box:

    Charlie was the boss at my restaurant. I could tell he wanted to sleep with me, and even though he was married, I was flattered.

Next panel. She: "So what's your wife doing tonight."

He: "Look, she doesn't understand me. Okay? So let's not talk about the old bag."

Then there's "Summer Heart," that gets transmogrified into "Too Dumb For Love!" Seems there's something in the fish in Sea Crest. Everyone who eats it gets stupid. So the E.P.A. sends out Paul.

He: "May I talk to you?" Caption:

    He was from some place called the E. P. A. in D. C. I didn't know where that was or what that spelled. But I liked his pretty eyes.

He: "Do you know your name?"

She: "Sorry!"

He: "Your address?"

She: "Sorry!"

He: "Your sex?"

She: "Sorry!" The caption

    Paul came to see me every day. That's how come I remembered his name was Paul. He still wanted to ask me things. I still thought he was pretty...

She and Paul go fishing. "Wait!" she thinks. "There's something bad about the fish. I have to tell Paul to stop!" Fortunately, they eat the fish before she has a chance to tell him, and she thinks, "What's happening to Paul? He used to be so smart. Now he's more like me."

A letter comes. She gives it to him. Caption: "Paul ripped up the letter into little pieces." And he says, "For some reason, I can't read this thingie. But I don' care. You are so pretty. I think I love you."

And so it goes, for 112 pages, with "Psychic Matchmaker!" "Carry on Girl!" --- and "The Job from Hell" ("O God! I can not believe she is making us use typewriters instead of computers! Why doesn't she just shoot us!")

I picked this one up to scoff and soon started rationing myself: one a day for the next eleven days. I will not peek ahead. But I got suckerpunched by "My Heart of Darkness." She's in Wayne's School of Writing. She comes around the corner to see Wayne "having a tete-a-tete with that lamebrain Marsha," and she says to herself, "The horror... the horror..." Then, the next day, "That three-hour shower did me a world of good. I haven't thought about death once since breakfast."

Sometimes it's a laugh to go to the movie and find that they are showing a different picture entirely. We all read those sappy comics back then. The sappy pictures are still here. But the dialogue: it's strictly 21st Century.

--- Lolita Lark


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