Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Patsy Walker and the revenge of the romance comic
For the first and last time, adult women were major consumers of comics. (A)lthough the genre is largely dismissed by comics aficionados today, it was created by two of the most revered artists and writers of the time: Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, who kicked off Young Romance in 1947. Kirby and Simon had created Captain America in the early '40s, and Kirby is responsible for many famous superheroes, including Mighty Thor, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men. Success followed the pair into romance comics, and by 1949 there were 120 romantic titles on the market, most of which were intended for an adult audience. (In fact, comics with more explicit themes, which were very common before the code, often carried bright orange labels which read For the more ADULT Reader of Comics.) By 1950, there were 148 different titles, and by the mid-fifties pretty much every comics publisher was churning out romance comics.