Proposal Title

I Found Romance at the Spinner Rack: The History & Evolution of Romance Comics

Presenter Information

Charles ColettaFollow

Start Date

14-4-2018 10:20 AM

End Date

14-4-2018 11:20 AM

Proposal Type

Individual Presentation

Abstract

Title: I Found Romance at the Spinner Rack: The History and Evolution of Romance Comics

Following World War II, comic book publishers soon realized that sales of their superhero titles were starting to decline as the once-prominent genre was diminishing in popularity. To retain their readers’ interest, the publishers cancelled many of the superhero titles and diversified into other genres, such as science fiction, war, Westerns, crime, horror, and romance. Young Romance #1 (1947), which was created by the legendary team of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, is widely regarded as the first romance comic. The pair produced and oversaw numerous romance comics for twelve years until Kirby left and transitioned to Marvel Comics. Young Romace gained great popularity and spawned numerous other titles featuring work by some of the industry’s top writers and artists. Aimed primarily at teen girl readers, the romance comics genre remained vital until the mid-1970s when the rise of the women’s liberation movement and sexual revolution caused the comics to seem overly innocent, bland, and accepting of traditional patriarchal concepts of women’s behavior and gender roles. This presentation will offer a history of the romance comics genre from the 1940s to the 1970s by looking at its creators, themes, and readership; it will also include an in-depth examination of the Kirby-Simon stories that helped establish the genre.

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Apr 14th, 10:20 AM Apr 14th, 11:20 AM

I Found Romance at the Spinner Rack: The History & Evolution of Romance Comics

Title: I Found Romance at the Spinner Rack: The History and Evolution of Romance Comics

Following World War II, comic book publishers soon realized that sales of their superhero titles were starting to decline as the once-prominent genre was diminishing in popularity. To retain their readers’ interest, the publishers cancelled many of the superhero titles and diversified into other genres, such as science fiction, war, Westerns, crime, horror, and romance. Young Romance #1 (1947), which was created by the legendary team of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, is widely regarded as the first romance comic. The pair produced and oversaw numerous romance comics for twelve years until Kirby left and transitioned to Marvel Comics. Young Romace gained great popularity and spawned numerous other titles featuring work by some of the industry’s top writers and artists. Aimed primarily at teen girl readers, the romance comics genre remained vital until the mid-1970s when the rise of the women’s liberation movement and sexual revolution caused the comics to seem overly innocent, bland, and accepting of traditional patriarchal concepts of women’s behavior and gender roles. This presentation will offer a history of the romance comics genre from the 1940s to the 1970s by looking at its creators, themes, and readership; it will also include an in-depth examination of the Kirby-Simon stories that helped establish the genre.