Joe Simon week, part five. Did you know Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created an entire genre of comics? They did. And I’m gonna talk about it.
75. Romance comics
Behold: the first cover of the first romance comic, created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. They had no idea the genre would take off like it did– they were just trying to spin those “True Confessions” into a comic. Imagine that: comics for women! For girls! For adults! Holy crap. It was epic.
Dozens upon dozens– hundreds, even– romance comics jumped onto the bandwagon and flooded the market. Ahh, escapism. These books verged on the ridiculous, casually tossing in sexism, racism, and silly family tradition, trying to appeal to any audience they could. I mean, stuff like this hit the stands:
Photo covers were used a lot in the romance genre. I find this one particularly hilarious:
All sorts of comics were switching over to romance, too. Moon Girl went from a superhero comic to a crime comic to a silly romance comic:
Lots of great artists worked in the romance genre, though, like our man Mike Sekowsky. And hey, some of these covers featured some pretty good layouts:
Shades of that Spidey-in-Ock’s-glasses cover.
Okay, I admit, I really don’t know anything about romance comics. Some of them were awesome, lots of them were completely insane, but they were fun and opened comics up to a grand audience that only manga reaches anymore. America still has a couple romance books. There’s, uh, True Story Swear to God, I guess, and there was, like, Love Fights… They’re different spins on the ol’ love story.
Here, have some links to make up for my lack of content:
Thanks to Simon and Kirby, the comics medium became just a little more diverse. That’s a great achievement. It’s a shame the industry couldn’t maintain it.