- Romance comics
Romance comics are a
genreof U.S. comic books that were most popular during the Golden Age of Comics. The market for comics, which had been growing rapidly throughout the 1940s, began to plummet after the end of World War IIwhen military contracts to provide disposable reading matter to servicemen ended. This left many comic creators seeking new markets. The romance comic genre was created by Joe Simonand Jack Kirby, who kicked off Young Romancein 1947 in an effort to tap into new adult audiences. In the next 30 years, over 200 issues of the flagship romance comic would be produced.
The comics tended to espouse traditional female gender roles and values of marriage. This was due in part to the fact that the comics were created almost entirely by men. The stories dealt with a range of complex and mature issues. The protagonist was frequently but not always a middle class woman, grappling with power struggles in the workplace between genders, economic hardship, illegitimate children, marital infidelity, and divorce. Other comics were pure escapist fantasy. The comics appealed to men as well as women and about half of the ads placed in the comics were clearly aimed at men and boys. [http://www.jennymiller.com/romancecomics/thegenre.html]
Following the implementation of the
Comics Code, publishers of romance comics greatly self-censored the content, which made the stories bland and innocent, reiterating themes insisting that women should pursue marriage above all. When the sexual revolution introduced an era in which the traditional values promoted in romance comics were being questioned, along with the decline in comics in general, romance comics began to fade. DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and Charlton Comicscarried a few romance titles into the middle 1970s, but the genre never regained the level of popularity it had enjoyed earlier. [http://www.fortunecity.com/tatooine/niven/142/profiles/pro41.html]
A few publishers in the 2000s began again producing romance comics.
Dark Horse, in conjunction with Harlequin, published a new line of romance mangacomics, which adapt previously published romance novels into manga form. [http://www.darkhorse.com/news/pressrelease.php?id=1208] As well, the influx of manga into North America carried with it an interest in a wider variety of genre, including romance and erotica, aimed at a young female audience (see shōjo manga). Harlequin hopes that the manga-styled romance comics will reach a younger audience than the audience of romance novels. [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/18/books/review/18glazer.html?_r=1&pagewanted=3&oref=slogin]
In June 2005, Arrow Publications (http://www.arrowpub.com) launched a line of romance
webcomics, which are similar in form to the comics of the 1960s and 1970s.
Adhouse Bookspublished an anthology of contemporary romance comics entitled .
List of romance comics
* [http://www.toonopedia.com/yromance.htm Young Romance] at
Don Markstein's Toonopedia
* [http://www.myromancestory.com MyRomanceStory.com]
* [http://www.samuelsdesign.com/comics/agoodgirl_romance.html Classic Good Girl and Romance Covers]
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