We're on a romance-comics roll around here. Today's tawdry entry is "The Kiss I Can't Forget," from Teen-Age Love, 1970. What a difference a few years make in the teen romance comic. Most of my collection comes from the mid-60s when girls were starry-eyed, a little naive, a little needy (okay, kind of insane at times), but basically of good heart and pure emotional yearning. Men were square-jawed, interchangeable lunkheads with nice cars, impressively furrowed eyebrows and a steady income. But we've entered the 70s and this story bypasses the summer of love for the summer of jerks. Big jerks. Obvious jerks. And Donna—the girl who can't get enough of them.
The teary-eyed girl in the foreground says it all—there will be few happy endings (ahem).
So Donna's making out with Vic on the beach of sexual possibilities while polka-dot-bikini gal looks on and then...polka-dot leaves with Vic...? Vic promises to be back the next day—alone this time. Donna thinks that's swell. RED FLAG, DONNA! RED FLAG!
Donna remembers with sadness her first and last boyfriend, Jimmy, who treated her like the "kid sister he couldn't stand!" He wouldn't even go to the Discko Deck with her after the dance, and encouraged her to cover up on the beach due to her hideously deformed body, which looks perfectly okay here. Good thing she lost this creep.
Anyway, strange and wonderful things have happened in the past year. Braces were removed, knees stopped being knobby and skinniness is a thing of the past. This is indeed groovy!
Wahoo! Kissing underwater while emitting air bubbles is an excellent way to get to know someone. Especially a someone who emerges from the surf, exclaiming, "I'm starved chick! Let's go over to the Devil's Pit and chow down! Rats! I left my green stuff home! I was thinking about you, Donna, and..."
That's right: it's all Donna's fault Vic forgot the green stuff. But she's a real sport and offers to pay anyway. Vic immediately is compared to a gigolo in a happy sort of way.
But hold the phone—it's Jimmy, out taking a stroll with Wilma Fath. He warns Donna that Vic is bad news when it comes to girls. Donna hopes he's just jealous—the putz!
Meanwhile, Vic gets cozy with Trudi, an old buddy. He kicks Donna to the curb so he can "fix Trudi's car for awhile," warning Donna not to get "sickening" over it. Donna calls him hateful and he threatens to smack her one, to the delight of Trudi, who looks on with a bemused expression. Man, this comic is rough. Jimmy steps in and threatens to break Vic's jaw, telling Vic to paddle down the nearest sewer.
Which he does, Trudi in tow. Jimmy offers to give Donna a ride home. Her knight in shining armor!—who says things like "I dated you all the time you were homely enough to break mirrors!" What a dreamboat!
"You're a terrific chick now, Donna," explains Jimmy. "Every creep in town will be trying to take you places! You've got to be careful" Not with Jimmy though, see? Because Jimmy loves Donna. And Donna, oh, poor Donna realizes she has to be doubly careful around Jimmy, but she doesn't care because this is the first kiss of love, not those other bubbly ones with Vic. This is the real deal. The real crud deal.
But what I wanna know is—what the hell happened to Wilma Fath?!?!
Hopefully our next foray into Teen-Age Love will be a more uplifting tale. But don't count on it in "Jonnie Love - No Hope For Tomorrow."