Monday, 31 August 2015

Weird Love, Volume 1: You Know You Want It Review (Craig Yoe, Clizia Gussoni)


No, it's not my autobiography, Weird Love is a collection of some truly bizarre comics that were actually published in the 1950s - 1970s. They are unashamedly misogynistic and condescending towards women, despite aiming themselves (apparently) at a female readership. The stories centre around women who are looking for men to marry, love expensive gifts, and, once we get into the 60s, how the women’s place is in the home, NOT with a career! 

“Too Fat For Love” is about an overweight girl who learns that she has to become rail-thin to love herself AND get a man - a great message to send to teen girls! “There’s No Romance in Rock ‘n’ Roll!” teaches girls that rock music is wrong and it’s so much better to listen to crooners because then you’ll find a real man to marry! Don’t rebel, fall in line with the establishment!

“I Was a Gangster’s Girl” is about a woman who chooses mink coats and jewellry over true love (all supplied by her man of course) and “The Taming of the Brute” sees a girl fall for the beach dick from the Charles Atlas ads (he’s a “real man”)! There’s also more than one story which ends with the woman “being put in her place” by literally being bent over the man’s knee and spanked like a child - and then turning to the reader and smiling! They say something like “I deserved that and you’re right, darling, I’ll never try to be your equal or want anything more than the home where I can cook your meals in the kitchen and shit out babies for you! Slavery is wonderful!” 

As you’d expect for such trash, the comics aren’t well-written or drawn but the absurdity of the stories has the “so bad it’s good” appeal, at least for some of them. Many are predictably dumb though and quite often it’s hard to enjoy a comic where you despise everyone in it and everything about it. 

It’s interesting to see the styles differing and not just in terms of fashion (by the way, the characters in these comics are the oldest teenagers you’ll ever see!). The 50s comics have more uniformly grid-style layouts covered with lots and lots of writing; the 60s stuff has differing panel sizes and less reliance on captions/expository dialogue. The artform is evolving! 

This anthology of strange “romance” curios from yesteryear is unevenly amusing for seeing just how bad they get and how far these comics publishers went back in the day. However the writing is often so poor, it’s easy to put down and that, coupled with the bland art and moronic stories, is only going to intrigue a limited readership. Weird Love Volume 1 was a diverting read but I don’t need to read any more books in this series.

Weird Love, Volume 1: You Know You Want It

2 comments:

  1. If you enjoy the 'so bad it's good' side of comics yet with more entertaining imagination that what you will find in Weird Love, try reading IDW/Yoe Books horror collections. The two I would especially recommend are "Haunted Horror: Banned Comics from the 1950s" and "Haunted Horror. Comics Your Mother Warned You About" anthologies. Both are quite fun. I should probably also mention "Bob Powell's Terror" is some good entertainment in the same series of reprints.

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  2. If you enjoy the 'so bad it's good' side of comics yet with more entertaining imagination that what you will find in Weird Love, try reading IDW/Yoe Books horror collections. The two I would especially recommend are "Haunted Horror: Banned Comics from the 1950s" and "Haunted Horror. Comics Your Mother Warned You About" anthologies. Both are quite fun. I should probably also mention "Bob Powell's Terror" is some good entertainment in the same series of reprints.

    ReplyDelete