Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Parents Just Don't Understand - Tomorrow is too Late

I am constantly scouring the web, trying to find any and all information about romance comics. From what I have found, some read romance comics and only see the stories that are simplistic tales of girl meets boy, girl waits by the phone for boy to call, girl cries, and so on and so forth. Some only see outdated social mores that are laughable and silly.

I don't. I have read enough romance stories now that I can say that -- yes, there are those stories that are simplistic and frivolous. To say that though and leave it at that, is too much of a generalization. The thing is, every genre has its examples of bad stories, but there are also some really good ones out there that make you feel something. A something that resonates deep down and gets you to think. This four page story, "Tomorrow is too Late" from Young Love #113 (December 1974/January 1975), illustrated by Creig Flessel is one such story.

This short romance tale weaves the reader into the sadness brought on by a young woman's rocky relationship with her mother. It has qualities rather similar to that of Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle," which incidentally came out around the same time as this romance story. Hinging on the theme of the passage of time and regret, "Tomorrow is too Late" makes for an unexpected read.






You probably never thought a four page comic book romance story could leave you feeling that depressed, huh? The ending is sad in itself, but I think the abruptness with which the poem-like story ends adds to the tragedy.

Romance comics tend to get dogged on for being only about unrequited, puppy dog love that is kitschy and outdated, but I think this story is to the contrary. The genre can be generalized quite a bit, but it takes finding gems like "Tomorrow is too Late" to realize just how lovable and diverse in subject matter the romance comics from the 1960s and '70s really can be.

8 comments:

  1. The real problem with that story is that the girl was a horrible person. Yell and scream at your mom? I wouldn't have had to throw my stuff in a bag and leave. I would have been thrown out!

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  2. Yeah, I think the story serves as a cautionary tale as well. Don't be a brat, respect your parents and learn to admit when you are wrong -- before its too late.

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  3. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Sturgeon's Law says that while 90% of everything is dreck, there's always that 10% that is pure gold, and it is finding that 10% that makes reading these old tales worthwhile.

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  4. I agree that, as comics fans (especially those of the superhero variety) many of us tend to sterotype a genre like romance. There are great stories in every genre, from superhero to war to western, one just has to poke around a little to find them. I'm still learning quite a bit thanks to people like you who provide intelligent commentary about this often neglected and ridiculed genre.

    Nick C.

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  5. Hey Nick. There are great stories to be read in all genres. Romance does often get the short end of the stick when it comes to getting the credit it deserves. Really, I am lucky to have such great readers that realize romance comics are worth so much more than just a cheap laugh!!!

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  6. Reminds me of the Shangri La's song, "I Can't Go Home Anymore."

    Great blog thanks!!!

    -nelson

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  7. So true, Nelson! That is one of my favorite Shangri La songs by the way!

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