Monday, November 9, 2009

Page Peterson's Do's and Dont's of Dating


The advice columns of romance comics were entertaining in their own right, but when illustrated sequentially they became a real treat. While Young Love had the nasty Marc as its patron saint of advice, Young Romance had a more likeable character -- Page Peterson and her "Do's and Dont's of Dating." As you will see in this episode from Young Romance #172 (June/July 1971), Page dishes out no-nonsense etiquette-type advice on the art of courtship.



From what I can tell, Page Peterson is the only regularly reoccurring non-white character in the romance comics of the 1960s and '70s. Her illustrated advice column appeared in no less than fourteen semi-consecutive issues of Young Romance. While there were not a whole lot of ethnically diverse characters in the romance comics, Page's presence demonstrates that the socially relevant issue of diversity was at least on DC's radar.

6 comments:

  1. Jacque: I really like this page. It's interesting that one of the few black characters in romance comics had a teacher/mentor type of position, and a column for herself as well. She seems to give pretty solid advice . . .

    But I have to defend Gail just a little bit. You have to admit, Randy is a bit of a disappointment. I mean, he's got some Junker of a car and has to walk all the way to her house. What is he? Twelve? What's next? A lift to the dance for Gail on his handlebars? I bet he showed up all sweaty from his walk into the bargain.

    Than later, Randy balks at getting her a soda because the line is long. Hasn't this loser ever been to a dance? The lines are always long. Hey, Randy! Do you see any of the other guys making their dates use the drinking fountain? No you do not. Know why? The other guys are actually trying to impress their dates. Jeez, dude, buy a clue.

    No wonder Gail pressed the panic button. Gail, stick to your guns, is what I say. You're supposed to put a guy through his paces on the first date. ;-) -- Mykal

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  2. That large pic of Page makes me nostalgic for the age of "Afro-Americans." Those were the days. Everybody was kung fu fighting.

    That one-page story was good. I wasn't expecting that EC Comics sci-fi twist ending where the girl suddenly PROCESSES AND ACCEPTS THE ADVICE after only one pushback. Everyone knows that advice is solicited for the sole purpose of reinforcing one's existing opinion. Perhaps she was afraid that if she didn't offer some mild platitude, Page would lay some kung fu moves on her. That is the only logical explanation.

    --Marshall

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  3. I love your interpretations of what is going on here, Mykal and Marshall! I don't know about you guys, but I always wished that Page's stories were longer!!!

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  4. Agreed, but it does seem kind of fitting that the story is a page. Sorry.

    --Marsh

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  5. Jacque: I would have loved to see these stories fleshed out a bit, perhaps showing a scene where protagonists put Page's advice into practice. - Mykal

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  6. Yes, that would have been cool. Perhaps Page could have made it out of her office to check up on her clients in their own element. Someday, when I figure out time travel, this will be one of my projects! :)

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