Thursday, January 14, 2010

Frank Langford's "Hungry Heart"

As highlighted last week, British illustrator Frank Langford had the art of romance nailed on the head. His sexy leading ladies and handsomely rendered men, make it hard to deny that Langford was one of the most dynamic purveyors of the romance genre. The following story about a summer at the beach, "Hungry Heart" comes to us from Young Love #81 (July/August 1970).


As the guests of the Surf Hotel at Pink Beach look on, it appears that two young people have made a connection. The outgoing Bill has approached the beautiful, red-headed Eve and convinced her to go surfing with him.


Bill is not the only young man to notice Eve on the beach. A newly arrived guest, Adam Woods sets his sights on her and moves in for the kill when she falls off of her surfboard.

"Ouch!"

Once Adam loosens his death-grip on Eve, a proper introduction is made. Eve's first prospect, Bill is not impressed by Adam's forthright ways. Fortunately for Bill though, Eve goes out to dinner with him. But as our narrators, Mr. and Mrs. Reed say -- Adam has a "hungry look in his eyes" and he isn't backing down!


Adam continues to butt in between the blossoming romance between Eve and Bill, asking Eve to dance. Curiously, Adam and Eve seem to dance (and quarrel) like old lovers. Eve eventually gives in and invites Adam to go shopping in town the next day.


After biking into town and doing a little shopping, Adam presents Eve with a bottle of perfume. Coincidentally, it is her favorite kind -- Nuit Azure. He then invites Eve to go to the beach party hosted by the hotel that evening, and she accepts.

Later that evening, the glow of the bonfire and the smell of Eve's new perfume drives Adam wild. His forceful ways get him into trouble though, and Eve is off put by his sensual demands.


Adam and Eve's underwater kiss is interrupted by the fists of Bill, who is all too eager to get Adam out of the picture. Eve is not impressed by the barbaric display.


Adam returns to the shore and Bill and Eve continue surfing. Suddenly, the weather turns and a huge wave engulfs the surfers. Bill reaches the surface, but Eve is nowhere to be seen. Adam jumps in without thinking twice.

As Adam pulls Eve out of the swirling waters he declares with certainty, "I'll -- never -- let you go -- never!" Strong words for a woman he has just met! Or did they just meet? Duhn Duhn Duh!!!


Ohh! A trick ending! As it turns out, Adam and Eve were married! Eve was just rebelling in order to receive the excitement of courtship she never had!

Though this same trick ending of the "already married couple pretending to have just met" is used rather frequently throughout the romance comics of the 1960s and '70s, this particular story really stands out as one of the best examples of just how good romance comics can be.

8 comments:

  1. Love104, you wouldn't be the one who's been hacking all my friends' email accounts, would you?

    --Marshall

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  2. It's all greek to me. I know I am getting older when the splash page to Hungry Heart makes me hungry for hamburger.Have you ever tried to kiss underwater (among other things) ? Not easy, not so romantic; it is just a struggle not to drown. LOVE this ARTIST ! (more, please)

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  3. Jacque: I am further impressed with Langford. The page with the underwater kiss is downright Torrid. Just gorgeous layouts throughout. Such precise inking. There is a dynamic, smooth quality, and something about the postures and expressions, that reminds me of Gene Colan - or maybe its the layouts. I have got to find more of this guy. -- Mykal

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  4. Marshall: Deleted that obnoxious spam! I couldn't do it earlier because the browser that was available to me during the 9-5 wouldn't allow it!

    Lysdexicuss: And more I shall give you! Maybe next week?!

    Mykal: Ya know, I also thought that the layouts were very Colan-esque, especially in the panel with the blue tint that is Adam and Eve from various angles. Like I said to Lysdexicuss... there is more on the way! I can't get enough of Langford either!

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  5. Mykal: Gene Colan...or even Neal Adams. Great colors too.

    Jacque: this was a great story and terrific art. I had never heard of Langford until I read your blog, although his style seems familiar - I'm sure I've read stories by him and just not known who the artist was.

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  6. KB: Thanks for stopping by! You may have seen his work before. Most of his stories are signed, but you can also really tell by the hair and often times there is water in the story.

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  7. Loved reading the comments, Frank Langford was my uncle. He was the loveliest man you could ever meet and sadly died a few years ago. The best uncle I ever had !

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  8. Hi Anonymous! Thanks for stopping by! You should be very proud, your uncle was an AMAZING artist!!! Definitely one of my favorites!!!

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