Saturday, March 20, 2010

Squirrely Love Stories

Today is March 20th -- the first official day of spring! Things are lookin' up! The sun is starting to shine again, the flowers are coming up and little creatures are starting to populate the land once more -- including my personal favorite, squirrels!!!

I started noticing in the romance stories that squirrels pop up in lots of panels, especially scenes taking place in a park. With over 278 species of squirrel in the world, no wonder these cute little guys got face time in the romance comics!


One of the earliest sightings of a squirrel in a romance comic
(well, by me at least) occurred in 1959:

"And Then I Found You!"
Originally from My Own Romance #71 (September 1959)
Reprinted in My Love #10 (March 1971)


Even the great Jack Kirby got in on the action!

"He Never Even Noticed!"
(the squirrels that is!)
Originally from Teen-Age Romance #86 (March 1962)
Reprinted in My Love #10 (March 1971)


Jay Scott Pike's version. Cute, huh?

"Take Me Back"
Young Romance #151 (December/January 1967)


I knew he looked like a dealer!

"One Love Too Many!"
Falling in Love #107 (May 1969)


Squirrel or very tiny Ewok? You decide:

"Just No Good"
Young Romance #166 (June/July 1970)


Beware! They are always watching!

"Man-Stealer"
Young Love #90 (December 1971)


The squirrels portrayed in the above stories all play pretty minor roles in the plot. For your reading pleasure however, I present to you one that elevates the furry little mammals to the next level -- "For Your Sake, Darling!" Masterfully drawn by Frank Langford, this story from Young Romance #174 (September 1971) is sure to get you in the mood for spring!


Some people meet their soul mate through mutual friends. Others meet their lover via shared interests. And others still, meet through squirrels!!!


Leah and Jim get to know each other better by meeting in the park the next afternoon for lunch with their squirrel buddy, Butch.


Butch the squirrel oversees the arrangement or further dates for the dashing Jim and the very insecure, but beautiful Leah.


After a few more dates, Jim brings Leah to a party and introduces her to one of his good friends, Ann. While in the powder room, Leah becomes the subject of ridicule by another woman, Libby. The incident in the powder room furthers her insecurities about being with Jim and Leah decides it is best to end it with him, though she holds on to a glimmer of hope that he will chase after her regardless. He doesn't though, and Leah is left alone. Well, not entirely alone -- Butch the squirrel is always there for her!


Jim's friend Anne sets Leah straight though and lets her know that Libby was jilted and jealous and that Leah should try to get Jim back. Leah takes her advice, and waits in the park for days. Finally, Jim arrives and uses Butch once again to break the ice. All is forgiven, and the lovers embrace as Butch the matchmaking squirrel looks on. Awww! Isn't that a sweet and beautifully illustrated story?

Happy Spring everyone!!!


12 comments:

  1. You're not angling for a Squirrel-themed romance cover are you? That #@$% bear took me a week to color.

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  2. Hahaha! That is up to you!!! If there is ever a romance comic book fan softball league formed, we automatically have two teams: the Charlton Bears and the DC Squirrels!!!

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  3. Jacque: What a great post! So well conceived and very, very clever. Whenever you get around to posting "Jacque's Greatest Hits" include this one.

    I really loved the Frank Langford art in that last one - what a light, perfect touch. Although, that squirrel in the last panel doesn't look exactly happy with the situation. He's like "So, no more nuts?" -- Mykal

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  4. Jeez! That Kirby splash may well be the worst designed (and inked!!) Kirby page I have ever seen!

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  5. Mykal: Thanks!!! I have been waiting for the perfect moment to post the squirrels and now seemed like a good time! The Langford art is swoon-worthy to be sure!

    Booksteve: Yeah, not the best page overall -- but the squirrels are pretty cute!

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  6. I love squirrels!And that wise little squirrel face in the in last panel of the Langford story is a riot. Very entertaining, Jacque!

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  7. My college had a ton of old oaks, and thus an amazing number of squirrels. One thing that always bothered me though was that I never saw a baby squirrel. Not once. Old, decrepit squirrels occasionally, but never one that didn't look fully grown.

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  8. I am speechless. Thank God there is someone in the world counting squirrels in romance comics. I mean it.

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  9. LOVE~ LOVE~ LOVE~ squirrels~! Who knew they were feral little cupids. Perhaps their erect bushy tails are symbolic, like the May-pole, or I am just a pervert on a park bench with a bag full of nuts. Great post~!

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  10. Sharon: I love squirrels too!!! Thanks for stopping in!

    Pat: Come to think of it -- I have never seen a baby squirrel, either. I have seen the black squirrels of Washington D.C. and the Albino squirrels of Waukesha, WI, but never a baby squirrel! They must stay nested until they get bigger.

    Dan: If I didn't, who would?! :)

    Lysdexicuss: Ohh, this comment made me laugh! Feral Little Cupids!!! Aww, so sweet!

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  11. What a fun and interesting post!

    I really enjoyed the Langford art as well. I will now be seeking out more of it.

    What surprised me the most was the couple in the very first panel you show...even as they are being menaced by the giant mutant squirrel, they still have time for ze love!

    Very cool! Thanks!

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  12. Langford is amazing -- isn't he, Michael? Please let us know if you find anything else cool that he did!!!

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