Friday, January 28, 2011

Made for Each Other! - Heart Throbs #130 (February/March 1971)

Ah, computers! Where would we be without them? Obviously we would not be reading this blog, but we also would not be indulging in this delightful Don Heck illustrated story from Heart Throbs #130 (February/March 1971) about the early days of computer dating! "Made for Each Other!" introduces us to Jean, a young woman who runs a computer dating service.


Smitten by Mr. Paul Davis, a new client, Jean asks her assistant (an older gentleman by the name of Dan) to ensure that her punch card is matched up with Paul's card. Dan tries to tell Jean something after running Paul and Jean's cards through the computer, but thinking he is going to lecture her for "cheating" she cuts him off and immediately calls Paul to let him know they are a match. Paul and Jean go on a date and have a lovely evening full of fine food, rollerskating and a show at the movies.


After having such a great time, Jean feels a bit guilty for having "helped Cupid along a bit." Just as she is about to confess over what she had done, Paul makes a confession himself. He too had asked Dan to make sure their punch cards were matched up! Though Jean is delighted over their mutual feelings for one another, she realizes that Dan shouldn't have done such a thing for a client. Paul makes Jean promise that she will go easy on Dan. The next day at work, Jean confronts Dan about what he did for Paul. Paul has a confession of his own, however; he never tampered with the cards -- the computer matched the two lovebirds up!


The characterization of grouchy computer operator Dan in this story is great, plus I love the infusion of a technology! Believe it or not, there is actually another DC romance story about computer dating, also from 1971. But that my friends, we will save for another day!!!

Have a wonderful and warm weekend!!!

8 comments:

  1. That's pretty amusing, though realistically the computer operator would have been a much younger guy, not someone who was 70 or 80 by the looks of him. Ah, the days when computers were considered exotic!

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  2. I can actually see why an older man was used to be the computer operator. Since computers were newish and not yet widely used in private homes, it was probably in the public's mind that "scientist" type people were running and developing computers. In this story, Dan with his wild white hair resembles a "mad scientist" type.

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  3. "Hanky-panky." *snort* Don't know why, but I just love that phrase. What a cute story, and Heck's art is really effective here. That first page in particular is gorgeous.

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  4. Edo: I am not a super big fan of Heck's romance work, but here it is quite nice. He drew some fantastic facial expressions on his characters!

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  5. Heck was actually a fine artist. It seems a great shame to me that by the mid-1980s he was being referred to as "the worst artist in comics". He wasn't that by a long chalk. His 1950s work is fabulous, but during the 1960s he was encouraged to draw like Jack Kirby and it just didn't suit his natural style.

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  6. I agree with Allan. I admit that I used way back when I used to find Heck's art lackluster, based on some of his work in the late 70s. But after seeing a bunch of his earlier work in reprints I've really come to appreciate his style.
    By the way, with reference to the panels posted here, I have to say the colorist did a bang-up job as well: the emphasis on green tones is lovely. Too bad there's no credits...

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  7. I love the green eyeshade; that used to be a sign of an accountant, not a computer operator. BTW, computer dating was not a new fad in 1971; check out the cover from Lois Lane #24 (April 1961):

    http://www.comics.org/issue/16209/cover/4/

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  8. Allan and Edo: Artists just don't shine when they are restricted to a certain style. Though Heck isn't my favorite, he was obviously talented. And the coloring is fantastic! I love stories with monochromatic coloring!

    Pat: Oohhh! I forgot about that cover! Good catch. The all knowing Wikipedia cites the first computer dating system as being established in 1957 by a group called The Scientific Marriage Foundation!

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