Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DC and Charlton Tackle the Zodiac

Oh this cover! It gets me every time! It is so kooky, sooo groovy... I absolutely love it. With it, Girls' Romances #152 (October 1970) gave the world the gift of "Horoscope, Don't Fool With My Heart!" with art by Ric Estrada (yes, I have been on an Estrada kick lately!) and Vince "Love Him or Hate Him" Colletta. Since I myself am a Taurus (and it was my birthday this past Monday), this story is quite apropos. Enjoy, and be sure to read to the end of the post for an extra bonus story! 

Ginny is a devout believer of the zodiac. But as you will see, she soon learns that her intense reliance on it can also bring harm.

One morning Ginny wakes up, beside herself with excitement -- today is the day her horoscope predicts she will meet the man she is destined to fall in love with. She keeps her eyes peeled and her heart open. After all, who knows when Cupid will strike?

After work, Ginny stays out on the town -- soaking up all the city has to offer, in search of her one true love.

Much to her disappointment, nothing pans out. Men of various astrological signs had passed her way all day, but none that she felt meshed with her Pisces sensibilities. But then, just before midnight as Ginny climbs into bed, there is a knock at her door.

At the door is her upstairs neighbor, Walt. He can't find his key to get into his apartment and asks Ginny if he can use her fire escape window to enter his place. He then asks her if she will have dinner with him the following evening to make it up to her. Before agreeing, Ginny is sure to ask his sign. Taurus! A perfect match!


And so, as their signs are compatible, Walt and Ginny go out on a date the next evening. And it goes great! Even though Walt does think she is kind of a nut.

I exhibit many of the classic Taurean symptoms --
artistically inclined, warm and loving...
susceptible to sore throats?
Ok, maybe not that one!

Ginny is in heaven. But, her friends at work warn her that Walt will soon tire of the shtick, so she better get off her horoscope dependency. Ginny ignores their advice and continues to plan her and Walt's dating schedule around what her chart recommends. A few months later, when Walt is offered an amazing opportunity for a job interview, Ginny is ecstatic for him, until she reads his horoscope. Just as he is set to leave for the airport, Ginny calls him to her apartment. She has come down with a terrible fever and needs to be taken care of. Walt is sweet and forgoes the interview to take care of her citing, "Jobs are a dime a dozen... there's only one you!" But later in the day when Walt goes to give Ginny a soothing hug, he discovers that her illness was just a hoax to get him to stay!

Though Ginny was just trying to protect him, Walt has decided he has had enough with her astrology obsession. Who can blame him really?

"...they're too much of an influence on you!
I'm sorry, Ginny, but that's more tension than I can take!" 

Just as Ginny swears off horoscopes for the rest of her life, Walt runs back down to her place after receiving a call from his boss. A big contract has come through that turns out to be a much better opportunity than the one he almost left for. Though in the end the zodiac was almost the downfall of their romance, it may just be the glue that keeps them together!

This post wouldn't be complete without the following additional story from Charlton's Secret Romance #15 (October 1971), published one year after DC's "Horoscope, Don't Fool With My Heart!" As you read it, you will discover that it is eerily similar -- right on down to the conspicuous use of lingerie and the key forgetting, fire escape using, attractive Taurean neighbor. It is so similar in fact, it really can't be a coincidence. I am guessing that someone over at Charlton really dug "Horoscope" and was like, "We can totally do that!" And so they did, and with signature Charlton bizarro factor. Click on each page to enlarge and read the Leandro Sesarego illustrated, "Taurus, Where Are You?"


  1. There's a history of writers recycling their comic-book plots. When I was a Marvel editor, one of my writers had sold the same basic story to several different editors, including at least two sales to different DC editors. I don't want to name this writer, but he was writing for both DC and Charlton in the 1970s. These stories could be his work.

    1. I guess it isn't so surprising (especially considering I have found panel for panel swipes from Charlton), but what I do find a bit shocking is that they used Taurus so prominently in both!

  2. I still like the first story more. Especially the art. Ginny's hair and outfits are fabulous :)

    1. Doesn't she? Clothes and hair being one of the reasons I love this time period of the romance comics so darn much!

  3. So which astrological sign encompasses cheating scriptwriters?

    That Estrada work, lovely as it is, really does seem to be pandering to the old male gaze.

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday, Jacque!

    1. Thank you, Martin! I sure did! And in reference to pandering to the male gaze: yes, absolutely. There are many instances of this in the romance comics... I think a post may be in order!

  4. I am a Taurus, and in addition to being artistically inclined, I get a sore throat at least once every winter! It all makes sense now.

    1. I'm glad to be a Taurus, even if it does mean having to put up with the occasional sore throat!

  5. Nobody but nobody drew prettier girls than Vinnie.


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