Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Was He Too Mod... Too Far-Out for Me to Love?


I've been thinking a lot about the hippies, swingers, and beatniks of the romance comics lately. And with good reason -- there are a ton of stories in them featuring members of the counterculture. I have one for you today from Marvel, and it may just win the prize for best story title ever. Let's take a look at "His Hair is Long and I Love Him!" from My Love #5 (May 1970) by the creative team of Stan Lee, Gene Colan, and Frank Giacoia. Brace yourselves -- this guy's hair is long, but Liz don't care!


Liz is completely taken by Ronny Langdon. Problem is, Liz's dad isn't having any of it. He is prejudiced against guys with long hair! Business is bad and Liz's dad has no time for insignificant "long-haired clowns." He hasn't even met the guy, but all the same, he insists that Ronny is just no good for his daughter.


But in her heart, Liz knows the real Ronny. He is so much more than just groovy clothes and a controversial hairstyle. And just because he is into music and not business, doesn't make him irresponsible! But dad thinks Liz ought to date future accountant, Harold Evans.


The next day at school, Liz bumps into Harold. He asks her out, and when rebuffed declares, "I never thought you'd make the hippie scene, Liz!" Poor Liz, she just can't catch a break!


Except from Ronny. He knows how to make a girl feel good. Later that evening at one of his gigs, Liz's mind wanders back to her disapproving father. Uggh! Why can't he just see what a catch Ronny is!

After the show, Ronny tells Liz that he thinks it is high time he met dear old dad. Liz tries to refuse, but Ronny lets her know how much he cares about her and he can't bear the thought of her father not wanting him to date her. When Liz tries to get Ronny to go home, he grabs her hand and utters, "C'mon baby! You wouldn't wanna be proposed to by a chicken, wouldja?"


As the two make their way into the house, they overhear Liz's mom and dad discussing her future. They fear that Ronny won't be able to provide for her. Well, mom and dad! You are wrong! Ronny stuns with quite the ricochet maneuver. Not only does he ask for Liz's hand in marriage, he gives her father the name of the banker who handles the gobs of money he has earned from his music career. Liz's father's mind is instantly changed -- long hair isn't so bad after all. And though Liz's father no longer needs the money, he does see that Liz needs Ronny.


So in the end, long-haired rebel Ronny really isn't that rebellious. Turns out he is actually kind of on the conservative side! Now, this very same issue contains another story of the counterculture with an equally as exciting title, "How Can I Love a Member of the Establishment?" But, it has a very different ending. Stayed tuned next week and I'll share that one with ya!

11 comments:

  1. The Flower Power stickers were ubiquitous in the 1960's and 70's. You'd still see the originals even into the late 80's. Alas, they have all disappeared.

    Love that Gene Colan. He could do anything.

    Wes

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    1. I know my mom had them on her walls when she was a teen!

      The Colan art on this story is especially effective!

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  2. This story reminds me how many romance stories made a big deal of the guy's financial stability. As I recall 60s-70s Charlton's were especially obsessed with this. At some point in every story the boy, like a job candidate, would present his resume to the girl's dad. He'd demonstrate a solid upper-middle-class job (law, medicine, manufacturing), a practical education (usually some variety of business), and/or a healthy bank account. Reassured, Dad would flash a Charles Nicholas grin and approve the wedding.

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    1. Such stories were no doubt lost on readers. I've mentioned it before, but I always love how specific the occupations and lives of the Charlton characters were.

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  3. Jacque,

    On a personal note I was talking with Gene and his wife Adrienne (both very much missed) at a con some years ago and the topic of romance stories came up. Gene always remembered this story, and he and Adrienne were both quite amused over the title. As usual, wonderful art by Gene and Frank Giacoia.

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    1. Aww, that's amazing! Thank you for sharing, Nick!!!

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  4. This story cries out for a sequel about keeping romance alive after decades of marriage. I would call it..."His Hair is Gone...and I STILL Love Him!"

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    1. Sounds like a job for John Lustig! :)

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  5. The Father on that Johnny Romita cover scares me more than Dr. Octopus !

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  6. Love the boy or love his money? A Rich Mod Man still makes a Good future son-in-law?

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