Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Number 1686: Back door to fame

Mindy loves Dave, but to marry him would mean “hideous boredom” and “the drab life of a middle-class housewife.” And what would be wrong with having ambition, not wanting to be one of the masses? When “Back Door to Fame” was produced in the mid-fifties the popular belief was that all women wanted to be middle-class housewives and moms. Who would blame Mindy for sacrificing her love for Dave to the slimy touch of the oily producer for her chance to dance her way out of such a lifestyle?

Ah, but would it be a fifties love story if Mindy had danced off into the sunset and forsaken her one true love?

Drawn by John Forte and Bill Ward, and published in Love Letters #38 (1955).


Ryan Anthony said...

I thought John Forte and Bill Ward were an odd combination: Forte was so kind-of-standard (his Legion of Superheroes drawings towed the DC company line and were blah), and Ward drew such va-va-voom women. I looked them up together and found that they did other stuff together, so I guess their combined style worked for somebody.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

"I know a woman
Became a wife
These are the very words she uses
To describe her life
She said a good day
Ain't got no rain
She said a bad day's when I lie in bed
And think of things that might have been"

Mr. Simon's opinion from "Slip Slidin Away" (1977) is the other side of the coin.
Many things happened between the story and the song, I was listening to the radio this morning, some memories from Woodstock... Funny how things change, and how people seem to like "extreme" behaviors... as a reaction maybe. From middle class wives to liberated Flower-Power gals in a relatively short amount of time.
Mindy made her choice, will she regret it? Pros and cons on the scale, and in the middle, a disillusioned human being.

Anonymous said...

Punch thrown! And see? It solved everything. gosh, and I suspected romance comics were exempt from that important fisticuffs rule. Shows what I know.

Pappy said...

7f7, you do remember the Law of Comic Books, don't you? In every comic book story it is the law that a punch must be thrown.

I have yet to find that law written down anywhere but here, but I'm sure based on the ubiquity of flying fists it is in the laws governing comic books.

Pappy said...

Ryan, it could have been as simple as when the artists walked into the office looking for the next job, and the editor doled out the assignment. Ward and Forte don't seem a natural pairing and yet it works for me in this instance.

Pappy said...

J D, My wife and I were born a couple of years after the end of World War II.

The expectations of our parents when we were born was that our mothers would stay home and raise us, and our fathers would earn the living. My expectations thirty years later when my son was born was both my wife and I would work because if we didn't we would have been living in a cardboard box and raising our son on the street. Simple economics — the cost of living — created the change in situations.

I love Mrs. Pappy, but if I could have snagged a rich wife when I was young I would have. I would not have minded being someone's trophy husband, pampered like a poodle. Arf!

Alicia American said...

Ucch she's 2 good 4 BOTH theze dudes yo! OMG I'm like marryed 2 show biz Pappy! No man can compeat w/tha spot lite yo! #BADASS OMG We luv u Pappy! XOXOXOXOXOXO

Pappy said...

Alicia, if you have talent, flaunt it! I'm proud for you.

Love your line, "no man can compeat with a spot lite."

Darci said...

Hi Pappy,
Unfortunately the conceit that this story comments on female aspirations in the mid-1950s is blunted by two elements:
1. Mindy was distracted and perhaps didn't perform at her best. When she's at the point where she doesn't care whether the audience likes the performance or not, she's probably guaranteed they don't.
2. Take a look at the table Median Home Values: Unadjusted at A $9000 home in 1955 doesn't seem that depressing (especially as a first home). That struck me that Mindy suffers from Princess Syndrome.

Pappy said...

Darci, thanks for the insight.

"Princess Syndrome" is new to me. I think my granddaughters may have that syndrome. I think I understand what you mean just by the name.

Brian Barnes said...

I'm so far behind on reading Pappy's, but I have to late comment on this one:

Bill Ward inking, hunh? I wonder how many phone calls he put into Forte saying "but she's a dancer, come on, we need more impossibly heeled shoes!"