Friday, May 15, 2015

Number 1735: Sister without scruples

My lifetime of experience and a disbelief in fairy tales with “happily ever after” endings makes me view love comics with an eye to the story that comes after the story. I like to think of what happens after the couple kiss, and the heroine believes this will be her dream man for ever and ever. Ha!

In “Sister Without Scruples” Fran loses her boyfriends to her hot sister, Rita. Fran looks like a whipped puppy every time the inevitable happens and Rita makes off with another of Fran’s potential swains. Instead of launching an all-out assault on her sister (“I'll snatch you bald-headed, you swain-stealer, you!”) she resorts to psychology to get back her man. But of course that is only half of the story. In real life what would happen when Fran won the guy is Rita would smoulder with resentment, then figure a counter move. She wouldn’t have to move far, because Fran’s beau has already shown he is attracted to Rita. Come the right time and pow! the guy is back in Rita’s arms. No one can change a person like Rita. No one can change horny guys. The solution (short of murder, which would turn this into a crime comic), is to get far away from her. Fran needs to pack herself and her boyfriend off to California and not leave a forwarding address.

The artwork is by Al Hartley, whose career track in comics took him to various publishers, including Archie. After he found religion he went to Spire Christian Comics. He did a whole series for that publisher.

The story here is from All Romances #1 (1949), published by Ace.

Al Hartley had a way with drawing girls. Click on the thumbnail for more Hartley, and links to a couple more stories:


Daniel [] said...

Eh, whom am I supposed to like here? As per your remarks, Jeff does not seem reliable; Fran lacks the good sense to forewarn Jeff about Rita; Fran's father needs to be pinned against a wall and to have the Fear of G_d put into him. I s'pose that Lee's not really a bad sort, but still not my kinda guy.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

"Swing out Sisters"...
I really like the art (the close-ups of the girls give me a "Jack Kirby" feeling), though I can understand why the guy turned to Christian comics after working on these plots.
Of course it could have been handled the Italian way (much more blood involved), but it looks like the kind of comic Joanie Cunningham would have loved.

Ryan Anthony said...

No effein' way! Fran definitely should not have taken Jeff back. He's like an Eggo--all waffle. She really should have thanked Rita for uncovering his true personality. I agree with Daniel: there's really no likeable character in this one. Not even the "I just want peace and quiet and everyone else be damned" father.

Ha! Joanie Cunningham! Boy, JD, you have to be of a certain age to get that reference, and to know about Erin Moran's Christian conviction.

Pappy said...

Daniel and Ryan, the dad should do his dad job. My son is the father of two girls, and he is like a referee at the Friday Night Fights. Who knows what will happen in just a few short years when they are both teenagers or (gulp) college age?

A dad should intercede when necessary. The situation here reminds me of the Lovin' Spoonful and the song, "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind:"

"When in walks her father and takes you in line, and says 'Better go home, son, and make up your mind.'"

J D and Ryan, Joanie Cunningham? I had to scour the memory banks, but, oh yeah. I even looked up Erin Moran online and apparently the poor girl's marriage has been worse than a love comic: house foreclosed, living in a trailer park, then evicted...tsk tsk. Here's hoping there will be some sort of happy ending for that Unhappy Days girl.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

@Ryan, the world was blessed with my presence on January 2, 1967.
But we saw Happy Days for the first time in late 1977 round here.
This comic's plot is so silly, it could easily have been used in the show.

Brad S. said...

The stepmother reminds me of a cross between Mary Worth and Pruneface.....

Alicia American said...

U talk about Rita like theirs sumthing WRONG w/her yo!! OMG God wants 1 sistar 2 have all tha best dudes, its just like that. If my sis I meen if RITA's sis gets a guy thats 2 good 4 her its a GOOD THING if I -- I meen if Rita takes her yo omg.

I think Rita is a good egg yo, thats all.

Pappy said...

Alicia, my days of being stolen by one girl from another are long ago and far away, but I still remember I didn't mind being stolen goods. I was flattered! How my girlfriend felt about it was a different matter, though.

And I believe that is the point of the story. Have you ever stolen someone else's boyfriend just because you could, and because it was one-upping your sister or friend? Rita wasn't really interested in the guys she stole. She just didn't want her sister to have them.

As for me and my girlfriend (who is not the girl I eventually eloped with and married) we had...fights...hooooooo-eeee, did we ever. There were harsh words spoken, mostly about what an unfaithful bastard I was. Too true. But that was then...

...and this is now. It's why, as Pappy, I am faithful to Mrs. Pappy.

That, and no one else is one bit interested in me.