Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Number 1749: Life of the party

Jack Davis (!!!) is a clown. He goes to parties and does obnoxious things to get people to laugh. But the girl he is trying to impress, Joyce, isn’t impressed at all. In one of the rare love comics told from a man’s point of view, Jack learns his lesson and to win Joyce, he has to tone down the comedy.

Ah, bull-loney. There is nothing wrong with a lampshade on the head. I wear mine at all parties. I also take along my squirting lapel flower, my hand buzzer and my personal favorite, a Whoopie Cushion. However, after reading this story, I wondered if that is the reason I haven’t been invited to a party in over 40 years. Just in case it isn’t, if anyone ever invites me again, my gear is ready.

Artist and writer unknown. “The Life Of the Party” is from Darling Love #2 (1950).

I went to YouTube after being told in “Platter Patter” that “You’re Breaking My Heart” by Vic Damone “promotes romance with a capital ‘R’!” Bring it on, Vic! I’ll bet Vic was popular at parties.


Ryan Anthony said...

So, remember, boys and girls: always be serious and boring if you want to keep the one you love!

Ryan Anthony said...

I can't identify the golden-age artists like you can, Pap. But Harry Lucey did some later issues of "Darling Love." Might this have been him?

Anonymous said...

I certainly sympathize with the young clown in this story. A little humor when your young can help forestall, if not prevent, a few beatings. But Jack's (the artist WASN'T Jack Davis, BTW) comedic career was all for naught when his gal explained how ridiculous it was. But you, Pappy, have your humor rollicking right along. Fun commentary. And thanks for the Vic Damone. I knew that song from when, as a jokey boy, my Ma would play Jerry Vale crooning it while I would mocking pantomime singing it. (Hmm. No laughs from Ma about that.) Did you notice that we could have had a date with Joan Powell? If we hadn't heard her warble those tunes, we hadn't lived! Certainly that goes for me —never lived. =sigh=

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

And always be a desperate Ralph Malph if you wanna lose her/him. In medio stat virtus, right? I think this may be the first romantic comic that I can't label as "silly". Actually, Jack's story is sad but believable, there are guys like Jack. There's nothing wrong in wearing a lampshade if you are John Blutarsky, but unfortunately very few men are so gifted.
Love the playlist at the end. Elvis was yet to come...

Alicia American said...

Tha reel Jack Davis got marryed 4 a long thyme so he must B less of a dork then most cartunists & comededians, huh Pappy? 2 no tha luv of a L8Y & stuff or watevar?

I'm just jokering Pappy, if I didnt D8 comedy writerers I wuldnt hav a writering staff yo OMG We luv u Pappy Happity Daddys Day in advance xo

Pappy said...

Ryan, the story doesn't look to me like Harry Lucey's work; the Grand Comics Database doesn't even make a guess.

As far as being serious to "keep the one you love," humor has its place, but Mrs. Pappy has smacked me down for trying to be funny at inopportune times. She's stuck with me for 46 1/2 years and it hasn't been a sitcom, but except for rare instances it hasn't been high drama or tragedy, either. Personally, I like boring for most situations. It means I'm not stressed or worrying.

I have been wondering where that old Whoopie Cushion is, though. The grandkids are coming for a visit in a couple of weeks; having sound effects might be fun.

Pappy said...

7f7, "You're Breaking My Heart" was apparently covered by several crooners of the era, but it wasn't familiar to me. I think it is pretty good and I'm sure it meant a lot to the young people of the era who were looking to score. Heh-heh.

Being into Golden Age comics means that I am also interested in the times in which they were published, and in the other popular culture artifacts produced at the same time.

Pappy said...

Alicia, I have a great deal of admiration for comedy writers and comedians: I remember the saying, "Death is easy, comedy is hard."

Thank you for the Father's Day greeting. As I mentioned to Ryan, I am both a pappy and a grandpappy, so, I feel doubly blessed.

Pappy said...

J D, no, Elvis had not yet made the scene, but at the time of this comic book he was reading Captain Marvel Junior comics and admiring Junior's hair style.

Daniel [] said...

If the target audience for romance comic books had been young women and girls, and if they were consuming for the stories as such, then it would seem that tales told from a male perspective should have been appealing. Readers would implicitly presume that they were gaining insights into the male psyche.

Girls probably didn't much want to read about shlubs like Jack who needed to straighten-out; but an awful lot of girls did and do fantasize about winning and reforming bad boys. (Just as many boys have the complementary fantasy about bad girls.)

One explanation for the rarity of such stories might be on the supply side — perhaps the men producing these things weren't comfortable with stories of men who needed to improve their characters. (And they probably especially didn't want to write stories in which the bad boys got the girls!)

But I also note that this story didn't afford much opportunity for showing women flouncing-around. Unless the hero is going to be a lonely stage director or somesuch, his life is mostly gonna be a bunch of guys. And maybe that women-flouncing-around sort of pin-up art was an essential part of what consumers sought.

However, many of the stories also seem to be fantasies of ineffectual males. Lois ignores or throws-over the Nice Guy — or pretends to do so as part of some ill-considered scheme — winds-up paying some price, and either is rescued by the Nice Guy or goes to bed every night hoping that she'll somehow have another chance with him.

It would probably be hard to do an interesting rewriting of that story from the perspective of the Nice Guy. Mostly, he'd be standing-around being morose,* while Lois was off somewhere holding hands (or, uhm, whatever) with another guy or guys. Readers would more often or more consciously wonder why the Nice Guy longed for Lois. Male readers would be made uncomfortable by the questions raised.

(Few guys fantasize about being Jack but then growing-up; and to be like Jack entails not seeing oneself realistically.)
* If he's instead fight crime while dressed in some resplendent costume, then it's a different sort of comic book.