Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Number 2205: Jungle love

Love Scandals from Quality Comics is aptly named. In the lead story from issue #4 (1950), Lona, a receptionist for Tacker Rubber Company, meets and falls for Dan Best, wealthy rubber plantation owner. The relationship proceeds at near supersonic speed. One date is enough: Dan and Lona get married and she moves to his plantation with him. No love story runs smooth, and this is no exception. Lona meets and falls for Sam Wells, a local bounder, who charms Lona into nearly running off with him.

The Grand Comics Database doesn’t guess at the artwork, but I’ll throw in my 2¢ worth and say I think Bill Ward did the pencils, and another artist did the inking. Ward is my choice for pencils because we get at least one good lingerie panel. Lona’s face does not look like a typical Ward face, so my guess is that more than one artist is responsible. Besides the lingerie, Ward’s style jumps out at me with the shopgirl on page 5, who looks like a dominatrix. (To me, anyway, heh-heh.)


Daniel [] said...

Okay, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but Lona's remark in 3:3 is not merely a reference to a substance nor to an eraser!

I'm naturally reminded by this story of “The Letter”, by Somerset Maugham, which was first a short story (1926), then a play (1927), then famously a movie with Jeanne Eagels (1929) and later another with Bette Davis (1940). (Many other versions have been produced.) In keeping with Maugham's loathing of female sexuality, “The Letter” ended unhappily — the lover murdered by the wife, the husband nearly bankrupted to save her from conviction, the two of them financially trapped together, even as she still loved the man whom she had killed.

(To a much lesser extent, I am reminded of The Naked Jungle (1954); but, while that was largely inspired by a story from 1938, the romantic element was new to the movie, which post-dates this ant-free, comic-book tale.)

Once again, I ponder who were the imagined audience.

This story seems to be written for a man fantasizing both about defeating a rival and about causing (by his devotion and by his manly manliness) a beautiful but bad girl who didn't really love him to become a quintessential good girl, head-over-heals.

For the girls in the audience, one of the implications would be that recovery would be possible should certain choices not work-out, so that such choices might be better gambles than they had initially seemed.

Brad S. said...

Ward’s women had such shiny hair...looks like they were Simonized

Pappy said...

Daniel, it's 5:00 a.m. and I just read "The Letter." It just shows that we read more than comic books, yes?

Lona's remark about the rubber went right past me. Apparently you read this story more closely than I, but then I'm usually more interested in the artwork.

Without having been there and taken a poll of the readers, I still maintain that love comics sold to both men and women. And I think, based on what I know of the male-dominated industry at the time, that men wrote most of the scripts.