DC Comics’s attempt to jump into the Archie-like teen humor comics field was Swing with Scooter, where the main character was…basically, Paul McCartney, or at least a romantic-minded teen fan’s flattened conception/fantasy of that very complex person: a cute British guy with an odd haircut on a moped in a suit, who uses odd slang, who is adored by crowds of women. You’d think that’s an enviable situation, but mostly, Scooter just wanted to live his life and not be bothered by crowds. Later on, he became more like Archie: horny and mischievous with wild schemes he ropes his friends into.
The artist/creator was Joe Orlando, who you might remember from Tales from the Crypt, and who was seen as the medium-defining, ultra-popular singular genius of the comics field in the alternate Watchmen timeline where superhero comics don’t exist. That was such a brilliant insight. The only reason there aren’t shrines to Orlando, the only reason comics fans don’t consider him a demigod, is that he never successfully could think or work with superheroes.
The Heart of Juliet Jones, a newspaper romance comic created by Stan Drake for King Features Syndicate, about a pair of very different sisters pursuing love.
Stan Drake was supposedly a ladies man, which is why he liked romance comics. In his later years, he ran into trouble with alimony payments, and according to Marvel’s former editor in chief and head honcho Jim Shooter, when Jim’s mother came by to visit the offices, Stan Drake hit on her.
I hope this doesn’t pierce my manly mystique, but I do enjoy a few of the recurring series in “Young Romance,” like this one from 1971. “The Swinger” stars Lilly Martin, a hippie girl and travelling folk musician, who uses her folk music to put lovers together like a matchmaker when travelling across America. Unfortunately, she hasn’t had a return appearance.
“The tormented girl who never stops swinging between heaven and heartbreak, between ecstasy and agony.”
Dick Giordano cover.