Thursday, December 12, 2013

Truer Than True Romance: Classic Love Comics Retold!

2001, first edition, from Watson-Guptill Publications
Jeanne Martinet
Truer Than True Romance: Classic Love Comics Retold!
Bought newish for $19.95
Slightly worn paperback

Martinet takes stories from romance comics, leaves the artwork intact, and makes up new, 21st-century dialogue.  So, for instance, in "The Job From Hell!," part of the suffering is that the main character has to use a 1971 typewriter instead of a computer.  I've read this book more often than most of my other books from its time (although the condition doesn't suggest this), so I didn't laugh out loud this round, but I still found it good solid parody, yes, especially after Maney's weakest.  There's a LGBT element here as well, notably in "Loving Gay Men!" of course, but also in the Sapphic happy ending of "Psychic Matchmaker."  With the latter story, it's hard to believe that the artwork is unchanged, and I sometimes wish that Martinet had reprinted the entire original stories, rather than just the splash pages and brief synopses.

Every story has something to enjoy, even the weakest one, "Carry-on Girl!", with the line "You know, you have very Ronald-Reagany hair."  While I think it stands up to repeat readings, I recommend you just read a couple stories at a time, since it might feel a bit repetitive all in one go.  Still, I thought Martinet does a good job of pointing out some of the craziness unique to each story, as well as things that appear in more than one, like entire panels in one color.

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