What a girl wants

Okay, so you got that job and have made sure you can keep it. So what is the next step? Why, ditching the rat race and catching a man as soon as possible, of course! Why work like a dog when you can take the easy route and stay home, take care of a husband, keep house and cook?

In the 1950s women secured employment for one of two reasons: They were unattractive or were pretty and on the prowl for husbands. In this tale torn from real life, secretarial pool-member Kathy shows the office skanks that predatory slutting around is not the only way to trap a man into giving up his freedom. This story is unusual because it was not the norm for a woman in 1952 not to use her body to get a ring on her finger (or at least a paid apartment in town and a generous monthly stipend). By relying on her wits and intelligence to find a good husband Kathy defeated her office rivals and secured a productive mate. True, you have to grant the story-teller a huge amount of willing suspension of disbelief at that unrealistic plot but it is still a good story.


While Kathy’s story had a happy ending she took a huge risk by relying on her competence and personality to get the attention of her intended target. Most women are not so fortunate, but Kathy rolled the dice and won. If Howard somehow stopped being distracted by her physical charms he would have been repulsed by Kathy’s brain power. Kathy would then have died alone and childless and been ostracized forever by all the other office hens until she lost her job for not “playing ball”.

From Love Romances #82 (July 1952).

Comic Book Ad: Love’s Baby Soft

If you are old enough to remember the print and television advertising campaigns for Love’s Baby Soft product line then you may recall that they all shared one element in common: An Ick-Factor.

The campaign for Love’s was the most overt attempts I can recall to portray young girls as objects of desire and went far past the usual innocence of the Coppertone Baby in imagery. The intent of the advertising may have been to “help” or “guide” young ladies into blossoming into a proper adult woman consumer, but the spots always came off as kind of creepy and all the packaging of the product was ridiculously phallic. I remember one television spot in particular that showed a couple of tweener kids hesitantly meeting at a party and the tag line “Love begins with Love’s Baby Soft.” The following commercial was for Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. Apparently the studio techs editing the placement of the commercials had an odd sense of humor.

This magazine ad from 1978, with the young model’s breasts presented with a ribbon (blue, even, as if marking her as the property of a boy) like she is a gift to be unwrapped and some of the others are tame in comparison to what is regularly presented in media today. Yet for the most part current advertising for this age group, as extreme as it is on the internet and cable, does not usually present the model as innocent jail-bait up for grabs by a lecherous Uncle.

Today advertisers are wise enough to kind of shy away from the Pretty Baby imagery and when they don’t, they receive some pretty fast and furious negative feedback from public and watchdog groups. Having to avoid this form of advertising must make advertisers chafe as there are entire industries devoted to the sexcapades of young starlets and celebrities. Even though the Pandora’s Box has been flung wide open decades ago (so to speak) it is one thing to describe in detail a young celebrity’s acts at a house party and very much another to try to sell the personal intimacy products she used during the evening to the average 16 year old.

From Marvel Comics Pizzazz #8 (May 1978).

Memorial Day

Memorial Day isn’t about a Midnight Madness weekend mattress sale or three days off from work, but a call for a nation to reflect on the sacrifices made by our citizens. No matter how you feel about the rationalization for any war, past or present, don’t forget that it is human beings and not slogans, flags or banners that are in harms’ way.

To those who fought,

To those who objected,

To those who came home,

To those who remained on the field,

To those who were reunited with their families,

To those who were orphaned and widowed,

To those who believed and did their duty,

To those who did not believe but served anyways,

To those who sent others into battle,

To those who led the charge.

These are the people Memorial Day is for. If one does anything today to mark the occasion it should be to pledge that the each conflict is the last one and work for it until it becomes true.

Share the Gene Colan love!

Here’s a Gene Colan-drawn tale of a girl trying way too hard to find love and romance. This is another cautionary story from the Marvel Romance Department credited to Stan Lee. Marge is unsuccessful at finding a boyfriend, even though she is cute and a lot of fun. After reading a romance comic book she happened to have lying around the house, Marge realizes that she is changing her behavior and sabotaging her own relationships. She then vows to change but just continues on the same course, not really changing even though she believes she does. She goes from one extreme to another.

Marge then takes relationship cues and adapts her behavior by emulating the characters from such sources as comic books and popular cinema all with disastrous results. Predictably, Marge tries and fails at love using one false persona after another until she finally takes on the long-forgotten character of the one special girl any boy would be sure to fall in love with!

But who could that be? Read and find out!

That’s right! Marge choose to be just herself and found true love! Of course, her real self is a flaky, weird, neurotic schizoid with a tenuous grasp on reality as only Stan Lee could write her, but she’s cute as heck! Yet, that is okay. As every boy knows, attractiveness goes a long way to balance out the crazy side of the scale.

From Our Love Story #36 (October 1975).

Totally uninformed opinion

McCain is surely self-destructing a bit but the media seems to ignore it as usual. I’m cynical enough to think that it sure feels like the fix is in for him to be our next President.

I don’t know if Barack or Hillary will be the better choice, but I sure know I don’t want another Republican in the White House. I heard McCain giving a speech on the radio while I was driving in to work the other day and I actually thought it was Bush for a while. The manner of speech, tone, topics and cadence sounded exactly like an old speech from George. I’ve had enough of that. Plus, he’s 72 years old and McCain himself said long ago he would be too old to run in 2008. Think about Reagan’s mental state during the latter part of his Presidency, who around him was actually running the country back then and take note that the same people are in the halls of power today.

Clinton really needs to suck it up and throw her support behind Obama and beg to be Co-President as soon as feasible and in a way that she does not appear to be weak or a quitter.

You know, I am getting tired of never voting someone in but always voting someone out.