>> edited by Craig Yoe <<
Weird Love is a new collector series from the House of Yoe. Featuring 48 pages of old school romance comics from back in the day – in this case from betwen 1953 and 1968 – this issue is well worth the price of admission. The cover story, "The Love of a Lunatic" is an ACG classic – originally published in Romantic Adventures #50 in 1954 – drawn by the one and only Ogden Whitney. This issue opens with another early romance comic classic, "I Fell for a Commie," from Love Secrets #32, published in 1953. As usual with Yoe productions, the selection of material is great, the production is good, and the presentation is schmaltzy to the point of misrepresentation. The stories collected here – a least the pre-code ones – are actually relatively straightforward tales that address common concerns of the day, albeit in the highly melodramatic fashion required by squeezing complex stories into 6 to 12 pages of comics (quite an accomplishment, when you stop to think about it), that are created month after month. It is, in our opinion, a disservice to the material to emblazon "OMG" "Kinky" "Sick" and "Bizarro" across the cover (and, "Yoe-mance"? was that really necessary?) of a comic book containing solid, engaging works of comics melodrama – again, at least in the case of the pre-code stories. That the stories presented in Weird Love #1 which originate in the late 1960s are indeed relatively trite and occasionally ludicrous it is hard to argue, but even these do not warrant the labels being applied here. So, read these great stories, but "Don't Believe the Hype."
Long treasured here at The Copacetic Comics Company, the truly unique – and rarely seen – late-period romance comics of the one and only Ogden Whitney have at last been collected in book form. This volume has been many years in the making, and we are excited to see it at last gracing our new arrivals table. What is it about these comics that makes them so unforgettable? There is a pathos at work here as in few other comics. Whitney was a life long cartoonist and comics maker. He had dedicated his life to his craft, and here in these comics he is heading into the home stretch. This work carries with it the private sufferings and triumphs of a life lived in and for comics. There is a self-abnegation that stands side-by-side with a simultaneous search for redemption. This combination yields some unexpected results. While there is a clear sense of the absurd present in each of these stories – to which readers will find conjoined the nagging question of how intentional its presence was – there is equally present a sense of wonder. Who are these people? What makes them tick? What is this thing called love? These comics by Ogden Whitney may just have the answers.
Liana Finck provides a contemporary perspective on what constitutes Whitney's appeal that will help put readers on the path to his door, and then co-editor Dan Nadel provides an afterword which includes a brief but insightful historical overview of Whitney's comics career and personal life – which remains obscure – along with an account of the genesis of this collection and some analysis of the work it contains, that, in addition to being informative, will aid any readers looking to unlock some of the further, inner doors that lay within these stories, which can fairly be described as somewhat esoteric texts. The exact nature of their appeal continues to be elusive, possessing a near perfect embodiment of the French expression, je ne sais quoi...