There’s a whole other commenatary — a book, really — to be written about the phenomenon of romance comics that were published from the 1940s through the ’70s. It’s a bizarre, fascinating, sexist genre that is ripe for examination and analysis. But for now, let’s take a look at one of the grooviest: Marvel Comics’ My Love #14: “It happened at Woodstock!”
I truly don’t know where to begin with this epic melodrama, wherein a girl named Jody and her square boyfriend, Rick, hop a motorcycle for the historic music festival. Right away, the dialogue reads like a conservative 40-year-old’s interpretation of the way those long-haired hippies talked in 1967.
“Sure hope you didn’t have a hassle with your parents!”
“It’s going to be a stone gas if we ever get there!”
“Like, hello, baby!”
While boring Rick grabs some shut-eye, Jody literally bumps into a sexy stranger named — and I am not making this up — Flowers. This is the kind of guy who spins a lot of nonsense to women about soul connections and cosmic vibes, when his only objective is to tap that ass. We don’t see a whole lot beyond kissing, but it’s pretty clear that, over the course of two days, Flowers rocks Jody’s world ..
While I guess this was a fairly racy scenario for a late ’60s comic, it reads today as a hopelessly retro cautionary tale. Jody is made to look like a dimbulb female who dumps her solid citizen of a boyfriend for a pothead in fringe. Faster than you can say “After School Special,” Rick comes along and gets all up in Jody’s grill about running off with a “greasy-haired hippie.” After Rick punches Flowers, Jody goes for broke, declaring that she and Flowers are in love and are running off to get married. Because, you know, that’s the only option for a young woman. Flowers then proceeds to lead a master class in the art of backpedaling: “Look, baby! When I told you I loved you, I really meant it … but not the way you took it! I mean, I love lots of people … and you’re just one of them! Dig?”
The lesson, young ladies? Don’t run around with bad boys in buckskin, and definitely do not kiss them (wink, wink)! You will be SO punished. And Instead of discovering the world on your own or seeing what’s out there, settle down with a fella right away so that you, too, can live happily ever after. Everybody wins!