Agonizing Love

Agonizing Love : The Golden Era of Romance Comics

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There is no other anthology on the subject on the market that is at once this colourful, large in format, or lengthy - or provides a pop-culture perspective by an authority. This is a big, thick book with more than 250 illustrations comprised of great vintage covers, a selection of juicy stories reproduced in full, advice columns, and advertising. Its graphic, eye-catching package - which will include a heavy red card stock bellyband with a die-cut heart-shaped frame - will emphasize the book's collectibility as well as its irresistible gift appropriateness. This book is a valentine to the era. It will be of interest to comics and graphic novel fans, those with an interest in nostalgia, and the chick-lit audience, too. This book is also a real standout in the genre.
There are a couple collections that use the original strips from the era, replacing the old dialogue with contemporary dialogue that mocks the original scenarios ("Truer than True Romance"; "Romance Without Tears"); a thin collection issued by Marvel that reprints a select number of strips without any commentary at all ("Marvel Romance"); a collection of romance novel covers ("The Look of Love"); and a book dedicated to a specific romance comic ("Confessions, Romances, Secrets and Temptations: Archer St. John and the St. John Romance Comics"). Chronicle also published "From Girls to Grrrlz: A History of Female Comics From Teens to Zines", but this is a history of girl comics.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 210.82 x 276.86 x 25.4mm | 1,043.26g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Harper Design International
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 250 Colour
  • 0061807346
  • 9780061807343
  • 723,194

Back cover copy

Agonizing Love is a rich anthology of those legendary romance comic books that once filled newsstands to overflowing during their heyday in the 1940s and '50s. "I Craved His Kisses," "With Hate in My Heart," "Kisses Came Second," "Flame of Jealousy," "Was I a Wicked Wife?": these stories are just a taste of the absolutely riveting dramas that play out in the sob-racked pages of this evocative collection. Agonizing Love--is there any other kind?--runs the narrative gamut from honeymoon to heartbreak, first love to total loss, marital bliss to marriage hell, and all the stops in between. Throughout these colorful pages you will find a diverse selection of cover art and stories enhanced by a plethora of engaging quizzes ("Are You Ready for Marriage?"), confessional letters from readers, informative articles, tips on choosing the right man (or getting rid of the wrong one!), and oh, so much more!

Compiled and with witty, informative com-mentary by pop-culture expert Michael Barson, Agonizing Love is an irresistible treasure trove sure to please comic-book lovers, soap-opera fans, and die-hard romantics who could use a good slap in the face. This is a heartfelt, often tear-drenched valentine to a long lost--but never to be forgotten--era.
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About Michael Barson

Michael Barson is the author of more than a dozen books that celebrate popular culture. His work has appeared in the pages of Entertainment Weekly, Premiere, American Film, and AMC magazine, among other publications. His books and postcard anthologies include Lost, Lonely & Vicious, Born to Be Bad, Teenage Confidential, True West, and Red Scared! He lives in suburban New Jersey with his wife of twenty-six years who hasn't stopped weeping since tying the knot. They have three boys, none of whom has a clue about love or romance-yet.
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Rating details

34 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 26% (9)
4 47% (16)
3 26% (9)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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