Thursday, September 26, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 269: Good thing they both used Ultra-Brite, the toothpaste with—ding!—sex appeal!

House ad for and printed in Love Stories #147 (November 1972)
Ad artist unknown, ad designed and lettered by Gaspar Saladino

First questions first: why do they call Love Stories a "brand-new magazine" when it's at issue #147? Well? Huh? Why do they? Huh?

Well, that's because it was a re-titled series, formerly called Heart Throbs (ba-duum! ba-duum!) which ran until issue #146 the previous month.

Final panel of "Love Is No Laughing Matter!" in Heart Throbs #146 (October 1972), pencils by Art Saaf, inks by Vince Colletta

So the second logical question would be: hey, why'd they change the title? To which I can only guess that as the swingin' seventies began, maybe they didn't really want to continue having a comic book with the word throbs in the title.

And of course, your third question: well, I don't know. I just don't know if they did ever make any of the readers of Love Stories into a comic book star if you don't count Lobo. Here's the contest rules and "fine print" that accompanied that house ad above:

See? Just like Millie the Model's reader-submitted fashions or Dial H for Hero's lame-ass unique superheros sent in by fans, Love Stories was going to choose one girl's exciting true-life love adventure and turn it into a DC romance comic book story! But did they ever do it (would be your fourth question, if you're still keeping count of them)? far as I can tell, no. I've looked through Love Stories #149-150 and #152 (#151 is missin' from my collection) and there doesn't seem to be any follow-up on this contest. Then, with the cover-dated October 1973 issue #152, Love Stories is abruptly cancelled—at the same time as DC's Falling in Love and Girls' Love Stories. (This is why Ocober '73 is remembered in poetry and song as "when the love died."). Only two romance titles survived at DC following '73, but for not much longer: Young Romance (cancelled with #208 in late 1975) and Young Love (cancelled with #126 in late 1976). I'll let y'all know if my further investigations in Young Romance and Young Love post '73 show us any fruit of the great "Make Me a Star" romance comic contest.

Oh, hey, wait! Here's one lucky romance comic reader who got her exciting romance story finally told in DC Comics!:

Cover of Justice League (2011 series) #12 (October 2012), pencils by Jim Lee, inks by Scott Williams, colors by Alex Sinclair

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