Friday, April 22, 2011

Romance Book Review: Agonizing Love:The Golden Era of Romance Comics

Author: Michael Barson
ISBN: 978-0061807343
Genre: Golden age romance comics
Publisher: Harper Design
Release Date: May 10, 2011

Purchase this book here through: Amazon

This book was passed on to me a little early from publication. Not my standard romance, but once I started reading it was hard to put down. The commentary was interesting and amusing. The comics from the past were fun to read.

I swear that some of those comics were written to brain wash women into believing that after marriage they should want to stay home, and cook and sew for their man. It was such a sign of the times.

For those who like love stories, this is a great cocktail table book with full original comics from the golden age and covers of the brand names of those times.

Return to the tear-stained, melodramatic heyday of romance comics in this fantastic anthology of the genre's best stories, covers, advice columns, and more! In a valentine to a bygone era, perfect for fans of modern love stories, Archie comics, and series like Strangers in Paradise, pop-culture expert Michael Barson celebrates the stories that captivated the American imagination during the 1950s and 1960s. Readers of books like From Girls to Grrrlz: A History of Female Comics From Teens to Zines will be captivated by this one-of-a-kind look at four-color female portrayals, while collectors of the history of Golden Age comics will be entranced by crucial stories from Fawcett, Marvel, DC, and many more comics publishing giants. Above all, however, the indelible pathos at the heart of every Agonizing Love story makes Barson’s collection more than a pop-culture artifact; it’s also an unforgettable look into the heart of true romance.

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 commentary 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.About the Author:
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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