Monday, April 14, 2008


For your reading pleasure today we have Break-Up, with some of the best art I've ever seen in a Charlton comic. Break-Up first caught my attention because it has one of the most awkward, geeky heroes I've ever run across; he's like a cross between the first Ken doll and a Buddy Holly impersonator and even the heroine never forgets that he's a puny specimen.

On closer reading, though, it's the heroine that really stands out. While girls in romance comics generally do like it when their new boyfriend beats up their ex (and really, what girl doesn't?) here our heroine gets just a little too excited by all the violence.

Our heroine Ellen is fresh out of high school, but check out Steve's lined forehead. The guys in romance comics tend to look much older than the girls, but I think Steve was one of her teachers. Probably a sleazy phys. ed. teacher.

Oh, sure. When your boyfriend dumps you at the county line, you just walk home in the dark. All by yourself. THEN you get in the car with some creepy guy in glasses that you might vaguely remember from high school. ELLEN. GO TO YOUR ROOM RIGHT NOW YOUNG LADY.

In the second panel, Gary's basically admitting that he's only ever danced with other dudes in public. Thankfully, Ellen's too intent on having a good time to notice, as she goes from angry makeouts with one date to fevered grinning and crazed dancing with another in the span of about three minutes. Wait, and what's Steve doing here? That dude gets around.

The last panel shows Ellen far too excited about the punches being thrown.

Way to be tactful, Ellen. "Golly, Dweebo! I sure was surprised when you won that fight, because you're so icky! I thought for sure Steve was going to snap your pencil neck!"

Oh, come on, dreaming of Gary? Even in Ellen's fantasy he looks uncomfortable and awkward, and at best he looks 45 years old. A creepy, wizened 45.

Oh shit, it's Steve! Steve and his CHEST HAIR. How can such a proud specimen keep getting schooled? He's like three times the size of the other dudes on the beach. I love when Ellen screams for Gary to show Steve no mercy.

Also, this comic proves that nerds have been embarassing their dates by referring to them as 'milady' for at least 40 years.

I don't want to be crude (okay, I do) but I think Steve's hurrying Ellen into the water to cover up what happens when he gets those "funny feelings" in his swim trunks.

So that's the entire story, it's kind of skimpy on plot (phys ed teacher loses girl, girl finds nerd, nerd pwns phys ed teacher on beach) but I think a third of its panels portray fighting, and what else do we really need?