Agonizing Love

Edited by Michael Barson. Harper Design, $29.99 paper (208p) ISBN 978-0-06-180734-6
This beautifully produced anthology offers prime examples of romance comics from the genre's golden age, the years between 1947 and 1957. Barson has carefully selected from his personal collection, offering full stories, covers, and "peripheral materials" that often appeared in the comics, such as advice columns and quizzes. The book is divided into five chapters, each exploring a different aspect of the genre, such as "Despair," "Marriage Hell," and "Class Struggles." The full-color pages reproduced from the comics are striking; the oversize format allows them to appear at their original size. The lack of a detailed table of contents or index makes it difficult to navigate, however. Barson's introduction provides a breezy overview of the history of romance comics. While witty, it would have been stronger with a more thoughtful analysis of the historical context that gave rise to the genre, and if Barson had refrained from lumping all women from the decade into one category. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Comics
Ebook - 978-0-06-204398-6
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