Many times I’ve sung the praises of Yoe Books here in PopCult, and it’s time to do it once again. I’ve previously raved over Yoe’s terrific collections of pre-code horror comics, Steve Ditko’s monster comics from Charlton and his ongoing reprinting of Bud Sagendorf’s classic Popeye comic books.
Now Craig Yoe and Clizia Gussoni have launched a new bi-monthly title in conjunction with IDW, “Weird Love.” This book dredges up the best of the worst of romance comics which have fallen into the public domain. At one time, romance comics were among the best-sellers in the industry, but that time is long gone. The last of the mainstream romance comics fell by the wayside in the late 1970s, and the genre is pretty much forgotten now.
That’s what makes “Weird Love” such a treat. These are stories intended for young females. Many of the pre-date the comics code, so attempts to shock are plentiful. Many of the stories were cranked out by the same folks who were producing Z-Grade horror stories, and the tone of many of these stories is hilariously similar. The stories in “Weird Love” are like the best exploitation films. They try to shock, often failing in the most amusing manner. The unintentional humor, aided by the dated nature of the settings and dialogue, make “Weird Love” one of the funniest comic books on the market.
This story is followed by what seems like a one-page PSA for Men’s Rights Activists, reprinted from a 1971 Charlton comic. Then we find the cover story, “Love of a Lunatic.” It’s a heart-warming tale about how love can overcome anything, even inherited mental illness, abusive parents and forced institutionalization.