Maiden Voyage

In 2001, I interviewed Dick Giordano about romance comics for my Last Kiss comic book series and Dick kindly loaned me a ton of his old romance cover art to illustrated the piece.

I only used a small fraction of the art for the interview. My intention–with Dick’s approval–was to use the remainder of the scans for art in future Last Kiss projects. Unfortunately, there were some problems.

The scans were from aging, sometimes discolored, and occasionally very dirty stats of old romance covers. Even worse (from my viewpoint) at least half of them had Zip-a-tone as part of the art which tend to create moiré patterns when scanned.

Cleaning ’em up was a lot of work and–in some cases–was beyond my abilities at that time. So I shelved most of it.

Ten years later, I’ve finally started dipping into the scans–using the cleanest of them. And what a joy they are!

I think today’s comic is particularly gorgeous. And it’s just plain fun for me to see how colorist Allen Freeman responds to this lush, detailed art. Frankly, I think it’s some of Allen’s best coloring. (More to come in the weeks and months ahead.)

The art for today’s gag presented somewhat of a dilemma for me. The broken heart on the cover was originally there as a place where the publisher could hype the cover story. But I really didn’t need the space for the gag I dreamed up.

I tried using different text to fill the space. But it all seemed to take away from the main gag. So I finally opted for just an empty, broken heart–which is probably more symbolically appropriate than anything I could write.

↓ Transcript
SCENE: Deck scene on a ship--possibly a cruise ship. In the background a beautiful woman is embracing with a ship's officer. They appear to be about to kiss.

In the foreground is a distressed woman looking back at the couple. In front of her is a large, cartoonish heart.

BACKGROUND WOMAN: This is my maiden voyage!

OFFICER: Not for long!


Art by Dick Giordano

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