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Real Life Romance Comic: Emancipated Amanda

Real Life Romance Comic: Emancipated Amanda

My first piece on Romance Comics appeared here, and if you are curious about why I love them, you should read it.

This is one of my favorite romance comic books in my entire collection. It’s from I Love You published by Charlton Comics in January 1972. The cover art for this entire issue is amazing. For those of you who don’t know, I am an ULTRA David Cassidy fan, so that this issue has him on the cover, as well as women picketing for freedom from slavery and sex symbology, well, it makes my heart swell.

We begin our story with Amanda Blaine, a girl, we are told, “Who made all the scenes…with the grooviest guys in town!”

Amanda goes away to college and meets her new roommate, a real uptight broad named Dorothy. Not at all the exciting bubbly coed she was expecting to room with.

We see Dorothy at her finest here, very self-assured and stern. It’s a wonder they haven’t already thrown in some allusion to her lesbianism.

Notice Dorothy’s sensible shoes. Perhaps they are making an allusion to her sexuality after all.

I don’t know if the author is expecting us to root with Amanda or Dorothy, but I’m team Dorothy all the way. Wait, is that playing into that same brutal & barbaric past time by alluding to one of it’s basic tenants? Damn it! Score one for the patriarchy. Double Damn IT! I did it again.

After Amanda catches her quarterback boyfriend cheating on her, Dorothy gives her a good talkin’ to.

Sounds about right. Preach on, sister Dorothy!

Whoa, Dorothy is one persuasive lecturer. In the space of an evening Amanda went from dresses to um, not sure what those shorts are there. She calls ’em sports clothes, but it being 1972 I’m betting they are polyester. The friction they look like they are capable of creating may not be suitable for any kind of sport. We don’t want the newly educated and on her way to being emancipated Amanda to spontaneously combust. Where would that leave us on this journey from girl to woman? Walk slowly Amanda, walk slowly.

The text says, “Amanda had finally revolted against the role in which society had placed her! She joined women’s lib societies…she picketed the faculty administration building!” (What’s the deal with comics and ellipses? A question for another day) Amanda and Dorothy have signs saying FREE WOMEN FROM SLAVERY & DON’T BE SEX SYMBOLS which begs the question, what was going on with the faculty at this school? Why are the women’s lib societies picketing them to not be sex symbols? I wanna read that story!


So Dorothy just might have developed a crush on that suave red-headed fellow in the panel above, because she is acting mighty strange.


We are told that “Just for kicks” (yes, really) Amanda calls the red-headed guy and his friend. They are both reporters for the campus paper, and after talking to her, they want to do to a story on Amanda & kinda sorta Dorothy too.

What the? Now Amanda is all preachy and Dorothy has gone all quiet. As soon as Dorothy gets herself a love interest (other than Amanda) the tables have turned and that Emancipated Amanda has some teachin’ & preachin’ to do.

Ugh. What strong and powerful woman has not had to confront the question of her sexuality from some guy she just wants to swap spit with? This is the realest comic book panel in the history of comics.

Yes, that’s right “Dot” up is down, black is white, the student is now the teacher! Now you should compromise all of your morals and beliefs, you wouldn’t want those two dudes to write a put down piece in the school paper. I mean, you obviously didn’t come to college and just adopt these new feminist ideals.You probably held them all through adolescence where you were most likely shamed in much more degrading and possibly more public ways. Don’t worry about your philosophy, just let Amanda’s sweet sweet perfume chase away any actual intelligence or moral fortitude you might have had.

Once again, a piece of ass has swayed a girl from her philosophical beliefs. I would be lying if I said it never happened to me, or anyone I’ve known. I’ve known plenty of women who have woken up one day and realized that they don’t have to wear their clothes four sizes to large just to be taken seriously. I don’t fault Dorothy for her explorations, I just want to see the follow up comic where after sleeping with Jim Loomis she realizes that he wasn’t that great a lay, and she’s late for an ERA rally. She needs a REAL friend of Dorothy to let her know that she can look fabulous and fight the man at the same time.

As for Amanda, well, I don’t really care. Her emancipation was just a short-lived path for her to hone her excellent skills of manipulation. It’s hard to applaud that.

Melissa (158 Posts)

Melissa, known to the world as the foremost Glitter Technician, is the mother of two beautiful children and has two beautiful buckteeth. She currently spends her time making all kinds of quirky items and selling them in her Etsy shop. You can find more of her writing & her wares on her self titled site Melissa Nelson-Stippich.


  • If you are so inclined, I shared the whole comic as a pdf on my personal blog:

    • Why throw away dungarees, Dorothy?

      So true.

    • To the beach though? What’s that about?

  • Their frumpy, women’s lib depiction is killing me. I think I need it to carry it around in my wallet.

    • Oh, I have more! So much more to share with you! It’s nice sharing them digitally because you can’t smell the weird sweet decaying smell of old comics.

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