Friday, February 27, 2009

Teen-Age Romances 34 / Mama Told Me Not to Come

A treat today for Matt Baker fans

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The indicia are superfaded on the ifc, and the back cover has a little water damage, but the inside pages were pretty nice. I did a lot of work on the cover but didn't have a decent image to work from, so I hope I got the colors ballpark.

I like the racy cover with the short-haired tattler. The hinting and teasing covers don't always match the story in the St. John romances, but this one does. The comic leads with an extended Baker piece "Asking for Trouble" about an orphan from NY who comes to live with her older brother and wife in a small town. You know the girl’s a handful when her first question regards the boys about town…

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She puts up a nice girl front but is a devious one with a game plan for taking down her rivals and getting the guys interested in her. She’d even fake interest in hot rods, why the little schemer…

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Before you know it, she’s lured all the cool kids from school into wild parties and vice, oh my!

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Things get wilder as she meets a pushy older man, imbibes hard booze, and the school discovers what’s been going on.

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Read and discover our vixen’s fate.

The second story is a Cal Massey story "My Other Self," and the comic rounds out with "They Called Me Teacher's Pet."

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I’m amazed at how often the student/teacher romance crops up in these golden age titles. I guess it makes for some nice scandal, but I think it’s probably more about wish fulfillment for the young girl readers. Amazingly, most of these stories have happy endings, whereas I’d think more often this sort of thing might lead to the courtroom, heh heh.

John Benson (largely from Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr.’s identification) put together a nice index for his books on St. John Romance and Dana Dutch that Fantagraphics hosts here:

The index identifies the artists for the last story as Mikes Sekowsky and Peppe. Benson also believes the Baker story and the text piece "More Luck Than I Deserved" to have been written by Dana Dutch the subject for much of his excellent book Confessions, Romances, Secrets and Temptations: Archer St. John and the St. John Romance Comics which also has a nice timeline of all St. John comics listed by month. Another must have for Baker aficionados is Alter Ego (a great mag) issue 47 which is jam-packed full of information on the enigmatic Baker.



Get the full hi-res scan here.

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