Return to Romance: The Strange Love Stories of Ogden Whitney

Ogden Whitney

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Return to Romance: The Strange Love Stories of Ogden Whitney, edited by Dan Nadel and Frank Santoro / ISBN 9781681373447 / 120-page paperback from New York Review Comics

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"Ogden Whitney was one of those very unique artists who caught my attention with everything he did. Comedy or drama, I could always count on his natural style to take me on a pleasant ride." —Jaime Hernandez

"Ogden Whitney’s comics are about everything I’ve ever been interested in reading about, from make-outs to makeovers. Which is to say, they’re a little bit about men, but more importantly, they’re about women. This collection is both significant and delicious." —Naomi Fry

By turns amusing and disturbing, this collection of 1960s romance comic strips provides a provocative window into male-female power dynamics as conceived by one of mid-century America's foremost comic book artists.

Ogden Whitney was one of the unsung masters of American comics. He is perhaps best remembered for co-creating the satirical superhero Herbie Popnecker, also known as the Fat Fury, but his romance comics of the late 1950s and 1960s may be even more unique. In Whitney’s hands, the standard formula of meet-cute, minor complications, and final blissful kiss becomes something very different: an unsettling vision of midcentury American romance as a devastating power struggle, a form of intimate psychological warfare dressed up in pearls and flannel suits. From suburban lawns and offices to rocket labs and factories, his men and women scheme and clash, dominate and escape. It is darkly hilarious, truly terrifying—and yes, occasionally even a bit romantic.

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