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Romancing the Comic

Location: Sheridan Libraries Reading Room
Dates: April 2022



Students enrolled in Heidi Herr’s 2022 Intersession course took a deep dive into a new university collection of romance comic books. Popular from the late 1940s to the mid-1970s, romance comic books introduced teenagers to the joys and heartache of love. Featuring advice columns, fashion spreads, and allegedly true stories of romance, teenagers could be whisked away to a more glamorous and mature world for as little as ten cents.

Students received a whirlwind introduction to the development of the romance comic book genre and analyzed numerous issues to see exactly how its love stories were shaped by popular culture and social change. They researched select issues and curated an exhibit of comic book cover art for the Special Collections Reading Room exemplifying a variety of topics, ranging from youth culture to the representation of disability in love comics.

An online companion exhibition appears here: