Okay, fine, we admit it, this is just one more late 1950s romance comic story (from Love Romances #83) where the secretary marries the boss. They're ALL stories where the secretary marries the boss. We get it, the 1950s were awful, workplace culture was awful, gender relationships were awful. But close reading of this particular story may pay Stupid Comics dividends. Let's find out!

Don't let her be an old maid! Which apparently in this story, judging by the captions, is defined as "any woman over, let's say it's sixteen in this state, any woman over 16 that doesn't have a ring on that finger." It's a constant struggle for security in the cold, cheerless world of what is described as "an average office slavey." What the hell kind of office is this anyway? And why is that guy in the background wearing the Joker's clothes?

"As your boss I order you to come to dinner with me!" Ah, the 1950s.

"I must look like a drab!" A drab... what? A drab slavey, perhaps? Did people ever talk like this?

And hey, I know full well what the caption is describing, but the way they're going about it makes it sound like Aaron was dating a bullet in Korea that left him. Don't date bullets, kids.

Note how Aaron is working his way towards figuring out the relationship status. None of this "so what does your husband think of your job?" stuff for him, he's subtle, he's all "you're so sad, it must be one of the many romances you, as a glamorous woman type person, must have had." Pay attention guys, this is how it's done.

And yet like all her evenings this evening ends with her alone staring into the mirror, pledging that she will only marry when she sees the absolute perfect man, and she'll know he's the absolute perfect man the instant she sees him. That's the only way she'll ever marry! Otherwise- nothingness! The eternal void! It's all or nothing for Joanie here.

It's time for the company picnic, which means it's time for Fred to say "How come you're doing a single?" and for us to again ask, did people ever talk like this? "Doing a single" is something that describes Elvis or Bobby Darin in a recording studio, not wandering around alone at a company picnic holding an entire cake, looking for somewhere secluded where that entire cake can be eaten. Mind your own business Fred!

a hand... a backside... some firecrackers... a lit match standing out like a ship's mast in the tanned fingers as they traversed the distance to Fred's back... speaking of 'doing singles' this is turning into a Starland Vocal Band song!

Uh oh, it's Ernie Roberts, here to make your ass explode!

By golly, he likes a girl who tells him when he's being a complete irresponsible jerk! Must be tough having so many girls to like; judging by this guy's behavior it sounds like girls are always telling him he's an irresponsible jerk.

Aaron plays DJ while Ernie Roberts grabs Joanie in his brawny arms. You have no choice, Joanie! It's the 50s!

Ooh, Ernie is pulling out all the stops in his "Date Joanie" campaign. Why, he could have taken her to the fights, but he knows she'd rather not go to the fights! Now THAT is devotion.

Ernie has fallen hard for "old maid" Joanie. And now he's about to find out why this comic is about her and her being an "old maid."

Yes, it really was this difficult for women to resist the societal pressure and refuse to marry someone they don't love. Again, it's the 1950s, where landing a man - any man, even a firecracker-in-the-pants prankster like Ernie- was more important than happiness or fulfillment or having pants without holes blown in them.

But maybe love is a myth. Maybe she should talk to Aaron. He might know what love is. I wanna know what love is, I want you to show me! I wanna feel what love is, I know you can show me! And 12 more of Foreigner's greatest hits can be yours on two 8-tracks or three cassettes with this limited time offer. Act now.

"Joanie you little fool! Do you want to be like me, a spectator in the shadows, or do you want to be like me, full of the beauty of dignity and respect and pride and honest laughter, or do you just want to be confused? I'm confused!"

And as even the five year old readers finally catch on to what's going to happen in this comic book story, Joanie all but parades around tooting a horn and holding up a giant electric sign that reads "ASK ME TO MARRY YOU, STUPID."

Now hold on Aaron. You limp... you limp what, exactly? Just your leg? Okay, that's fine. Nothing else, right?

Directed to cram as many words as possible into the final panels of this story, here the writer outdoes himself, filling captions with treasures at rainbow's end enveloped by pink clouds, shining with inner lights of life-giving suns as heaven sends answers to strange aches. If YOU are enveloped by pink clouds, see your doctor because chances are you're eating way too much cotton candy. Or Ernie has set fire to your pants again, maybe. The end!

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