Romance comics of the period typically featured dramatic scripts about the love lives of older high school teens and young adults, with accompanying artwork depicting an urban or rural America contemporaneous with publication.
The origins of romance comics lie in the years immediately following World War II when adult comics readership increased and superheroes were dismissed as passé.
The genre fell into decline and disrepute during the sexual revolution, and the genre's Golden Age came to an end when Young Romance and its companion Simon and Kirby title Young Love ceased publication in 19, respectively.
In the new millennium, a few publishers flirted with the genre in various ways, including manga-styled romance comics based on Harlequin novels and Golden Age classics revamped with snarky dialogue.
The DC Comics romance line was overseen by Jack Miller, who also wrote many stories.
While romance comics did not bear the contempt and scrutiny heaped upon crime comics and horror comics, the genre did provoke comment from a psychiatrist, Dr. In his book, Seduction of the Innocent, Wertham deplored not only the "mushiness" of the romance comics, but their "social hypocrisy", "false sentiments", "cheapness", and "titillation".Influenced by the pulps, radio soap operas, newspaper comic strips such as Mary Worth, and adult confession magazines, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created the flagship romance comic book Young Romance and launched it in 1947 to resounding success.By the early 1950s, dozens of romance titles from major comics publishers were on the newsstands and drug store racks.He claimed the genre gave female readers a false image of love and feelings of physical inferiority.Following the implementation of the Comics Code in 1954, publishers of romance comics self-censored the content of their publications, making the stories bland and innocent with the emphasis on traditional patriarchial concepts of women's behavior, gender roles, domesticity, and marriage.Simon later noted he chose the love genre because "it was about the only thing that hadn't been done." Bill Draut and other artists participated, with Simon and Kirby producing the scripts because "we couldn't afford writers." Rather than the dramatic comic strips, Simon took his inspiration from the darker-toned confession magazines such as True Story from Macfadden Publications.The finished book was delivered to Crestwood Publications' general manager Maurice Rosenfeld.Timely/Marvel brought the second romance title to newsstands with My Romance in August 1948, and Fox Feature Syndicate released the third title, My Life True Stories in Pictures, in September 1948.Fawcett Publications followed with Sweethearts (the first monthly title) in October 1948.Marie Severin once was given the job at Marvel of updating the clothing from old 1960s romance comic stories for publication in the 1970s.Romance comics sold well, and affected the sales of both superhero comics and confession magazines.