We’re now on Day 8 of Howard Simpson’s month-long Jack Kirby celebration! Open to all creatives, you should be able to find the work of participants on your favorite social media platforms by the hashtag #KirbyArtTribute.
Today’s prompt is less specific than those we’ve had thus far. It’s “Romance Comics.” If you don’t already know it, you may be surprised to hear that the genre of romance comics was created and pioneered by none other than Joe Simon and Jack Kirby! So it’s no head-scratcher that Howard chose this as a prompt. S&K came up with the very first romance comic, Young Romance, and sold the concept to Crestwood Publications. The comic was a huge hit on newsstands, selling 92% of its print run! Of course, sales success like that breeds imitators, which soon followed from the other publishers. But the original S&K stories had a lot more substance going for them, the imitators mostly pale and inferior in comparison.
My choice to represent romance comics was to depict the one character S&K told more than one story about. Toni Benson first appeared in Young Romance #1, in the story “I Was a Pick-up.” Apparently they liked her character well enough that they thought it was worth revisiting her in a second tale, “The Town and Toni Benson,” in Young Romance #10.
I hope you enjoy, and stay tuned!