Demetrio Sanchez Gomez, the multi-talented Spanish artist, produced a small but beautiful collection of romance stories for Charlton Comics in the 1970's. The style he developed for these particular pieces looks similar to Jim Steranko's single romance story in Marvel's Our Love Story #5 (June 1970), but actually remains true to a romance comic art tradition that had been developing amongst Spanish artists during the 1960s. This is a re-posting of this story that I previously put in my old Romance Comics Reading Room on what is now Webs.com.
Marry Me Soon Darling (June 1974) is about a rich girl, Kathy Parker, who has recently broken up with her fiancee and who meets a roaming biker named Jonnie Love.
Their first encounter takes place at a lake where Jonnie stops to cool off. Kathy's lonely and wistful. There's mutual attraction.
Kathy's been thinking of leaving home. Jonnie warns her to tread carefully - he's left home himself, and regretted it. She invites him to her house for dinner, as he has no fixed abode.
Kathy's parents are very accommodating, and invite Jonnie to stay. The young couple spend time getting to know each other and it comes out that Kathy recently split with her boyfriend because they apparently weren't right for each other.
Jonnie reciprocates with Kathy's parents by doing some chores. But with couples coming over in the evening, the scene is set for a change of mood.
After playing tennis with Kathy at the club, Jonnie accidentally brushes the shoulder of Kathy's ex- as he's walking past. The ex- responds aggressively despite Jonnie's apology, and punches Jonnie in the face. This disproportionate reaction suggests the ex-boyfriend is nursing a lot of pent up anger and frustration at something, but we are not told what. Jonnie on the other hand is obviously in control of himself, and takes the assault rather calmly as it turns out.
Things look like they're moving towards a proposal but Kathy's mother intuitively senses her daughter's feelings for Jonnie aren't as strong as they had been for her former fiancee, Edgar. Nevertheless, she likes Jonnie, and sees his good qualities, despite her husband's reservations about him being a drifter.
Kathy and Jonnie get close at the party, but then she hesitates, and he senses something isn't quite right. Meanwhile Kathy's ex-, Edgar, turns up at the door, not to crash the party, but to straighten things out with Kathy's father over why he had walked out on his daughter. We are not privileged to this explanation, but Mr. Parker is satisfied that Edgar had not been the villain it had previously appeared.
Jonnie knows something is up with Kathy, and decides to consult her parents. His suspicions confirmed, he orchestrates a meeting between Kathy and Edgar, watching from a distance to see their reactions to each other. Convinced that bringing them back together was the right thing for Kathy, he rides out of her life, sacrificing his own chance at happiness to facilitate hers.
My concern for Kathy would be that Edgar obviously has a really short fuse. Whatever his reason was for leaving Kathy, we know from Mrs. Parker that Edgar had treated her daughter terribly, and that she was glad the engagement was broken off. We also saw that Edgar punched Johnny out over nothing. One has to conclude that there is a danger Kathy may be subjected to domestic violence in the future.
The story has weaknesses in that there are too many unexplained events and even unlikely scenarios. But it does identify a certain kind of person (Jonnie) who is aware enough, and caring enough, to see where another person is at and to act unselfishly for the benefit of the other. The unselfish Jonnie was probably a rare breed back in the 70s, but would likely be extinct in today's narcissistic, self-obsessed society. The situation in the story fits an early 70s upper middle class approach to life, both on the part of the parents and the daughter. It's Demetrio's art that makes this story stand out. There are no psychedelic backgrounds in this one, but it has a nice period feel to it, especially with the clothing and hairstyle fashions.