Monday, January 25, 2010

Nurse Romance Stories: Romantic Secrets 11 - "The Flowers"

Charlton's Romantic Secrets 11 (1957) is an example of those comics that have interiors that don't have anything to do with the cover. But looking at the cover, there's a nurse romance theme that I've seen a few times - the temporarily blinded guy in the hospital bed with his eyes bandaged, loved secretly by the nurse. The nurse pretends to be someone else for therapeutic reasons, or hides some painful truth about the man's girlfriend or fiancee (as this cover suggests), but whatever it is, all is revealed and resolved when the bandages are removed.

The actual nurse romance story inside the comic is a short, 4-page filler. It's pretty basic, but has a certain charm. George Miller is the patient, Sally the nurse. She finds out George is new in the area, knows no-one, and has no visitors therefore. Seeing George lonely, she brings him flowers and visits him herself, which is much to George's liking and you would think assists in his speedy recovery.

Apparently the flowers are excess to the requirements of a very popular patient down the hall, according to Sally. The relationship between Sally and George stays on the platonic platform, at least from an external viewpoint. Sally's not one of those nurses who breaches codes of professional conduct and starts smooching with her patient. Sally visits George whenever she can and George gives a hint but doesn't reveal just how attached he has become to this ministering angel. George is then finally ready to be discharged, but ends up leaving without seeing Sally. She's quietly devastated (which is where we came in on page 1) and has just about accepted that she's lost George when he returns to the ward, flowers in hand. George sussed that Sally had been buying the flowers herself, and before he revealed his true feelings for her he wanted to just buy a bunch at the florist and return the favor.
As we take our leave, we can tell that wedding bells will follow soon. Brief, innocent, charming, no frills, with a super simple plot line. Sally's nurse stereotypes: the ministering angel, coupled with the tendency to become romantically involved with her patient (doesn't.look like she was in nursing for the purpose of finding a husband).


  1. Heart-warming; but where's the conflict ? I can't read or watch a Patient/Nurse story without thinking of that classic Popeye cartoon where he and Bluto battle to injure themselves, just so that Nurse Olive Oyl can smother them with affection !

  2. In this case the conflict was all in Sally's mind, during that brief interlude between George's discharge from the hospital and his return with the flowers and declaration of love. Between the thoughts "he meant what he said about wanting to see me" (reality) versus "I meant nothing to him" (self doubt). But yeah not much room in four pages to develop the story. Regarding the Popeye cartoon, I can't remember seeing that one although I probably have - what's the title? Sounds hilarious - I'm going to have to find it.

  3. Sweet story. I like the last panel with the repeating heart motif. You have the big pink heart, the little red one and then Sally and George forming the third. Simple, yet lovely.