Monday, August 30, 2010

British Romance Comics: Star Love Stories 371 - "Too Many Kisses"

For readers who have never seen a British romance comic, Star Love Stories #371 "Too Many Kisses" (here just the front cover and first 25 pages) exemplifies the genre as it manifested in the UK. Digest size, with a color cover and black-and-white interior, many of these series were weekly rather than monthly. Inside the front cover there's a small pin-up of one of the heart-throb bands of the time:

What is atypical about this story is the quality of the art and the cross-cultural theme. The art looks to me to be by a European rather than British artist, possibly Spanish. I would be grateful for an identification if anyone can provide one. The style gives me a certain sense of deja-vu, like I've seen it in some late 60s or probably early 70s American romance comics. I've only scanned up to page 25, and won't have the opportunity to scan the rest until I get back to the States next year, so you're going to be left hanging in suspense!

It's all very high society with beautiful people. Some lovely artwork, I think you'll agree! I forgot to check the date but this one is late 60s/early 70s. I'll clear that up when I get back and scan the rest.


  1. Wow, this line art is just beautiful! I'm definitely hanging on this cliff-hanger.

  2. Looks like Estaban Maroto's art to me.


  3. Welcome back, KB! I hope you had a successful move! Thanks for posting this -- definitely a treat! With the circles and other little embellishments it is a bit reminiscent of Demetrio. Can't wait to see the rest someday!

  4. Jacque: Thanks! Yes it does remind me of Demetrio also, but I think it is someone else from the 'Catalan' school. The way the hair is drawn is very like Demetrio, but again the artists from Spain tend to draw in that style. Months ago I had a comment from an expert on Catalan romance art and he posted a bunch of links to some great examples. He also revealed my assumption that Demetrio was influenced by Steranko to be rather false. Here's the link back to that post:

    Some of this art is of really quite astonishing quality, and amongst the British romance comics I think it stands out above the rest.

    Michael: Thanks for that suggestion. I'll do a bit of follow up work and see if I can confirm that it is Maroto. The style has a certain familiarity to me that I'm sure I've seen it in America - the way this artist draws the girl's face from the side, especially her nose and lips, is quite distinct.

    Mickey: It is superb, isn't it! I'm looking forward to finding a few more nice examples like this while I'm over here in Europe. I picked up a sweet Italian comic yesterday with war, western, and romance all in the same thick book. Some cool art in there as well. I'll be posting stories from that as soon as I can get it scanned.

  5. The person who would know the answer to this conundrum is David Roach (co-author of the Guide to Warren magazines).

    He's just posted an article of Peng Leif's "Today's Inspiration" Blog, which is probably a good way to contact him.

  6. Peter: Thanks for the tip. I haven't spoken to David since around 1983 when he was a young customer at the Cardiff Fantasy Center (then known simply as 'The Comic Shop'). It would be cool to speak to him again after all this time. Back then I was the supplier of non-distributed American rarities to the Cardiff comic readers and collectors. I had heard he was an expert in this European material.

  7. Hi,

    I have just found over a 100 Star Love Stories in my parents loft.

    Are any of them valuable?

    Would appreciate any help

    Thanks in advance


  8. Well they fetch on average a couple of pounds each on eBay in the UK if they are in decent shape.

  9. I would love to read these comics.. as a preteen ,these were my joys.. n the first encounters to a dreamy love

  10. can anyone help me..i need information on how to get these in India...!!!!
    Much thanx.....

  11. Can i get these comics in India? plz help!

  12. These comics are difficult to find in England, so India they are most likely not available. The best thing to do would be to search eBay UK and eBay Australia. You will have to pay international shipping but you will be able to obtain some by that means.

    1. if any one needs this comics in india..itz avail in sound india. chennai vadpalani signal plat form book shop. This shop has a bundle of this comics.

  13. where can you buy old star picture love story books now

  14. I have just picked up heaps of these comics but know nothing about them

  15. I have one no 891 i think it was my mums....i was gonna bin it. Think I will ebay it now lol