Sunday, December 31, 2017

British Girls' Romance Comics: Valentine 1st February 1969

While on a recent trip to the UK, I visited Dave's Comics ( in the Lanes area of Brighton. The store is in a great, bohemian shopping area in downtown Brighton, with cafes, restaurants, and all kinds of vendors.

The thing that impressed me most about Dave's was the wide selection of back issues available at reasonable, realistic prices, aimed at encouraging rather than putting off the enthusiast. On top of that, the staff were very friendly and helpful. The store is on two floors:

There were a number of comics I would have liked to have bought, but I had to keep the bulk and weight of my luggage down, so I just opted for one comic that would be very hard to find back here in the USA.

There was a copy of Valentine hanging up on a wall display just as we entered the store, and that caught my eye. The condition wasn't so great, but I think it was well worth the £3 that I paid for it. Valentine is notable for featuring artwork by Spanish artists of the Selecciones Illustradas agency, and for stories based on the titles of popular songs. The one that I bought at Dave's was from 1969, so towards the end of Valentine's run. See what you think:

This first story looks like it was drawn by Enrique or Jorge Badia Romero, with lots of wild hair, bushy eyelashes, and very moody. Those large panels on pages two and four look like they might have been finished with a watercolor wash.

Following the opening story, the comic goes into a text-heavy section with short news articles about various stars, a two-page text story with some nice illustrations, more news and articles, and a couple of ads:

The next story again looks like the Badia Romero brothers. I'd hazard a guess that this is Jorge. Quite a treat:

The rest of the comic continues with more of the same mixture, articles focused on pop stars, interspersed with comics and some ads. But while we've seen the best of the artwork, the rest is still not too shabby:

A sign that times were changing...?

Fashion, of course...

An interesting story about a female delinquent...

The horoscope...

...and the problem page!

With a very interesting sequential art adaptation of a reader's problem and Stevie's response...

And for old Diana Rigg fans...

For those of you interested in these Spanish artists of the 1950s and later, you will do no better than buying David Roach's book, Masters of Spanish Comic Book Art.

That's all for now, folks! Happy New Year!


  1. Congratulations on your purchase and thank you for the post. Anthony

  2. A bargain and three quid! And SO glad to see you blogging again. Keep it up!

  3. Yes, that first story is by Enric Badia Romero (according to David Roach, who generally seems to know about such things). Which I think would make it more likely that the other strip is by the other Romero. And I reckon 'Lost and Found' must be by Jesus Blasco.

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