Saturday, January 12, 2013

THE NEW TEEN SWINGER

From Comics Buyer’s Guide #1699:

There will come a day when my Vast Accumulation of Stuff is again
manageable enough that I can proclaim proudly that I am more than
an accumulator, that, by all that’s holy, I am a comics collector!
When that day comes, one of the things I will collect will be the
romantic, two-fisted adventures of Jonnie Love.

Behold Jonnie Love in Teen-Age Love #61 [Charlton; November 1968],
his first appearance and origin story.  Just before graduation, the
high-school senior has a run-in with the tight-assed Mr. Starch who
threatens to withhold Jonnie’s diploma if the lad doesn’t get his
hair cut: “I’ll break your spirit! You’ll submit to the rules just
like everyone else!”


Jonnie stands up for his rights, but, fearing the disappointment of
his parents, he gathers up his guitar and his savings, jumps on his
motorcycle, and goes looking for a place where he can think and be
himself.  Himself as it turns out is a bearded but rather clean-cut
young man who is respectful of many authority figures and goes from
town to town straightening out the troubles of teenagers.  Because,
as the cover of his debut says, “he’s got a way with a guitar and
with girls.”


“Meet Jonnie Love and the Hippies” is written by Joe Gill with art
by Bill Fraccio and Tony Tallerico.  In 10 pages, Jonnie drives to
San Francisco, gets a taste of “Hippieland,” punches out a couple
of creeps, raises enough money to help two young girls get back to
their hometown and wins the heart of a beautiful filmmaker making
a documentary about hippies.  But, whatever Jonnie is looking for,
he doesn’t find it in San Francisco.  He gets back on his back and
heads south: “Yes, Jonnie Love...keep riding...keep searching for
truth...and maybe, someday...love!”


Jonnie’s adventures appeared in over two-dozen issues of Teen-Age
Love
and other Charlton romance titles.  I will keep searching for
them, keep searching for the truth revealed in his tales and maybe
someday...I’ll have them all!

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2013 Tony Isabella

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