Thursday, October 27, 2016
31 Days of Gothic Romance | Gothic Tales of Love
Marvel also tried their hand at a gothic romance series, but in a different format. Instead of a comics anthology series, they published a black-and-white text magazine through their Curtis Magazines imprint. Since magazines weren't bound by the Comics Code Authority, Marvel had formed Curtis as a way to publish Mature Readers stories that wouldn't fly in the regular comics. In addition to classics like Crazy, Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, and of course Savage Sword of Conan, there were less-successful attempts like Gothic Tales of Love.
Unlike some of Curtis' other black-and-white magazines that included comics in them, Gothic Tales of Love was all about text stories with some illustrations. Some of the stories were original, but others were reprints of what the editors thought were under-read, contemporary gothic romance stories. The True Love Comics Tales blog has some great posts about the magazine, including the table-of-contents of each issue and a full story (in two parts) from the first issue. (As long as you're perusing True Love Comics Tales, be sure to check out this post that serves as a gateway to complete stories from Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love and Sinister House of Secret Love.) You can also find the full, second issue of Gothic Tales of Love at Archive.org.
Even though Marvel went a different route with its gothic romance title, it had a similar result to DC's efforts. Gothic Tales of Love only lasted three issues before it was cancelled.
Interestingly, comics publisher Dell had tried something similar a few years earlier with a black-and-white magazine called simply Gothic Romances. It had also contained a mixture of reprints and original stories and had also lasted only three issues. It got a second chance by being renamed Gothic Stories, but that only carried it three more issues before its final cancellation.