I was going to wait on posting this very important story, "Black + White = Heartbreak!" from Girls' Love Stories #163 (November 1971) until a later date, but fellow romance comic blogger KB did a post yesterday at Out of This World that has encouraged me to post this story now instead of later.
The story KB covered, "Full Hands Empty Heart!" from Young Romance #194 (July/August 1973) tells the story of the love between a young African-American nurse and a white doctor. At the end of his post, KB posed the question:
Were there any earlier inter-racial kisses, romances, or relationships, especially between an African American and a Caucasian, anywhere in comics before this?
To that I can say a resounding yes! Though I do not know if "Black + White = Heartbreak!" is the first interracial relationship in the entirety of the comics medium, it does predate "Full Hands Empty Heart!"
In this Girls' Love Stories feature, we meet the fathers of our two main characters Chuck and Margo. After working together during World War Two, the two men decide to continue their relationship as civilians by starting an auto dealership together.
That is where our story ends though. For this pressing topic, DC decided to let the readers decide the fate of Chuck and Margo by holding a contest for the best story resolution.
When we remember what the Civil Rights Movement entailed, I think we often think of the struggles endured by separate groups of people. "Black + White = Heartbreak!" reminds us of the battle fought by those that believed that people of different races could bring their love for one another into fruition, and have it be accepted and welcomed by society.
Welcome back for a second installment on the fate of lovers Margo and Chuck! We left off with a cliff hanger of a story. Margo and Chuck. Lovers from different racial backgrounds, united in their deep and undying love for one another. Friends since childhood, these two lovers had to make a choice - stay around their friends and families who demand they part ways, or stay together and leave everything and everyone they have ever known behind.
As I mentioned in the first part of the Margo-Chuck saga, I don't have the issues that contain the readers' entries, issues #166 (February 1972) and #167 (March 1972). Lucky for us though, the ever so kind Gene Kehoe - editor of It's A Fanzine, has #167 and was so very gracious to send me a scan of the contest page. As we move on to the second wave of fan endings, lets give a mighty round of applause for Gene!!! Hooray!!!
This post originally appeared on the blog Sequential Crush, via Racialcious. Reprinted with permission.