A Comic With Witty Dialogue
I had to plan ahead with a lot of these posts, because some of the topics are nearly identical. I wanted to make sure I assigned an appropriate comic to each topic. In four days, I will be writing about a comic that makes me laugh. Today’s topic is a witty comic. A witty comic also makes me laugh, but I needed to ensure that the “laugh-inducing” comic is not wittier than the witty comic.
Today, I’m writing about the hilarious Truer Than True Romance by Jeanne Martinet. This one is so funny, definitely in my Top 20 Comics of all time. Martinet took old romance comics from the 1940s through 1970s and replaced the dialogue with her own. It takes remarkable wit to insert funny lines into pre-existing artwork, and to ensure that the stories still make sense.
For example, in one of the stories, a woman named Lora has a crush on a man named Alex. One night, she dreams about a black swan turning into Alex. The original dialogue must have been something about a kiss transforming the swan into a man. The new dialogue balloon states, “That night I had this very wild sex dream involving a big black swan. Alex was in the dream too, but it was mostly about the swan….” Later in the story, Lora is looking through her wardrobe. She says, “For some strange reason I really wish I owned a feather boa….”
I should mention that Martinet turns the Alex character gay in her version. So the story is about Lora’s unrequited love. In the second to last panel of the story, Lora stands beside a lake and beckons a real swan to her side. She states, “Hello, Mr. Swan! Will you please hold me in your arms … or, er, wings?” The next panel shows Alex holding Lora. Lora narrates, “As he pressed his beak to my lips, I knew that my dreams of love had come true. He was even starting to look a little like Alex to me….”
Alex replies, “You are the most desirable woman in the world. I love you with my whole being. I’m so glad you came to claim my swan’s heart. There’s just one thing: I’m afraid our love can never be physically consummated!” Lora responds, “Well, that’s nothing new!”
Dialogue © DC Comics
Martinet, Jeanne. Truer Than True Romance. New York City: Watson-Guptill Publications. 2001
Tomorrow: Comic I No Longer Love