Thursday, August 20, 2015

Secret Hearts #147

Secret Hearts #147 (On Sale: August 20, 1970) has a nicely designed cover by Dick Giordano.

This is a very unusual issue in that except for a one-pager that starts out the book, it is one full-length story. For romance books, that is a rarity. Also a rarity is the artist for this long story; a rarity and a treat. If you blinked, or didn't read romance books, you might have missed the entirety of his American comics career.

Now as to this one-pager, I have seen some people refer to this a the work of Gray Morrow, but it is not even close to the quality of Gray's artwork.

I have my guesses as to who this is, and it might be penciled by one person and inked by another. The figures are a little wonky if you ask me, but the inking is more than competent and may be hiding even more flaws in the original pencils. 

Our cover story is "Cry, Soul; Cry, Love," a 26-page heartbreak fest by Gerry Conway and Frank Langford. Doing a single, long story like this was unusual for DC romance books and was an experiment that would never be repeated in Secret Hearts

I don't know much about the story here, nor have I seen any of the artwork from this book, however, I do know that this is one of only four stories Frank Langford will do for an American comic company and this is the only extended story he will do.

A page from Langford's Doctor Who Holiday Special.
British comic artist Frank Cyril Langford was born Cyril J. Eidlestein in Stepney, London in 1926. He married Hilda M. Langford in 1953 and changed his name legally to Langford some time in the 1960s.

His earliest work in comics was in Roxy in the late 1950s. His highest-profile work in British comics was "The Angry Planet" (1963) in Boy's World, some pages of which are signed "Eidlestein", and the title strip in Lady Penelope (1966-69). From 1969 to 1973 he drew romance comics for DC. He also drew "Doctor Who" for Countdown, TV Action and the Doctor Who Holiday Special (1973), 

A sampling of Langford's Jack and Jill.
He went on to draw "The Persuaders" for TV Action, and the daily strip Jack and Jill, written by Les Lilley, for the Herald and Sun. "Jack and Jill" was a daily gag strip featuring a young married couple. Jack works in an office; Jill stays at home. In the strip's first week they discover "the Pill didn't work" and Jill is pregnant. The jokes are divided between his office and her pregnancy. Around strip #230 Jill has twins

Langford had a long-standing sideline in advertising strips, from ads for the W.R.A.C. in 1964 to Corgi Toys in 1979 to KP Outer Spacers in 1982.

Frank Langford died in Enfield, Middlesex, in the first quarter of 1996.

Edited by Dick Giordano.  

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