Many associate comics with superheroes and blockbuster action movies.

But, on this Valentine's Day, University of South Carolina reference and instruction librarian Michael C. Weisenburg reminds us that comics were once dominated by the romance genre. At its mid-century peak, 1 in 5 comics sold were romances. The “love glut” didn’t last long, but its themes and storylines have had a lasting influence on the medium.

Also today:

Top story

With over 100 issues, ‘Young Love’ was one of the longest running romance comics series. Gary Lee Watson Comic Book Collection, Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of South Carolina Libraries

America’s postwar fling with romance comics

Michael C. Weisenburg, University of South Carolina

During the 'love glut,' roughly 1 in 5 of all comic books were romance comics, as publishers scrambled to appease readers' appetites for scandalous storylines.

Politics + Society


Economy + Business

Health + Medicine

Science + Technology

Valentine's Day

  • Why people post ‘couple photos’ as their social media profile pictures

    Amanda L. Forest, University of Pittsburgh; Kori Krueger, University of Pittsburgh

    Social psychologists investigated why Facebook users post profile pics of themselves with a romantic partner and how those online displays are interpreted by others.

  • How China does Valentine’s Day

    Wei Li, Frostburg State University

    China's Qixi Festival is a celebration of love based on the legend of a mortal who married a goddess, causing his furious mother-in-law to create a Milky Way to divide these two twinkling stars.

  • A 4-step maintenance plan to help keep your relationship going strong

    Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., Monmouth University

    After the intensity of early courtship, even a healthy, happy relationship can feel lackluster. Psychology researchers have ideas for what can help you perk up your relationship rather than give up.

  • The ‘real’ St. Valentine was no patron of love

    Lisa Bitel, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

    Valentine's Day originated as a feast to celebrate the decapitation of a third-century Christian martyr, or perhaps two. It took a gruesome path to becoming a romantic holiday.

From our International Editions

Today’s chart


Help fight misinformation and science denial. Support The Conversation.