The cover of True Love Pictorial #11 (August 1954) is not only considered a stand-out in the True Love Pictorial run, but one of Baker’s greatest and indeed one of the top in all GGA comics.
Our fiery redhead contrasts with the blonde in painting on the wall in the background – was she a subject of the artist’s work and does he hold her most dear? Or is he missing the tenacious redhead’s not so subtle cues for another reason? Her intensity and singular focus on capturing the artist’s attention burns through the page. Baker convinces us she is absolutely determined to succeed – and who can question that she won’t?Inside story titles are classic Golden Age romance:
- Men Offered Me Stardom — If I Would Pay Their Price [Matt Baker art]
- I Was a Victim of Deceit [Script Dana Dutch]
- The Navy Was My Target [Script Dana Dutch]
- And Now I’m in Trouble Because I Couldn’t Control My Desires
- I Was Too Free with Boys
Like Baker, scriptwriter Dana Dutch also set St. John’s romance comics apart. Other writers tended to crank out silly tropes revolving around females drifting helplessly in a world beyond their control… or one dimensional bad girls.
Dutch however created more realistic themes which leaned towards life lessons. His women made conscious decisions and lived and learned from the ramifications of actions taken. They were portrayed as relatively more independent agents of their own destiny.
So, what is better than a copy of True Love Pictorial #11? How about a copy with a double cover of True Love Pictorial #11? Technically a defect occurring during binding double covers are extremely rare and collectable. CGC recognizes them with a special notation on the label and both the outside and inside covers are graded.
For further reading about Matt Baker:
- Romance Without Tears: ’50s Love Comics with a Twist
- Confessions, Romances, Secrets And Temptations: Archer St. John and the St. John Romance Comics
- Matt Baker: The Art of Glamour
- Profiles in Black Cartooning: Matt Baker
Another Matt Baker and writer Dana Dutch team-up I own. Wartime Romances #1 from St. John July 1951.