Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ugly Duckling Week - "Wallflower" from Girls' Love Stories #150 (April 1970)

In the rest of the "Ugly Duckling" stories this week, the leading ladies made transformations which helped improve their lives and catch their men. Tonight's story, "Wallflower" from Girls' Love Stories #150 (April 1970) involves a transformation gone awry!!!

Marcy Simms, a self-proclaimed "ugly duckling" and "Miss Unpopularity of 1970" is frustrated. She is frustrated by her inability to catch the attention of boys and especially one boy in particular -- Bill.

Marcy constantly spots Bill gallivanting around town with Barbara Peters. Consequently, Marcy hates Barbara. One night at a party, the oh-so-friendly Bill asks Marcy to dance. During their moment together, Marcy floats on air and convinces herself that Bill indeed is in love with her and not Barbara. When Bill thanks her for the dance and goes back to his date, Marcy is devastated and runs home. She decides that things have got to change.

And so, our "ugly duckling" begins her transformation. First comes the physical -- new clothes, a new hairstyle and new glasses (just when I had you thinkin' glasses were always shorthand for ugly in the romance comics, hehe!) to boot. Marcy's new look makes the boys swarm.

The new Marcy becomes quite popular with the boys -- too popular in fact! She begins to earn a bad reputation. This worries Bill and he takes her aside one day to chat. He acknowledges her change as being a positive thing for the most part, but that she is "too nice a girl" for such a bad rap. Marcy then throws herself at Bill -- promising to change and letting him know that she took such drastic measures in the first place just so he would notice her. Naturally, this freaks Bill out and he tries to explain that he was just trying to be a friend to her, but he had her all wrong. As he parts he suggests that in the future when she likes a guy, she should let him do the "chasing." Humiliated, Marcy vows, "All right, Bill Thomas, you win... for now! But before I'm through with you I'll make you wish you'd never met me!" And she isn't kidding!!!

Hell-bent on getting back at Bill, Marcy starts spreading rumors during a party that Bill has been cheating on Barbara with her for weeks.

Of course, everyone knows that Marcy is merely spreading ugly lies out of jealousy. Her popularity quickly fades and Marcy is left just as lonely as before her transformation.

One day, while Marcy sits alone on a park bench, Bill comes to talk to her again. He says he comes as a friend and wants to tell her the truth about herself -- warning her that it might sting. Conceding her miserableness, Marcy is all ears. Essentially, Bill tells her that she acted needy and cruel and that in the end, honesty is what will get her far in life. He also mentions that things were never serious with Barbara, so she was flipping out over nothing. Bill then departs, wishing her the best of luck. After crying for days, Marcy realizes it is time to bid adieu to the bitter and awful stranger she has become.

Marcy returns to her old physical self, and quickly dashes over to Bill's place to apologize for her behavior. Surprised by her new/old look, he envelopes her in his arms and confesses that he has been in love with her for months. He then pops "the question." Marcy is hesitant at first, telling Bill he deserves better than a wallflower. He playfully agrees, and makes his fondness for miniskirts (in moderation) known.

I certainly hope you enjoyed Ugly Duckling Week here at Sequential Crush! I know I did! I saved this story for last because it is my favorite out of the bunch -- and not just because Marcy's new look involved curly hair and glasses! It stresses to readers that old saying that true beauty comes from within -- something we all need to be reminded of once in a while!

Update: Nick Caputo (the unofficial art identifier here at Sequential Crush) is pretty sure the gorgeous cover was done by Bill Draut. He also identified the interior pencils as those of Werner Roth and the inks by Wally Wood!

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