Running from late 1947 to late 1960, A Date With Judy is a comic that was intended to appeal to young girls. I’d never see an issue before until recently when I came across A Date With Judy #66 (Sept. 1958) along with several romance comics from the same period. The three short stories center around the relationship between beautiful blonde Judy, her red-headed boyfriend Oogie, Tootsie, Judy’s friendly rival for Oogie’s affections, and Sherman. Judy, Oogie, and Tootsie, who all seem to be Archie derivatives, appear before Sherman, sometimes called “Sherm”. When Sherman appears in the first story I thought “Oh my god! It’s a coded gay character!” Look at those eyelashes! Then there’s the curly hair, the way the artist drew his body language, a yellow sweater (contrast it with Oogie’s bold blue and black sweater), bow tie, and purple pants. With these visual elements it was easy for me to read into Sherman’s and Oogie’s dialog and wonder if Sherman wasn’t jealous of Judy and crushing on the red-headed boy next door. Right?
Well, he was jealous. Just of Oogie because, like the title says, he wanted “a date with Judy” and not a date with Oogie.
You know, I’d really like to read an LGBT romance anthology. Let me know if you know of one!