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February 09, 1992|Charles Solomon

BOY LOVES GIRL, GIRL LOVES BOY, selected by Michael Barson (Pantheon: $9). Barson has made postcards out of the covers of romance comics from the '40s and '50s, including "Love Lessons," "Diary Secrets" and "Hi-School Romance," that would make hilarious substitutes for conventional valentines. The sappy dialogue often seems funnier than the camp artwork: "I am twenty-five years old now and my name is still Miss Joan Wilson. I work in a large office and that's about all I could say to describe my dull life. . . . Let's see . . . what day is this? As though it matters. . . . Days and nights are all the same to me!" Curiously, the cover of "Romantic Marriage" No. 23 (1954) anticipates the modern controversy over having it all, with the melodramatic headline "Torn Between Marriage and Career . . . White Collar Wife: My Own Worst Enemy."

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