The Daily Comic Book Coffee, number 21: The art team of penciler John Buscema and inker John Romita join with scripter Stan Lee to tug on those heartstrings in “I Love Him – But He’s Hers!” This tale of torrid passions appeared in Our Love Story #2, published by Marvel Comics with a December 1969 cover date.

With her father having died unexpectedly and her brother serving in Vietnam, young Anne must work as a waitress to pay for college. Anne’s difficult circumstances are constantly rubbed in her face by her rich snob dorm roommate Cynthia. Soon cruel Cynthia ups her taunts by showing off her handsome boyfriend at every opportunity. “This is Art Nelson, little woman – and he’s all mine! So you may look — but don’t touch!” Anne is, of course, instantly attracted to Art, but she dares not make a move, fearful of Cynthia’s temper. Cynthia’s taunts eventually backfire on her as Art, realizing what a horrid person she actually is, dumps her for the sweet, down-to-Earth Anne.

John Buscema has been referred to as “the Michelangelo of comics.” He was incredibly talented, one of the top artists at Marvel Comics for three decades, from the late 1960s to the late 1990s. Buscema was, however, not actually fond of drawing super-heroes, something he admitted to on several occasions throughout the years. He much preferred drawing Conan the Barbarian to any of Marvel’s spandex-clad crimefighters.

Given his dislike for the cape & cowl crowd, I am curious how he felt about working on Our Love Story. It could have been a refreshing change of pace from super-heroes, and it definitely drew on one of Buscema’s strengths, namely his ability to render beautiful women. He certainly does a damn fine job on this splash page, drawing Anne waitressing in a coffeehouse populated by a colorful crowd of hip java-drinkers.

Of course, another thing Buscema was vocal about his dislike for most of the inkers / finishers he was paired with, as he felt most of them overwhelmed his work with their own styles. So we can only guess how he felt about being inked by John Romita on Marvel’s romance stories, especially as the later’s style is very much in evidence.

Having acknowledged all that, from my perspective as a reader, this really looks stunning. I feel the combination of the two Johns results in a deft, effective blending of their signature styles.

A big “thank you” to colorist supreme José Villarrubia, who spotlighted this page on his FB feed last week.

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The Daily Comic Book Coffee, number 21: The art team of penciler John Buscema and inker John Romita join with scripter Stan Lee to tug on those heartstrings in “I Love Him – But He’s Hers!” This tale of torrid passions appeared in Our Love Story #2, published by...