Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Pledge of Pamela Dixon

To continue Comic Book Romances of Liberated Women Week comes this entry from True Secrets #10 (October 1951).

This story has it all! A clueless writer, an artist that doesn't bother to change the clothing of any of the characters even though weeks pass in the story, a sleazy Lothario, a frustrated protagonist and a spinsterish not-gay-at-all BFF!

Pamela Dixon is a career-minded woman making her way in man's world buying underwear for a retail store. Her 'pledge' is to focus on her career and let nothing distract her from success and happiness, which she believes is found in the workplace and not the hearth. The story is full of formulaic cliches that includes swooning females and feigned hate masking love and is a subtext-o-rama of seething sexual frustration and repressed lesbian jealousy.


Ever notice how those wedding scenes in silver age comic books always manage to fit in the "supportive friend" somewhere and they are always smiling? It's nearly mandatory for scenes like this and it always seems their joy is forced. I can't count how many images of Jimmy Olsen there are in similar panels whenever Superman gets (choke) married in some imaginary story or elaborate set up to teach Lois a humiliating lesson. Jimmy is always in the background, grimacing stiffly and pretending to be happy for his friend when actually his heart is being crushed like a lump of coal in Superman's fist. I can just imagine Pamela's boss leaving the wedding to go cut the brake lines on Dick's car and muttering "If I can't have her, no one will!"


  1. Favorite line in comic:

    "Mr. Washburn! Richard
    Washburn! Richard

    Like she just realized what that was rubbing up against her.

  2. dammit, Dan got my comment in before me, haha


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