Ira Schnapp in HEART THROBS

Images © DC Comics

HEART THROBS began publication from Quality Comics in 1949 at the height of the romance comics boom. The logo, seen above on the first issue, continued for the rest of the Quality run, though the double hearts were soon dropped. Recent research by Alex Jay has determined that the logo was designed by Al Grenet. When Quality left the comics business in 1956, DC Comics bought their assets. This title continued with the same numbering after a hiatus of a few months with issue #47 from 1957:

DC kept the Quality logo for a while, but added typical Ira Schnapp cover lettering. He would letter most of the covers and many of the stories until issue #112 in 1968. It’s not clear if Robert Kanigher was involved in the editing. Editors probably included Zena Brody, Phyllis Reed, Jack Miller and Barbara Friedlander for the issues I’m covering here. The plan of the book was the same as the other DC romance titles, each issue had several short stories, and there were no continuing characters or series until 1966. It bore the Schnapp-designed DC Romance Group bullet at upper left like the others for a while.

With issue #59 from 1959, a new Ira Schnapp logo was introduced putting the title on one line. Schnapp used an odd mixture of differently sized upper and lower case letters that are in one of his familiar styles with added curves. This logo lasted for some time. It was certainly easy to read and find on the newsstand. The caption is typical for the series and for all the DC romance books, some melodramatic text and a handsome story title.

Issue #82 from 1963 has a particularly skillful engagement party invitation lettered by Ira, perhaps showing a style he had employed in the past outside of comics.

Issue #93 from 1965 has another new Schnapp logo using his standard block letters in a rectangle with only the heart in the O representing the theme, a more subdued but effective approach.

Perhaps the most famous cover in the series is this one from 1966 because of the appearance of The Beatles. It also has three wordy captions by Ira and those awful go-go-checks at the top from this nadir of DC cover design.

With the next issue, a continuing series began, and Ira lettered the logo, which shared space with the book’s title. This was very much a soap opera, which seems like an obvious plan to attract and keep readers. I’m surprised it took so long to be tried.

Ira’s final cover lettering appeared on issue #112 cover-dated March 1968, so probably done in 1967. Here are the covers with Schnapp lettering: 47-56, 58-89, 91-98 (word balloons by someone else, the rest by Ira on 97-98), 99-107, 109-112. That’s 62 in all.

These are the stories lettered by Ira. As with the other romance titles, Schnapp was the main letterer, though Gaspar Saladino and others did some too.

#47 April/May 1957: Wondering Heart 8pp, So Sure of Love 7pp, Girl With a Lonely Heart 7pp, Johnny’s Back in Town 8pp

#48 June/July 1957: Victim of Love 7pp, A Love of My Own 7pp, Second Chance 7pp, End of a Dream 8pp

#49 Aug/Sept 1957: Love Isn’t Everything 7pp, Lost in Loneliness 7pp, Blame It On My Heart 7pp, Listen to Love 8pp

#50 Oct/Nov 1957: Tomorrow’s Fool 7pp, Heartbreak Ahead 7pp, Weep and you Weep Alone 8pp

#51 Dec 1957/Jan 1958: Sweetheart’s Hill 8pp, Sometime Sweetheart 7pp

#52 Feb/March 1958: My Heart’s Desire 7pp, Which Way to Happiness? 7pp

#53 April/May 1958: Love Is Not Blind 7pp

#54 June/July 1958: A Kiss From a Stranger 7pp, All My Love 7pp, A Waiting Heart 7pp, Care a Little More 8pp

#55 Aug/Sept 1958: Summer Heartbreak 7pp, Ring of Gold 7pp, Yesterday’s Dream 8pp

#56 Oct/Nov 1958: All I Want is Billy 9pp, Someday is Never 7pp, Storm in My Heart 8pp

#57 Dec 1958/Jan 1959: Melody of Spring 7pp, Kiss Me Goodbye 7pp

#58 Feb/March 1959: Farewell With Love 8pp

#59 April/May 1959: A Kiss for Cinderella 7pp, There Goes Love 7pp, This Was Eileen 7pp, My Love Is Yours 8pp

#60 June/July 1959: Listen, Darling 8pp, Guilty Heart 7pp. Once And Always 7pp

#61 Aug/Sept 1959: Love, Come Home 9pp, I Remembered Love 7pp, Her Winning Smile 8pp

#62 Oct/Nov 1959: We Can’t Be Strangers 8pp, One Summer Morning 7pp, In Spite of Love 7pp, Come Home to Heartbreak 8pp

#63 Dec 1959/Jan 1960: A Proud Goodbye 7pp, The Same Kind of Love 8pp, Too Long to Wait 7pp, I Know My Love 1pp of 7

#64 Feb/March 1960: Your Dreams Are Mine 7pp, Love Came Too Late 7pp, My Heart Kept On Counting 5pp, Take My Heart 11pp

#65 April/May 1960: The Nearness of Love 7pp, My Love Was a Dream 7pp, You’re My Fate 7pp, Hold Back the Stars 8pp

#66 June/July 1960: Encounter in the Rain 8pp, Love Love Love 6pp, Saturday Night Love 7pp, I’ll Love You Forever 8pp

#67 Aug/Sept 1960: The Young Man for Me 7pp, Still In My Heart 7pp, Honor-bound Heart 7pp, The Time for Tenderness 8pp

#68 Oct/Nov 1960: The Truth About Tony 7pp, A Smile for Someone 8pp, New Love for Old 7pp, One More Kiss 8pp

#69 Dec 1960/Jan 1961: Ring Around My Heart 8pp, Winter Meeting 8pp, All Time to Come 5pp

#70 Feb/March 1961: A Moment With Miranda 7pp, A Call From Kenny 7pp, No Cure for Love 8pp

#71 April/May 1961: Battle For Love 7pp, A Gift of Roses 8pp, A Picture of My Love 7pp, Glimpse of Heartbreak 8pp

#72 June/July 1961: Just We Two 8pp, Stranger On the Beach 7pp, Forbidden Heart 7pp

#73 Aug/Sept 1961: Wish You Were Mine 6pp, Love Without Heart 7pp, Love From the Shadows 8pp

#74 Oct/Nov 1961: Today’s Love, Tomorrow’s Heartbreak 8pp, When Dreams Come True 7pp, See With Your Heart 7pp, Honeymoon Heartbreak 8pp

#75 Dec 1961/Jan 1962: Imaginary Love 7pp, My Impatient Heart 7pp, Holiday Love 7pp, Too Good To Be True 8pp

#76 Feb/March 1962: A Summer Interlude 6pp, Memory of Love 7pp

#77 April/May 1962: The Empty Heart 7pp, Love, Take My Hand 8pp, She Loves You Not 7pp, Somebody Else’s Bride 8pp

#78 June/July 1962: That Summer Night 7pp, Promise of Love 9pp, Once Choice for Romance 6pp, The Girl In His Arms 8pp

#79 Aug/Sept 1962: Winner Take All 8pp, The Magic of a Kiss 7pp, Listen to Love 7pp, Invitation to Heartbreak 8pp

#80 Oct/Nov 1962: On the Lips of Love 8pp, Only In My Dreams 7pp, A Fool’s Return 7pp, Cast-Off Romance 8pp

#81 Dec 1962/Jan 1963: Beloved Stranger 8pp, Love Letters 7pp

#82 Feb/March 1963: I Dreamed Alone 8pp, Heartbreak For One 7pp, Garden of Love 8pp, Empty Dreams 8pp

#83 April/May 1963: Deceiving Heart 7pp, Three Lost Loves 7pp, Come To My Arms 7pp, Never Look At Love 8pp

#84 June/July 1963: My Last Romance 8pp, What Are We Doing? 7pp, Sisters In Heartbreak 8pp

#85 Aug/Sept 1963: Come Back To Loving 7pp, Love Me, Leave Me 7pp, Tears For a Dream 8pp

#86 Oct/Nov 1963: His Old Flame 8pp, Before My Time 7pp, Is It Really Love? 7pp, One Love Too Many 8pp

#87 Dec 1963/Jan 1964: I Did Not Belong 8pp, The Right Answer 7pp, Home To His Arms 7pp, Whose Heart Do You Love? 8pp

#88 Feb/March 1964: My Kind of Love 8pp, Can There Be Someone Else? 7pp, This Is Our Moment 7pp, Love Me Not for Beauty Only 1pp of 8

#89 April/May 1964: All Of Your Life 8pp, He Changed Everything 7pp, My Love Lingers On 8pp

#90 June/July 1964: Until He Told Me 8pp, Afraid To Love 7pp

#91 Aug/Sept 1964: Chain Around My Heart 8pp, Shadow In My Arms 12pp

#92 Oct/Nov 1964: Don’t Speak To Me of Love 10pp, The Nights That Never Ended 11pp

#93 Dec 1964/Jan 1965: I Was Too Much In Love 9pp, A Date With Heartbreak 13pp

#94 Feb/March 1965: I’ve Come To Say Goodbye 9pp, Something Called Love 7pp

#95 April/May 1965: Destination Heartbreak 6pp

#96 June/July 1965: Don’t Throw Away My Love 6pp, Take My Love–He’s Yours 12pp

#97 Aug/Sept 1965: Whom Love Passes By 7pp

#98 Oct/Nov 1965: Blind Date 12pp

#99 Dec 1965/Jan 1966: Meant For Each Other 11pp

#100 Feb/March 1966: Another Case of Heartbreak 9pp

#101 April/May 1966: The Man In My Future 7pp, Secret Life, Secret Love 9pp

#102 June/July 1966: Last Stop For Love 6pp, 3 Girls 13pp

#103 Aug/Sept 1966: What About All Those Other Girls? 11pp, 3 Girls 12pp

#104 Oct/Nov 1966: Something About Love 8pp

#105 Dec 1966/Jan 1967: Take My Hand 7pp, 3 Girls 14pp

#106 Feb/March 1967: 3 Girls 13pp

#107 April/May 1967: A Heart In A Hurry 7pp

#109 Aug/Sept 1967: 3 Girls 14pp

#110 Oct/Nov 1967: 3 Girls 15pp

#111 Dec 1967/Jan 1968: Unlock My Yearning Heart 6pp

That’s a total of 1,351 pages on this title, a solid body of work, especially considering all the other books he was lettering.

Heart Throbs on Wikipedia.

Other posts in this series are on the Comics Creation page of my blog.

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