Jack Kirby’s Take At Imitating Bob Powell

Hi-School Romance #55
Hi-School Romance #55 (September 1956) “Scandalous” page 1, art by Bob Powell

A relationship starts between two high school students, Tom and Linda. Apparently Tom’s interest in Linda was not too strong because he begins seeing another girl, Ellen. Linda finds out about this and in an article for the school’s newspaper reports about her relationship with and love of Tom. When Ellen reads and finds that she has unknowingly come between the two, she breaks off with Tom. Tom confronts Linda and declares his love of Ellen. Realizing that Tom and Linda are meant for each other, Linda regrets what she has done. Tom and Linda go off to find Ellen and after a long search find her at the edge of a cliff. Distraught about breaking with Tom, Ellen has decided she cannot go on. Linda calls out to she regrets what she has done and Tom only loves her (Ellen). The couple re-unite for a happy ending.

This has got to be about the worse love story I have ever read. Histrionics rules all. It is bad enough that everyone’s emotions are overblown, they seem to switch to the complete opposite at a moments notice. The thing is I can imagine a young girl might actually enjoy reading this story. But for an adult male reading it fifty years later it is just painful. It is so bad that not even Bob Powell’s art can save it.

Hi-School Romance #55
Hi-School Romance #55 (September 1956) content page, art by Jack Kirby

It seems that the harder Jack tries to imitate another artist, the more his own personal touches disappear. Not just the expected facial features but his layouts as well. Well for the contents of HSR #55 Jack hardly tried to imitate Bob Powell at all. That explains why this shows the most Kirby traits of any of the contents that I have examined so far. It is certainly the most interesting of the introduction stories. Not only is the art rather nice but the script is pretty good as well. I suspect that Jack added his own input to the writing, the exchange in the last panel seems pure Kirby to me.