Panel by Panel: Heartbreak House

FW Presents Panel by Panel, the show that dissects a single comic book panel from the last 85 years of comics history every episode. Siskoid sits down with Elyse Hamel from oHOTmu or NOT? to chat about a splash panel from a 1950s romance comic. It's kind of a bonus Lonely Hearts episode, in a way. Plus, your feedback from the previous episode.

All relevant images in the Panel by Panel Supplemental.

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Leave us a comment, we'll read it between the panels!

13 responses to “Panel by Panel: Heartbreak House

  1. I was a bit surprised this was originally from 1952. Considering the title, I figured it was influenced by Heartbreak Hotel, which wasn’t recorded or released until 1956.

  2. Fantastic panel, I want to read more.

    Is that suit serge or tweed? I like that the title picks up on the colour of the dress. I’m not fussed about it being neither un-centred nor determinedly to right or left.

    Its interesting that Elyse tells us upper case is tougher to read than upper and lower. I can’t stand storybook type in comics, it makes everything read, at best, like whispering, at worst, like a children’s book. It was one of the many offputting things about Marvel’s Ultimate Comics.

    1. The theory comes mostly from reading speed tests in the mid to late 20th century, but most graphic designers agree that you have to consider context when making a decision on when to use capital letters. This might be why comics have mostly gone with constant upper case – it’s what readers are used to and anything else can feel off-putting.

  3. Great commentary and great panel!
    Always good to hear a OHOTMU panel member solo … helps me sort out the vocalizations!

    As with most of these shows, I want to read this story now. I mean, did they really build this homestead (house, lawn, landscaping) to be dragged elsewhere?

    As for why the fuss about no boyfriend or husband, perhaps in that time a woman owning her own house alone was automatically labeled a spinster or not the marrying type? Idiotic by today’s norms.

      1. Be careful of asking her to guest on Film & Water, Rob. Unless you really really really want to talk about Mamma Mia.

        Find Your Meh, with Elyse Hamel, coming soon to the Fire and Water Podcast Network.

        1. What’s the concept? I talk about different things I’m unenthused about?

          On the next episode – acorn squash, pumpkins and other unexciting gourds!

  4. I think the problem wasn’t a single woman owning a house, it would be a single woman living in a house. I only know from old movies, but without her parents, or a matron in a boarding house for women, and with the nearest neighbors down the street, she could be getting up to anything in there! This comic could be a record of the changing this pattern in the postwar housing boom. Houses for everyone! Keep the market expanding!

    Artistically, that’s a deep perspective from the man to the woman to the workmen to the bungalow. One panel give about equal exposition about people and something literally as big as a house, I’m guessing physically the length and width of the jet from the Peacemaker panel.

    The words? Eh, squeeze them in any which way.

  5. Another great discussion, and great commentary on this page as well! This panel lends itself to criticism on many levels; sociologically, architecturally, typographically, sartorially, anatomically, but what irritates me most is the way the narrative banner sits on the word balloons. I want my narrative elements, in whatever case, to be carefully arranged and independent of each other.
    Nevertheless, the panel conveys a lot of information.

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