Hearts …

The comics pages rarely turned a blind eye to the holidays, and with Valentine’s Day approaching, we thought we’d go back in time sixty-five years, to February 14, 1956, for an example of that particular axiom.

Sometimes words were unnecessary to convey some of the classic themes associated with this holiday — Carl Anderson uses Henry to tell a compact tale of a suitor whose wallet holds nothing but moths, while Little Lulu reinforces the idea that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Of course, when the man in question is Tubby Tompkins, the stomach’s desires tend to blot out all else!

Gasoline Alley used the occasion to mark not only Valentine’s Day, but the now-all-grown-up Skeezix’s thirty-fifth birthday. Lank Leonard’s Mickey Finn, by contrast, uses Valentine’s Day as a background element in his story-of-the-moment.

And bookending these four strips, two separate views of the letdown often felt by those who fail to receive a valentine on this special day. One would be disappointed if Sparky Schulz gave Charlie Brown a reason to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but in Priscilla’s Pop, Al Vermeer puts a happy ending to a sad state of affairs.

We had so much fun looking back at these Valentine’s Day strips from 1956, we went back and located another half-dozen! Watch this space in the next few days to see another handful of holiday-themed comic strips, more than sixty years a’gone …

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