Never Was Comic Strips – Harlequin Romances and The Ploots

Peg Montana, the widow of Archie comic strip creator Bob Montana, was going through Bob’s papers after his death and came on to a proposal about aliens. Peg joined with Jeff Cuddy, Bob’s Archie assistant from the early sixties until his death in 1975, to develop the idea into a comic strip.

“Going through some of Bob’s old papers, I found two figures he had sketched and named the Saucer Boys in preparation for a children’s book he planned to write. The characters really appealed to me. I named them Plink and Plunk…and almost immediately the idea evolved for the series.”

Hat tip to Heritage Auctions for the images.

The Ploots went far enough to get an article in a local newspaper.




Sometime, in the late 1970s(?), Jim Lawrence, of Captain Easy, Buck Rogers, and Dallas fame, teamed with Leonard Starr, of Mary Perkins On Stage fame, to propose a romance strip based on the very popular Harlequin Romances book series.

As Ron Harris notes the workload for Starr would have been incredible had the proposal been accepted by a syndicate. Though he probably would have relied on his good friend Frank Bolle to help.


In 1980 Jim Lawrence did get his idea of a romance comic strip syndicated to newspapers. Barbara Cartland Romances opened with the first story by Jim and Gray Morrow. After that debut continuity Jim turned the scripting chores over to Charlotte Weaver.

above: Barbara Cartland Romances – Valentine’s Day, 1982





One thought on “Never Was Comic Strips – Harlequin Romances and The Ploots

  1. Did the Ploots get revamped by Archie Comics as a comic book title called “Cosmo the Merry Martian” which lasted 6 issues in the 1950’s?

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