200 Words with Paul Dini #1 – Sweethearts

February 14, 2008

My favorite candies while I was at Emerson college were Necco Sweethearts. I rarely ate them (they tasted like sugared gravel) but as I walked to campus each day I’d pass the Necco factory on Mass Ave and there was no more intoxicating aroma than fresh conversation hearts baking on a cold winter’s morning. It didn’t matter if you were spending Valentine’s night snuggling with a cutie from drama class or drunk and alone at Crossroads, the fragrance of those OH YOU KID-imprinted candies wafting across the Charles put everyone in a hearts and flowers mood.

Fast forward to 2005. Misty and I were at a Valentines event at the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum. I had chosen that time and place to propose, and I was scared out of my wits. Someone had set out some Sweethearts as a table decoration, so I palmed one that said MARRY ME just for insurance. I took Misty to the museum’s garden, stammered words that I hoped were coherent and gave her MARRY ME. She opened her other hand to reveal the candy heart she had palmed said the same thing.

Happy Valentines Day and God bless the New England Confectionery Company.


Paul Dini is the Emmy and Eisner Award winning writer of Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Detective Comics, and Countdown among many, many other things. You can find him online at either kingofbreakfast.livejournal.com or http://www.jinglebelle.com/.


  1. Those candies are disgusting but I eat them like popcorn for some reason.

  2. Aww.  That’s so sweet.

  3. The kingofbreakfast link is broken.

  4. I prefer the Necco Wafers as they are the exact same size as a quarter and can be used in toll booths nationwide.  Shhhh, IDOT is listening.   

  5. Reminds me of the Metric lyrics "Dirty sugar factory on the water should smell sweet."

    Wonder story. Love those candies.

  6. That’s so damn sweet…

  7. They aren’t kidding when they say "200 words with Paul Dini", 200 words on the nose.

    Great article.

  8. Crossroads?  I drank there in college too!!! (BU, not Emerson)

  9. wow… not a bad idea at all.  I’ve been trying to come up with fun ways of asking my significant other to marry me and using the candy is pretty good.  I was also thinking of a note that has the "check yes or no" boxs since we went to school together.  Just hope she doesn’t check no the no box. That would suck.

  10. Cool story Paul!  I can only hope my eventual proposal to my little lady is as romantic.

    I’m with MisterSizzle on the wafers; I used to eat those like crazy when I was a kid.  My grandfather would always have a bowl of them near his chair, and he would eat them steadily as he finished his crossword puzzle.  I also remember using those at communion practice when I was in second grade. 

    With the hearts I consume only three colors: orange, green, and white.  The rest taste like barf.

  11. Great little story about you Paul. Thanks!

  12. Paul F’N Dini, is doing a weekly article for iFanboy!! Guys that is fuckin’ cool!!  I am impressed.

  13. We all want to see a picture of him and his sweetheart (wife not candy). This is the year 2008 not 1998. All blog post must have pictures.

  14. I have the same deal when I walk to class, except the factory near my school processes potatoes and it smells like rotten cabbage. I almost threw-up going to class one day…true story. 

  15. I pass a landfill every day on my way to work.  I’m SO jealous of Mr. Dini.

  16. A very wonderfull story.But i never eatin a candy heart in fact never eatin anything sweet for that matter. I never eatin anything sweet in my life never sound good for some reson. There only 3 things that i like that are sweet Trident gum orignal, coca cola and pepsi. Thats it. 

  17. Awww that is a great story. It makes me want to cry. That is what I call true love 

  18. @Raider9055 – We are men of our word!  🙂

  19. Their factory is within a mile of my house. It’s in such a crappy area. I’m surprised it hasn’t been condemned yet, lol

  20. Ah, crunchy, munchy sweethearts. My kids each gave me a basket of candies yesterday and looking for fuel to finish a deadline, I ended up tearing through each one. The sweethearts were the last to go, but eventually I relented.

    On a side note, I love the word wafting. But I always said it wrong (like waif-ting), and my wife loves to torment me with that fact.

  21. Oh man I am getting killed by my girlfriend about the whole marrage thing. Man is that a sore subject. It is people like you Mr. Dini and your delightfully sweet story that makes it hard for people like me.


    PS  Batman The Animated Series rocked my world !

  22. That is a great story….and how great is it that Paul Dini is writing a weekly article on iFanboy…AWESOME!! 

    To all the guys out there…if your girlfriend is dropping marriage hints and you’re just not having it…..dump her and move on!!  Don’t prolong the inevitable…let her go.

  23. Wow. Yeah, Paul Dini writing for iFanboy.

    did NOT see that coming. very cool!
    the ifanboy experience is just getting better and better, fellas.