How perfectly serendipitous. I recently interviewed the amazing Jacque Nodell, a romance comic historian, about her site Sequential Crush and her research in romance comics. When I asked her if she thought there was a current romance genre in comics, she said while there are comics with “romantic elements and romantic fare from overseas, such as manga, American romance comics as they existed mid-century are no more.” She went on to say how there’s room for fresh interpretations on the genre such as Jamie S. Rich’s and Megan Leven’s Ares and Aphrodite, but there has yet to be an actual genre.
Well, look no further because the astounding Janelle Asselin has started a kickstarter for an ongoing romance comic anthology magazine! I can’t even express how excited I am about these comics! They are the fresh interpretations that Jacque mentioned: They feature stories by creative teams of comic creators who are committed to diversity in representation. Check it out:
- Kate Leth, Arielle Jovellanos, and Amanda Scurti are writing a comic about a queer high school couple.
- Sarah Vaughn and Sarah Winifred Searle are writing a Regency romance. (Be still my beating Jane Austen fangurl heart!)
- Sarah Kuhn, Sally Jane Thompson, and Savana Ganucheau are writing a comic about a matchmaking barista.
The rewards are most excellent, ranging from free issues, rad commissions, original pages (I want to get my grubby hands on the Dustin Nguyen-drawn page from the Stephanie Brown Batgirl series), and a particularly unique reward – a portfolio review from industry expert Janelle Asselin. This is a creative and impressive way to not only get funding for this anthology, but also to help others trying to break into the industry.
Hopefully, with enough support, this anthology will mean a new beginning for romance comics.