Writers: Kate Leth, Sarah Vaughn, Sarah Kuhn
Artist: Arielle Jovellanos, Sarah Winifred Searle, Sally Jane Thompson (cover: Kevin Wada)
The Buzz: I supported this project on Kickstarter – it aims to bring back the tradition of Romance comics, with a 21st century sensibility. It’s pretty exciting to see so many women involved in creating, producing and publishing this title (so many female names in the credits!) and nice to see something a bit different.
All You Need To Know: Comics weren’t always about superheroes! Fresh Romance offers three ongoing serials hitting different romance genres: one contemporary YA, one Regency, and one paranormal comedy (or what we used to call chick lit with magic, I guess?).
Story: In School Spirit, two teen couples are pretending not to be dating (it’s not explicit yet but the surface implication is it’s because one pair are lesbians and the other are an interracial couple) and covering for each other at school via fake relationships. In Ruined, a very unhappy young Regency miss is being married to a very unhappy looking gentleman after some kind of scandal involving another man. In the Ruby Equation (my favourite of the three) a magical barista is on a matchmaking mission – she just has to bring one more cute couple together and she’ll be allowed to go home… right?
Art: I like all the different art styles, which match their various genres very effectively. The cover is completely gorgeous and I like the explanation in the notes about the thought process that went into the positioning of the figures… overall the whole production feels fresh and fun with a whole lot of thought and care behind it.
But What Did I Miss?: Not a thing.
Would Read Issue 2?: Yes I want to know what happens next in all three stories. I am not completely convinced that the 3 x serial format is something I can keep up with, as it might make the romances crawl veeeery slowly. I’ll be very interested to see if how they layout the trade when they get there.
Read it if you Like: YA fiction, Regency romance, quirky hipsters with baby dragons.
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