New Digital Comics Anthology Has a Fresh Take on Romance

Fresh Romance Issue 1 cover illustration by Kevin Wada

Fresh Romance Issue 1 cover illustration by Kevin Wada

There's just not enough love in the comics world. At least not for Janelle Asselin, editor at ComicsAlliance and creator of Rosy Press and Fresh Romancea new monthly digital comics anthology magazine. Asselin hopes the comics mag will help the romance genre blossom in American comics and generate more female comics readers in the process.

On Monday, March 23, Asselin launched a Kickstarter campaign to get enough funding to release the first three issues of Fresh Romance, and it seems like the cause has already created quite a stir amongst others (perhaps including members of that "vocal minority" that Erik Larsen loves to hate?) who've also wondered, "Where is the love?" – the fundraising campaign generated $10,000 of its $28,000 goal in just five hours.

Illustrations by Sally Jane Thompson

Illustrations by Sally Jane Thompson

Fresh Romance will feature three full-color romance stories, along with a relationships advice column penned by four divorced writers, art coverage, and a fashion report. Although not all the content in the magazine will be racy, it is intended for a mature audience (17+). 

As its name suggests, the anthology will have a fresh take on love stories and how they are portrayed in comics. The first issue will feature a story by Kate Leth, Arielle Jovellanos, and Amanda Scurti that will focus on a lesbian high-school couple who struggle with reconciling their feelings for each other in a hetero-centric world. 

Illustrations by Arielle Jovellanos

Illustrations by Arielle Jovellanos

Contributors who are featured in Fresh Romance will own their works and be paid a page rate and royalties for their comics – the budget will be determined by how successful the Kickstarter campaign is. "For every $10,000 we go over our goal, every single creator currently signed on to publish a story with Rosy Press will get a 15% page rate bump (so, at $48,000 everyone would get a 30% page rate bump and at $58,000 everyone would get a 45% page rate bump, etc)."

The Kickstarter campaign ends on April 22, when Asselin hopes to complete the first issue. Fresh Romance will launch the following month in May. 

Illustrations by Sarah Winifred Searle

Illustrations by Sarah Winifred Searle

Fresh Romance will be digital only. Asselin explains to the Washington Post that it's "the optimal way to reach the most readers." She explains, “It’s way more accessible, and I’m interested in bringing new fans into comics.”

And yes, some of those new fans, she hopes, will be women. The goal of Rosy Press, Asselin tells WaPo, is "to attract female readers ages 18 to 35, whether they’re already comics readers or they’ve never picked up a comic book."

Via: Washington Post