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12 Reasons Why I Love Her Cover
Title: 12 Reasons Why I Love Her
Creators: Format: Ebook Print
Color: Black and White
Romanciness: Definitely a Romance
Heat: NSFW
Tags: graphic novel vignettes
Where to Buy or Read:

Amazon

Synopsis from the Creator:

The classic romance from the team behind Lady Killer is back in print with a brand new hardcover edition! Now in a larger size, and featuring excerpts from the original script, this 10-year anniversary edition is perfect for fans of Fresh Romance. Twelve vignettes reveal the story of young couple Gwen and Evan's tumultuous relationship, one small piece at a time. It all adds up to an unforgettable romance rife with drama, humor, and heart.

Love In Panels' Review:

At its simplest, this is the story of a relationship in 12 vignettes. They are presented out of order, which can be confusing during the first read. I haven't designated this "definitely a romance" because the story doesn't follow a traditional romantic arc. I was left feeling a bit heartbroken. The romance and love are certainly there, rendered beautifully, but there's also a lot of heartache and a very realistic look at why this one relationship fell apart.


A Boy and A Girl Cover
Title: A Boy and A Girl
Creators: Format: Ebook Print
Color: Black and White
Romanciness: Definitely a Romance
Tags: sci-fi graphic novel
Where to Buy or Read:

Oni Press

Amazon

Ask your local store!

Synopsis from the Creator:

Travis and Charley have just met. It’s Charley’s last night in town, and Travis can’t let her leave without getting her to go on a date. In a future where real people are rapidly being supplanted by lifelike androids, sometimes one shot is all you get. Intelligence may be artificial, but the emotion is real in a futuristic romance from the writer of 12 Reasons Why I Love Her and the cartoonist behind Between Gears.


Alex + Ada Cover
Title: Alex + Ada
Creators: Format: Ebook Print
Color: Color
Romanciness: Definitely a Romance
Heat: R
Tags: sci-fi
Where to Buy or Read:

Image Comics

Amazon:

Collected Deluxe Edition, Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3

Buy it from your local comic shop!

Synopsis from the Creator:

From JONATHAN LUNA (THE SWORD, GIRLS, Spider-Woman: Origin) and SARAH VAUGHN (Sparkshooter, Ruined) comes ALEX + ADA, a sci-fi drama set in the near future. The last thing in the world Alex wanted was an X5, the latest in realistic androids, but after Ada is dropped into his life, he discovers she is more than just a robot and takes a huge risk to unlock Ada so she can think for herself and explore life as a sentient android. Can they survive the consequences?

Available as 3 volumes, 15 issues, or 1 complete Deluxe Edition.

Love In Panels' Review:

A guest review from Matt (that's Love In Panels's tech-wizard):

ALEX + ADA is a single single science-fiction romance that spans three volumes. It takes place in a world that you can see in the not-too-distant future, which makes the conflicts seem more real and plausible. Instead of iPhones, we have a network that can be implanted directly into your brain; some people love it, but some older people prefer the more personal touch of a video call to relatives. Just like today, but advanced so that I'm one of the old people.

The male protagonist, Alex, is somewhat heartbroken, slogging through life in an office job. His well-meaning grandmother decides to send him a lifelike robotic Tanaka corporation companion, Ada. He's immediately put off by the idea, and with good reason. A few years back, there was a robot that achieved sentience and went on a killing spree. It's not the killing spree that frightens Alex - it's the fact that this creature, who must obey his every command, might be sentient, and completely unable to grant consent. The treatment of women is definitely a prominent thread through the entire series.

Alex decides not to return the unit - something he considers to be a moment of weakness. He starts to frequent internet forums where people discuss how to "unlock" the sentience within a Tanaka robot. When Ada wakes up, neither Alex, nor the world, are ready for what happens next.

The first volume is a story of emotional exploration and confrontation of bigotry. Lifelike robots fall into the concept of the "Uncanny Valley," and make some people extremely uncomfortable. They're all tattooed so that they can't be mistaken for a "real" person. The second volume deals with the social strain of someone trying to pretend to be something they're not - Alex and Ada have broken the law by unlocking her sentience, and Ada has a huge struggle ahead of her as an illegal entity. This volume is much more centered on her than on the romance. The final volume is much faster paced than the prior two, and relatively violent (compared to the rest of the series). This should not be mistaken for rushing the ending (as many comics do) - it feels well-planned and is the end of a steady accelerative curve. Their illegal actions have real world consequences, and the ending was definitely not what I expected, but gives a really great perspective.

It's a very delicate romance that blooms between Alex and Ada, as they didn't meet in the best of circumstances. One partner has trouble treating the other as anything but a child; the other has difficulty with the brand new emotions she's capable of. Somehow, with a lot of reliance on their mutual friends, they're able to work through. The ending is satisfying and heartwarming.

The artwork is very straightforward, and simple enough to convert the messages. It's a very sanitized future, which fits in well with so many of the themes. There's a similarity between the sanitization of AI and the meticulous nature of streets, offices, houses. The robots aren't the only AI creatures, and the remaining AI force keeps everything well-groomed, and you can feel it. This also leaves the facial features of many of the characters feeling a little bland, but it's made up for in body language.

Overall, I can definitely recommend this to fans of science fiction, romance, or both!


Ares & Aphrodite Cover
Title: Ares & Aphrodite
Creators: Format: Ebook Print
Color: Black and White
Romanciness: Romantic Elements
Heat: NSFW
Tags: graphic novel
Where to Buy or Read:

Amazon

Synopsis from the Creator:

Will Ares, a successful divorce lawyer, find himself working alongside Gigi Averelle, a wedding planner, when their respective clients — movie producer Evans Beatty and Hollywood starlet Carrie Cartwright — plan to marry. As Beatty's ex-wives come out of the woodwork to cause mayhem, Gigi and Will make a bet — Gigi agrees to go on a date with Will if Evans and Carrie really do go through with the wedding. Should they break up, however, Will must reveal, in a full-page newspaper ad, how many marriages he's ruined. Is Will a fool for love, or is this the start of a beautiful relationship


Beyond: The Queer Sci-Fi and Fantasy Comic Anthology Cover
Title: Beyond: The Queer Sci-Fi and Fantasy Comic Anthology
Creators: Format: Ebook Print
Color: Black and White
Romanciness: LGBTQ+ Elements
Tags: sci-fi fantasy anthology gay lesbian character of color creator of color queer
Where to Buy or Read:

Buy it here!

Synopsis from the Creator:

In both sci-fi and fantasy and comics there is a long history of allegorical and implied queerness—using the trappings of genre to code characters and themes as queer while keeping them superficially straight enough to not make waves, or queering them in ways tied to their general otherness (like gender-flexible shapeshifters or gay aliens from single-sex species). Queer representation is better now than it was in even the recent past, but we want more. We want to see people like us as heroes—slaying dragons, piloting spaceships, getting into trouble, and saving the day—without having to read their queerness from between the lines. We want to see beautifully crafted stories in the mediums and genres we love, that reflect and celebrate our own experiences of gender and sexuality. So we’ve decided to do it ourselves. We’re assembling, crowdfunding, and publishing an anthology of the comics we want to read: science fiction and fantasy exploring and showcasing queer characters, themes, and relationships, from a broad spectrum of world-class creators. Beyond is a black-and-white comic anthology of 18 original science fiction and fantasy comics. The first volume was successfully crowdfunded through Kickstarter and completed in 2015, and the second volume: post-apocalypse and urban fantasy edition is taking shape in 2016. -Sfé Monster, Editor

(Volume 2 reached funding today, 5/11/17!)


Bonnie N. Collide Cover
Title: Bonnie N. Collide
Creators: Format: Webcomic, Ebook Print
Color: Black and White
Romanciness: Romantic Elements
Heat: PG13
Tags: roller derby office romance paranormal slice of life comedy
Synopsis from the Creator:

The story of Bonnie N. Collide, a roller-girl, and the adventures she has at a humdrum day job. Bonnie’s inability to separate her vibrant roller derby life from her normal working life means she gets to gleefully crash from one aspect of her life into another, seamlessly, and using the same amount of gusto. Oh, and one of her coworkers is a werewolf named Herb.

Love In Panels' Review:

Bonnie N. Collide is a strip-based romantic comedy, full of roller derby and office hijinks. Bonnie is wonderfully wacky, and Stuart plays a charmingly awkward straight man to balance her off-the-wall antics. Their romance is awkward and slow to develop, but charming, and the cast of secondary characters (including a werewolf?) adds depth and humor to what would otherwise be a very sitcom-y strip. A nice light comic to read after a hard day.


Boy, I Love You Cover
Title: Boy, I Love You
Creators: Color: Black and White
Romanciness: Definitely a Romance
Tags: gay anthology
Where to Buy or Read:

Order from The Yam Fam Directly

Synopsis from the Creator:

Boy, I Love You is a comics anthology celebrating the boys' love genre. Seven stories from seven creators will introduce you to radio hosts, models, mecha pilots, & scientists, and the challenges they’ll face at the intersection of life & love. Boy, I Love You features the work of Aatmaja Pandya, Kou Chen, Shivana Sookdeo, Emily Forster, Marlena Konglau, Eric Alexander Arroyo, and S.M. Vidaurri, with a cover by Caelin Cacciatore.


Check, Please! Cover
Title: Check, Please!
Creators: Format: Webcomic, Ebook
Color: Color
Romanciness: LGBTQ+ Elements
Heat: PG13
Tags: gay new adult webcomic
Where to Buy or Read:

Read it here!

Buy it here!

Synopsis from the Creator:

Check, Please! is written and drawn by Ngozi Ukazu.

Eric Bittle—former Georgia junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and amateur pâtissier—is starting his freshman year playing hockey at the prestigious Samwell University in Samwell, Massachusetts. And it’s basically nothing like co-ed club hockey back in the South. For one?

There’s checking.

It’s a story about hockey and friendship and bros and trying to find yourself during the best 4 years of your life.

Love In Panels' Review:

Dani (@danidoit) read Check, Please! and says...

I LOVED the main character, he's so sweet and easy to root for... it's easy to see where the romance is going pretty quickly.  The way the love story is handled is almost a little too good to be true. It's definitely a feel-good romance, not erotica.

I plan on recommending this to a friend of mine who is straight, but loves hockey (you learn a lot about hockey) and another friend who is gay but is not into sports. I think that both of them would get something out of it. Once I got around the technical difficulties (trying to find the best way to read it*) I had a hard time putting it down. I'm glad I found it when a lot of story line had already come out.

I would call this comic PG-13. There is definitely swearing (one character is named Shitty), but it didn't stand out to me, so I don't think it was offensive or out of character. Some characters do talk about hooking up, but it's a college setting with college-age characters.

*Love In Panels recommends reading this in the Tumblr app or heading to their shop and buying it in PDF.

Suzanne would like to add that Dani sent her texts at 10pm and the next morning at 9am raving about the comic and whining that she had to go to work instead of continuing to read. Sounds like this is a good one!


Chester XYV 5000 Cover
Title: Chester XYV 5000
Creators: Format: Webcomic, Ebook Print
Color: Black and White
Romanciness: Definitely a Romance
Heat: NSFW
Tags: steampunk victorian gay lesbian
Where to Buy or Read:

Read the Webcomic

Buy from Top Shelf

Amazon: Book Two

Synopsis from the Creator:

Book One:

1885: an age of industrial revolution and sexual frustration. Pricilla is a woman with needs, and her inventor husband Robert is a little too busy with his experiments to keep her fully satisfied. Science to the rescue! With a few gears and springs, the proper appendages, a little lubrication, and a lot of love, Chester 5000 is born! He's the perfect tool for the job... but what if Chester is more than just a machine? What are the consequences of trying to engineer love? A vintage delight for adult readers of all stripes, Jess Fink’s Top Shelf debut reads like a whimsical love-child of steampunk, silent film and erotic comics. CHESTER 5000: Because sometimes love comes with detachable body parts.

Book Two:

1889: an age of industrial revolution and sexual frustration. Isabelle is a lonely orphan, reprimanded at every turn by her strict matron. George is an inventor on the cusp of a brilliant discovery. Together they find love, but in an age of violent mechanization and military secrets, can their passion survive? After the smash success of CHESTER 5000’s first volume (the tale of a Victorian woman and her robot lover), beloved webcartoonist Jess Fink returns with another triumphant story of boundary-breaking love, sex, and technology. Discover the origins of your favorite characters along with all-new thrills. All the drama and adventure of the silent film era is here, enlivened with modern whimsy and erotic charm.


DAR: A Super Girly Secret Comic Diary Cover
Title: DAR: A Super Girly Secret Comic Diary
Creators: Format: Webcomic Print
Color: Black and White
Romanciness: LGBTQ+ Elements
Heat: NSFW
Tags: queer lesbian webcomic bisexual slice of life
Synopsis from the Creator:

DAR! chronicles the six year long autobiographical story of Erika Moen, a lost 20-year-old lesbian artist-wannabe in college who falls in love with a boy in England and the evolution that her sexual identity undergoes before winding up marrying him as a queer 26-year-old full-time cartoonist. Along the way there are many vignettes about sex, farts, the queer community, the Brits, vibrators and figuring out sexual identity.

(This is the comic that preceded Erika Moen's Oh Joy Sex Toy)


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