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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
Pick it up at your local comic or book shop!
Your favorite girls from Beverly Hills are back in an all-new adventure! It’s senior year and Cher, Dionne, and Tai find themselves in a bit of a crisis of self… Where are they meant to go, and what are they meant to DO after high school? Luckily they have all year—and each other’s help—to figure it out!
This continuation of the much-loved 90's movie, Clueless, isn't as heavy on the romance as the original, but it's getting a review here because I loved it and this is my blog.
The premise is simple: Dionne, Cher, and Tai are trying to figure out who they want/should be as they navigate senior year and an assignment from Ms. Geist. I'll warn you now - if you didn't like the movie, you won't like this comic. Like the original, it's heavy on 90's slang, excellent/horrible outfits, and female friendship.
Unlike the original, Dionne and Tai get real character arcs! Dionne was my fave in the movie, and her arc in this GN is empowering and smart and her boyfriend finally learns to respect her as she deserves. Tai's arc brings the girls out of their comfort zone and puts them to work (physical labor?!) on a big project together.
Cher? She's lost. At the very beginning of the book, Josh suggests that he and Cher take a "break," adding momentum to Cher's existential tailspin. As for romance, everything works out in the end, romance readers. Have no fear. Amber and Sarah wouldn't do that to you/us.
As for the art, the style and colors were perfectly matched to the story. The art captures the fashion, joy, and youthful energy of Clueless and puts readers solidly in the 90's. (Background details are really fun to pick up on a reread, which is one of my favorite things to do with a comic.)
Overall, this was a fun way to spend a couple of hours. Just be prepared to watch the movie immediately afterward.
Marvel continues its bestselling graphic novel adaptations of Jane Austen's classics! Award-winning author Nancy Butler, adapter of Marvel's best-selling adaptations Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, brings you another Jane Austen classic! Joined with the beautiful illustrations of Janet Lee, Butler brings to life Austen's most precocious heroine, Emma Woodhouse. Discover what has made this story so enduring, as its re-told in the Mighty Marvel manner!
Fables chronicles the world’s most beloved fairy tale characters hiding out in a magically hidden neighborhood within Manhattan. Run out of their happily-ever-after homeworlds by a mighty conqueror known only as The Adversary, these universally recognized princes, princesses, talking animals, heroes, and villains now face a new challenge: adapting to a modern world filled with sex, violence, and lots of moral ambiguity. Mixing mystery, action, humor, and more, Fables follows these cherished characters’ war against The Adversary and their ongoing struggle to survive alongside one another in the modern world. But who is this Adversary that has rocked their lives?
Fresh Romance, Vol. 1:
FRESH ROMANCE is an exciting collection of romance comics from some of comics' most talented creators, including Kate Leth, Arielle Jovellanos, Sarah Vaughn, Sarah Winifred Searle, Sarah Kuhn, Marguerite Bennett, and Trungles. From unhappy historical marriages to covert teenage romances, there's something for everyone in FRESH ROMANCE.
Fresh Romance, Vol. 2:
FRESH ROMANCE VOLUME 2 is an exciting collection of romance comics from some of comics' most talented creators, including Cecil Castellucci, Irene Koh, Sarah Winifred Searle, Sally Jane Thompson, Suzana Harcum & Owen White, and Julia Hutchinson. From testing new relationships to romances spanning decades, there's something for everyone in FRESH ROMANCE!
Suzanne's post from July 2016, originally posted at Heroes & Heartbreakers is below. Rosy Press's content was acquired by Emet Comics, who published the second volume of Fresh Romance.
Sometimes I get tired of reading novels (OMG did she just say that?!) and I flip on the latest episode of Jane the Virgin. And sometimes… I read comics. Okay, a lot of the time. I’m in a comics-for-ladies monthly discussion group called The League of Extraordinary Gentlewomen. It’s a real thing and it’s amazing.
So I’m maybe a little biased toward the graphic novel/comic medium.I love the way that a talented writing and art team can reveal character traits and plot points with such subtlety that you don’t pick up on it. While there’s still a lot of “cheesecake” (women drawn with an abundance of T&A and little clothing) in some comics, a great number of female-forward comics are being published and gaining popularity. Examples include: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel, Saga, Sex Criminals, and of course, Buffy.
You probably want to know why I’m writing about comics on a romance site. Loads of comics have romance B-plots, but none of them have been 100% romance focused since the 70s. (Saga has an awesome star-crossed lovers in space with a baby thing going, but the romance isn’t always at the fore.)
Allow me to introduce Rosy Press’s Fresh Romance, a bimonthly comic featuring 3 10-page stories in each issue. These have been serialized up until now but are available in completed versions on their website and will be printed and available at a comic store near you (or online) on August 10. The stories are diverse in terms of setting, sexual orientation, and racial makeup.I’ve read the first three stories and loved them. There will be 5 in all in the print edition, but you can get them now digitally if you’d like.
High school kids involved in some hijinks. I wasn’t sure at first what was going on, but it’s intentionally written that way and it’s very cute. The characters are hiding their relationships for different reasons, mainly family judgments. Subtle exploration of the ways we might be biased against certain relationships while accepting those others might shun. Plus, boys who say things like “Dude. The reason you don’t have a prom date is because you talk about girls like that.” No stilted dialogue, and such good messaging.
Ruined by Sarah Vaughn, Sarah Winifred Searle & Ryan FerrierDo you read historicals set in England? The title of this one ought to tell you enough. The credits list a “historical consultant.” You guys, just read it. It’s got scandal, an unfortunate? marriage, and of course, the romance.
The Ruby Equation
Adorable cupid/fairy uses math/logic to match people to earn her way back to her homeworld and a “better” assignment. Hijinks ensue. Will Ruby realize her true calling and the value of love?
Here’s the copy from the Kickstarter for the print edition:
I’m sure some of you will tell me in the comments about the extensive range romance-focused manga out there. PLEASE DO. I haven’t started on manga because it’s intimidating. If you’re feeling that way about comics, Fresh Romance is a great place to start!
Order from your local shop!
One kiss from Tinka's sparkling lips leads to some unexpected consequences for the callous boys of Portage High School. After a secret romance goes up in flames, she looks to a fortune teller for answers on finding true love, which leads to the summoning of some accidental — but hilarious — magic. But in the end, Tinka has to learn to take responsibility for her own decisions, with or without the aid of magic.
First things first: the description of this comic is a bit misleading. I don't find it about Tinka learning to take responsibility for her actions so much as all of the boys in her life learning to take responsibility for theirs. Tinka is every girl who wants to be liked and is trying (unsuccessfully) to fit our society's completely unattainable criteria for acceptance and love.
Tinka likes makeup and dressing up. After she overhears the boy she's been secretly seeing (because he refuses to go public with their relationship), Tinka asks a friend to read her palm. Magic happens, and her newest, glittery lipgloss is enchanted. That boy, Jason, wakes up the next day as a girl, and has to experience the weight of societal expectations of women for the first time.
A while back, one of the other boys at school decided to publicly shame Tinka because she wouldn't do anything more than kiss him. In her words, "A slut is someone who sleeps with everyone. A bitch is someone who sleeps with everyone but you." Tinka is called both, and mocked by both sexes at school. It's an unfortunately honest and common high school story.
I appreciated the revenge fantasy that is GLITTER KISS. It was refreshing to see both boys and girls buying into and falling victim to misogynistic mores. Not that it's fun in fiction or in real life, but it's important that we acknowledge that it's not just boys or just girls who treat girls poorly for these reasons. A girl labeled "easy" is going to get hit from all sides. A girl who visibly seeks approval and affection? Even worse. She must be desperate.
Tinka's eventual confrontations with Jason, with her father, and with the boys at school who've been mistreating her are resolved in what I felt was a wholly satisfactory way, and I kind of wanted to do a fist pump. Don't take their shit, baby girl.