Gothic Tales of Haunted Love Cover
Title: Gothic Tales of Haunted Love
Creators: Format: EBook Print
Color: Color
Romanceiness: Definitely a Romance
Heat: R
Tags: anthology
Where to Buy or Read:

Amazon

Bedside Press

Synopsis from the Creator:

Gothic Tales of Haunted Love is an exciting new collection of gothic romance comics.In 1950s Vietnam, a lost soul comes to the aid of a farmer’s field under attack.In Victorian Boston, a new governess comes to care for the rogueish widower of a stately manor and his charming brood of children.A fashion journalist lands the interview of her dreams – but it unearths deadly secrets of Taiwan’s most popular fashion designer.A Sioux elder heals a recently deceased woman who sets out to recover her lost love. And a young bride spins a story of murder and deceit that paints her husband as a killer . . . but is there any truth to her tale?Featuring 19 original stories from some of modern comics’ finest talent, Gothic Tales of Haunted Love collects fragments of lovers torn apart, ghostly revenge, and horrific deeds, in the vein of 1970s gothic romance comics such as Haunted Love, Ghostly Tales, Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love, and Gothic Romances. Discover a diverse range of heroes and villains, spirits and monsters, in a modern reimagining that will leave your heart pounding and broken in the same seductive breath. Contributors and stories include:

  • Amber Noelle & Allison Paige – My Heart Still Beats For You – A hospital patient is intrigued by a flirty nurse – and haunted by the sound of their newly transplanted heart.
  • Barbara Guttman – One More Cup – A woman soothes a monster with tea to protect the villagers from its wrath
  • Chris Stone & Dani Bee – Lovers’ Moon – A woman has to choose between two brothers, but the mysterious death of one suddenly makes her decision that much easier.
  • Dante L. & H. Pueyo – Fazenda do Sangue Azul – in 1960s Brazil, a renegade journalist takes refuge in an abandoned plantation and discovers a lonely ghost.
  • S.M. Beiko & Maia Kobabe – A Heritage of Woods – A young woman discovers the dark heritage of her ancestors and the magic behind the suburban forests.
  • Colleen Coover – Rose’s Heart – A beautiful woman seeks the heart of a good man.
  • David Robertson & Scott Henderson – The Return – an elder heals a recently deceased woman who sets out to recover her lost love.
  • Femi Sobowale & Caroline Dougherty – L’Heure Verte – a young socialite disovers a bewitching woman at a party who is more than she seems.
  • Hien Pham – Minefield – In 1950s Vietnam, a lost soul comes to the aid of a farmer’s field under attack.
  • Hope Nicholson & Scott Chantler – Goldblind – During the Yukon goldrush, two lovers chase the motherlode.
  • Janet Hetherington & Ronn Sutton – Crush – a new governess comes to care for the rogueish widow of a stately manor and his charming brood of children.
  • Katie West & Ray Fawkes – What’s Best – In 1930s Ontario, a young woman discovers her mother will do anything to set her daughter up with a nice young man.
  • Megan Kearney – Mistress Fox – A young bride spins a story of murder and deceit that paints her husband as a killer…but is there any truth to her tale?
  • Nika – Secrets in the Silk – A fashion journalist lands the interview of her dreams – but it unearths deadly secrets of Taiwan’s most popular fashion designer
  • Sarah W. Searle – Penddraig – The new lady of a manor falls in love with her maid while dealing with the icy cruelty of her new husband
  • Svetla Nikolova & LAB – Ouroboros – A sorceror and his wife take turns dealing in necromancy and passion
  • Willow Dawson & Cecil Castelluci – I am the Song – A lonely song haunts two young lovers.
  • Cherelle Higgins & Rina Rozsas – Green, Gold and Black – 1728 Jamaica, on the eve of a slave uprising, a young house slave tries to protect her newborn infant from a pair of vengeful ghosts.
  • Kitty Curan/Larissa Zageris – How Grave is Your Misfortune? Are you trapped in a gothic romance story? Take this quiz to find out!
  • Sanho Kim – The Promise – a reprint of the classic tale of two sisters who help a young soldier in his war.
  • Rahzzah – pinup
  • John K Snyder III – pinup
  • Leslie Doyle – cover art
Love In Panels' Review:

Gothic Tales of Haunted Love was one of my most anticipated titles of 2018. I backed it on Kickstarter and was enchanted by the images I saw in preview. You can read the launch post here. All of this is to say that I suspect my expectations were set too high and somewhat unrealistically. The resulting anthology is a solid piece of work, filled with beautiful gothic paintings and some creative twists on gothic stories of old.

It's also not romance. The love in these stories is that of a fleeting encounter with a phantom; a powerful need to protect children from an abusive father; a war-time show of brotherhood (or more). There are a few HEAs, but it's probably better to approach this anthology as an experiment in trope subversion than as a romance anthology. Heroes and heroines come from varying sexual orientations and racial and ethnic backgrounds and occupy space in different time periods and locations. There's certainly a gothic element to each story, something spooky or unexplainable or just plain terrifying, but I'm not sure the volume as a whole is cohesive.

I will say that, given the current political climate, it was immensely satisfying to see a female serial killer take out her romantic competition before realizing that it was the man she desired who was the true obstacle to her happiness. Whatever it takes to keep those kids safe and happy, right?

Overall, I found myself visually drawn to the paintings and to several of the comics. My heart, however, was most engaged by the foreword written by Jacque Nodell, who runs the vintage romance comics site, Sequential Crush. She walks us through the history of gothic romance comics and how they changed to be less romantic and more of a horror genre. It's a fascinating piece of comics history.

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