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This Woman Wants to Revive the Lost Art of the Romance Comic

Illustration for article titled This Woman Wants to Revive the Lost Art of the Romance Comic

Once upon a time, you could get your tales of love in several forms—paperback romances and rom-coms, sure, but also romance comics. While they've fallen out of fashion, one woman wants to bring them back.


Vulture has an interview with longtime comics pro Janelle Asselin, who just launched a Kickstarter to fund her side project, Fresh Romance, a new digital anthology series that would attempt to revive what was once a thriving subgenre. She explained what precisely constitutes a "romance comic," as opposed to a comic with some romantic elements:

Romance comics are really any comic where romance is the primary genre and subject. While there are a lot of contemporary American comics that feature romance as a subplot, there aren't many where romance is the main focus. We might have mystery comics, supernatural comics, even superhero comics, but the main story in all of them will be about a romance between two people.


She also explained that they were once a major part of the comics industry:

Romance comics were huge in the '50s and '60s and, along with teen comics like Archie, were responsible for women and girls making up more than 50 percent of the comics-reading audience. It was a big business, and a lot of big-name comics creators who people might know from other projects also worked on romance comics. In fact, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, who among many other things co-created Captain America, were responsible for creating the first-ever romance comic in 1947.

Fresh Romance will launch with a "slightly supernatural story" involving a barista, a high school tale featuring "an adorable queer couple," and a Regency. Asselin added that overall, the contents will be "medium saucy."

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Kenny and the Llamas

Romance comics didn't die. They just accepted their sexuality, moved to Japan and changed their name to yaoi.