Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Janelle Asselin Offers Fresh Romance


Oh to be young and in love...with comics. There's never been a better time to be a comics fan, as more and more publishers are breaking in to offer works that are varied and diverse. Janelle Asselin isn't one to sit on the sidelines as those publishers purvey their works and she's starting Rosy Press to publish Fresh Romance, a new digital romance comic magazine. Of course, such an endeavor needs a little help, which is where Kickstarter comes into play. The first issue of the monthly anthology features sundry stories ranging from a clandestine, queer high school love affair to an impeccably researched and illustrated Regency-era romance. In addition to three forward-looking romances, each issue of Fresh Romance delivers a relationship advice column by a quartet of divorced writers, behind-the-scenes art coverage and a fashion report.

“Rosy Press specializes in publishing romantic fiction and nonfiction aimed at attracting a diverse readership,” says Asselin. “With our digital platform, FRESH ROMANCE can reach a diverse set of readers. FRESH ROMANCE is the comics answer to the popular modern romance novel, and we can digitally deliver it to anyone, anywhere, anytime.” FRESH ROMANCE content will be available in a variety of digital formats: via ComiXology or as a PDF, CBR, or ePub file, and will always be DRM-free. Unlike their real-world counterparts, FRESH ROMANCE stories never end – they will later be published as ebook collections.

The first issue will include:

A twist on the iconic high school love story by Kate Leth, Arielle Jovellanos and colorist Amanda Scurti, in which a queer couple keep their relationship under wraps by pretending to compete for the same, equally secretive guy.

A Regency-era romance by Sarah Vaughn and Sarah Winifred Searle about a couple headed to the altar despite a mutual lack of enthusiasm for their marriage. (Spoiler: period costumes and culture are consummately researched.)

An otherworldly tale by novelist Sarah Kuh, who has a three-book prose book deal with DAW Books and who is penning her first comic with Sally Jane Thompson and colorist Savanna Ganucheau, in which a cynical, supernatural barista is trapped in this world… until she helps enough lonely souls find love.

The first cover from Kevin Wada, a former fashion illustrator, who uses his hallmark watercolors to depict Leth and Jovellanos’ high school heroines.

Rewards available exclusively through the Fresh Romance Kickstarter campaign support three-month, six-month and ongoing subscriptions, including the opportunity to be drawn into a story, an original comic to propose marriage to your loved one and one-of-a-kind prints and commissions, including: Five commissions by Chris Burnham; a Gene Ha sketch commission; a Dustin Nguyen-drawn original page from the Stephanie Brown Batgirl series; a commission of Harley Quinn by DC and Marvel artist Carmen Carnero; and an original page from the Stephanie Brown Batgirl series drawn by Pere Perez.

“Thanks to our ongoing anthology format, the kinds of stories we feature will be constantly evolving,” said Asselin, who recently appeared in the documentary SHE MAKES COMICS. “The magazine will be R-rated, so while not all of the individual chapters or stories will be racy, there will be some adult content. These aren't your mom's romance comics. Our goal is to bring avid comics readers and those new to comics together to enjoy the romance genre.

Full press release below.
Introducing FRESH ROMANCE, a monthly digital romance comic magazine 
from Janelle Asselin, comic book editor & critic

March 23, 2015--”Romance is coming,” promises FRESH ROMANCE, a new digitial romance comic magazine from Janelle Asselin, Senior Editor of ComicsAlliance.com and former DC Comics editor. If funded through the now-live Kickstarter campaign, Asselin’s new imprint Rosy Press will debut FRESH ROMANCE in May 2015. The first issue of the monthly anthology features sundry stories ranging from a clandestine, queer high school love affair to an impeccably researched and illustrated Regency-era romance. In addition to three forward-looking romances, each issue of FRESH ROMANCE delivers a relationship advice column by a quartet of divorced writers, behind-the-scenes art coverage, and a fashion report

“Rosy Press specializes in publishing romantic fiction and nonfiction aimed at attracting a diverse readership,” says Asselin. FRESH ROMANCE forges a new future for romance comics with modern characters, stories and a wide array of genres. FRESH ROMANCE’s inaugural stories include:
  • A twist on the iconic high school love story by Kate Leth (KATE OR DIE), Arielle Jovellanos (FIVE), and colorist Amanda Scurti, in which a queer couple keep their relationship under wraps by pretending to compete for the same, equally secretive guy.
  • A Regency-era romance by Sarah Vaughn (ALEX + ADA) and Sarah Winifred Searle (SMUT PEDDLER) about a couple headed to the altar despite a mutual lack of enthusiasm for their marriage. (Spoiler: period costumes and culture are consummately researched.)
  • An otherworldly tale by novelist Sarah Kuh, who has a three-book prose book deal with DAW Books and who is penning her first comic with Sally Jane Thompson (RED JACK) and colorist Savanna Ganucheau, in which a cynical, supernatural barista is trapped in this world… until she helps enough lonely souls find love.
  • The first cover from Kevin Wada, a former fashion illustrator, who uses his hallmark watercolors to depict Leth and Jovellanos’ high school heroines. 

Rewards available exclusively through the FRESH ROMANCE Kickstarter campaign support three-month, six-month, and ongoing subscriptions, including the opportunity to be drawn into a story, an original comic to propose marriage to your loved one, and one-of-a-kind prints and commissions, including: Five commissions by Chris Burnham (BATMAN, INC. THE UNNAMED); a Gene Ha (TOP 10, 4-Time Eisner Award Winner) sketch commission; a Dustin Nguyen-drawn original page from the Stephanie Brown BATGIRL series; a commission of Harley Quinn by DC and Marvel artist Carmen Carnero; and an original page from the Stephanie Brown BATGIRL series drawn by Pere Perez.

“With our digital platform, FRESH ROMANCE can reach a diverse set of readers,” said Asselin. “FRESH ROMANCE is the comics answer to the popular modern romance novel, and we can digitally deliver it to anyone, anywhere, anytime.” FRESH ROMANCE content will be available in a variety of digital formats: via ComiXology or as a PDF, CBR, or ePub file, and will always be DRM-free. Unlike their real-world counterparts, FRESH ROMANCE stories never end – they will later be published as ebook collections. 

“Thanks to our ongoing anthology format, the kinds of stories we feature will be constantly evolving,” said Asselin, who recently appeared in the documentary SHE MAKES COMICS. “The magazine will be R-rated, so while not all of the individual chapters or stories will be racy, there will be some adult content. These aren't your mom's romance comics. Our goal is to bring avid comics readers and those new to comics together to enjoy the romance genre.

For updates, follow Rosy Press on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.  

Janelle Asselin is the Senior Editor at Comics Alliance and a freelance writer and comics editor. In her ten years as a comics pro, Janelle has also worked for Newsarama, DC Comics, Fangoria Comics, and Disney Publishing Worldwide. At DC Comics, she edited BATMAN, DETECTIVE COMICS, BIRDS OF PREY, and KNIGHT AND SQUIRE. Asselin is also an outspoken advocate for women in comics, and has worked to bring awareness to sexual harassment and discrimination issues in the comics industry. A lifelong scholar, Asselin holds a BA in English Language and Literature from Southern New Hampshire University and an MS in Publishing from Pace University. She lives in Los Angeles with her awesome husband and the best cats in the world. Visit her onine at www.rosypress.com, http://janelleasselin.tumblr.com/ and on Twitter @gimpnelly.

Arielle Jovellanos is an illustrator and comic artist (Five, School Spirit) based in New York. She likes sitcoms, showtunes, and storytelling structure. Also alliteration, apparently.

Kate Leth is a writer and artist best known for her webcomic Kate or Die and her work on the licensed comics Bravest Warriors, Edward Scissorhands and Adventure Time. She has a lot of tattoos and feelings.

Amanda Scurti is an illustrator, cartoonist, and colorist. She is a graduate of SVA and, when not voluntarily drowning herself in comics, enjoys petting dogs.

Sarah Vaughn is the co-creator and co-writer of Alex + Ada with Jonathan Luna, published by Image Comics. She is an avid lover of historical romance novels and vintage romance comics.

Sarah Winifred Searle hails from spooky New England, where she writes and draws comics about relationships, history, and mysteries. You may recognize her work from Smut Peddler,Colonial Comics, Symbolia, or a bunch of other cool things. She is also exceptional at petting cats. Learn more about her work at swinsea.com.

Sarah Kuhn is the author of the forthcoming Heroine Complex trilogy, starring Asian American superheroines, for DAW Books and the geek romantic comedy novella One Con Glory, which is in development as a feature film. Her writing has appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Apex Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, Back Stage, IGN.com, StarTrek.com, Geek Monthly,Creative Screenwriting, and the anthology Chicks Dig Comics.

Sally Jane Thompson is a comic creator based in the UK. Currently drawing 19th c adventure "Red Jack" with writer John Dickinson for children's comics serial The Phoenix, her work includes coming-of-age graphic novel Atomic Sheep (AAM Markosia), and comics and illustration for various publishers including IDW, Soaring Penguin, Imagine Publications and more. Her work focuses on thoughtful stories drawn with organic, expressive lines.


Savanna Ganucheau is a colorist and illustrator currently living in Melbourne, Australia. Originally she’s from New Orleans, Louisiana, and misses it dearly. Honestly, she could really go for some boiled crawfish right now. She loves to make friends and talk to people. Chat with her Twitter – @srganuch anytime!

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