Anthologies have always been hugely interesting for me. In the past, I’ve reviewed an issue of Dirty Diamonds and The Other Side. Anthologies offer a way for creators to get their work into the hands of comic fans that may not have ever heard of them, and Fresh Romance fills a niche I think the western market has been lacking for a long time. In the past, the US comic market was flooded with romance comics targeted towards women and young girls. However, because of the effects of the introduction of the Comics Code and the general down-turn of the comics industry during the 50’s and 60’s, romance comics fell by the wayside (you can read the full history here). With the creation of this collection of romance comics, we can see a slight revival of some more serious romance comics for the western audience again, and considering the comics featured in this volume, I’m excited to see what other comics will come out of this anthology.
Fresh Romance originally started as a Kickstarted magazine featuring creator-owned romance comics for a queer and diverse audience published by Rosy Press. When Rosy Press had to close down, Emet Press took over, keeping the same theme and general principles of the magazine intact. The first collected volume was published through Oni Press and features five short romance comics from a variety of different creators. All of them have their own unique style and story with a cast of diverse characters and romances. Continue reading