Janelle Asselin Wants To Bring Us A Fresh Romance
Just last month, comics editor and journalist Janelle Asselin launched her new publishing company Rosy Press, and this week they’re already announcing a major new stretch goal — a twelve page story for one-year subscribers from the amazing Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Red Sonja) if the Kickstarter for their launch title Fresh Romance hits $47,500 in just under two weeks. It’s a lofty goal, but Rosy Press is making great progress already: just yesterday they hit $40,000 raised, netting a cover for their fourth issue from Batgirl artist Babs Tarr in honor of the achievement.
Geeks With Wives is excited to have an interview with Janelle (who’s currently also the senior editor at ComicsAlliance) coming up this Monday, and in the meantime, I thought it might help to give you some background details on her new venture.
Fresh Romance promises to dish out an amazing mix of genres on a monthly basis, including a quirky high school love story from writer Kate Leth (of Edward Scissorhands and Adventure Time fame) and a fantasy tale from A-Force and Sleepy Hollow writer Marguerite Bennett. Rosy Press plans to launch the title in May, and Fresh Romance will hit your inbox once a month in digital format with gorgeous full color covers from artists like Kevin Wada.
The Kickstarter blew through their initial $28,000 goal in just ten days, and Rosy Press has turned the focus to raising funds for new artists and providing page rate compensation bumps for the creative teams already on board.
But CK, you might ask. Why romance comics? To which I would say, why not romances? Once upon a time, straight up romance comics weren’t unusual to see on the stands next to hard sci-fi and pulp mysteries. Asselin, currently the senior editor at Comics Alliance, conceived Rosy Press’ inaugural title Fresh Romance as a way to bring romance comics back into the mainstream.
(And, let’s be fair here, between more recent romances like Kitty Pryde and Star-Lord, or iconic comic couples like Barry Allen and Iris West, your favorite books are already brimming with more tragic romance than you think. So again, I say: why not enjoy a romantic story where a Thawne isn’t going to interfere, every once in a while?)
Plus, it’s shaping up to be an awesomely diverse magazine, normalizing all kinds of romances in a way we still don’t often see in comics. As a queer person myself, I can’t pretend the prospect of sitting down and reading some fun, LGBTQ-themed romances that don’t involve one party destroying reality is wildly appealing to me. (I’m looking at you, 2013 Young Avengers.)
But if that still wasn’t enough to lure you in, there are fantastic rewards for donors. $25 nets you a six month subscription, while $75 nets you a one year subscription and six illustrated greeting cards from Fresh Romance creators. Higher tiers offer gorgeous art like a commission of Death from Sandman by Ramon Bachs, or signed copies of Red Hulk from Carlos Rodriguez.
Fresh Romance promises to be a sometimes sweet, sometimes spooky, and all around gorgeously written new addition to your unread stack. If romance isn’t your jam, then it’s a cool gift for a sappy friend, while you net some sweet rewards. In turn, with the success of their initial fundraising drive, Rosy Press is bringing some awesome stories to a genre sorely underrepresented in publishing today. At the very least, Fresh Romance and its initial issue sound like they’re worth a read (and it was, to me, definitely worth backing.)