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School Spirit
Kate Leth w r i t e r
Arielle Jovellanos a r t i s t
Amanda Scurti c o l o r i s t
Ensley Chau and Clare DeZutti color assist
Taylor Esposito l e t t e re r

ruined
Sarah Vaughn w r i t e r
Sarah Winifred Searle a r t i s t
Ryan Ferrier l e t t e re r
Joanne Renaud h i s t o r i c a l c o n s u l t a n t

The RuBy Equation


Sarah Kuhn w r i t e r
Sally Jane Thompson a r t i s t
Savanna Ganucheau c o l o r i s t
Steve Wands l e t t e re r

Kevin Wada c ove r


Erin Scott d e s i g n
Janelle Asselin p u b l i s h e r & editor

The creators featured in this issue of Fresh Romance own the copyrights in their stories. Rosy Press
owns the copyright in this issue of Fresh Romance, published in May 2015.
Letter from
the Editor
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Fresh Romance magazine! What you
hold on your computer/tablet/what-have-you is the culmination of a lot of
hard work and dreaming, and I hope you enjoy the finished product!

I first started thinking of starting my own comics company years ago, but
the act of launching Rosy Press and announcing our first project as Fresh
Romance was one of the most nerve-wracking things Ive ever done. We
were immeasurably grateful to get a ton of support for our Kickstarter
campaign, which is ultimately why the comics magazine you have before
you was possible. Those backers, they are pretty great. If you werent a
Kickstarter backer, well, you are also pretty great for taking a chance on
this magazine too. Thanks, all.

Romance comics have been few and far between for way too long. Theres
something special about an entertaining romance story, and the visual
nature of comics offer even more fun and sexiness than words alone. Plus,
we have so very many talented creators on board - its sort of unbelievable
the level of awesomeness they bring. Its my hope that theres something
in the pages of Fresh Romance for everyone, and if you have something
specific you want to see, let us know on Twitter or Facebook! Wed love to
hear from you.

Bear with me for a moment as I thank some of the particular people in my


life who have helped make this happen through their support and kindness
to me over the years, in no particular order: Sarah Jaffe, Emily Zimmer,
Troy Brownfield, Mike Marts, Sarah Gaydos, Jeremy Haun, Kate Durr,
Liz Marsham, Michael Siglain, David Macho, Patti Kennedy, Scott Wilson,
Ali Colluccio, Rachael Berkey, my family, my cats, anyone I forgot, and of
course, my wonderful, patient, eternally realistic husband Paul Moore. I
would not be who and where I am today without all of you, and, more
importantly for the readers of this magazine, it would not exist without the
support youve given me.

Anyways, enough of that, right? I hope you all enjoy the first issue and stay
tuned to see what else we have lined up.

<3
Janelle

TM
cov e r

When Kevin Wada sent over his sketches for our issue 1 cover, he offered
this commentary:
Sketch 1 is more a typical romance cover-y. Little explanation needed
there. Sketch 2 I had in my head from the beginning of this assignment. Its
more modern, more young love-like. It ended up coming out a bit more...
provocative(?) than I wanted it to. I wanted them dancing together to feel
more intimate and cute, and maybe its just me, but because we live in a
society that loves to objectify female partnership for the male gaze, I think
the gestures in the sketch might be heading in that direction a little too
much. I personally still really love this concept (Id put the suggestion of
discotheque lights in the background) so if we went with this one, Id change
the posing a bit to give it more of that in love vibe over Im horny vibe.
The vote for Sketch 1 was unanimous amongst all involved, as Kate, Arielle,
and Janelle all felt it had the right tone and classic romance style for our
first cover!
proce s s
The Divorc(e) Club love advice from people whove been there

Every month, The Divorc(e) Club will answer your love and romance questions.
Everyone in the Club has been through multiple relationships, both successful
and unsuccessful, and a variety of dating scenarios. Were here to offer our
expertise gleaned from these romantic encounters so that you can learn
from our lived experiences!
If you need advice, you can email us at advice@fresh-romance.com.
Without further ado, here are this months questions!

11111
Hello, heart helpers!
Clio : First off, I want to hug you and then buy you
a beer (or other beverage of your choice). It was
so brave to send that email. Being that open and
vulnerable, even with someone youve known well
I would love your advice on what to do with the
for a long time, is really freaking scary. But you did
fact I am in love with a friend who does not seem to
it anyway! Well done. And I know that if I was in
love me back. (Not YET, at least! Which is genuinely
your situation, I would want to hang on too. Why
how I feel, and also part of the problem.)
lose a friend *and* a chance at happiness? But
Ive been in love with this friend for 13 years. We
thats what I want to tell you to do. You might very
tried dating once about ten years ago, but I ended
well be the best thing that ever happens to him, but
things because I was too afraid we would ruin our
if he never realizes it then it doesnt matter. And if
friendship. However, my romantic feelings for him
almost 2 years and repeated heart to hearts havent
remained...even despite my moving on to enjoy
made it happen, on top of 11 previous years of
serious relationships with other people. Finally, in
history, then honey, I dont know. And theres the
December of 2013 I wrote him an email confessing
rub. You *dont* know! There *is* still a chance, just
my feelings, but also that I had no expectation of
like theres a chance that you could win the lottery
reciprocation -- I simply needed to put it out there
tomorrow, or get hit by space debris while walking
so I could move on. (Though, obviously, I really really
down the street, or meet your next love waiting in
really hoped he felt the same way.)
line for coffee. How many other chances are you
Welp, he clearly does not. I did not hear from
willing to miss waiting for this one?
him until April 2014 -- 5 months later! He called,
apologized, we laughed, then we talked about the
Curt: I applaud your bravery. Ive certainly been
other women he has feelings for; one very very very
in that situation more times than Id like to admit.
recent ex and his rebound hookup. (Yes, I know:
I often compare the situation to the whole will
$%*&!?*&%^.) Weve hung out several times since
they / wont they plot in some of the more popular
and weve had more heart-to-hearts than ever,
sitcoms. Honestly, I was in a similar situation last
but I cant stop wondering if theres a chance he
summer with a girl that I had feelings for. We had
might want to be with me too someday. I definitely
been friends for 16 years, and last year, after 11
thought that putting my feelings out there and being
months of of late night phone calls, flirty talk, and
rejected would help me move on and just focus
putting myself out there, I recognized that I needed
on being friends, but instead I feel like the female
to give myself some distance from the situation.
version of Lloyd so youre saying theres a chance...
Nothing terrible or dramatic, but the ambiguity was
Christmas.
driving me crazy. What worked for meand my
So, do I need to stop hanging out with him,
suggestion to you is to surround yourself with some
even though I really, really enjoy and treasure our
new experiences, new adventures and new friends
friendship? Or is it OK to let my inner masochist win
to help you keep some distance from the matter. Do
and remain friends, just in case he finally realizes
some new and unexpected things that will help you
I am the best thing that will ever happen to him?
disrupt the pattern of thinking. Good luck!
(Gawd I wish I was kidding.)
Thanks so much in advance for any advice you
Calliope : I know my cohorts have already said
have to offer.
this, but it bears repeating: You are brave and
Cheers, awesome for putting yourself out there like this.
The Forlorn Friend You deserve so, so much better than a dude who
The Divorc(e) Club ...continued
leaves you hanging for 5 months. And it sounds like doesnt have time for me (despite repeated
you know that, too. I know how hard it is to give up assurances otherwise), I dont have time for them.
the hope of a great romance. Believe me, I know!! Benefit of the doubt can only take you so far.
But putting yourself and your feelings out there was
the hardest part, so I know you have the strength to Celtine: I think it depends a lot on this guys
put up some boundaries and start to move on. You personality. If hes pretty confident, then you may
dont have to cut this guy off completely, you just need to just write him off and move on, cuz hes
need to give yourself the room to find new things. had plenty of opportunities. If hes a little more shy,
though, you might want to reach out and suggest a

11111
Last year I met a really awesome guy in summer
date yourself. I had a nearly month-long flirtation
with a guy once where every time I made a move
that I thought signaled my interest, he just froze
and seemed to not get the hint! I was so frustrated
class. We got along great and by the end of the
that I was convinced he had zero interest, even after
semester he asked me out on a date via text. I said
he gave me his number and we texted for a while.
yes but he immediately responded with a whole
He even asked me out once while drunk, but then
spiel of how the date will have to be put on hold for
never followed through! I finally just kissed him
a month due to his crazy work schedule. A month
because I figured anything else would be met with
passes, we continue to text, but he doesnt follow
the same old reaction. Turns out, he was SUPER
through. Whats the deal?
interested, just really nervous and convinced I
Summer Loving didnt like him. Now Im married to him.

Curt: Im super-shy when it comes to relationships


C l i o : Its so hard to know what to think when and dating. I always have been. Flirting? Being
someone has you on hold. A couple years ago I charming? Sweet gestures? Late-night phonecalls?
met a guy who I got to know over email first, and I like to think Ive got a handle on that. Pulling the
then we started to hang out. And while his emails trigger on actually asking someone out? Thats
were extensive, quick in response, and charming, when I totally shut down for several of the reasons
when it came to making plans hed stop responding Celtine alluded to. Thousands of questions pop into
halfway through the conversation, only to then my head and I get nervous. I say, depending on his
check in the day before (or the day of!) and be all, demeanor, asking him out directly and cut through
Oh hey, we still meeting up? It drove me nuts to all of the ambivalence. If you dont ask, the answer
the point that I stopped talking to him altogether; will always be no. So put yourself out there and
the agita wasnt worth the payoff. I dont know say something, and either way, youll be glad that
the reasons it happens, but I do know if someone you did.

1111111 The Columnists 1111111


Celtine has been divorced for four years and recently remarried. She is an
eternal optimist when it comes to relationships, but also knows that a good
partnership is far better than pretending your lover is perfect.
Calliope has been happily divorced for six years. She believes that love is
a giant, blobby, indefinable mess, and that change, even when its the best
change, is stressful to get through, but so very worth it.
Clio was married for four years and has been divorced for two. Shes currently
happily single, and is re-learning how to date as a divorce, an ex-of-an-
alcoholic, and a woman with HSV.
Curt has been separated for nearly two years and is in the process of a
divorce. Hed got a lovable roguish personality, loves karaoke, and is working
on being the best version of himself that he can be. He believes love at first
sight is possible, but also knows great relationships flourish when partners
work together as a team.

111111111111111111111
i n t e r ior s
This month we want to show you a peek at the character designs for
Sarah Kuhn and Sally Jane Thompsons The Ruby Equation! Sarah
put together character descriptions for each of the main characters
and Sally drew a few bunch of different versions of what those
characters could look like. Everyone voted on their favorites
until we were all on the same page!
s pro c ess
i n t e r ior s
s pro c ess
Cover by Yanick Paquette with colors by Sarah Winifred Searle

Next time
In School Spirit, Miles and Corrine are on the verge of being
discoveredand youll find out why exactly thats a big deal!
Plus, Justine and Malie get some alone time and its not all about
making out.
In Ruined, Catherine and Andrew are married! Yay! Except it seems
like no one is celebrating. In fact, Catherine and her sister are
downright tearful at being separated. And youll see what happens
when the bride and groom are finally alone
And in The Ruby Equation, Ruby realizes that her mission wasnt
exactly what she thought it was -- and now she has to deal with a lot
more grunchy, annoying stuff. A baristas work is never done!
Plus, a feature about the fashion of classic romance comics by Jacque
Nodell of Sequential Crush, another installment of the Divorce Club,
and more!

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