Fresh Romance Vol. 1
Rosy Press / Oni Press
- School Spirit: Kate Leth (Writer), Arielle Jovellanos (Artist), Amanda Scurti (Colorist), Taylor Espostio (Letters)
- Ruined: Sarah Vaughn (Writer), Sarah Winifred Searle (Illustrator and Colorist), Ryan Ferrier (Letters)
- The Ruby Equation: Sarah Kuhn (Writer), Sally Jane Thompson (Illustrator), Savanna Ganucheau (Colorist), Steve Wands (Letters) Sonia Harris (Logo)
- Beauties: Marguerite Bennett (Writer), Trungles (Illustrator and Colorist), Rachel Deering (Letters), Kris Anka (Cover)
- First, Last and Always: Kieron Gillen (Writer) and Christine Norrie (Artist)
Review by Insha Fitzpatrick
Romance is coming back to comics. Fresh Romance is just the first step.
Fresh Romance is a breath of fresh air to what romance comics should and can be, both new and old. Fresh Romance is an anthology of different stories that gives the audience a fresh take on different perspectives of romance including experiences in high school, fairytales, cafes and more. The stories are heartbreaking, exciting, beautiful, tragic and more, but they all carry that theme of love, like, and of course, romance.
The different stories inside of the anthology are the best thing about it. Each one of them has an amazing team as well as an amazing story to back them all up. You couldn’t find a combination of better stories and teams in one anthology. Let’s start talking about some of these stories, shall we? School Spirit takes queer high school romance and turns it on its head. Filled with magic and secrets, Kate Leth (Writer) and Arielle Jovellanos (Artist) lead and slay this story that leaves you wanting more. Sarah Vaughn (Writer) Sarah Winifred Searle (Illustrator and Colorist) take Ruined into a time of a Jane Austen novel and completely breaks your heart. This story is only in its first installments, so there’s much more coming, but the parts that we have now are beautiful and poetic.
The Ruby Equation has got to be my favorite story in the anthology. It’s short, sweet and has a storyline that absolutely warms the heart. Sarah Kuhn (Writer) and Sally Jane Thompson (Illustrator) take the story of a waitress trying to get to homeworld. The twist? She needs to make people fall in love in order to do that, but she struggles with just one more match. This story takes an awesome and unexpected direction and with Savanna Ganucheau (one of my favorite artists) on colors, this story is a major hit. Beauties is written by Marguerite Bennett with art & colors Trungles. This story is a twist off of tales, but particularly has the resemblance of Beauty & The Beast, it’s heartwarming and delicate in it’s own way and that’s not a bad thing at all. Both Marguerite and Trungles turn a fairytale into a beautiful serenade.
Last, but definitely not least, is a short comic written by Kieron Gillen and drawn by Christine Norrie called First, Last and Always. This story tells the tale of a girl going through difference kisses in her life. It’s very short, but really tells you a story from start to finish in the matter of seconds. Kieron has always been great with words, but matches with Christine’s drawing, it’s absolutely gold.
Buy It! Fresh Romance is something that should stick around forever. An anthology that revolves around romance is not only brilliant, but very much needed. This first volume of Fresh Romance brings together some talented and incredible people to tell some story from different moments of romance. It’s going to be incredible to see what happens in future volumes and what talent they produce.