Thu
Jan 5 2017 12:00pm

5 Romance Comics for Every Reader (and Heat Level!)

Fresh Romance Vol. 1

Hello romance nerds!

Supporting diverse comics is a priority for me and something I really enjoy. Lucky for me, H&H is letting me write about romance comics for you again!

Before we begin:

  • The comics are all different, but I have a thing when it comes to buying my comics digitally: I hate buying based on a pretty, colored cover and discovering a black and white interior. Because I’m your friend, I’ve given you that info up front.
  • Some people like explicit comics, some don’t. I tried to rate them based on whether or not you could read them on the train.

Fresh Romance (full color, sexiness depends on the comic)

Last time I wrote about comics, Fresh Romance had just been published and I was EXCITED. I hope some of you bought the anthology or an issue or two. If you didn’t subscribe, you may have missed the news that Emet Comics has absorbed Fresh Romance and is now publishing pages of The Ruby Equation on their Tumblr.

If you didn’t catch this comic before, it’s ADORABLE. A “cynical bored love emissary from another dimension” has to help humans fall in love to earn her wings. Her approach? Math. The Ruby Equation is written by Sarah Kuhn (who wrote the fab novel Heroine Complex) and drawn by Sally Jane Thompson. Cute art, cute story, love and feel-good vibes. Oh and it’s FREE. (They’ll be continuing the other series too as the creators are able.)

Ares & Aphrodite

Ares & Aphrodite (full color, PG)

(Amazon | B&N)

A cute comic that is pretty much exactly what you’d expect from the cover and the blurb.  “Divorce lawyer Will Ares can't catch a break, and it's starting to affect his romantic life! Enter Gigi Averelle, who just happens to be planning the wedding between one of Will's biggest clients - Hollywood producer Evans Beatty - and rising young star Carrie Cartwright. Gigi could be the girl Will is looking for, but she wants nothing to do with him. Unfortunately, these two are about to see a whole lot more of each other...”

They’re set up in an enemies-to-lovers workplace opposites-attract bet situation. Trope-a-riffic. It reads sort of as a rom-com from the 90s: lots of middle-class white people shenanigans. I liked it but was satisfied when I was done reading. The leads gave me a definite Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan vibe, so if you miss those movies, this might be up your alley.

12 Reasons Why I Love Her

12 Reasons Why I Love Her (black & white, PG-13 for some profanity)

(Amazon | B&N)

This is a more artsy comic from the same writer as Ares & Aphrodite. The book is broken into 12 vignettes that flash back and forth to scenes throughout the relationship of the primary couple. Not really any secondary characters, but a really interesting look at two imperfect people trying to make a go of it. The ending can be read as a HEA, but if that’s the only thing you’re after, let me warn you that you may be disappointed. I really enjoyed the book but felt a bit heartsick at the end. The beauty of this story is that it’s realistic. The ugly side of the story is that it’s realistic.

The Beauty

The Beauty (full color, R)

(Amazon | B&N)

I was originally going to make my whole post about this comic. The premise is WHOA. A couple of years ago, an STD (called “The Beauty”) starts spreading. Once infected, your body goes through a rapid metamorphosis, turning you beautiful. No more fat, no more working out, no more acne or wrinkles. It’s a dream come true, right? Well… until people start exploding. Yeah, EXPLODING. After two years, the virus kills you.

The first volume of the comic explores the repercussions of a society in which anyone can become beautiful. Is it infidelity if you just want to be beautiful for your partner? Is it wrong to infect someone you don’t know? Is it wrong to pay for a disease? How do you convince people not to become beautiful? And how do you prevent panic among the millions of infected people who now get to look forward to dying horribly?

The second volume, which just released before the holidays, threw me. It’s the reason I didn’t make my whole post about this comic. I don’t know where they’re going. Volume Two goes back in time before the events of Volume One and follows a trans woman (who happens to be an assassin) through her decision to contract The Beauty and her relationships. It’s much more violent than Volume One (she’s an assassin, as previously noted) and while we see a lot of her relationship with one man in particular, it’s less sexy than Volume One. Not sure if the comic will keep up the violence or go back to the more nuanced stories at the beginning. My verdict? Buy the first book. I’ll keep reading and let you know how it goes. 

Sunstone

Sunstone (full color, R/NR for so much sex)

(Amazon | B&N)

I’ve read the first four volumes of this series, with one yet to release. It’s a surprisingly beautiful story of two women navigating their first successful dom/sub relationship. They’re “just friends who have sex” but secretly both want more. They’re awful at communicating in a way that is horribly believable. The art is lovely, even if all the characters are white with red hair. (An exaggeration, but something that annoys me.) While the comic is definitely NSFW, I think the sex scenes are very tastefully done. No close-ups or nothing that's awkwardly porn-y. It feels authentic and somehow heartfelt.

 

More comics on the way! I’ll be digging into Smut Peddler (excellent name) and the new followup anthology My Monstrous Boyfriend, as well as a couple of tamer comics in the coming weeks.

Happy reading!


H&H Editor Picks:

Fresh Romance: Comics for Romance Readers

31 Years Later and We Still Love LadyHawke

January 2017 Romance New Releases

 

 

 

 

 


When not reading All of the Things, Suzanne is raising two small valkyries and trying to open a bookstore. Book, comic, and assorted other tweets at@suzannekrohn.

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