Tag Archives: romance

Sarah Vaughn’s Unconventional Heroines

Alex + Ada 11 Jonathan Luna
Jonathan Luna

Superficially the term unconventional refers to something which is different, For example, “my friend has this really unconventional way of eating pizza.” Yet, it also has a deeper implication of defiance. Someone who chooses to be unconventional in such a way that they challenge the expectations of society. They follow their heart in their own manner, dancing to their own beat as the old saying would have it. In the process they offer an example for how others can search out their unique voice. With this in mind, I wish to explore a pair of memorably unconventional heroines from writer Sarah Vaughn.

In late 2013, Jonathan Luna and Vaughn launched their Image collaboration Alex + Ada. Set in the near future, it opens with Alex’s melancholy observance of his twenty-seventh birthday. His girlfriend left him several months prior, and he is still in a bit of a fog. He listlessly goes through the motions at work. He smiles for videocalls with his grandmother and mixing with friends at a surprise party, but for the most part he is unengaged. He barely needs to interact with his surroundings as even the most mundane tasks, such as flipping a light switch, are performed via thought command. This all shifts when he comes home to find his grandmother’s present waiting for him: a state-of-the-art, fully functioning android. Alex names her Ada.

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Review of Secret Wars Secret Love #1

Secret Wars Secret Love 1 David Nakayama
David Nakayama

By Michel Fiffe, Felipe Smith,  Val Staples, Jeremy Whitley, Marguerite Bennett, Katie Cook, Gurihiru & Kris Anka

Among the many positive decisions Marvel made in designing their Secret Wars Event was throwing open the doors to all types of genres .Besides the usual superhero antics, tie-ins have ranged from the common (sci-fi and horror) to less frequently explored (Westerns). This week, Marvel adds another to the latter category: romance. Their Secret Love anthology takes the tropes of romance comics, blends them with superheroes and serves up a delightful one-shot.

The first story (“Guilty Pleasure”) is also the most ambitious. Written and illustrated by indie star Michel Fiffe, it revisits the Ann Nocenti/John Romita Jr. era of Daredevil. The set-up is more or less a classic love triangle: Matt/Daredevil loves Karen, but Karen is jealous, as lately her boyfriend seems to be infatuated with the mysterious Mary/Typhoid Mary/Innocent Mary/Bloody Mary/et al. And so, Karen trails Daredevil as he does the rounds of Hell’s Kitchen. Fiffe locates his tale in the Inferno domain, which lets him evoke a specific segment of Nocenti’s long run on the title (immediately following Nocenti’s initial Typhoid Mary arc, she penned the series’ Inferno tie-ins).
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Review of Fresh Romance #2

Fresh Romance 2 Yanick Paquette
Yanick Paquette

by Kate Leth, Sarah Vaughn, Sarah Kuhn, Arielle Jovellanos, Sarah Winifred Searle & Sally Jane Thompson

Recently, Rosy Press released the second issue of their digital anthology series Fresh Romance. Consisting of three different serials (two set in the present, one in the past) the series brings a contemporary flair to the romance genre. Romance comics may not be in vogue much presently, but they have a long history in the medium, enjoying periods of high sales. These days romance tropes may be prominent in popular series (Saga comes readily to mind), but not as much as a standalone genre. Fresh Romance offers a refreshing corrective to this situation.
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