Although comic books are now mostly associated with superheroes, there was a time when romance titles dominated the market. In the late 1940s, the creators of Captain America, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, invented romance comics with Young Romanceand it went from there.
While the genre hasn’t regained the dominance it had in the 1950s, there are plenty of romance-centric comics that readers can enjoy that have been released over the many decades of comic books, from comics to books to webcomics. These are the best of them.
ten I (heart) marvel
To celebrate Valentine’s Day 2006, Marvel Comics released a series of connected one-shot comics featuring some of their most iconic characters, such as Spider-Man and Wolverine. Stylized with a heart symbol, they were event comics of a different kind.
Spider-Man’s love interests in the comics are numerous, so it’s no surprise that he’s one of the best. Still, the novelty of seeing famous Marvel characters live or reflect on love is heartwarming on every level and a different flavor than what you normally see in the comics.
9 fresh romance
fresh romance is an anthology series that began publishing in 2015 and features a diverse portrayal of love and sexuality that is sure to appeal to an equally diverse reader base. Several comic creators are involved in the series, which also keeps the voice fresh, no pun intended.
The other benefit of the anthology format is that readers don’t have to worry about following a release schedule or collecting the entire series. For those interested, look through the collections on offer to find the ones that speak to you the most.
A newspaper comic that became a media sensation in the mid-20th century, blonde was originally created by Chic Young in 1930 and continues to print new strips today through the involvement of Chic’s son Dean, who took over after his father’s death in 1973.
The strip focuses on the eponymous Blondie, her husband Dagwood, and family, friends, and co-workers. Although it focuses on everyday life, the strip’s depiction of Blondie and Dagwood’s relationship is endearing and romantic, as long-married couples often are.
100% was a six-issue limited series published by the former DC Comics imprint Vertigo between 2002 and 2003. Although not considered one of the best Vertigo comic book series, 100% is definitely an underrated gem worth checking out, even forgetting the romance angle.
The manga-influenced series follows a group of six living in the year 2038 and the romantic entanglements of their lives. It might not be the top pick for Valentine’s Day, but it portrays the complex nature of love and connection in a cyberpunk-style world, and does it incredibly well.
This richly woven graphic novel memoir chronicles how its author, Craig Thompson, grew to abandon the faith he was raised in. This development, however, is due to his relationship with a girl named Raina and the conflict he feels between his heart and his religion.
Don’t go into this one expecting a swoon-worthy story about two young adults in love. Instead, expect to get a story grounded in the development of romance and, more so, how often life takes people in unexpected directions.
One of the best comics of all time, Saga is a sprawling epic about two parents trying to escape a galaxy-wide war between their two species, while trying to raise their daughter, Hazel. Although there are many themes in the series, the romance is important.
To like fresh romance, Saga portrays a diverse cast when it comes to sexuality and even gender identity, which is great. However, the core romance between parents Marko and Alana isn’t just what drives the narrative, but what keeps the story grounded, relatable, and adorable.
4 Scott Pilgrim
The comic book series that inspired the iconic cult classic Scott Pilgrim vs the worldthe Scott Pilgrim The series is pretty faithfully adapted by the movie, so anyone who’s seen it usually knows what they’re going to get with the graphic novels.
Basically, after Scott Pilgrim falls in love with Ramona Flowers, he has to defeat his seven evil exes before he can date her without interference. It’s essentially a modern take on a knight’s journey, but its charming quirkiness sets it apart from most other comics, although there are comics like Scott Pilgrim the low.
3 Without sleep
The Fantasy Comic Series Without sleep was created by one of fresh romanceThe screenwriters of Sarah Vaughn, after the launch of this latest series, with Without sleep published by Image Comics from 2017 to 2019. It follows a forbidden love story between a princess and her guardian.
The book is titled Without sleep because the guard does not need to sleep thanks to a magic spell, allowing him to be always vigilant. The art is impressive and the story is a surefire hit for anyone who loves when fantasy and romance genres blend together.
2 Lore Olympus
Of course, webcomics are a medium in their own right, allowing small creators to reach potentially millions of readers without having to publish in the traditional way at all, and that’s exactly how it is. Lore Olympus became a smash hit for New Zealand artist Rachel Smythe.
Although set in modern times, the story follows the relationship between the Greek gods Persephone and Hades. Most of the major Greek pantheons make at least one comic book appearance, though often the roles are bigger than that. It’s intriguing, thrilling and yet still romantic.
1 Heart stroke
The best romance comic, however, has to be Alice Osman’s. Heart stroke graphic novel series, which was recently adapted into a Netflix TV show. Focusing primarily on the budding romance between Charlie and Nick, the books also take time to develop the supporting characters into their own personalities.
The books themselves are absolutely amazing and endearing, so it’s no wonder they were created for such a popular new series. For fans of romance, comic books, LGBTQ+ stories, or just great coming-of-age stories, this is a great choice.
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