My 13 Favorite Romance Covers, by JANELLE ASSELIN

The editor behind the white-hot crowdsource project Fresh Romance is here to school you on love…

The Kickstarter project that’s getting everyone’s attention this minute is Janelle Asselin‘s Fresh Romance, which aims to reinvent the long-lost romance-comics genre for a modern, digital audience. The project — which features top-notch talent like Kate Leth and Sarah Vaughn — has already been featured in New York Magazine‘s Vulture, the Washington Post and Paste, among others.

It’s also worth noting that Fresh Romance is close to hitting its funding goal in lightning speed — but that only covers the first three issues. So if you’re down with some modern love, check out the pitch here.

Meanwhile, here’s Janelle with her fave romance covers.

Love it.

— Dan


Kevin Wada



A lot goes into putting together a great cover, including considerations related to style, interior content, and marketing. Romance comic and novel covers are an art form unto themselves, with an instantly recognizable style that’s evolved over the life of the genre.

As the publisher for Rosy Press, as I was putting together the first few covers for our Fresh Romance magazine (kickstarter link here!), I started to think about what I liked in a romance cover. What brings a romance reader into a comic or a book is going to be pretty different than what attracts a super-hero reader to their comics (although there is some overlap!).

So in no particular order, here are my 13 Favorite Romance Covers:


Writer Sarah Vaughn sent me a link to this great post featuring the artwork of Francis Marshall for a series of romance novel covers. They’re all really great — and different from the art of the time — and have beautiful depth to them. I particularly love the Victorian fashion on Stars in my Heart.


This cover to Romantic Story #92 by Ernesto Garcia is beautifully illustrated, but what a bizarre story it implies! Nothing says true love like I’m going to make out with you underwater until you drown.


I’ve loved Gone with the Wind since I was a kid and I love understated covers like this one. Sure, the book has a lot of problems in regards to race (really, so many problems), but if we’re just talking covers, this original pre-movie cover is really interesting, and something romance covers definitely don’t do anymore.


All right, so what’s in the interior of this X-Men cover by Andy Kubert and Matthew Ryan may not be a romance comic, but this is one of my favorite all-time romances in comics and a cover I remember very well from my early days as a comics reader. Simple, dedicated to the couple — perfect.


Possibly Ric Estrada, according to GCD

The colors on this Falling In Love cover are really fantastic and eye-catching. The logo isn’t great, but everything else about the cover pops. It was a daring choice to put both figures in deep purple, but it really works.


Possibly Werner Roth, according to GCD

Sure, the cover is pretty good, but I’ll be honest. My favorite part of this is that the cover promises “A Girl’s Guide To Liberation” on a cover about a story of a woman stealing her sister’s groom. Classic.


All right, so it’s a little cheesy, but I love covers like this. It’s beautifully illustrated, and the colors are so rich and sumptuous. From the front, you can tell it’s a take on the princess and the pea. Then you open it up and it gets smutty! Perfect. Plus, Eloisa James is one of my favorite romance authors, so it’s a win-win.


Nick Cardy. Who else?

When the boys are this groovy, how can you choose just one? The gent on the right is wearing a pretty awesome flag-inspired outfit. But beyond my mockery, I think this layout is pretty great, the logo looks strong, and the figures, while a bit weirdly contorted, do have a good amount of motion to them.

Big John Buscema

Big John Buscema

I love the style of the woman on this My Love cover. She’s nicely dressed up, she’s got that great headband on, and she’s crying a single tear for a guy who apparently doesn’t have any lips. And yet, the age-old, will-he-call-or-won’t-he-call is an important and accessible dating dilemma.


This looks like the covers on some of the romance novels I picked up when I was a teenager. My mom brought a bunch home to save them from the dump and put them in the attic since no one read them. But how could I resist super ’80s covers like this?! Look how sexy he is — and look at his swinging bachelor friends!


Mike Sekowsky

This is such a great cover full of obvious symbolism! She’s a prisoner of love — so the cover has her behind bars! Despite that on-the-nose design, the color choices are really strong and while the copy muddles it up a little, matching the logo with her dress looks really neat.


I love this book, but I also think this is an eye-catching cover too. I love that modern romance novels are moving more toward this sort of thing, as I think it feels more elegant. The monochromatic color of the background and her dress make everything else — especially the title — pop. And it makes me want to know what’s happening in the book.


This is just pandering to me, really. It’s a cover to what I would consider one of the best modern romance comics (I mean, it is a romance) done in the style of a classic romance novel. Saga is great, Fiona Staples is great, and this cover is amazing.

To check out the pitch for Fresh Romance, click here.

RP banner color final w tm

Author: 13th Dimension

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