For years, the archetype of a geek has been a sexually deprived, straight, cis, white male who can never seem to "get the girl." Now, people are starting to recognize geeks of different genders, races, and sexual orientations. These geeks have been geeks for as long as the geek archetype has existed, but their passions were forced to be kept secret. Now, Dark Horse's latest comic book and prose anthology The Secret Loves of Geeks brings the passions of a variety of creators to life.
One of the most remarkable things about this anthology is the various interpretations of the word "love." Based on the title alone, you can tell that the book will have the contributors geeking out over their various interests with a fervor that can only be described as love. However, the book also features romantic love, sexual desire, self-love, and more. The various types of love featured demonstrate that there is no one way to be a geek and that love isn't restricted to just romance.
Out of all the stories about love, the stories about romantic love and self-love stand out most. As previously mentioned, many popular depictions of geeks make them seem incapable of having flings, being attractive, or having a partner. Yet, these stories feature geeks who do these things and are personally impacted by their experiences. One of the most notable stories is "Love In Alderaan Places" by JP Laroque. In this prose piece, the author recounts the time he pretended to like the Star Wars franchise in order to continue a relationship with a former boyfriend. It's outrageous, funny, and heartwarming in the way a romantic comedy movie is.
When it comes to the self-love stories, these stories show how fandom and pop culture can be a positive influence. "Being The Slayer" by Gwen Benaway discusses how the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer spoke to her as a trans woman. "Smudged", a comic by Letty Wilson, tells the story of how drawing helped the author come to terms with their anxiety and asexuality and find people that liked them for who they are. These stories and similar ones will speak to geeks who use their interests as an anchor in life.
Not only is the love diverse, but the contributors are as well. The anthology is one of the most queer inclusive comic books out there, featuring stories with queer people of different races, gender identities, and sexual orientations. The prose stories and comicsm which feature transgender, non-binary, and asexual people, were especially notable given how rarely they are acknowledged. While not every story in this book features queerness, the ones that do serve to encourage LGBTQ geeks to wave their geek flags high.
On top of the wonderful storytelling is the eclectic artwork for both the prose and comic stories. Since this is an anthology, the artwork features different styles that vary from piece to piece. One comic, "Do You Feel It?" by Shee Phan, makes good use of reds and yellows to enhance the feelings of the queer couple, especially the asexual partner. Another comic, "Josei" by Priya Hug is done in a style reminiscent of Japanese comics aimed at young women. Whether for prose or a comic, most of the artwork manages to enhance the stories of the contributors by literally making the stories more colorful.
All in all, The Secret Loves of Geeks is an entertaining anthology that serves as a wonderful ode to love and fandom. It shows that your interests, no matter how geeky they are, can lead to you find and enjoy love in a variety of forms. Geeky loves can lead to romance, self-love, community, and more. No matter what your interests are or what love means to you, this anthology is worth checking out.
The Secret Loves of Geeks comes out February 13, and is currently available for pre-order!