The Secret Loves of Geek Girls – Kickstarter is Live!


Cover art by Gisele Lagace & Shouri

The Secret Loves of Geek Girls is a celebration of the stories we tell each other but never make public —until now.


This non-fiction anthology of text stories and comics features stunning work from an amazing cast of female creators negotiating their way through love, dating, and sex.

 The Secret Loves of Geek Girls includes:
  • Cover Art by Gisele Lagace & Shouri
  • Art by Renee Nault and Jen Bartel
  • New comics by: Margaret Atwood, Meaghan Carter, Megan Kearney, ALB, Jen Vaughn, Meags Fitzgerald, Gillan G., Diana Nock, Roberta Gregory, Laura Neubert, Sarah Winifred Searle, Natalie Smith, and Jenn Woodall.
  • Illustrated stories by: Kate Leth, Janet Hetherington, and Sam Maggs/Selena Goulding.
  • Text stories by Brandy Lynn, Stephanie Cooke, Diana McCallum, Jen Aprahamian, Katie West, Adrienne Kress, Soha Kareem, Loretta Jean, J.M. Frey, Trina Robbins, Twiggy Tallant, Rachel Deering, Hope Nicholson, Crystal Skillman, Marguerite Bennett, Soraya Roberts, Emma Woolley, Gita Jackson, Renee Nejo, Natalie Zina Walschots, Megan Lavey-Heaton, Alicia Contestabile, and Tini Howard.
  • Reprinted comics by: Gisele Lagace and Danielle Corsetto.

    The Book:

    The Secret Loves of Geek Girls is a 6” x 9” softcover, approximately 220 pages, mixed art and text.


    This project was inspired by two things: reading dating advice online, and a typo.

    I find myself very optimistic whenever I see an article on advice or information on geeks and dating. But soon this excitement turns to disappointment; the articles are almost always written with only the male geeks in mind.

    There is a desert of information geared towards the women in fandom. Yet when I get together with my friends at events or over drinks, one of our major topics is how we handle relationships and crushes, rejections, unwanted advances, and general romantic and sexual entanglements.

    The Secret Loves of Geek Girls anthology is written for the geek girl who wants information and stories on dating and love. It’s a compilation of tales told from both sides of the tables: from the fans who love video games, comic books, and sci-fi, and those that work behind the scenes: creators, and industry insiders.

    The Secret Loves of Geek Girls collects successes as well as embarrassments, examines the fandoms that we ship, and reassures us that no matter what we’re going through or have gone through, we are never alone.

    The docu-series, art by Adam Gorham
    The docu-series, art by Adam Gorham

    Now for the typo. Years ago I had been developing a television series on the Secret Lives of Nerd Girls, a docu-soap focused on the fangirls and creators in my Toronto community, tracing their daily lives and interests in preparation for con season. A sort of feminist Comic Book Men, if you will. Sadly, broadcaster interest was low and the project was shelved. But I always kept the poster that I commissioned for the series, and whenever I looked at the file, I noticed a typo in the filename. Instead of “Secret Lives”, it said “Secret Loves”. For the last few years every time I see that typo I think “Man, now that would be a good project!”

    Well, here it is!

    I’m so excited to be able to bring these stories to you.

    Who’s Involved?

    Below is sample art only meant to indicate the artist’s style

    Renee Nault – The artist of The Handmaid’s Tale Graphic Novel will be contributing an original artpiece for this campaign.

    Jen Bartel – (cover artist, Jem and the Holograms) will be contributing an original artpiece for the campaign.

    Comics / Illustrated Stories

    photo by George Whiteside, art by Margaret Atwood
    photo by George Whiteside, art by Margaret Atwood

    Award-winning author Margaret Atwood will be contributing her own drawn cartoons detailing her personal experiences as a young woman, created specifically for this project.

    Meaghan Carter (Take Off, Godslave) – A comic on first dates.

    Megan Kearney (Beauty and the Beast) – “Dibs on the Goblin King” A comic on teens and gothic romance bad boys.

    Danielle Corsetto (Girls With Slingshots) – Selections from Danielle Corsetto’s Girls with Slingshots webcomic that deal with romance and technology (fiction)

    Gisele Lagace (Pixie Trix Comics) – Selections from MA3 and Sticky Dilly Buns webcomics focusing on female comic book & videogame geeks (fiction)

    ALB – “Settings”: Comic story about a relationship where the phone is an interfering third party.

    Kate Leth (Bravest Warriors, Edward Scissorhands) – An illustrated story about kink.

    Jen Aprahamian – “Read 1:19 AM” : An illustrated story on dating anxieties and hyperanalysis, centered on read receipts and communication frequencies

    Jen Vaughn (Avery Fatbottom) – “Pining Over Puzzled Pints”: So you broke up, now comes the hard part, who gets to go to trivia night?

    Meags Fitzgerald (Photobooth: A Biography) – “Composition Studies”: A comic about how Meags’ pre-teen love of Sailor Moon intersected with her new curiosity about the mechanics of sex.

    Janet Hetherington – Both Sides of The Table and Between the Sheets” – The illustrated adventures of a fan turned creator throughout the years of convention explosion.

    Diana Nock (Intrepid Girlbot) – “None the Wiser” A comic on following your true love into unknown adventures – and why it’s a horrible idea.

    Roberta Gregory (Bitchy Bitch) – Roberta Gregory illustrates the downside of five decades worth of drawing adult comics.

    Laura Neubert (sehnsucht): They Bury You in White – In this comic Neubert deals with the fears and anxieties around relationships and marriage: happily ever after doesn’t mean the end of the story.

    Gillian G. – “Firsts” – A visual trek through the uncanny valley of firsts that would be described as “romantic,” if they weren’t so embarrassing. This is the legacy of a woman with absolutely no game.

    Sarah Winifred Searle“Better Than Fiction”  – A cartoonist falls into a romance even better than the stories she creates.

    Sam Maggs (Fangirls Guide to the Galaxy) & Selena Goulding – illustrated story, written by Sam Maggs and illustrated by Selena Goulding. An illustrated story about Bioware crushes, Alistair & Garrus

    Natalie Smith – A comic on misadventures with potential romantic encounters with men

    Jenn Woodall – “The Flower Girl” – A comic about Jenn’s childhood obsession with Final Fantasy VII and the shipping wars in that fandom.

    Text Stories

    Brandy Lynn – “A Different Kind of Fantasy Roleplaying” is a live experience told through texts on flirting through D&D obsession.

    Stephanie Cooke (Talking Comics) – The myriad ways online dating has changed the way we interact with our potential partners.
    Diana McCallum (Texts From Superheroes, – “Life Partner, Business Partner” explores how to live and work creatively with your significant other.
    Also, “5 Couples With Happy Endings (That Are About To Go Tragically Wrong)”, a comedic article examining the epilogues of five famous couples in pop culture.
    Adrienne Kress (Alex and the Ironic Gentleman/The Friday Society) – “I’m Your Biggest Fan” details how we turn our crushes into our own personal fandoms.
    Soha Kareem (Dames Making Games) – “Mashing Our Buttons: On Romance and Sex in Videogames”
    Loretta Jean (Nerd Girls Burlesque) – Let Loretta Jean teach you how to incorporate your geeky interests into your dating profile.
    J.M. Frey (The Untold Tale) – “How Fanfiction Made Me Gay”
    Trina Robbins (Pretty in Ink) – “Why My Boyfriend is Secretly Plastic Man”
    Rachel Deering (In the Dark) – “MONSTERS, MAIDENS, and METAL: The Darker Side of Fandom and the Lesbians Who Love It.”
    Hope Nicholson (Brok Windsor) – “The Rise of the Late Bloomer” An essay on discovering the shocking secret of how common blooming late is, and why no one talks about it.
    Crystal Skillman – “GEEK: A Play” Excerpts from the play Geek, woven in with personal anecdotes and experience.
    Soraya Roberts – “No Country for Old Mentors” The quest for a mentor leads to an unsavory encounter in a hotel room.
    Emma Woolley – “The Vulcan in Me” Spock is Hot. ‘Nuff said.
    Gita Jackson – “Dating While Black”
    Natalie Zina Walschots – “Check Out Our Matching Armour: Co-Op Gaming and Long Distance Relationships.”
    Megan Lavey-Heaton – “How Fanfic From an American Girl Captured an English Boy” how a fanfic review from an English university student turned into an international marriage that includes anime conventions, heart surgery, a blizzard and a jealous cat.
    Alicia Contestabile – “Never Kiss a Writer” A piece examining how much of your love life can — and should — be expressed through game creation.
    Tini Howard (Poseidon IX, Magdalena, Oath Anthology) –  “Fanfiction, f/f, angst”Reflecting on young love and slash fiction.
    Katie West – “Because Survival is Insufficient” – Preparing for the end of the world while dealing with the end of never-ending love.
    Marguerite Bennett (Marvel’s A-Force, DC’s Bombshells) – “MINAS TIRITH” – A lighthearted, charming story on how geekdom kept a relationship fun, funny, and alive.
    Also including works by:
    Twiggy Tallant (The Nerdy Stripper)
    Renee Nejo (game developer)


    Budget is based on a 1,500 copy print run

    38% of the funds are going directly to the writers and artists involved in the project

    32% is estimated to be the total shipping cost

    15% is going to the printer of the book (Canadian based printer)

    9% is going to Kickstarter fees

    3% is held in reserve for an emergency buffer (ie. postal rate increases, reshipping of lost packages, technology failure) Should no emergencies happen by the time the book is printed and shipped these funds will be used for convention travel & promotion.

    3% is for the interior and exterior design of the book

    Stretch Goals

    75% of any funds after expenses raised above the minimum goal will be distributed equally among the writers/artists of the project after the book is printed and shipped to funders. There is no cap and no benchmark to this.

    $50,000 – A custom bookplate page will be included in the Kickstarter package, handsigned by the editor (me) and numbered.

Risks and challenges

To date I am the publisher of two successful comic collections (Brok Windsor, Nelvana of the Northern Lights) and editor of the anthology Moonshot, all of which were funded and distributed through Kickstarter. Through these experiences I have been well prepared to take on this project and any difficulties that might arise.


JM FreyThe Secret Loves of Geek Girls – Kickstarter is Live!