Sharing the Secret Loves of Geek Girls
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Sharing the Secret Loves of Geek Girls

A new publishing effort shows off underappreciated aspects of fandom and plenty of local content.

Illustration by Gisele Legace

Illustration by Gisèle Lagacé and Shouri.

Toronto publisher Hope Nicholson is taking a break from reviving classic comic book heroes to give a voice to modern geeky women—though, as far as she’s concerned, the two aren’t so different.

Fresh on the heels of two successful Kickstarters to publish anthologies of Canadian comic book heroes Nelvana Of The Northern Lights and Brok Windsor, Nicholson launched her newest crowdfunding project, The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, on Monday.

It’s been an overwhelming success so far, collecting more than $18,000—half of its target—in one day. And Nicholson has another month to reach her goal.

But whether she’s collecting the forgotten adventures of super-powered Winnipeg outdoorsman Brok Windsor or publishing an essay about having a lady-boner for Spock, Nicholson says it’s all part of the same mission statement.

“I decided that my focus is less on historical books, but the broader umbrella of helping untold tales reach their audience,” Nicholson says.

“That involves old archival books that aren’t accessible, as well as newer books that missed the timing of their audience, but also stories about communities that have been neglected by mainstream publishing, in my opinion.”

In a world full of stories about geeky men overcoming obstacles to win the hearts of women who neither know, nor care, that Han shot first, geeky women barely seem to exist at all.

The Secret Loves of Geeky Girls seeks to change that by collecting comics, illustrated stories, and essays about love and sex from the perspective of geeky ladies.

It’ll feature both fiction and non-fiction stories on topics such as learning about sex through Sailor Moon fandom, maintaining a long-distance relationship by playing co-op RPGs, falling in love with video game characters, and discovering your sexual orientation through fan-fiction.

“As a kid, I loved reading YM and Seventeen as much as the next girl, but there was always that strange part in the magazines where they’d say something like, ‘What to do when your boyfriend likes video games more than he likes you,’ and I’d think, ‘Well that’s hardly possible he likes them more than I like the games,’” Nicholson says.

“So it was always this feeling of being told, ‘You can have romance stories and advice, or you can be nerdy, but there is no crossover.’ Which, as I’ve gotten older and I’ve built and found these communities of amazing, nerdy women, I realize is absolutely ridiculous. We are so starved in some ways to talk about our own experiences, and we don’t get that anywhere.”

Nicholson has 44 contributors signed up so far, including plenty of local talent, such as legendary novelist Margaret Atwood, Dames Making Games’ Soha Kareem, comic-book artist Meaghan Carter, and The Fangirl’s Guide To The Galaxy author Sam Maggs.

“Over 50 per cent of the contributors are from Toronto,” says Nicholson. “I might be accused of being lazy, but this is where my community is.”