[Interview] Hope Nicholson of “Secret Loves of Geek Girls” from Dark Horse Comics

Margaret Atwood. Marguerite Bennett. Marjorie Liu. What do these high-profile names in comics have in common, other than all beginning with “Mar”? They, and MANY others, wanted to team up with creator Hope Nicholson for her massive anthology “The Secret Loves of Geek Girls.” PopCultHQ had the fortunate opportunity to chat with Hope and dicsuss her jam-packed anthology published by Dark Horse Comics.

Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Hope Nicholson (Angel CatbirdThe Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen) runs Bedside Press, a publishing house which is dedicated to publishing niche books of archival comics and new prose/comic collections. The freelancer specializes in the research and curation of comic books, or as Dr. Candida Rifkind, the Associate Professor of comic books and Canadian literature at the University of Winnipeg, most succinctly explained it, “Hope has a national and international reputation for doing fantastic work in terms of recovering lost pop-culture and lost comics.”

 

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 SECRET LOVES OF GEEK GIRLS TPB

Publication Date: October 05, 2016
Format: FC, 280 pages; TPB, 6” x 9”
Price: $14.99
Age range: 14
ISBN-10: 1-50670-099-3
ISBN-13: 978-1-50670-099-1

All-star lineup of female writers and illustrators!

The Secret Loves of Geek Girls is a nonfiction anthology mixing prose, comics, and illustrated stories on the lives and loves of an amazing cast of female creators. Featuring work by Margaret Atwood (The Heart Goes Last), Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer), Trina Robbins (Wonder Woman), Marguerite Bennett (Marvel’s A-Force), Noelle Stevenson (Nimona), Marjorie Liu (Monstress), Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), and over fifty more creators, its a compilation of tales told from both sides of the tables: from the fans who love video games, comics, and sci-fi to those that work behind the scenes as creators and industry insiders.

* Features comics written and drawn by Margaret Atwood.

* Cover by Noelle Stevenson (Lumberjanes).

* Foreword by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Bitch Planet).

Buy the digital edition of Secret Loves of Geek Girls TPB now!


PopCultHQ Creator Spotlight:
Hope Nicholson of Dark Horse Comics’
The Secret Loves of Geek Girls

PopCultHQ: What I liked most about your anthology “The Secret Loves of Geek Girls” is what I had never expected. Initially going into reading it, I (mistakenly) assumed it was a collected volume of comic shorts. The fact that it include short literary works infused with illustrations impressed me. How do you describe the type of book you’ve produced? What audience(s) would most enjoy it?

Hope Nicholson: I usually say it’s a mixed-medium anthology! As for the audience, by and large it’s been mostly geeks, mostly women but all genders have approached me as big fans to the book. I think to the average reader not familiar with comics or games, large chunks of it would be completely incomprehensible! But there’s something really nice about a book of love stories just for us.
A selection of creators from the first volume launch party in Toronto in 2015
PopCultHQ: How did all of these creators unite to collaborate on this anthology with you? Were any of the included creators based on interactions you had at conventions?
Hope Nicholson: Yes, the original intent of the book was just going to be a collection of short stories by friends of mine, mostly in Toronto. I had discovered a great deal of comfort sharing stories of love and sex at dinners after cons with them, and wanted to showcase that variety with other readers who I hoped would relate too. It grew from there, more contributors approached me to do stories, people I had never met before, and a lot of them wanted to do comics, so the anthology evolved!
Margaret Atwood

PopCultHQ: With this anthology, you’re connecting with the reader on an emotional level not often seen in comic books. Not simply made-up narratives but genuine, relatable depictions and conversations about love, affection, and relationships originating from the true feelings and experiences of female creators in the comic book industry today. Do you feel the success of this anthology, and the responses you receive from fans, comes from a need of positivity in today’s world? Perhaps even self-discovery?

Hope Nicholson: I think being a historian I have a unique perspective on this, so I don’t think that the exposure of our emotional vulnerabilities is new to comics! I view The Secret Loves of Geek Girls as a sort-of continuation of books that began with the women’s comics movements of the 1970s, even though I was only vaguely aware of them beforehand. Now those were some soul bearing comics!!
I think that with the wide open world of the internet, there is the impression that we can get access to anything, any story, any perspective in the whole world. But that can be overwhelming. A curated collection like Secret Loves really helps to guide the reader through many of the various aspects of love and sexuality that they would be hard pressed to find otherwise.
SDCC 2016 signing appearance

PopCultHQ: From the response (so far) for “The Secret Loves of Geek Girls,” do you have plans for a second volume? Have creators approached you about being a part of the next project?

Hope Nicholson: Yes! We have a volume called The Secret Loves of Geeks which is an all-gender sequel coming out through Dark Horse next year. We also did a little zine with some of the original creators that was funded on Kickstarter a few months ago, that we call the Redux.
PopCultHQ: Do you feel “Secret Loves…” is more about the stories and the messages behind them or showcasing talent, or is it an amalgamation of both?
Hope Nicholson: Oh both for sure! I think the intent of the stories was the main thing, but it was important for me to showcase a vast array of talent as well. If anyone got jobs as a result of this project, I’ll consider that a success!
PopCultHQ: What do you, Hope Nicholson, have planned coming up we can look forward to, be it projects, signings, con appearances, etc.?
Hope Nicholson: Oh, I constantly am working on things! Less con appearances this year as I’ve went back to fulltime work from freelance. But I recently joined my publishing company Bedside Press with Alberta’s Renegade Arts Entertainment, so I’m excited to work with them on projects next year. Right now we are calling for submissions for a new anthology of prose fantasy stories by transgender femme authors, so that’s a big focus right now. And I hope to continue doing books every so often with Dark Horse, I like working with their team! You can view all projects (once they have a cover) at hopenicholson.com
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Special thanks to Hope Nicholson for taking the time to be interviewed by PopCultHQ.

Be sure to follow Hope and Dark Horse Comics online
to stay up on all the latest on “The Secret Loves of Geek Girls”!

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About Jason Bennett 3495 Articles
Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's chief editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. One with the Force. Browncoats Unite! So say we all! Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett