In 2018, Bedside Press launched an all original comics anthology called Gothic Tales of Haunted Love, a re-imagining of the 1960s gothic romance comic genre, adjusted for a culturally and sexually diverse lens that featured more than ladies in white gowns shrieking across British moors. Featuring work from such creators as Janet Hetherington and Ronn Sutton - a nanny tale with a crushing end; Barbara Guttman - a story that asks what happens when we become the monster; Hien Pham - a ghost-love story set during the Vietnam War and told entirely in the creator's native Vietnamese; and more, including a reprint of Sanho Kim's Korean gothic drama "The Promise," all edited by Hope Nicholson (Dark Horse Comics) and S.M. Beiko (award-winning young adult fantasy author.) The book went on to sell out entirely, and was named one of CBC Reads and Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2018.
But both Beiko and Nicholson felt that there were more stories to be told in the genre, and in 2019 under Bedside Press' Kickstarter Mentorship program, S.M. Beiko conceptualized a brand new anthology with a roster of creators keen on revisiting gothic romance--with a sci fi twist.
Currently funding on Kickstarter, Gothic Tales of Haunted Futures plays with the concept of humans, ghosts, monsters, and love, set in a time beyond our current one, in locations both familiar and in the far reaches of space, adding aliens, gestalt minds, sentient AIs and revenge-driven software. From the Kickstarter campaign:
What haunts our hearts today may haunt us in the hereafter . . .
In future-Edo Japan, two lovers cross paths after fifty years apart. A drone-stream influencer is stalked by a spectre her online audience can't see. Trans vampires' lives intertwine in cyber-goth Paris. A non-binary chaplain serving a haunted space station becomes enamoured with the ship's AI. And the treachery and passion of a gestalt alien mind reaches critical mass for the explorer who discovered it.
With stories spanning time, galaxies, and spirits, Gothic Tales of Haunted Futures features 18 original stories, casting the indelible themes of gothic romance forward in time, to imagined futures and tomorrow’s afterlives.
The book features 18 original new stories, 9 pin up pieces, plus a foreword from Harrow County's Tyler Crook, and stunning cover artwork by Captain Marvel cover artist Sweeney Boo. Beiko is more than thrilled to be a part of this project as editor and production manager, saying "The tradition of telling romantic stories through a horror lens goes even further back than the inspiration we drew on for the original anthology and now this follow up. What is most important is that we push the boundaries of the genre, beyond colonial Europe, beyond our world, and beyond our expectations, which is why so many stories in this anthology are specifically LGBTQ2IA+ diverse."
The campaign has a little over a few hours to complete funding. Discover more about this book and how you can support its creation through the campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/smbeiko/gothic-tales-of-haunted-futures