I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I am a firm believer in the idea that there need to be more happy stories about queer people. Thankfully, certain creators seemed to agree, and back in 2015, I was able to buy Dates Volume 1, an anthology of queer historical fiction. While it was created through Kickstarter, I didn’t back it at the time… because I didn’t know it existed until my at-the-time comics shop held a release day party. However, I’ve got a second chance to help out this awesome team, and that’s why my web crush this week is Dates Volume 2, and their currently active Kickstarter.
Margins Publishing, the creative team behind the comic, describes their mission for the Dates series thusly:
Every queer person knows how hard it is to find ourselves in fiction, and how much harder it is to find fiction where our stories don’t end tragically. And of course, it’s particularly difficult to find happy queer characters in historical fiction. We wanted to work towards evening the score, and the result was Dates 1: a 176 page celebration of queer identities of all kinds, across the world and throughout history. We were thrilled by the reception to Dates 1, and we knew people still had more stories to tell, so we decided to do it all again. And just like last year, there are no tragic endings. [emphasis theirs]
Just like the first volume, Dates 2 will be a series of short stories set prior to the mid-20th century, that tell happy, affirming stories about LGBTQ+ characters, whether in romantic relationships or on their own. (For example, Dates 1 had a story about an ancient Irish trans girl whose claim to the throne was not accepted by the island’s deities until she claimed it as a queen, rather than the kingship her father insisted upon.)
The theme for the second volume is “Progress”, and every story will deal with progress in some way. Volume 2 will also be significantly longer than the first, which means even more amazing storytelling and art for people to enjoy. Also, importantly, none of the content is NSFW in any way, which means that these happy queer stories are accessible by a young audience.
I backed at a level where I could get a PDF of Dates 1, because I did the Lord’s work and passed my original hard copy of it on to a fellow queer with whom I’d been lamenting the bury your gays trope, which was a hot topic at the time. This way, I get the physical copy of the new book as well as digital copies of 1 & 2 for posterity. However, you don’t need to have read Volume 1 to understand Volume 2, as the stories are standalones without any ongoing continuity. And while there are some fantastic rewards at higher backer levels, you can get the digital version of Dates 2 for a pledge of as little as $10, which is well worth it.
Dates 2 is already fully funded on Kickstarter, and with only a few days left to fundraise, is in arm’s reach of one of its stretch goals. I speak from experience when I tell you that, if the quality of Dates 1 is anything to go by, helping out this fantastic project is well worth it. Hurry to their Kickstarter today to back this awesome comic, and tune into the Margins Publishing Twitter to stay abreast of any other cool projects the company has in the works.
Hear more from Lady Saika on Character Reveal, the podcast she cohosts with BrothaDom!