janelle-asselinOver the last decade, Janelle Asselin has become one of the most influential and progressive figures in comics.  Last year, she set off a journalistic firestorm after writing an article that detailed Scott Allie’s long history of sexual harassment while professionally working at Dark Horse.  As a publisher, she launched Rosy Press, an imprint designed to promote diverse stories and romantic tales.  Rosy Press’ Fresh Romance was a success as both a digital title and a print book distributed by Oni Press.  Unfortunately though, while Asselin has long acted as a champion for those without a voice, working in the industry has taken its toll. Today, she announced that Rosy Press will be “shuttered indefinitely.”

Taking to her Patreon, Asselin writes:

Rosy Press is going to be shuttered indefinitely, with further conversations to be had with individual creative teams about what this means for their stories. I’ll do my best to make sure those stories all see the light of day, because I strongly believe in the creators I’ve worked with and I strongly believe in the work they’ve done. This is a personal decision, absolutely, but it’s also a financial one. The truth is that it’s become impossible to move forward with Rosy Press financially with digital sales where they are. I could do another Kickstarter to try to sustain a few more months at least, but my health couldn’t withstand the stress of that on top of trying to pay my personal bills with a full-time job. The print edition did great, and Oni will continue to offer it.

During Asselin’s original Kickstarter for Fresh Romance, several reward tiers promised a year’s subscription to the title, or twelve issues. As of now, there are currently eight.  Asselin addressed her backers in her Patreon letter:

I’ve failed at a lot of things over the last year, and for that I extend my most heartfelt of apologies. I’m working now on getting caught up, but it’s slow going. This includes Kickstarter rewards. For real, I’m working on it and I know you’ve all been very patient. Bear with me just a little longer.

Asselin goes on to give a heartfelt word of thanks to those who supported her and an apology to those she may have hurt.

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I was lucky that when I came out this year, I came out in safety and security. My family reacted well and my ex-husband was supportive and kind. My friends were all completely amazing. That being said, I had a lot of guilt and anger and hurt to work through over the last year and it’s made me a mess of a person on a lot of levels. If you’ve been hurt by this, I am so so so sorry. I am getting better. I will get better. Whatever I owe you, it will be yours.

She closes with a statement indicating that, for now, she will no longer be acting as a figure in the comics community.

But if what you need from me is Janelle Asselin, Comics Personality and Commentator, that person is gone. At least for the foreseeable future.

We wish Janelle the best in her recovery and any ventures she takes on in the future.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Very sorry to hear about her difficulties. She’ll be missed, but she’s doing the right thing for herself, and that’s good to hear. I wish her all the best.

  2. I’m a bit confused. The writer of this article puts:

    “Rosy Press’ Fresh Romance was a success as both a digital title and a print book distributed by Oni Press.”

    but the statement from Janelle Asselin reads:

    “This is a personal decision, absolutely, but it’s also a financial one. The truth is that it’s become impossible to move forward with Rosy Press financially with digital sales where they are.”

    If this is a successful title, shouldn’t the sales sustain it? Can a success be a financial failure? These just seem to be contradictory statements.

  3. Hey Jeff, when I deem Fresh Romance a success I’m speaking primarily to its ability to be funded as a Kickstarter project. Both the digital and print versions were smash successes on that front, even if they were ultimately not financially profitable in the long term.

    I agree that that was unclear though! Sorry about that.

  4. Just recently discovered fresh romance and was enjoying it a lot. They did great work and offered something different. Especially sorry won’t get to finish the current stories. That said, I wish her the best of luck in whatever comes next.

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