Patience & Esther Coming in January
Note: This headline originally said “coming in November”, but the artist has notified me that the publication date has been pushed back. The article has been updated to reflect the new date.
This looks wonderful. Patience & Esther: An Edwardian Romance is an upcoming adults-only graphic novel by S.W. Searle published by Iron Circus. It’s historical! It’s about changing times! It’s women loving women! It’s got characters of different skin tones, heritage, and body shapes! It’s sex- and body-positive! Just check out this publisher description:
Patience is a kindhearted country girl, eking out a living in Edwardian England as tremors of social change rock the world around her. When she starts her employment in formal service on the grounds of an opulent country manor, she has no idea that her own personal revolution is about to begin.
Selfless, dutiful, and just a touch naive, she takes to both her place as a parlor maid and to her new roommate, the bookish and progressive lady’s maid, Esther. In another time, the two women would have kept one another’s company forever in their little attic bedroom, living out their days in the employ of a Lord. But it’s now the dawn of a new age. The expanding empire has brought with it not only plundered wealth, but worldliness and new ideas. Suffragists agitate in the street, idle-rich bohemians challenge sexual mores, and Patience and Esther slowly come to realize the world is wider and full of more adventure and opportunity than they ever imagined . . . so long as they find the will to seize it.
Sensual, sweet, and beautifully illustrated, Patience & Esther is a steamy period romance and an inspirational erotic journey across the epic sweep of history, from the end of a gilded age to the start of an uncharted future.
I’ve gotten to take a look at a digital copy, and it follows through on these promises. It is sweet and loving and a bit unprepossessing at times, as it follows these two women trying to build a life together in spite of their class and backgrounds.
I was originally going to talk about this because of the timing (but I ran late). Patience & Esther was planned to release in mid-November, although it’s now coming out in January. It was offered in the September Diamond Previews, with orders (code SEP20 1311) due to comic shops by September 18. It was also a Kickstarter that ran September 21 through October 2. That’s a relatively short period, but I imagine most interested buyers were alerted through Iron Circus’ established promotion methods, since they’re very good at that. The crowdfunding project asked for $12K and got over $43K, so the timing didn’t hurt it. I hadn’t seen something like this, where both Kickstarter and comic shop orders became available within such a short period of time.