Bingo Love is a cute and comfortingly predictable love story, ideal for a Valentine’s Day gift. Written by Tee Franklin with art by Jenn St-Onge and colorist Joy San, it follows the lives of two girls who become high school sweeties in 1960 s New Jersey. Torn apart by family anticipations, Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray reunite decades later at a bingo dormitory where romance blooms once again.

Originally published as part of a Kickstarter campaign, Bingo Love is a perfect example of a comic people are desperate to read, but that isn’t traditionally recognized by mainstream publishers. Image Comics picked it up thanks to its online popularity, as the most recent in an enthusiastic resurgence for wholehearted, self-indulgent romance comics.

Bingo Love/ Image Comics ( Fair Use)

When I use words like “self-indulgent” and” comfortingly predictable ,” I don’t mean it disparagingly. That’s really the whole point of a book like Bingo Love , where two people fall in love, have their lives complicated by circumstance, and eventually find a happy objective. It’s sweet, it’s heartwarming, and it’s reassure. That last part is one of the original selling points for Bingo Love , because it’s vanishingly rare to see homosexual black females anywhere in pop culture, never mind getting a gloriously happy objective. There are boatloads of intrigue novels and made-for-TV movies telling schmaltzy love tales about straight, white people, and this volume scratches a similar itch.

If you’re looking for a more psychologically complex flavor of intrigue, you should probably seem elsewhere. Bingo Love underlines cuteness and simplicity, to the point that it’s equally appropriate for kids. The only really adult-rated instant is a brief joke about a vibrator, and if you’re OK with that, this could easily be a great read for young teens. It’s a manifesto for the relevant recommendations that it’s never too late to come out, and there’s no determined itinerary to happiness.

Bingo Love/ Image Comics ( Fair Use)

Writer Tee Franklin began her comics job in 2016, so it stimulates appreciation for the dialogue to be a little less smoothed than the art. Sometimes characters explain their moods in an unrealistically straightforward lane, and there wasn’t always enough difference between the 1960 s Hazel and Mari and their grandma-aged egoes in the current period. But a lack of subtlety isn’t inevitably a big problem here since we signed up for a cheesy love story in the first place.

Character design is the book’s greatest strength. Artist Jenn St-Onge has a great eye for fashion and hair, both in the 1960 s and in the present-day scenes. Each character’s way sense feels realistic and distinctive, and beyond that, we ascertain them actually picking out clothes and doing their mane. This may sound like a weird thing to single out, but if you’re into both fashion and comics, it’s an ongoing trouble. A plenty of artists exhibit surprisingly little understanding of contemporary fashion, while genre comics unavoidably focus on cool garbs over plausibility. Bingo Love applies mane and attire to bolster characterization, which ties into the romance genre’s relationship with desirability.

In my experience, intrigue fictions often try to make their protagonists relatable through low self-esteem, either bemoaning their appearance like Bridget Jones or sharing dubious humblebrags like,” Oh, I’m < em> so self-conscious about my long, skinny legs .” Bingo Love avoids this trope. Mari has stretch-marks, Hazel is overweight, and they’re both beautiful. There’s no self-doubt in their attraction to each other, and when Hazel has a sex arouse in her 60 s, it’s illustrated as fun, loving, and sexy–essentially the polar opposite of typical stereotypes about older women and sexuality. It’s easy to see why this comic was such a hit on Kickstarter, delivering a heartwarming tale you can read in one sitting.

Bingo Love is out on Feb. 14 from Image Comics.

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