The Secret Loves of Geek Girls is, to put it simply, a love letter. Each piece of this anthology is something that hit home for me in some varying degree. I will admit, I am a bit of a geek girl myself; I’ve been a lifelong Sailor Moon fan, and truthfully, most of my spare time is spent watching anime revolving around some type of sports team. The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, from Bedside Press, made me remember that it is alright to be in my twenties and still care about cartoons and comics and my fictional favourites.
The one thing that tied the whole anthology together was the themes of love, sex, and romance. Since these pieces are of that nature, I feel an odd sense of intimacy with the all of these women who are a part of The Secret Loves of Geek Girls. I almost feel like we’re all sitting around at a table, late at night, having a heart-to-heart, and enjoying the all around experience. Through The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, I felt like I learned something not only about these contributors but myself.
The first page of the anthology is an art piece by Sanya Anwar, entitled "Breather." That is exactly what it like inside of a convention bathroom, sewing fixes, make up touches, and breaking out of character is a constant of a convention bathroom. Also, the Revolutionary Girl Utena reference made incredibly excited.
A piece that specifically delighted me was Meags Fitzgerald’s comic, "Waxing Moon." As a Sailor Moon fan, I couldn’t help but laugh over the whole concept of the comic but it completely made sense to me that this happened. I think a lot of people experience what Fitzgerald went through. Though I wasn’t drawing risqué fan art of the characters, I was blindly looking for photos and fan websites about Sailor Moon as a kid, so I can somewhat sympathize with Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was also one of the contributors that was interviewed by RATS in August.
The Secret Loves of Geek Girls isn’t just comics about sexuality, this anthology also reminds readers about the tools of the trade. Brandy Dawley’s "Heard it Through the Grapevine" is a reminder for people, women specifically to stick together and to take care of each other. I have always believed in that mantra and to see that Dawley wrote a whole essay on this belief just filled me with joy. The essay used X-Men metaphors which is always fun, but at the root of the piece, it got down to watching each other and using the grapevine for better instead of worse.
There is also an authenticity to The Secret Loves of Geek Girls that you do not find often unless you purposely look for it. Vocabulary used throughout the book is usually not explained, but if you are savvy in geek culture, this vocabulary won’t be a problem when it comes to reading. There are of course a ton of books, comics, movies, and television series that are referenced, and those may be a little hard to know all about. Anything from the tabletop game Warhammer to Kurt Vonnegut’s books have been mentioned and nodded to within this anthology and in a way could be a little overwhelming, but in the same breath proves that geek girls come in all different styles. Also, it was refreshing to see references to some lesser known fan bases, even if it was just a book cover in a comic panel.
In general, I enjoyed The Secret Loves of Geek Girls. I may just be biased since I truly connected to a lot of the pieces, but I feel like, even if you are not into geek culture there is something to be gained while reading this anthology. The Secret Loves of Geek Girls is a celebration to whom the modern woman is. We are expressing ourselves and we are proud of what we are capable of doing. The overlaying themes of love, sex, and romance of course is something to take into consideration, but in the grand scheme of things, I was more interested in who these contributors were as people and in a way, that’s what makes The Secret Loves of Geek Girls such an absolute delight to read. Whether you’re a self proclaimed geek girl or a person who doesn’t affiliate at all, give The Secret Loves of Geek Girls a read, you may learn something about yourself.