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$14,652 pledged of $21,000 goal
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By Jacque Nodell
$14,652 pledged of $21,000 goal
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About this project

The Book

How to Go Steady will teach you all about dating according to romance comic books of the 1960s and 1970s. Not only will you learn everything from what to do with a borrowed hankie to how to make the first move, you’ll learn how to develop the most attractive quality of all.

How to Go Steady will be a beautiful fully illustrated 6” x 9” softcover book (approximately 160 pages) full of gems from romance comic book advice columns, quizzes, and stories. The book also includes an afterword by former Marvel Comics staffer and Girl Friday, Suzan Loeb, discussing how she came to work for Marvel and write the advice column “Suzan Says.”

What's Inside 

  • Meeting the One
  • Preparing for the Date
  • Going Steady
  • Kissing, Petting, and Sex
  • Dealing with Parents and Friends
  • First Comes Love Then Comes..?
  • Jealousy
  • Heartbreak
  • For the Guys

Who is This Book For?

I’ve been lucky to have a truly wonderful audience composed of people from all walks of life. Though this book deals with dating as it was depicted in the postwar years, I think you’ll find that the advice is applicable to today’s modern dater no matter what their romantic situation. It is my hope that you will not only enjoy reading about dating practices of yesteryear, but you’ll find them thought provoking and even useful. No matter if you are already a fan of the blog, a comic book fan, an illustration fanatic, a history buff, a matchmaker, a lover of all things midcentury, or just a romantic -- there will be something in this book for you!

Our Story

Back in 2013, I wrote a fifty-page book proposal to shop around for an all-encompassing history of the romance comics of the 1960s and 1970s. I poured months into writing the proposal and a sample chapter and sent it off to both potential agents and publishers. I got some fantastic and encouraging feedback, but ultimately, no bites. It was then suggested to me by then boyfriend (now fiancé!) that I should just strike out on my own and self-publish. I was resistant to the idea at first but the more I thought about it and learned about the freedom that comes with self-publishing, I was totally on board.

Once I made the decision to self-publish, I figured that I would focus on one aspect of the romance comics to start out. Having myself just gone through a breakup and entering into the world of dating, I found the romance comic book advice columns really fascinating for how they dealt with navigating all things love and romance, especially in the beginning stages. It was also around this time that I had just learned that my grandfather, Mart Nodell, had worked on numerous advice featurettes for the early romance comic, Miss America. I honestly couldn’t imagine my grandpa doling out advice to teen girls, but it happened! The authorship of the comic book advice columns really intrigued me and I decided it was something I had to look into further.

Many of you know me (Jacque) from Sequential Crush, but I’m happy to introduce you to Jenny Cimino -- How to Go Steady illustrator extraordinaire! I’m beyond excited to have Jenny join me on this project as the illustrator and book designer. Her art is wonderful and not only that, her style complements and pays homage to the romance comics beautifully, don’t ya think?! In addition to illustration, Jenny is a professional graphic designer and brings to this project over ten years of pre-press experience assembling publications for print.

Jenny and I have known each other for years. Back when I was in museum school, I was the graduate assistant for the design department at the St. Louis Science Center where Jenny was a graphic designer. I immediately gravitated to Jenny’s art style and hilarious personality. After I finished grad school, Jenny and I stayed friends on Facebook. Back in 2013, I sent her a message inquiring if she’d like to work on an illustration project for me and here we are!  

Budget

In order to make this book a reality, we need to raise $21,000. The majority of the money will go toward paying Jenny to illustrate and design the book. Another sizable portion will go toward the printing process. I believe in paying artists a fair wage for their work and believe me, Jenny is definitely worth it! It is also important to me to print the book domestically. For this reason, I’ve decided to work with Thomson-Shore, a 100% employee-owned book manufacturer based in Michigan.

The rest of the money raised will cover the cost of production of the rewards, shipping, publishing and marketing fees (including a final proofing and ISBN), Kickstarter and credit card fees, as well as a small buffer should anything unexpected arise.

The completion of this book will not be possible without your help. Since 2009, Sequential Crush has been a not-for-profit educational venture run solely by me, Jacque Nodell. With the exception of a few generous donations from readers, I have paid for the site on my own. By backing How to Go Steady, you will be helping me usher in a new era for Sequential Crush and romance comics!

Timeline

The writing and editing are complete! Phew! The next six months will include Jenny finishing the illustration work and book design. Once the book is fully assembled, it will undergo a full professional proofreading. We anticipate that the book will go to print in early November and be ready to ship out in December along with the rest of the rewards. That way, you’ll have it in time for the holidays and well ahead of Valentine’s Day should you want to give a copy to a special someone!

Praise for Sequential Crush

“When we published the romance comics years ago, I never envisioned there would be an interest in them all these years later. But there is, and thankfully Jacque Nodell has preserved them with her blog, Sequential Crush. Though romance comics didn’t enjoy the same long-term success that the superhero books did, we are indebted to Jacque and her commitment to digging up treasures that may otherwise be lost. Jacque’s knowledge of, and entertaining insight into the romance comics of the 1960s and ‘70s is impressive, and the stuff that great books are made of. ‘Nuff said.”  -Stan Lee, comic book legend

“Kudos to Jacque Nodell and a lot of my gratitude, too. I’m going to have such a good time at her place.”  -Jennifer Crusie, New York Times bestselling author

“Basically, Sequential Crush is amazing and transfixing and, often, unexpectedly touching. Each carefully curated post is like a tiny, hilarious, ridiculous, and/or moving time travel vessel that shows the reader that everything both changes and stays the same. Haha, that basically says nothing. I don't know, but I love them (it?) so much. Something about the way the old comics try to speak to the naked yearning of the teenage girl's soul are really beautiful and messy and just, ah, I don't know. It speaks to the naked yearnings of everyone's souls? Well, maybe not, but there's something there that I still haven't put my finger on. Anyway, it's been an absolute delight to read these past couple years.”  -Edith Zimmerman, founding editor of The Hairpin and contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine

“Jacque Nodell balances keen insightful feminist perspectives with an almost unapologetic nostalgia for the romance genre.”  -Sam Kieth, comic book writer, illustrator, and creator - The Sandman, The Maxx, Zero Girl

Thank you so much for your interest in How to Go Steady!

I am so thankful to have gotten this far with the help of all of you, and I know that we can make this book a reality! I would be extremely grateful if you could help spread the word to anyone who might be interested! Thank you!!! You are truly the best!

xoxo

Jacque Nodell and Jenny Cimino

Risks and challenges

Risks and challenges are inherent in every project. At this point in time, there are no foreseeable obstacles we need to overcome to finish this project. However, should anything arise, I feel that my long term commitment to Sequential Crush through the highs and lows of life makes me well-suited to finish a project of this scope. Since the book is already written, I am eager to get this out into the world. It is my hope that everything goes as planned and stays on schedule, but I will keep you in the loop of any delays. If you have any questions about the project, I'd love to hear from you!

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    CRUSH

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    INFATUATION

    Googley eyes, ahoy! Not only does your intense like of us get you a thank you on Sequential Crush, you’ll also get:

    • A desktop wallpaper with artwork from the book

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    FIRST DATE

    You got this! This level gets you a thank you on Sequential Crush and:

    • Desktop wallpaper
    • A digital poster of Sequential Crush’s best dos and don’ts of dating

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    HOLDING HANDS

    We wanna hold your haaaaannndd! At this level you’ll get a thank you on Sequential Crush and:

    • Desktop wallpaper
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    FIRST BASE

    Batter up! At this level you’ll get a thank you on Sequential Crush and:

    • Desktop wallpaper
    • A thank you in the book
    • Digital version of the book
    • Your very own copy of the book

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    GOING STEADY

    You’ve been pinned! At this level you’ll get a thank you on Sequential Crush and:

    • Desktop wallpaper
    • A thank you in the book
    • Digital version of the book
    • Copy of the book
    • Bookmark

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    NECKING

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    • Desktop wallpaper
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    • Copy of the book
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    • A special sketch inside the book by artist Jenny Cimino

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    HEAVY PETTING

    Oh la la! Back at this level and you’ll get a thank you on Sequential Crush and:

    • Desktop wallpaper
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    • Digital version of the book
    • Copy of the book
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    • A sticker sheet with artwork from the book

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    BACKSEAT AT THE DRIVE-IN

    Who needs popcorn? At this level you’ll get a thank you on Sequential Crush and:

    • Desktop wallpaper
    • A thank you in the book
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    • Copy of the book
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    • Sticker sheet
    • Set of three mini prints perfect for framing

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    PLAYING THE FIELD

    Don't keep the love all to yourself! This level is perfect for retailers. Back at this level and you'll receive 10 physical copies of the book to share!

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    MEET THE PARENTS

    Put on your best smile and take a deep breath! At this level you’ll get a thank you on Sequential Crush and:

    • Desktop wallpaper
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    • Set of three mini prints
    • A digital portrait of your likeness by How to Go Steady illustrator, Jenny Cimino

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    PUT A RING ON IT

    Shit just got real! At this level you’ll get a thank you on Sequential Crush and:

    • Desktop wallpaper
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    • Digital version of the book
    • Copy of the book
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    • Sticker sheet
    • Set of three mini prints
    • A digital portrait of your likeness
    • A hand-painted version of your digital portrait by How to Go Steady illustrator, Jenny Cimino

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    SOUL MATES

    A perfect match! Back at this level and you’ll get a thank you on Sequential Crush and:

    • Desktop wallpaper
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    • Set of three mini prints
    • A digital portrait of your likeness
    • A hand-painted version of your digital portrait
    • A piece of original art by Jenny Cimino that was used in the production of the book

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Funding period

- (30 days)