Hope Nicholson never planned on being a comics publisher.
While working as a film producer in 2013, she teamed up with comics historian Rachel Richey to launch a Kickstarter project to reprint Nelvana of the Northern Lights, a comic book featuring Canada's first-ever superheroine. “Seeing a project I love come to life, in a way that utilized all my skills in a way film never had, was exhilarating,” she says. “I've been on this path ever since.”
And what a path she’s created. In addition to helping reprint historic comics like World World Two-era Brok Windsor and the ‘80s series Fashion In Action, Nicholson regularly edits new collections like Moonshot, an anthology of comics by indigenous creators. She also runs Bedside Press, her own imprint dedicated to publishing niche books of archival and contemporary comics. When working on new projects, she likes to consider what the reader has to gain: “The emotional reactions, the societal impact. These are the aspects I seek to draw out in my projects.”
In 2015, she curated The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, a Kickstarter-funded collection of prose and comics about love, lust, and “geekery” penned by an all-star team of cartoonists and writers including none other than author Margaret Atwood, who approached Nicholson after hearing about her Canadian comic reprints. “Having her create cartoons for me was absolutely life-changing,” Nicholson says.
Atwood and others returned to contribute to The Secret Loves of Geek Girls: Redux!, Nicholson’s project for Kickstarter Gold. Much like the previous edition, the forthcoming collection will feature funny, tender tales of cosplay conventions, online dating, and ‘90s fangirls.