Sweethearts of 1989: a LGBT / Trans Positive Romance Series!

Created by Kale Jeffery (kalematsuba)

Sweethearts of 1989 (1989年の恋人たち) (1989nk) is a LGBTQ / Trans* positive slice of life romance story featuring a retro manga aesthetic!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

HUGE UPDATE! Hey its been a while! shipping Progress + I have some photos for you!
6 months ago – Thu, Nov 22, 2018 at 11:31:41 PM

Hey everyone!

Sorry for keeping you waiting so long with another update.

First of all I just want to apologize for my slowness, but I wanted to give you some updates on my progress.

 Start shipping represents the orders I have not yet shipped (These are mostly the collector's editions as I am now nearly finished assembling them all!) I hope to begin shipping collector's editions early next week. 

Shipped obviously means this is the number of backers who've already been sent their items. I'm so close to being done! lol. (Thanks to everyone who has been so kind as to let me know their items have arrived and tagged me on social media!)

Please forgive me for how long the collector's editions have taken - I hope you all understand that this was an ENORMOUS undertaking for just one person. 

I do not drive, I have no way of taking large amounts of parcels to the post office. I only have so much time in one day. I am not a team, not a group, just one guy. The sheer amount of time it takes just to fill out labels and pack orders for one person is enormous. I have to take as many parcels as I can carry on public transit to the nearest post office. lol. Its not the most convenient.

Not to mention all the setbacks re: faulty products and having to have things sent back and redone because merchandise manufacturing companies for some reason don't have quality control. The process between placing the order to the manufacturer, submitting the art, getting a proof, getting a sample, and then having the product come to my door (sometimes waiting longer than a month from the sample date!!) is a long one for some of these things. So, you can imagine how frustrated I was having to do this twice - and once even 3 times. But I did all this because I wanted to make sure I was sending my backers the BEST quality product possible. I would not settle for less.

I've also, at the request of my doctor, been sure to take breaks. sometimes between a few days to a week long. I could have had this probably done a lot sooner had I not done this. But there are a lot of factors regarding my mental and physical health to consider. I have bad depressive and creative ruts. Again, I apologize for this, but I also really extremely appreciate those who understand. I apologize for the lack of updates during these times, but I didn't exactly consider it appropriate or professional to constantly update on my personal life. My focus was just on getting things finished and shipped to the best of my ability. 

But honestly, I have been doing my best considering all these circumstances and I think the product you all will receive was well worth my efforts. I am very confident and proud of this product, despite how long it's taken. I only hope beyond hope that everyone who receives it feels the same!!

I've been working tirelessly putting all these collector's boxes together. My hands hurt immensely lol. I have to assemble them all by hand - as they were shipped flat.

 this is only 45 boxes out of nearly 80 that need to be put together and its taken me a long time since i have tendonitis constantly. lol

 but man, I gotta say they turned out awesome. The gold foil is great and the texture of the boxes is thick and smooth. 

The hiroki keychains look great too!! these were another thing I had to hassle with the manufacturer with as the first run was just absolutely not even close to good enough quality to give you guys. they got the mold wrong, they were badly cut, and they were covered in fingerprints. This company was a nightmare and I never want to deal with them again - they got my colors wrong both in the digital proof AND PHYSICAL SAMPLE like 10 times!!! But I kept pushing to get them right, and they turned out cute and decent thank goodness. The replacement keychains took over TWO MONTHS to arrive to me. But here is one of them for you to look at! Some of you have even received them already. 

(These were an addon via the backerkit survey, so if you didn't select one when filling out your survey, that's why you didn't get one. This was necessary in order to predict ordering counts - that being said, you can still buy them seperately if you wish. Theyre in my tictail store. the manufacturer yet again gave me a few extras as an incentive not to speak badly about them all over social media. lol)

Everything else is ready to go as well, (including the bookmarks, of which all the charms had to be assembled and the tassels are 100% HANDMADE... god that took forever lol) I'm just waiting on the print run of the final 2 post cards to arrive at my door (Fedex is telling me this should be tomorrow but we'll see) It took me FOREVER to work past the performance anxiety to draw those darn postcards. I just could not think of anything I felt worthy of the box set - but finally I had a burst of inspiration and now theyre complete.

here they are!

Honesty though, the reality is that you've all been so patient with me, you've all been so gracious and kind in your messages asking me for updates on your orders, and I couldn't be more grateful. I have some anxiety, but I want to continue to be proud to bring this project to you. 

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for continuing to have faith in me.

To close off, I'd like to humbly request that anyone who has managed to read this far (thank you!!) might check out 1989nk's official patreon page.


another harsh reality I'm facing currently is that now that this campaign is done - between the expenses of the campaign and the unexpected renoviction (basically getting kicked out of my home by a greedy landlord for no good reason using renovations as an excuse) I experienced earlier this year of which the moving expenses set me back immensely financially, combined with my spouse losing his job and me having to take care of both of us for a while (i struggled very hard to overcome this and still deliver what was promised to you all.) I am now quickly heading back into starving artist mode who's just barely getting by. lol. I've had to start selling some of my personal belongings just to pay rent. I still make some book sales here and there but I would really love for my patreon to flourish so I can make chapter 2 with a little bit of security and ease.

Alternatively, i have a paypal.me link if you dont want to commit to a monthly payment and just want to throw me one time support: 


I'd also love it if you could follow me on instagram! - as that is my primary art posting platform as of late.


I hope to run a campaign for 1989nk chapter 2 once its FULLY DRAWN AND FINISHED this time - I'll only be collecting funds for printing and maybe a couple of rewards - but the thing that will really enable to me to do this is patreon support. patrons will get first access to chapter 2 previews and anyone who has a lifetime support amount of $15 or more automatically gets a digital copy of chapter 2 when it comes out!

this has been a really long winded update since I've had a lot to say, but if you're still here reading this, bless you. I'm not even religious, but bless your soul. lol.

Everyone who helped me bring this series to life and made it a real thing that exists in this world, all of you, have my gratitude! I would be so honored and humbled if you still found it in you to continue to support me despite this long timeline.

Oh yeah, and Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating it today. I'm Canadian, so mine was last month. Haha.

(one final note, i have a few extras of the collector's editions since the manufacturer sent me a few extras as an apology for their awful service the first time around. Anyone who would like one, please send me a message here, on instagram, or on patreon, and I'll get back to you asap on how you can get one. if you ALREADY have a book, you can simply upgrade for the price difference. But just keep in mind that those who pledged first will get theirs first! thanks for understanding. <3)

Cheers everyone! and thank you again!!


quick shipping status update!
9 months ago – Sat, Aug 18, 2018 at 11:28:06 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

The Collector's Edition Box is complete! (VIDEO!)
11 months ago – Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 02:33:10 AM

Hey all! I just wanted to post a quick update (sorry for making it at 2am PST! LOL) to show you a quick video of what the collector's edition boxes look like!


They're on the way to me from the manufacturer now, then I can assemble them all myself and fill them with all the goodies to send out!! I'm really excited!!

I'm also starting to get word that people are receiving their books now and enjoying them!! Thank you so much for those who have let me know. I super appreciate it.

Just a quick reminder that 1989nk has an OFFICIAL PATREON for the production of chapter 2, please check it out! I already have some content there! 


see you all in the next update and/or over on my patreon should you so choose to join the chapter 2 party!

More book photos! + shipping underway
11 months ago – Tue, Jul 03, 2018 at 10:46:49 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

Look out for your shipping notifications! Books are on their way! + 1989nk official patreon for chapter 2!
11 months ago – Thu, Jun 28, 2018 at 11:51:04 PM


Hey all! Just another quick update to say that I got the first batch of books packed up and ready to go to the post office. 

I will be trying to ship out about 50 books per week starting tomorrow. So keep an eye out for your shipping notification! I'll be shipping by backer name in alphabetical order starting with the people who ordered books only, and working up by pledge tier level. I hope this makes sense. 

general shipping time to USA is about 5-10 days, and international is 6-12 days. But I would ask that you please give shipping time at least 3-4 weeks before contacting me. If more than a month goes by since the shipping notice and the book doesnt arrive, I will ship a replacement asap. I am shipping from CANADA, so customs clearance MAY increase shipping time! I thank you in advance for your patience.

PS: more photos of the book were requested, so that will be in another update after this! I'll also be showing off more photos of the rewards and the collector's set once the boxes arrive, which should be soon now!


If you'd like to to continue to support 1989nk as a project moving into chapter 2, I do have an official patreon for it where I have patreon only perks and sneak peeks of chapter 2. I'll have more info on the actual printing and production and funding of chapter 2 over there. 


PLEASE check it out!  The shipping process is the final part of my budget (and the most EXPENSIVE part), and while I definitely still have the means (i've kept the money saved!), afterwards I will be back at financial square one. So yes, I would absolutely adore any additional support you all would be willing to offer me so that I can keep this project going. If I can have patreon be the central funding base for this project, I may be able to print chapter 2 without running another funding campaign.

The drawing of chapter 2 is already underway! If I keep pace, chapter 2 should be out and ready for printing by the end of Fall this year.

Thanks everyone!!