The 80-page Cali Boys (available from Amazon or other booksellers) is Joe Phillips’s fourth book published by Bruno Gmünder, after Adventures of a Joe Boy and Tales from the House of Morecock volume 1 and volume 2. Contrary to what’s in the previous books, the material collected here is original and consists of full-page pictures, and no comics. As the title indicates, Phillips concentrates on young men from the California coast where he now lives.
I must admit I prefer when Phillips’s work is not photo-realistic, but that’s just my taste. Some of the art here is, and some isn’t, so there’s something for everyone, even if it is among his most realistic: he often works from photos, and it shows. As for the degree of eroticism, it ranges from bare-chested guys to guys with hard-ons, but there’s no sex shown.
Phillips’s love of the male body is abundantly obvious here, and the fact that, as usual, his portraits show men smiling and happy is a big plus in my opinion.
As it’s often the case with Phillips, the models are of various ethnicities, which is certainly very appealing. Another nice aspect of the book are the short “biographical” texts that accompany the pictures, which has the effect of “blurring the lines between fiction and the real models who posed for [him]“, as Phillips states.
So, if you like your (drawn) men young, built and smiling, you’ll surely enjoy Joe Phillips’s latest offering.