Review: This Gay Existence #1-2

Artist(s): Adam Fair.

Eddie and his friends are bad, bad fags

This Gay Existence1 is a collection of angry, funny strips by newcomer Adam Fair. Drawn in a minimalist style, they chronicle the life of late teens/post-teens as they try to make sense of the pervading homophobia and the lack of cute boys around them.

In the first issue, we meet the two main characters, Eddie the half-empty-glass guy and his roommate Zen, the mostly-full-glass guy. Both gay, but not at the same place on their path to self-enlightenment, perfect coupledom and dog-and-white-picket-fences felicity. Okay, maybe not the last one. Because, as I said, these guys are angry. Well, especially Eddie. He makes fun of right-wing ideas about gay people by playing into their hands, of first-time sodomy fear, and—gasp—of gay tv channels and reality shows. I laughed a number of times while reading this comic, and immediately felt a bit ashamed. But just a bit.
In fact, I think Adam Fair has found a very interesting balance between goofy humor and social commentary with a bite. Eddie’s lack of self-confidence is both funny and touching, and in the best strips, it even made me a bit uncomfortable by reminding me of my younger self.

Pauly and Freddie

The second issue is Halloween-themed. The first story is about Pauly, another young gay guy, who’s still in the closet, even to himself. Adam Fair gives him his own version of Nightmare on Elm Street, with Freddie playing a rather nasty Jiminy Cricket. It’s clever, funny and, again, rather disturbing.
The second, longer story has Eddie and Zen putting on a disguise and getting out to trick or treat. Even though they’re far too old for that, as their neighbors keep reminding them. This story is the lightest in tone of all, with the two guys having (mostly) fun, meeting other friends also disguised, and ending up dancing among cute boys. And Eddie gets to talk to a guy who makes his heart go all boppity bop. Which, knowing Adam Fair’s fondness for hard laughs, won’t go smoothly, I’m sure.

After these two issues, I hope that Adam Fair will give us more of This Gay Existence, because he has a sense of humor and of the absurdity of everyday life that gives him a very specific voice.

  1. You can buy the comics from the publisher, and you’ll find some strips at the Prism Comics site, and Adam Fair will soon have a website of his own, complete with an App for cell phones. Ah, young people and their technology.

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