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"Well excuse me, but it's gotten a bit too "Judy" in there." Rob Kirby, Curbside.
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June 19, 2010: I've launched a new version of this website as a Wordpress blog. This version won't be updated anymore.
If you don't see the images of a review, it means that I've transferred it to the new site.
   
 

Blog reviews and site news

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On this page:

Gotham Central: Half a Life
Vacation In Ibiza
Love
An interview with Ezra Claytan Daniels
Circles #4
A new tale by Justin Hall
no title
A strip by Robert Kirby
Upcoming: Boy Trouble #5
Even more men! Even less clothes!
Chelsea Boys
Adam & Andy
Upcoming: Vacation In Ibiza
Can't keep him down
It's raining men!
Clothing (very) optional
More men! Less clothes!

 

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Entries for January 2003:
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Saturday, December 27, 2003
Blog review
If you don't see the images of a review, it means that I've transferred it to the new site.

(List all)
Gotham Central: Half a Life

Category: adventure, gay-friendly, lesbian.
Author(s): Grek Rucka, Michael Lark.


I don't often write about superhero comics, mainly because I don't have anything to say about the more-or-less minor queer characters and the way they're portrayed in those comics. But Gotham Central, a continuing series published by DC for the past year, is an exception.
Firstly because it's not really a superhero comic, since it's the story of a group of cops in Batman's city. Secondly, because the character I want to write about, Renée Montoya, is as much a main character as the other cops. Montoya has been around for some time now, but as far as I know, no hint of her being a lesbian had been given. The continuity-minded readers will surely be relieved that, on the other hand, nothing in her previous history contradicted that.
The kiss that started it allIn 'Half a Life', the recently-concluded arc running through issues 6 to 10, Montoya, who was completely in the closet, gets outed and then framed for murder -after all, this is a crime comic. The identity of the culprit is not a big secret, since it's revealed at the end of the first issue. For reasons a bit unclear to me (I haven't read the Batman titles for years), Two-Face, the former lawyer turned big-time criminal, is behind all that. But I felt that not knowing their past relations did not hinder my enjoyment of the story. I can thank Greg Rucka's sharp writing and Michael Lark's unsentimental art for that.The showdown between Two-Face and Montoya
Rucka makes all characters believable, and the scene where Captain Maggie Sawyer, another lesbian character who's completely out, vainly tries to discuss her private life with Montoya is a very interesting example of how a good (straight) writer can handle two queer characters and treat them as characters, not as queers per se.
As I said before, the fact that kind of scene works very well owes a lot to Lark's remarkable command of storytelling and body language. He's as good with quiet, intimate scenes as with more tense scenes, as when Montoya and Two-Face finally face each other. Without revealing too much, I want to say I was impressed by the integrity of the characters, and the way the personal path to unclosetedness of Montoya is portrayed throughout the arc.
Responsibility for one's actions seems to be a common thread of all the stories in Gotham Central, and one of the most endearing aspects of the series is that it never forgets to show those cops as people with lives, fears and dreams.

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Update June 2005: A collection entitled Gotham Central : Half a Life has just been published (you can find it at Mars Import).


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Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Vacation In Ibiza



Would you like to spend Christmas in Ibiza? Lawrence Schimel and artist Sebas take you for a trip to the legendary gay meeting place in the aptly-titled Vacation In Ibiza. Published by NBM's erotic comics imprint, this graphic novel is more than another erotic gay comic. Read my review, you'll see what I mean.
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Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Love



Jack & PokieHere's another review, this time of Matt Fagan's Love, a collection of online strips (with some all-new strips added). It's about two men in love... and their unglamourous but tender daily life.
Matt Fagan is simply adding a new aspect of gay life to the already potent mix.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2003

An interview with Ezra Claytan Daniels



A panel from The ChangersI've done an interview with the author of The Changers, a very intelligent science-fiction two-volume story. There is no gay element in this story, which is why this interview is not on this site, but at PopImage, where the Young Bottoms in Love anthology is published everyday. If you enjoy sci-fi which challenges you without resorting to lots of gratuitous violence and explosions, The Changers is for you.
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Monday, November 17, 2003
Review update
(List all)
Circles #4


Author(s): Andrew French, Steve Domanski, Scott Fabianek.


Fourth issue coverCircles reaches its fourth issue with a Christmas-themed story.
With two of the characters' recent relationship deepening, and two others deciding to make peace after being at daggers drawn with each other for years, the seasonal spirit is indeed of good will and cheer.
The art is also still very good, with varied body language and facial expressions. The only thing not up to par with the rest are the backgrounds, which are really too few for my liking. But it's better to have solid art for the characters and less interesting background art than the other way round.
With each new issue, the characters of Circles become more and more alive, which is surely the sign of good fiction.
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Friday, November 14, 2003

A new tale by Justin Hall



Justin Hall has published a second issue of his excellent collection of true travel stories as told to him by various people, aptly titled True Travel Tales. All the stories are interesting and moving, and I've shortly reviewed 'A Final Goodbye', one of the most moving (and not in a tear-jerker way) short stories I've read.
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Wonder Man in a skimpy outfitI've got another contributor to the gallery: Joe Fludd has sent me a a delightful drawing by John Romita Jr. I've also added two other drawings by Jackson Guice and Dean Ormston from my regular contributor.

  


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Monday, November 10, 2003
Various news
(List all)
A strip by Robert Kirby


Author(s): Robert Kirby.


A Curbside stripRobert Kirby has sent me a strip from his series Curbside that most of you might not have seen, since it has been done for the gay magazine Instinct. The interesting thing is that the magazine has censored a panel showing a guy having oral sex. I've uploaded both the original and the censored versions, thanks to Robert, so that you can judge by yourselves.
I find rather worrying that a gay magazine full of shirtless guys has decided not to show that panel. Sexual liberation seems to be a thing of the past...
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Sunday, November 02, 2003

Upcoming: Boy Trouble #5



Cover for the fourth issueThe fifth issue of Boy Trouble, the gay comic anthology edited by David Kelly and Robert Kirby, will be available in February, first at the APE convention. The contributors include David Kelly, Robert Kirby, Ivan Velez, Jen Camper, GB Jones, Tim Fish, Andy Hartzell, Steve MacIsaac, Leanne Franson, C. Bard Cole, Michael Fahy, Craig Bostick, and Anonymous Boy.
This issue won't be photocopied but professionally printed. Looks like it will be worth the wait.
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Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Even more men! Even less clothes!



by Leinil Francis YuHere's something else to warm the winter nights. 12 new scans at once, including a mini Wolverine festival! You can't say I don't spoil you.
As usual, most come from my partner in crime, with the latest two from me. Have fun.


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Saturday, October 25, 2003

Chelsea Boys



CoverI can't even believe it myself! Here's another review, rather soon after the previous one. Well, okay, I'm on vacation, but anyway... You shouldn't think it's going to become an habit.
So, Glen Hanson and Allan Neuwirth's Chelsea Boys is another good strip, whose first collection sports a fine introduction by Howard Cruse. Between my review and Howard's recommendation, how could you not buy this book?
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Sunday, October 19, 2003

Adam & Andy



CoverWell, somebody threatened to cut off my supply of drawn flesh (you know who you are, Xavier) if I didn't finish this review, so here it is.
I hope you'll all understand that I'd love to write those reviews more often, but I need a certain state of mind to do it, and it's not always easy to get to it.
Anyway, James Asal's Adam & Andy is a charming strip which deserves a bigger audience, and it's great that there's a printed collection at last.

Coming up next: Chelsea Boys. Very, very different from James Asal's work.


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Friday, October 17, 2003

Upcoming: Vacation In Ibiza



CoverAfter publishing for some years the openly gay P. Craig Russell's works - and publishing the totally queer How Loathsome (more about that mini-series when I've read the last issue), NBM will propose in November a gay graphic novel in their Eurotica collection.
Vacation in Ibiza is written by book writer Lawrence Schimel and Catalan artist Sebas, about whom I know absolutely nothing. It's about two friends vacationing in, well, Ibiza, one sleeping with every guy he can, the other beginning a relationship, and the two finding themselves envious of the other's life.
We'll have to read it to see whether there's any depth to that album, but NBM can already be commended for publishing very varied gay/queer comics.


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Thursday, October 16, 2003

Can't keep him down



by Sandu FloreaAnnnnd... here are 3 new images from the Marquis de Scans (the Infantino picture is from me).

I swear I'm working on a new review, but I'm too busy right now to finish it.


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Thursday, October 09, 2003

It's raining men!



by Sam KeithOkay, I should be ashamed to use that title.
But it seems my pimp in unclothed men is spending his time scanning his Marvel comics for, hm, interesting pictures. Here are four more.
Thanks be to him.


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Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Clothing (very) optional



by Chris RenaudI think I have unleashed a monster.
My gallery is quickly becoming the "Male Body in Xavier Lancel's comic books" art gallery. But I guess you won't complain.
Five more today!


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Sunday, October 05, 2003

More men! Less clothes!



By John BoltonAnd here are five more images in the gallery, all from my dealer in undressed characters, Xavier Lancel, except the Paul Cuvelier image which is from my own stash.

I hope that will help you end the week-end on a pleasant note.


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