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Gotham Central: Half a Life
Vacation In Ibiza



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Entries for December 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.

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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.

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


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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