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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.
   
 

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On this page:

Hard to Swallow #1
Liberty from Hell #6
Rough N' Queeny
Love #4
Animagay, an online bookshop
Cali Boys
The Sticky collection
Shirtlifter
Sexile

 

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Entries for May 2006:
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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Hard to Swallow #1



coverJustin Hall doesn't only draw comics about travel to foreign countries, he also draws sex well. And he does it in good company, as you can see in my review of his and Dave Davenport's first issue of Hard to Swallow.

Your comments are welcome below this post.


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Friday, May 26, 2006
Review update
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Liberty from Hell #6


Author(s): Christina Hanson.


coverSometimes, I completely miss the publication of a comic I've been following: case in point with the sixth and last issue of Christina Hanson's Liberty from Hell mini-series, which was published a long time ago. I've already reviewed the previous issues, and I must say the ending did not disappoint.
Things take a darker turn for Phalloide, the former angel--exiled to hell for not taking sides during Lucifer's rebellion--who must control his natural urges (plainly spoken, fuck everything that moves) if he wants to keep his freedom. In the previous issues, there was a nice balance between comedy, sexual or not, and more serious themes of commitment and selfless love. Here, we go to the heart of the matter, with characters getting hurt and others having to make difficult choices.
I think I can say Liberty From Hell has become one of my favorites stories of recent years, as much for the themes it tackles as for its believable and engaging characters. You never know what's going to happen, and yet, it all resolves satisfyingly.
You can find the whole mini-series at the publisher's site, and you can read the first 16 pages from issue 1 on the author's site. A sequel is being currently serialized in the publisher's gay-themed anthology Dangerous. More about it here.


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Thursday, May 25, 2006
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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Rough N' Queeny

Category: erotica, illustration.
Author(s): Xavier Gicquel.


A strong decorative effect Publisher Bruno Gmünder continues to mine the international scene of gay illustrators with the Rough N' Queeny collection (available from Amazon) by French artist Xavier Gicquel.
The illustrations range from very hardcore to tender before or after sex scenes. Granted, there are absurdly big dicks in some of the drawings, but it seems to me most of his men are rather down-to-earth--they look real, if more sculpted than real-life ones often are. Gicquel favors the hairy kind of guys (but you'll nonetheless find a large range of physical types) as well as clichéd manly jobs and occupations like bikers, soldiers, truckers, etc.

A playful manWhat I really like about Gicquel's art is the decorative touch he often adds to his drawings, which sets his work apart from other gay artists', like the wallpaper on the drawing above, or the string of flowers around the neck of the bear I'm showing you. He also puts lots of almost abstract tatoos on his men, with vivid colors adding a strangeness to the realistic setting.
If it can help you decide whether you'd enjoy the book or not, you can see drawings by Xavier Gicquel at this online gallery. It's in French, but you only need to click on the categories links on the left to find the drawings.
As the title of the book indicates, at his best Gicquel manages to combine virile physiques with an imagery which veers toward James Bidgood's brand of kitsch. I find it all rather irresistible.


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Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Review update
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Love #4


Author(s): Matt Fagan.


coverPokie and Jack are back for their fourth book, and with them the whole cast of Matt Fagan's Love. I've already written how much I enjoy this series, and this new instalment continues to delight.
In this extra-sized issue, Jack and Pokie get again in all kinds of mischief. Well, Pokie does, and Jack looks on adoringly. Painting a naked friend in red to play Flash isn't the brightest idea Pokie's ever had... The second part of the comic deals with Jack's brand of very personal ideas: Pokie's beard (pun intended) wants to stage a musical he's written, and co-opts Pokie to build the set. The subject being a zombie unicorn and a young virgin guy, Broadway is out of the question, and the play takes place in a less dignified--but more unusual--setting.
As with the previous issues, Matt Fagan manages to combine the sweetness of the relationship between the two men, realistic reactions from the world around them, and a dash of fantasy.

The author has also published Boring to the punchline, a prose zine which has a fun origin: referenced in the Love strip as a text written by Pokie about his New York trip from years ago at the onset of his relationship with Jack, this zine is published by a friend of the two men as a gift to Pokie. So, we get to read what Pokie has written, and of course, it's weird and moving and only marginally makes sense.

As usual, these publications and the previous ones are available from the author's site, where you can see samples of the strip.


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Saturday, May 06, 2006
Various news
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Animagay, an online bookshop



A new online bookshop has been lauched: Animagay is specialized in LGBT-themed comics, bandes dessinées and manga. It's run in France, but the fact that it sells books in English, Japanese and French could make it interesting for a lot of people.
Go to their site and look at the choice they already have (you can access the site in English or in French).


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Wednesday, May 03, 2006
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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Cali Boys

Category: erotica, illustration.
Author(s): Joe Phillips.


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.
One of the double pagesI 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.


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Review update
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The Sticky collection


Author(s): Dale Lazarov, Steve MacIsaac.


coverAs had been annouced a few months ago, writer Dale Lazarov and artist Steve MacIsaac's erotic mini-series Sticky has been collected by publisher Bruno Gmünder (the 80-page book is available from Amazon or other booksellers). I've already reviewed the first, second and third issue, all included in the collection. Apart from the fact that this will be a far more durable (and of course, printed on a far better paper) presentation for the series than the comics from Eros (which doesn't seem how to sell gay porn), it also boasts four all-new all-color pages, which cleverly show the guys from the cover having fun together, and frame the three main stories.
From the first framing pageIt must also be noticed that on the first framing page, one of the guys sports a tee-shirt with the Miracleman logo (one of the great series written by Alan Moore).
I'm very happy that this intelligent and elegant erotic series has found a permanent home. I don't know what Dale Lazarov is doing right now (although I hope we'll see more of his writing), but Steve MacIsaac has already self-published a new comic, Shirtlifter, which I've reviewed here.
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Update 05/11: Check out the comments below for Dale Lazarov's announcement.


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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Shirtlifter



coverHere's a review of Steve MacIsaac's new comic, Shirtlifter.
You can add your comments below this post.

 


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Monday, May 01, 2006
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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Sexile

Category: biography, transgender.
Author(s): Jaime Cortez.


Jorge as a child already knew what he wantedSexile is a 2004 graphic novel written and drawn by Jaime Cortez, who recently edited the Turnover anthology. It was published by the Institute for Gay Men's Health and is now available for free as a pdf file on their site.
Cortez tells the life story of Adela Vasquez, born Jorge Antonio in 1958 Cuba, who emigrated to the USA in 1980 alongside more than one hundred thousand of his compatriots (coincidentally, I've been reminded that Pedro Zamora left Cuba at the same time). Jorge's life up to this point was already filled with sex with boys and men, and he knew he wouldn't really fit in the new Fidel Castro-led Cuba. The first part of the book recounts his childhood and adolescent life, including the way he managed to avoid military service. Already in display at this stage of the character's life is the voice that will be consistant throughout the book, a blend of self-irony and assertiveness, which is impressive coming from someone who certainly never had it made easy. Jaime Cortez's art is solid and expressive, managing to put photos and references to good use (here's the site where you'll see lots of those).

Adela tells her storyThe main part of the book shows Adela's slow journey toward America and womanhood, with her life as Jorge, a gay man, leading to her affirmation of her being a transsexual woman. An aspect of her American life is the apparition of the disease that would later be called AIDS, and the way one of her close friends, who worked at a clinic, convinced her in 1981 to always use condoms to have sex, and probably saved her life.

I have to say that this biography was for me as moving as it was enlightening. The strength of character of Adela was inspiring, and it was made all the more believable as Jaime Cortez paints someone who's human in her mistakes and her fierceness. A great graphic novel, which definitely deserves to be read by a wide audience.


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