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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:

Harry and Dickless Tom
An Ikegami gallery
Odds Off
Marvel's U-turn on gay characters
Politically InQueerect #3 serialized
Marvel and DC policies questioned
Peach Slices and #25 back in print
Steve MacIsaac's new webcomic
Ersatz Peach back in print
Cavalcade of Boys in one volume

 

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Entries for August 2006:
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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Harry and Dickless Tom



cover

My review of Brad Rader's extremely unusual graphic novel Harry and Dickless Tom is online here.
Between the themes and the clever approach to art (every chapter is drawn in a specific style in homage to a comics master), this is one of the most surprising books of recent times.


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Saturday, August 26, 2006
Various news
(List all)
An Ikegami gallery


Author(s): Ryoichi Ikegami.


I'm going to do something I've never done, and add here 24 images by the same artist. Do you know what the most homoerotic comics series of all time is, judging from the covers? I'd say it's Kazuo Koike and Ryoichi Ikegami's Crying Freeman, which is about a hired killer who cries every time he kills, or at least that's the hook. I remember reading large parts of that at the end of the 80's, and thinking that Ikegami drew a really attractive male character (the series is being republished by Dark Horse Comics right now--you can find the volumes at Amazon). I was looking at the covers for various editions all over the net, and I realised that a large number of them showed the main character in all his tattooed, swimsuit-wearing glory. So, here's a gallery from American and French editions, all drawn by Ikegami, as far as I know. The first was already in my gallery, but I thought it would be fun to put it there, too.


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Tuesday, August 22, 2006
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)
Odds Off

Category: gay-friendly, slice-of-life.
Author(s): Matt Madden.
Year of publication: 2001.


Matt Madden is well-known for his formalist (but entertaining) 99 Ways to Tell a Story, a riff on Raymond Queneaud's Exercices de Style. In 2001, Highwater Books, which is now defunct, published Madden's Odds Off (you can still find copies on Amazon for cheap, for example).
In this 144-page graphic novel, college-age lovers Morgan and Shirin have a hard time reconciling their life together with their very different attitude towards life. Morgan is a happy-go-lucky guy, while Shirin is far more stressed woman, partly due to her studying for a medical exam. Enter Lance, another student, who develops a crush on Morgan, thinking the young man is also gay.
Lance crosses path with MorganMorgan and Shirin are the main characters, but Lance comes close second, and his personal story is largely part of the themes of the book: Lance is a budding and talented writer, and he suffers from a weird--and imaginary, but highly metaphorical--disease which prevents him from writing.
It seems to me the whole book is about overcoming bad times, whether in the personal or the professional life, and the ways people who have some life experience but not that much can achieve that.
Lance's gayness is a complete non-issue, which of course is very engaging, and his crush resolves itself in a funny and satisfactory manner.
Madden's art is clearly of the indy trend, giving his characters real-life bodies and faces, with varied and non-melodramatic expressions. In fact, the whole ambiance of the story is non-melodramatic. Lance, Morgan and Shirin are people we could have for friends or family, and their trials are told in an intelligent way, with a storytelling that shows that formalism and emotions aren't incompatible.


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Sunday, August 20, 2006
Various news
(List all)
Marvel's U-turn on gay characters



Things change so fast these days one barely has time to announce them: Marvel's ridiculous and offensive policy of "no gay character starring in a solo book without a Mature Readers label" has been canceled, as announced by Joe Quesada two days ago.
Which, obviously, is good news. It remains to be seen whether this new un-policy will have any real effect in their publishing...
You can read more about all this at the Gay League site, where they announce the change in policy, and Joe Palmer writes a very funny "interview" with one of Marvel's recent gay character.


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Friday, August 18, 2006
Various news
(List all)
Politically InQueerect #3 serialized



panelYay, Todd is back! Dylan Edwards has begun serializing on his website the third issue of his series Politically InQueerect, shortly after publishing the second one.

Edwards plans to add a page every week, and the first page is already online right here. Enjoy.


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Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Various news
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Marvel and DC policies questioned



If you follow mainstream comics, you might have heard of the discussion regarding the current Marvel and DC policies of inclusion of gay characters, especially following the declarations by Joe Quesada, Marvel's Editor in Chief. In short: no gay/lesbian characters starring in non-"mature" comics. The issue is rather more complex, and Joe Palmer, the Gay League's master, has done a great job of explaining those questions, following a shorter article where Joe Quesada talked to a reader about all that. The short article is here, and Joe Palmer's far longer writing there. Essential reading, in my opinion.


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Various news
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Peach Slices and #25 back in print



coverDonna Barr probably doesn't need any sleep: soon after putting Ersatz Peach back in print, she gives us the 2nd edition of Peach Slices, a collection of short stories including some of the gayest, hottest scenes in the whole series, as well as authors commentaries. Also collected is issue #25 of the regular series, definitely one of the weirdest, where a young Pfirsich lost in Transylvania meets a character of mythical qualities.
The new edition of Peach Slices can be found on Lulu.com.


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Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Various news
(List all)
Steve MacIsaac's new webcomic



Steve MacIsaac, artist on Sticky and creator of Shirtlifter, has launched a new weekly webcomic at the AdultWebComics site. This is a free site, where MacIsaac will post short stories, one page at a time, with the first page of the first story already available. It's great to see that AdultWebComics, which has recently launched, will have such good gay content.
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Saturday, August 05, 2006
Various news
(List all)
Ersatz Peach back in print



coverPrint-On-Demand has changed the life of many artists, and it seems that Donna Barr is taking full advantage of the system: Ersatz Peach, the long out-of-print collection of short strips by various artists--including a cover by Roberta Gregory as well as contributions by Jennifer Camper, Stephen Lowther and Howard Stangroom (Prime Cuts), Diana R. Sassé (Antique White House) and a hot story by the late John Blackburn--is back in print from Lulu.com.
You need to know that when you follow that link, you'll find a page which tells you that "This storefront contains content not viewable by your content access level." It's Lulu.com policy that you have to get an account with them, go to "My Account", and "Change content access level", to be able to see adult-content books. You'll need an account with Lulu.com to order from them anyway, and they already sell the new Desert Peach issues I've recently reviewed.
One last thing: the profits from that book go to Lifelong AIDS Alliance, a Seattle charity which provides services to people with AIDS.


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Thursday, August 03, 2006
Review update
(List all)
Cavalcade of Boys in one volume


Author(s): Tim Fish.


collection coverThe three-volume collection of Tim Fish's bittersweet romance comics Cavalcade of Boys has been out-of-print for some time. Now comes the one-volume collection--that's more than 550 pages!

If you haven't already, read my reviews of the original comics here, and then go and buy the book from Amazon.


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