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Sky, Nathan & Soirée

Chelsea Boys

A 110-page collection of an ongoing strip, Alyson Publications, 2003.
ISBN: 1-55583-820-0.
Buy from Amazon.
A second collection has been published in 2006.

Category: humor.

Author(s): Glen Hanson, Allan Neuwirth.

The first meeting of the Terrific Three

There's a time-honored tradition in fiction of gathering extremely different characters in one place, and see what happens when they spend some time together and learn to know each other.
This is what Glen Hanson and Allan Neuwirth did with their three main characters: Nathan, a 42-year old short Jewish guy, Sky, a young man with a gym god body and Soirée, a black man around 28 whose dream is to be a famous drag performer, all become roommates when Nathan decides to share his flat, for purely monetary reasons.

A cartoon-style strip in the best sense of the word, Chelsea Boys begins as a comedy of (gay) manners, its light tone enhanced by the sinuous art style and exaggerated buff bodies of a good part of the men. But rapidly, reality impinges on the seemingly perfect world, and its protagonists begin to show depths to their temperaments and personal histories.
During the whole collection, this precarious balance between sex jokes and the reality of gay life in the big city is expertly maintained. Whether it is with Sky, and the fact that he's even more interesting as a deeply moral person than as a perfectly built guy, or whether Soirée stops being camp for a few minutes to tell a bit of the story of a boy who'd been thrown out by his parents at 14, and all that entails about survival and the fierce will to improve his lot, we could say that one of the obvious themes of the series is that one should see beyond appearances. As with the characters themselves, the depictions of their relationships, short-lived or not, blend sometimes coarse humor with insight about the difficulties of finding someone and then holding onto him.
Sky, Nathan - whose obsession with la Streisand will be used to much comical effect - and Soirée will become more like a family than a bunch of roommates, and the heart of the strip lies in their trust in each other, a trust well mixed with bouts of screams and anger, as with any true family.

Chelsea Boys, with its rich art and varied characters, is an entertaining but thoughtful strip which cleverly masquerades as a sexy romp among the modern urban gays.

Everybody shows his, hm, main assets
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