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First issue of a self-published 32-page comic book, 2006.
Available at Amazon.

Category: slice-of-life.

Author(s): Steve MacIsaac.
Website: 0 comment - add a comment.

Derek and Michael

Steve MacIsaac (Sticky) is back with Shirtlifter #1, a complete story told in 32 pages.
Derek and Michael are a couple from Los Angeles currently living in Japan, because of Michael's job. The problem is that Derek isn't enjoying himself, to say the least. So, Derek has sex with other men, which doesn't seem to alleviate his growing homesickness.

In this comic, Steve MacIsaac shows that, as hot as his guys are, he can also write pretty well. The two men have the same kind of body as the characters in Sticky, but here, they also have a personality, with their qualities and shortcomings. I found very interesting the way that MacIsaac makes us doubt the depth of feelings between the two men, while on surface, they show affection toward each other. Of course, setting his story in a country where they're faced with very different lifestyles - or mostly stay with other expatriates - serves as a metaphor for their inner turmoil.

MacIsaac's art in this comic is a bit different from his work in Sticky, since he sometimes uses a bolder line which doesn't seem to me to be as convincing. Or maybe it's just his way of drawing women that isn't as good. P. Craig Russell had the same problem at the beginning of his career, after all.
I'll add that the comic is very well printed, with thick paper and an even thicker cover, making for a comic which is really nice to hold in one's hand.

Shirtlifter is a welcome addition to gay comics, with a first story reminding me of the themes found in contemporary gay literature. I have no idea what kind of stories Steve MacIsaac intends to tell in future issues, but I'm here for the ride.

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