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Monday, September 15, 2008
Manly by Dale Lazarov and Amy Colburn
It's frustratingly difficult to find good, gay themed erotic comics. Oh, sure, there's a seemingly endless flood of yaoi titles on the racks, if you like your men adolescent and wispy and strictly conforming to heteronormative gender roles. There are some good European comics, but one of the few outstanding American contributions to the genre was Dale Lazarov's and Steve MacIsaac's Sticky. And so I was really pleased to find that Lazarov has a new work, due out in early November from Bruno Gmunder, Manly, a new collection of word-less short stories with collaborator Amy Colburn on art.
The challenge with word-less comics, primarily, is that the art must be especially expressive, to convey both emotion and plot clearly. Colburn's art is very expressive, with clear, nicely laid out pages that allow the story to flow smoothly. I'm particularly taken with her faces. She is very deft at portraying, in particular, lust and embarrassment in a way that makes the characters very relatable and recognizable. It's also very appealing that the character and body types are extremely varied throughout the work. This is typically my number one complaint about gay porn comics; that everyone looks the same. That is certainly not the case here, with a physically and ethnically diverse cast that seems certain to include at least one character that appeals to a reader with a specific "type" to look for in their porn comics.
The pairing of Colburn's art with Lazarov's stories is particularly successful. Lazarov displays a knack here for creating situations with strong erotic potential that nonetheless manage to resolve in a manner displaying a sly sense of humor. The characters are never mocked, but the slightly comic elements to their experiences is suitably explored, giving a human warmth to the stories and keeping them from being purely mechanical displays of position and technique. Not that those are skimped on, either. The stories, frankly, are hot.
Manly is an 80 page hard-cover to be published in November by Bruno Gmunder. It is available for pre-order at Amazon, with a retail price of $25.99. If you're looking for good gay porn comics, this is one of the best yet. Witty stories and sexy art combined in a fantastic combination.