This from yet another handsome man, one Zack, a major guiding force behind the stellar website The New Gay:
“TNG cartoonist Robert Kirby, who has been nice enough to lend us his Curbside comics for the better part of this year, has just put out his second collection of quality queer comics. (Say that three times fast.) “The Book of Boy Trouble: Volume 2” was edited by Kirby and fellow cartoonist David Kelly. It contains the work of 30 alternative queer comic artists and guess what? None of it is crappy. In fact, it’s all of pretty damn high quality, especially considering the laughably low standards applied to so many other gay comics.
While most gay storytelling that I come across has little similarity to my actual life — Queer as Folk actually caused me spend an hour in the fetal position, lamenting all the fabulous, promiscuous sex I’d never had — the boys and men in Boy Trouble tend to look like guys I might actually meet and want to hang out with. Most have normal builds and average looks, and the few ultra-muscled gym bodies are either played up for their cartoonishness or put in undignified situations that belie their Ken Doll looks.
I assume a lot of the credit for this goes to Kirby himself. His Curbside Boys graphic novel remains one of my favorite gay books of all time. His sensibility of realistic characters doing mostly everyday things comes across throughout the various cartoons in “Boy Trouble: Volume Two.” In Craig Bostick’s “Whiskey and a Haircut,” a Lou Reed solo album becomes the soundtrack for a slightly reciprocated flirtation with a straight boy. Ed Luce’s “Chat Attack” details some of the more laughable aspects of shopping for dick online.
It is still cartoons, though, so not everything falls under the “slice of life” umbrella. Justin Hall’s “Evil Bear Man,” one of the books funnier moments, recounts what happens when a New York escort is payed to act out a Batman and Robin Seduction scene.
It’s hard for me to describe exactly why gay comics are so affecting to me, but I think it has to do with the simplicty, and childhood memories, that come with comics being combined with the much more adult realities of being gay. It’s really worth checking out. If nothing else I said above convinces you of that, I should reiterate the fact that Batman fucks Robin on pg. 53.”