Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John H. Watson in The Adventure of the Concussoris Magnus.

Yayoi Neko‘s Sherlock Holmes doujinshi is a gem. Beautiful artwork interspersed with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original story, The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton.

The doujinshi is self published and around 116 pages in graphic novel form. The volume is nicely presented, but I’ve been a nerd and kept it in a comic bag as the cover is reasonably soft card.

The story is essentially unchanged from the original novel, but the accompanying art work is Yayoi Nekos own unique vision. She has portrayed Holmes and Watson as having a warm and obviously sexual relationship and while there is a decided lack of gratuitous sex in the novel, it fits perfectly within the bounds of the story and the time period. Definitely more shounen-ai than hard core yaoi. The emotion and sensuality that is expressed through the panels mean that you don’t particularly miss far flung bodily fluids and the eroticism that is conveyed is incredibly sensual, whilst still leaving some details to the imagination.

The backgrounds, cityscapes and interiors are particularly cool and this attention to detail makes the story more robust and rich. I really like the characters faces and the artists ability with expression. So much of the story is conveyed not just with deft attention to body and position, but subtle facial expression and gestures. Her characters are distinct with crisp facial characteristics, and I must say this makes Holmes all the more vivid as she has captured his clever, sharp features perfectly. Watson is lithe and rather handsome, but his features seemed softer than the austereness of Holmes. There is a great blend of action and more erotic moments and the pacing of the story through the panels is tight.

I think what I found really cool is the whole re-interpretation of a classic novel. While the artist does already have a well turned story to work with, it is her own interpretation of events, sense of humor and beautiful artwork that makes this come alive. This was an excellent read and has become one of my favorite purchases this year.

To purchase this volume check out the artists website. Do go and have a look at her blog and DA pages. Below are a few pages to check out, just click to make them larger.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson slash and fandom is rife out there, more stories than you can shake a stick at. There are a couple of links here and here, more suggestions welcome!

Games with Me Volume 1 by Tina Anderson and Lynsley Brito.

Ex Civil-War surgeon George Callahan is a man haunted by his past. Unwilling to deal with the demons of his childhood he turns to opium, and finds back-alley employment with the heartless brothel keepers of San Francisco’s Chinatown. In Volume 1 of this gorgeously illustrated gay historical drama, Dr. George Callahan searches for a Chinese woman from his past, and soon finds himself unwittingly drawn to dim-witted male prostitute Jun, whose own life is complicated by the unwanted attentions of an aggressive bouncer named Roan Baxter.
Synopsis via Amazon.
Available in digital format on Kindle.

games_promoWritten by Tina Anderson and illustrated by the talented Lynsley Brito Games With Me is a historical drama set in the late 1860’s. The story follows the life of George Callahan as he deals with his demons past and present and his encounters with Jun, a male prostitute.

games with me tina andersen 2The feel of the book is very distinctive and after reading it several times I can safely say this is certainly not a light and fluffy story. Despite the bleakness of the setting Jun’s warmth seemed to add to the narrative and especially George’s character. George struggles with his past, his addiction and his growing attraction to this young man who seems so innocent. Because Jun is a prostitute and a little slow, the power dynamics in the relationship seemed very one-sided, but George’s feelings for Jun make me wonder a little who is really in a position of power.

The artwork is beautifully done and moves the story with strong expression and crisp, gorgeous historical detail. I loved how George was depicted. Elegant and kinda austere. Jun is seriously cute, pretty and that hair! The sex is hot and tastefully done, but not as explicit as some of my recent reading! I think one of my favorite panels is near the end with Jun kinda smooching up under George’s chin. Loved it. 🙂

games with me tina andersenThere is plenty of depth to the story and I am looking forward to seeing where Tina Anderson and Lynsley Brito take it. The secondary characters were also interesting and I wondered at times if there was more going on with Sung than met the eye.

This was an enjoyable read and definitely worth a look if gritty historical drama is your thing. Check it out here at emanga or get it through Amazon Kindle.

Nightlife by Dale Lazarov and Bastian Jonsson.

3633408458_1afc7be2d4_b_dNightlife is comprised of three stories written by Dale Lazarov and illustrated by Bastian Jonsson. Dale’s signature lack of text adds intimacy with the script being carried by subtle positioning of characters, facial expression and excellent attention to narrative structure and pacing.

3539537574_529236fc5a_oOne of the stronger impressions I came away with is that not all sex necessarily needs to lead to a picket fence to be considered romantic. The passion, joy and downright hotness of the encounters, with a partner who instinctively understands who you are, was beautifully done. There were parts of this that felt a little more erotic too and totally floated my boat. Much smex. Is good.

3706032593_76d9b76f70_oHard Cases has two men meeting at a kind of open mike night, both playing guitar who develop an instant attraction. The characters felt warm and tactile and there was much re reading of this story. 😀 It was hot and the rawness of the sex was very appealing.Layover begins at an airport, with flights being cancelled left and right, and two men meeting in a bar. My favorite pages involves the robustness of condoms. heh. Finally, Closing Time is about a bouncer in a club who rescues a young man from a violent confrontation. Out of the three stories this might just be my favorite and it is all down to one of the final pages that show the passing of time and development of the characters intimacy. It appealed greatly to my inner romance nerd and was rather heart warming.

3538725689_ba7e09254c_oBastian Jonsson’s work has a really distinctive quality. I kinda liked the line work and his use of shadow and color. It makes the panels feel less contained and very vibrant. I became oddly obsessed with his legs. Bastian gives good legs! It was certainly a different style for me initially, but I like the solidness of his men and how he approaches movement.

This is another beautiful, erotic volume from Bruno Gmünder and one that will sit very nicely on my shelf!

Check it out here via Bruno Gmünder, Amazon UK and Amazon US.

3900887504_6a7b6f3724_o

Black Wade: The Wild Side of Love by Franze and Andärle.

The rough and merciless pirate Black Wade and his band are the scare of the seven seas. And just like his greed for gold is insatiable, his sexual craving knows no boundaries as well: When they board a British ship, Wade takes Lieutenant Jack Wilkins as a prisoner to satisfy his lust. At first Wilkins struggles with all his might, but soon he has to acknowledge that he actually has pleasure in the eager sexual encounters with the handsome pirate. In the meantime his fiancée Annabeth is waiting wistfully for the return of Jack, not knowing if he’s still alive. And on the pirate ship emotions are running high as well: Buccaneer Marak keeps a jealous watch over the prisoner Jack. He would love to polish Wade’s gun barrel himself. Due to the rising nervousness Wade realizes that he cannot allow himself the tender feelings he begins to have for Jack. To prove how merciless he is, he maroons Jack on a raft and relinquishes him to the forces of the wide ocean. But that’s nowhere near the end of the story…
Synopsis from Franze and Andärle. Purchase via Bruno Gmünder

black wade cover finalI can understand exactly what Franze and Andärle mean when they say that their style is; nifty and thoroughly in the details. This precision makes the world of Black Wade incredibly rich and one that you will want to revisit often.

tavportfolio05ingThe opening is well scripted with a backstory that deftly gives you an understanding of Jack. A young man, engaged to the luscious Annabeth, but filled with forbidden desires for more masculine curves. Jack has great strength of character and integrity, but he is no match for the merciless pirate who captures him and subjects him to all manner of wicked, nasty goodness. Black Wade is a swarthy, likable rogue with much lustrous hair and beard. I’d like to give him pats. He also has rugby player thighs. These are the very best kind of thighs to have you understand! heh.

black wade waterThe art is incredibly beautiful. The tension and lust between Jack and Black Wade is palpable and so incredibly hot. I think my favorite panels are of Jack when he is sleeping early on in the book and having some rather erotic and lickable dreams! I also liked the images of Wade lolling about in his room, ship, bath and bed… all of them! He is just lush. The whole book is so gorgeous and it is difficult to narrow it down to just one or two images. The emotion conveyed through the color is also a large part of what makes this such a memorable read and the moody, dark palate used in the picture of Wade on the ship illustrates this point beautifully.

tav00ingThis is absolutely a must have and has to be one of my favorite reads I’ve purchased this year. It has everything I love in a comic, dashing heroes, star crossed lovers, bad guys, knee breeches, ships, rope, leather boots  and more swashbuckling that you can shake a stick at. Clever, beautiful, utterly romantic and a wonderful 5 star plus read.

So, I liked it. Just a bit. 😀

Check out more images and character portfolios here at Jimbo comics.

Get it here via Amazon USAmazon UK, Fishpond Au and Bruno Gmünder.

Shorts.

Have been reading much in the last few days, weeks, months… but I think I might loose the will to live if I write a multitude of squillion word reviews. (so lazy!) So, in the interest of maintaining my aliveness I’ll keep it brief!

6772564Tabloid Star by T.A. Chase was a pretty good read. I am quite sure the authors description of Josh was not meant to conjure up visions of Samuel Colt, but it did for me. heh. So, with visions of my current crush Samuel in my head I read on with much glee and sweaty palms. While some parts of the book felt less well scripted than others and there was much angst and drama, I did enjoy this for the most part. All that muscled, man chest goodness is good. Get it here.

6782412Warriors Cross by by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux was a cool read, but I did have a few issues with the depth of the world building. At times it felt kinda two dimensional, which was a little frustrating. The character development however, was nicely done and is what kept me reading despite that lack of richness in the surrounding detail. Nice tension was built and it was a very satisfying read. I think these two writers work incredibly well together, their styles mesh beautifully. Get it here at ARe.

angelface1detail1Angelface by Benoît Prévot is one of the most beautiful comics I’ve read this year. The artwork is breathtaking and the attention to historical detail is magic . Gush much? The narrative was tight, clever and I so want more. English sometimes seems like such a coarse language and I would like to see it in French if I can get hold of it. Yes, I am aware I do not speak French. It’s a weird thing I have. I also want to save all my pocket money and buy original art for my bedroom. Think I’d have to eat carrots for a year to afford that! You can pick it up here at Class Comics and if you want a closer look, then go to the mini site. No it is not work safe and yes there is cock and it’s pretty!

mr bensonMr Benson by John Preston was possibly one of the most challenging books I’ve read in a while, but the depth of feeling, trust and sense of belonging was so worth the ride. I have to agree with a comment made to me about the latter parts of the book, which did end up a little bit like something out of Five Go Mad in Dorset. However, by the time I’d actually reached this point in the book I did not really give a rats as I was up at some ungodly hour reading it. I just wanted to see what happened. I think the final chapter was what really set me on my ear. Mr Benson is not BDSM lite, it is the full banana and then some. One of my top reads of the year. If you want to see an decent, in depth review, check out this one.

deadly victor banisThe Deadly series by Victor J. Banis has kept me well entertained in the last month or so. I’ve picked up all 4 books in the series now and I just plain old like Stanley. He’s just such a jerk sometimes and I like watching the development of his character. At times the narrative stalled a little, but  not to the point where I lost my way and ferreted off onto the internet. It felt very human and the last part of the 3rd book is a bit of a tear jerker, so be warned. 🙂 Check out the series here via ARe.

On Art – Interview with Franze and Andärle.

black wade cover finalBlade Wade is beautiful. It’s about pirates, battles, swords, boots and men in breeches. How could I resist? Coming out in August from Bruno Gmünder, this erotic high seas adventure is something you’ll not want to miss.

The artwork was captivating and sensual. It seamlessly blends adventure with more whimsical and tender panels that appealed immensely to my inner romance geek. The coloring was warm and lush and compliments the art, which in parts has a sexy squared off look. The authentic costuming, look of the characters and attention to detail all makes for some incredibly appealing viewing.

Black Wade is written, illustrated and colored by Italian artists Franze and Andärle. They have kindly agreed to answer a few questions (despite my lack of Italian!!) and share a little about themselves…

Franze.
I live in Italy near Milan and I’m a professional illustrator. I’m 42 old years and drawing comics and illustrations for children since I was 16 old years. I worked, and I work at moment with major publishers in the world ….

Black Wade is my first experience (as a designer) about a comic erotic / gay … it has been fun drawing it, but I don’t know if this experience will be repeated …

Usually I work in the field of comics / illustrations for children … Black Wade was born how joke, we didn’t think could become a book.

For drawing the character Black Wade, I was inspired myself by a player of the Italian national rugby that I love!!!! … Wade looks like very much to him …

black wade 3 jpegI like drawing in many different styles and in different arguments … so I tend to do comics very different between them …. but especially in the design.

About my work I’m designer and colorer, but in the case of Black Wade the colors are by my colleague and friend, Anderle… he specializes in color.

I like to create characters in pencil …. At moment I’m working on a comic dark / gothic for childrens with a my friend. Since I started working on Black Wade I discovered many talented designers in the field of comics hard / gay…I like very much Patrick Fillion especially as an artist, but I disagree with him about to draw the penis of the characters so big … . in my opinion remove eroticism at them… it’s only my personal taste ….

When working with someone, I usually take care of pencils …. and I leave the colorist to decide the tones and colors of the atmosphere … I’m exacting, I controlling only the faces of the characters.

In general about me: I love art deco, and especially the artist ERTé designer. About the cartoons I’m an absolute admirer of Miyazaki, Shingo Araki, and Walt Disney … and about comics my favorite artist is Yumiko Igarashi (Candy Candy). How you can see they are all artist for children 🙂

I love traveling, and I love New York!!!! …. I go there often. I have a boyfriend from 14 years. My favorite sports are rugby and swimming. About the music I’m an absolute fan of Pet Shop Boys, who regularly I go to see in concert in London … and Italy’s singer Laura Pausini.

I hate all social network, chat and anything that makes impersonal encounters between people. I use the computer only for work, and to find material’s references …. but I love my Apple G5! 🙂 To color, I use photoshop.
black wade 5 jpeg Andärle.
I live in Italy, in a town in the Alps, close to the Dolomites (beautiful mountains!). I’m 43 years old. I started working as a graphic advertisement. But from 12 years I working as illustrator in publishing books for children and comics. As well as for Franze, Black Wade was my first experience about a comic erotic / gay.

I love my job. It allows me to travel with the imagination! With pencil and colors I can create different worlds… I am never bored!!! 🙂

I am specialized in digital coloring. As with Black Wade I collaborate with other designers. Important is to find an agreement between pencil and color. The final product is “the son” of both the styles of the two artists!

French Cover
French Cover

I read comics since I was child. My favorites were the Italian comics: Magnus with Alan FordBonelli with Dilan Dog.

But now I like to read very different things. Everything gives me new ideas. I like very much the work of Guarnido with BlacksadEnrique Fernandez with “LeMagicien d’Oz” and “Liberadores”. Between the designers of gay comics I like Patrick Fillion, David Cantero and Kinu Sekigushi.

Thank you so much Franze and Andärle for taking the time to reply. Your work is something rather special and I hope there is a Black Wade #2!!

Check out the synopsis here at Bruno Gmünder with some extra illustrations (I love the one in the water!) and get it here at Amazon US or UK and Fishpond.au.

Franze and Andärle also have a very cool website with more images and book details. Check it out here!

blackwade7jpeg

On Art – Yayoi Neko

Yayoi Neko has a very cool Deviant Art gallery and has kindly allowed me to share some of her beautiful work. She has several publications, which you can check out here. One of these is a dōjinshi featuring Sherlock and Watson, which I WANT NOW!!! 😀 The sneak peaks I’ve seen at DA look absolutely divine…

Check out her DA page here, website here and her blog is a must.

Posted with permission. ©2009 – Yayoi Neko.

X-Factor #45 Rictor and Shatterstar by Gay Comic Geek

Below is a new comic review from Paul. It looks super cool and I have checked in the city and have one put aside. As I’m mooching round home at the moment, I need something to read!!! Might, as Paul suggests, read the rest of the series too, backstory being important and all. heh. He also mentions Fanboi who posted about the series originally. He has a very cool website called Heroes and Hunks, which is definitely worth a nosey.

Brother to Dragons by Carlos García and François Peneaud.

brother_to_dragons_pic_0When farm boy Alaï meets the bearish coachman Jiki, he doesn’t imagine there’ll be more to their time together than just good, hot sex — perhaps even hotter than times spent with his lithe cousin Rano.

But in this Middle Ages world, everybody seems to have an agenda, including a mysterious Mage with sinister intent. Clearly Alaï is destined for great things, and his comings… and goings are carefully scrutinized by the forces of both good and evil.
From
Class Comics.

This is such a sexy read. I just adored Alaï from the get go and throughly enjoyed his adventures in this very cool historical fantasy comic. This particular genre appeals to me a great deal and the comic has great potential to shape up into an interesting series with pretty solid world building and an intriguing story line.

The art is beautiful and I thought the varitey of men of all shapes, sizes and look was especially appealing. The contrast between Alaï and Jiki is luscious and while some of the other scenes are more out and out smex, some are incredibly sensuous and I liked them much. Carlos is seriously clever!

I enjoyed the story, but it is just the beginning of a series and although there is a sense of closure at the end there is lots left to pick up in the next comic. Definitely a setting the scene kind of yarn and as yet there is no release date for the 2nd comic, so not sure when you’d get the next installment. Like all good things though, I guess they come to those who wait – even if they’re impatient bints like me!!

To pick up this gorgeous comic in either electronic format or comic, check them out here at Class Comics. Carlos García has a great blog called A Guy Who Draws Guys here and  François Peneaud runs a cool comic site The Gay Comic List and check out his bio here at Prism.

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