Movies may be our first love here at Cinefessions, but we are proud dorks in the truest sense of the word. We love not only movies, but video games, books, comics, board games, men and women in spandex, and everything else that goes along with nerd culture. As longtime readers of graphic novels, comics, and trade paperback collections, we are excited to bring you a formal look at this genre in the form of criticism. The Cinefessions team will use Graphic Novel Capsule Reviews to look at a single issue of a comic series, a collected trade paperback, or a stand-alone graphic novel, and review it based on five of the most important aspects of the medium. This allows us to discuss a comic or graphic novel clearly, decisively, and with brevity. These are not our full thoughts, just a highlighting of the major pros and/or cons.
Title: The Collected Black Gay Boy Fantasy #1
Writer/Artist: Victor Hodge
Release Date: August 26, 2015
Cover Price: $2.99
Publisher: Northwest Press
As described on the Northest Press product page, “Victor Hodge’s legendary zine, Black Gay Boy Fantasy, gets the deluxe treatment in this first new 40-page collection containing the first three zines, plus bonus illustrations in color and black-and-white, plus a variant back cover.”
Neil Jordan attends a protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington D.C.. This is a protest against Colorodo and its passing of Amendment Number 2. The gays are out in full force, and lucky for Neil, a smoking hot man is protesting beside him. They hit it off and go for some much needed coffee at a local coffee shop.
I really like Neil as a character. He’s not 100% put together, and that’s okay. He’s trying to figure his life out and find someone to settle down with. It’s fun reading this and seeing the art flow with the imagination of Neil. He talks of “saving the world” by doing this protest, and as he says this, he’s dressed in a silly little superhero costume. It’s cute, but also gets the point across, and helps us understand this character’s mindset.
Most of this comic is in black and white. It looks a bit “sloppy” and jotted down, but I really dig this style. It helps emphasize the rambling mind of our lead character as he tell us his story. There are no big backdrops or set pieces, but there’s enough background, none of which is perfectly detailed, that it makes you feel like you’re moving around this character’s world. The color sections, while few and far between, look fantastic, and are a highlight of the book
While you might think this little zine is going to go to the same places this sub-genre has gone before, it gives a few pleasant surprises along the way. I enjoyed the first few issues, but felt a little let down by the shift in the final issue. It doesn’t tackle anything too deeply, but provides an interesting backdrop to a character study.
Being a gay white man I can only relate to one aspect of this comic, or zine, as it’s being called. However, the color of my skin, nor the color of the skin of our protaganist matters zero when you get down to the basics. Hell, even your sexuality isn’t a big deal because what’s revealed here is a chance meeting between two people that leads to a date, and a certain type of friendship.
The Collected Black Gay Boy Fantasy #1 is a pleasure to read, from start to finish. Any single person could sit down and enjoy this, despite their sexuality or skin tone, so don’t let either part of the title lead you astray from this fun little read. I can’t wait to read the next collection, which I believe, at the time of this writing, will be the last.
The Collected Black Gay Boy Fantasy #1 was provided for review by Northwest Press, and it was read digitally on my Kindle Fire HD. “The book will be released on August 26th and available on iTunes, ComiXology, Gumroad, and direct from Northwest Press in a variety of digital formats.”