Customer Reviews: Manly
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  • Manly
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4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on October 6, 2008
Manly is beautiful. The book is divided into 3 stories, scripted by Dale Lazarov who wrote Sticky with Steve MacIsaac. The illustrations were done by Amy Colburn, who rocks, and color by Dominic Cordoba.

Each story has a uniting theme of men doing what they do best! The first story, Busted, is about a cop and an innocent bystander who helps out. After they both get awarded for their contributions there is a spark of attraction between them and it is all on! The second story is Clinch. Two boxers, a Latino guy and an older Irish bloke, who have to get creative without a condom. The last, and my favorite, is the Hot Librarian. This was funny, sweet and oh the leather! Or maybe it was the whole library thing... I am after all a total book geek and do love the library! heh.

According to an interview done by the gorgeous Patrick Fillion, Dale had to approach the book with an international audience in mind - hence the lack of text. To me, this was a huge part of its charm. Dale and Amy convey emotion and tension to drive each story with just a look, expression or touch within the panels. I think this also makes it more of a personal read as you invariably wonder what the boys would be saying and you end up with your own spin on events.

The facets of masculinity displayed in the book and what it is to be manly is also interesting and thought provoking. But, I guess the one thing that struck me the most in all 3 stories was the affection and warmth between the characters. I am a bit of a mush and things like the kiss and blush in Busted, had me smiling with bit of a sigh. Don't get me wrong either, I don't mean romance as in fade to the fire burning shot. No. These boys go hard and the sex is totally hot, sensuous and sexy as all get out! I liked it. A lot!
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on July 3, 2009
I highly recommend "Manly" if you're a fan of director Joe Gage -- because, as in Gage's movies, the explicit man-to-man activity takes place in a world where there are no gay ghettos nor even necessarily a well-defined "gay identity" -- rather, the essential naturalness of male-to-man physical love that transcends artificial straight/bi/gay boundaries is affirmed.

Mr. Lazarov, a bear of very little artistic ability (but with a great brain), did the storyboarding, while Ms. Colburn (who's bisexual, I think) created the illustrations -- which are stylistically a blend of Japanese anime/manga and Disney's human male characters, such as Hercules or Gaston. No voice balloons here; instead, silent-movie gestures and facial expressions supply the "dialogue."

A few of the things that I adored about "Manly" (and also "Sticky", Lazarov's earlier collaboration with illustrator Steve McIsaac):

* The men are strong, mature, often hairy, and thoroughly non-twinkish; if you want gay cartoon characters who look "barely legal," this ain't the book for you.

* The fact that "they're just cartoon characters and it's only a fantasy" is not used as an excuse to portray high-risk "bareback" sex -- the men either use highly visible condoms, or they choose to get off without anal penetration.

* The sex is always "versatile." None of that "the older, hairier, and more muscular guy must be the Top" nonsense -- these men take turns and swap roles (Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!)

* Finally, the endings of each story clearly hint that these aren't impersonal one-night stands between "tricks" -- though whether the guys will ultimately become long-term boyfriends, husbands, or simply enjoy a stable "sex buddy" sort of arrangement is left to the reader's imagination. There is, in any case, plenty of _filios_ and _agape_ (as Paul of Tarsus would've said it) balancing out the _eros_.
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on October 16, 2008
"Manly" consists of three homoerotic (and that's an understatement!) graphic-novel type stories with some interesting twists. Most notably, they have no dialog. No text balloons cluttering up the page, detracting from the art. So these stories are the graphic equivalents of silent movies. But in their silence they speak a universal language. Anyone, no matter what language they speak, can enjoy them. That is, assuming they enjoy very graphic depictions of man-to-man sex. Fortunately, artists Amy Colburn and Dominic Cordoba do a fantastic job of depicting scripter Dale Lazarov's hunky protagonists.

Each of the three stories follows a similar pattern. The first third or so of the story is the "setup," in which two really manly guys (hence the title) first meet, pretty much by accident. They're certainly butch types, but not unrealistically, exaggeratedly so. After overcoming some minor hurdles (at least in two of the stories), they hook up for the remaining two-thirds. And do they hook up--repeatedly! Mind you, these are not your daddy's cartoons. Or if they are, then I wouldn't mind meeting your daddy.

The best of the stories is the first, "Busted," in which a middle-aged cop gets an unexpected assist from a not-so-innocent bystander in taking down an escaping felon. The second story, "Clinch," deals with a couple of boxers who find they have more than just the sport in common. The final story, "Hot Librarian," is in some ways the most complex and unexpected, in which the two heroes fail to connect in the gay-bar environment where you would expect them to, only to get a second chance the next day in the workday world.

The stories are fun and the artwork appealing--but, again I alert you, *extremely* graphic. This is NOT for the prudish. But if it sounds like your cup o' tea, then it probably is.
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on July 27, 2009
There are gay smut books, there are gay romance books, there are gay pictorials showcasing stunning masculine nudes, and if you are very lucky, there are books that combine all of the above in a way unlike any other, and MANLY absolutely fits the bill. My first encounter with the writing of Dale Lazarov, MANLY uses only image panels to tell three compelling stories of men in their prime connecting sexually and emotionally. In the celebrated style of such classic artists like Tom Of Finland and The Hun, Lazarov's scripting, Amy Coburn's stunning artwork and Dominic Cordoba's sumptuous coloring team up to present the world of male erotica and man-to-man love and companionship in a celebratory way, without a single iota of guilt or angst.

In the first story, BUSTED, an older cop joins forces with an attractive bystander who's anything but innocent to bring down a fleeing perp. The relationship continues with a torrid, after-hours encounter that refreshingly has an ending that's a lot happier than just the obligatory "money shot."

Story Two, CLINCH, finds the owner of a boxing gym connecting with a famous young pugilist who is more than a little familiar with him. Mutual admiration reveals mutual lust and the promise of a sizzling hook-up blossoms. It nearly dies on the vine when the two men discover they're not as well-prepared as they thought they were, but a creative solution puts things right and they still make some magic happen nevertheless. I can't imagine a hotter justification (or a more fitting advertisement) for safe sex than this one.

The final story, HOT LIBRARIAN, combines the best aspects of a situation that virtually every gay man can identify with, as well as the fantasy you can only hope to make real someday, if you're very lucky. Two men keep coming THISclose to meeting in a Leather bar, but bad timing and missed opportunities keep their chances for making a connection at bay. Ironically, it's not the bar, but in an everyday venue not known for inspiring romantic rendezvous where they finally come together, taking their passion to a more private venue where they really CAN "come together." The ending is open-ended and yet so heart-warming, you can't help but wish them well...

Thankfully, we have a publisher like Bruno Gmunder that specializes in putting out 'genre' pieces like MANLY. I look forward to not only seeing what Lazarov's future collaborations with other artists will bring, but to more books like this one that don't forget how the heart needs as much attention as the hard-on.
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Classy and wordless cartoon depictions of man-to-man sex in three different stories. In the first and most narratively complex, a civilian comes to the help of an introverted police officer, and they discover there is a lot more to learn about each other. In the second, a younger and older man duke it out, in and out of the boxing ring. In the third, a shy young man tries to make the acquaintance of a leather god in a gay bar, fails, but unexpectedly reconnects in a very different setting. The sex is hot, the artwork is vivid, the men are delightfully fleshy and curvy without too much Tom-of-Finland exaggeration. The lack of dialog helps us focus on the goings-on and actually makes the action more powerful (and of course opened up the book to an international audience). Bruno Gmuender books are usually quite expensive, but MANLY now comes at an advantageous price.
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on September 9, 2013
If you are a guy (or a girl) who likes the romantic and musculature of hairy and masculine men, then this is the volume for you to buy. So far I have all the hard print copies of Dale Lazarov's works, but to be honest this will always be the best one up to date. It has three stories, all of them which I love and get inspired from. The men portraited are masculine, muscular, hairy and very much endowed with virility. These two beautiful characters from the cover: They are the leading characters of all the comic.

In other words: Buy it, you won't regret it.
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on February 2, 2014
See, I tried to write a review on lube... lube, mind you, but Amazon axed it. I didn't even name off body parts that the lube went on. So how to review a book that is... very good, mind you, and definitely recommendable, but there's no words and lots and lots of body parts doing lots of fun and entertaining stuff. Well, there ya go.
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on October 8, 2008
MANLY is the most recent hardcover released by the very well known publishing house of gay erotic comics, Bruno Gmünder Verlag, and is edited and written by the not-less famous Dale Lazarov (STICKY) and illustrated by new and fresh talent Amy L. Colburn (pencils, inks) and Dominic Cordoba (inks, colors). Have you ever thought "Oh my, they do know how to draw hunky men!" while watching an animated movie? Well, MANLY makes your wishes come true by presenting three complete, full-on man-on-man erotic comic stories drawn in the style of animated movie hunks.

As I started "reading" the first story in MANLY, I asked, out loud, "no word balloons!?" I quickly realize that MANLY uses the not very common "silent" narrative form known as "action to action" comics where wordless panels of the actions and situations tell us what's happening between the characters without the need for a single word. To tell a story without words, only using images, you need a good writter to create a script that's easy to follow and well constructed, and need a good artist to translate this script into images that are clear enough to let us understand what's happening. Fortunately, Dale and Amy do wonderful work! Dale's stories are usually about very human characters like you and me; gay people who seek sex but also appreciate the company and enjoy the man-on-man love. Amy has a very elegant illustrative style with an excellent grasp of the human form and great panache for depicting facial expressions and body language which show exactly what the character thinks or feels. And for the final touch, Dominic's celshading technique further enhances both the narrative and the illustration's animated sensibility.

I have to confess that my favorite stories in MANLY are "Busted" and "Clinch". "Busted" is about a policeman and the civilian who helps him in two different ways: first, by helping him catch the bad guys and then, by helping him find love. "Clinch" is about the opportunity to meet our idol (a boxing champion, in this case) and make our most private fantasies come true. The third and last story in MANLY, "Hot Librarian" is about how you can never judge a book by its cover!

My only complaint is that in some panels the sense of space is lost due to the absensce of backgrounds while focusing on the love-making, but it's definitively not a major problem considering the great perspectives used.

MANLY, from Bruno Gmünder is a hot-loving gay erotic comic book, no matter your native language, because you don't need to read, just feel the art inside it.

Reviewed by Caesar Kerainen
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on October 4, 2008
This brilliant work by Dale Lazarov and Amy Colburn, with colors by Dominic Cordoba left me speechless. The book has been generating a lot of Internet buzz recently and when I saw the pictures I understood why. The artistry involved in depicting the scenes in the three stories require not only imagination but creativity in the execution of the drawings. The combined talent of Lazarov and Colburn, with colours by Cordoba has produced an incredible portfolio. The best part about the collection is that the reader is able to give his or her imagination full throttle because the book has no words, only pictures.

This is Lazarov's second art book published by Bruno Gmunder, and teaming up with Amy Colburn gives the work a classic, extremely masculine look. The originality in these homoerotic drawings is exceptional and demonstrates Colburn's and Lazarov's vision and emotion. Most of the drawings are over the top while some of them are tender; I want to stress, however, that these are adult erotic comics which portray a full array of gay sex where the participants adopt a "no holds barred" approach. This book explores every aspect of sex and leaves nothing to the imagination, except dialog. The drawings are extremely graphic but the skill and creativity of the team of Lazarov and Colburn cannot be denied.

I highly recommend MANLY to collectors and other lovers of the genre.
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on January 16, 2009
Gay comic books and/or "really graphic" graphic novels tend to be either pinup collections or orgy filled romps with impossibly proportioned men.
"Manly" creator Dale Lazarov prefers to keep his men grounded in reality. Amy Colburn's pencils dance on the page but keep things more in line with the average Joes one might find cruising Wal-Mart or Target than the biker bars and jails of Tom of Finland.
What's so "Manly" anyway? Love and lust in three tales juxtaposing younger and older, hairy and smooth, and blue and white collars. A beat cop receives help apprehending an escaped bandit and gets his heart captured by the good Samaritan. A champion prizefighter meets his biggest fan at the gym, but the ring that's missing in this flirtatious fight club is a condom. And a shy guy runs into the hot leather bear he's been lusting after (from afar at the bar) in the last place he expects ... manning the information desk at the public library.
As with "Sticky," Lazarov's prior collaboration with Steve McIsaac, the stories play out in complete silence. The reader-as-voyeur is an unzipped fly on the wall as these disparate pairs ignite in steamy, sweaty, sizzling lovemaking.
Lazarov is unparalleled as not just a smut writer, but director and choreographer; and Colburn's artwork makes this team a force to be reckoned with.
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