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Shirtlifter #2 Perfect Paperback – August 17, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Smart, thoughtful, poignantly written, beautifully drawn." --Last Gasp<br /><br />"Sometimes sexy, surprising stories that will hit close to home for many men." --Xtra

"Smart, thoughtful, poignantly written, beautifully drawn." --Last Gasp

About the Author

Steve MacIsaac is a Canadian currently living in Los Angeles after several years in Japan, a cultural mix that shows up in his comics more often than not. Steve is perhaps best known for STICKY, his wordless, erotic collaboration with writer Dale Lazarov. For the past several years Steve has been self-publishing his series SHIRTLIFTER, partially assisted by grants awarded by Prism Comics and the Xeric Foundation.
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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Drawn, Out Press; 1st edition (August 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979134919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979134913
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A expat Canadian living in Los Angeles after several years in Japan, Steve MacIsaac's comics explore contemporary gay culture, identity, and sexuality. MacIsaac has released four issues to date of his solo series SHIRTLIFTER. His work has appeared in a number of in anthologies, including I LIKE IT LIKE THAT (Arsenal Pulp), several volumes of BOY TROUBLE, and BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2010 (Houghton Mifflin). He is perhaps best known for his wordless collaboration with Dale Lazarov, STICKY, published by Bruno Gmuender.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on March 28, 2009
Format: Perfect Paperback
Shirtlifter is a collection of ten short semi autobiographical works, many of which stem from Steve MacIsaac's experiences and observations on the themes of identity, sexuality, personal growth and what constitutes a family. The comic really struck a chord and stayed with me long after I had finished.

While at times you'd be forgiven for thinking some of the material gets a little dour, the sardonic and occasionally self deprecating humor was appealing and I admire the willingness to actually put that much of yourself out there. It makes the comic feel very intimate at times.

One of my favorite pieces was the forth story Mantras. The panels are just damn sexy and beautiful. The feeling between the characters was apparent despite the more obvious connotations and it certainly brings up a lot of questions about how sex is portrayed and consumed. I also enjoyed the conversation and humor in pieces like You Do The Math, which ended very sweetly and made me laugh. (Steve, black socks and sneakers?? heh)

While there was sex in the comic, the focus was more on the choices that people make and the repercussions. I think this makes it unusual and it is perhaps a little difficult to classify, as the narrative has a more dramatic and indy feel to it.

The art is compelling and while some parts are fully colored it was the strips that were monochromatic that I found striking. The posture and demeanor of the characters and use of shadow creates good tension and atmosphere. They're also drawn in a more realistic style than most of the comics I read and I liked the muscular look of the men. Chest hair? Nice.

Shirtlifter #2 was thought provoking, unapologetic, sexy and well worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Allen Smalling TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 4, 2012
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
An extended sexual fantasy session between an introverted Canadian college student and a flannel-clad outdoorsman, the concerns of a young bottom with pyrophobic memories intruding on unsafe but welcome sex, the razor-blade balding of a newborn bear, and the jostling of love, career, and US/Canadian immigration status are among the vignettes and stories in this worthy successor to the highly successful Shiftlifter No. 1 of a year prior. Author Steve MacIsaac's second Shirtlifter venture is even hotter than the first venture, and longer, but sexual gymnastics aren't the core of these stories as much as social relationships and musings on modern gay identity and gay life and society in general. A thinking (gay) man's graphic comic that is short on BANG/POW! or idealized porn bodies, but long on introspection, bearishness, meaningful dialog and good art -- while not ignoring erotic concerns -- is surely a welcome addition to anyone's graphic comic collection. This volume, number two, has (so far) been followed by Shirtlifters nos. 3 and 4 -- I later reviewed them separately and sure hope Steve MacIsaac pens no. 5 before too long.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zac R Cocciolo on January 6, 2011
Format: Perfect Paperback
Shirtlifter 1 is worth overlooking (as I am doing now). Shirtlifter 2 does a lot more with comic-book medium and with a wide variety of depressing and also adorable stories alloof a vaguely autobiographical content from Steve McIsaac. McIsaac's art is not amazing, but often he does his subjects justice (that is: if you're into chubby muscly hairy dudes, you'll probably dig the comic's art (while sometimes the art falls perfectly into the ridiculous, like one frame in the first story, one dude's penis is hilariously 3-feet-long)) and while by no means amazing, is still passable. "Safe" and "You Can Tell Us Anything" are sad as hell. The former is about neurotic tendencies and AIDS, the latter is about parental mantras. Another good story in the collection "Crush" comes off like a big-gay-Harvey-Pekar story and pulls it off pretty well too. You Do The Math is a cute little way to end the collection-- a musing about being "out". While sometimes navalgazing and such, still a good read.
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By Chnaane on July 15, 2011
Format: Perfect Paperback
My perspective on this comes of having bought all four Shirtlifter books in one go. This one's different to the others, in that it hews more towards a short-story rubric rather than a more extended narrative with autobiographical elements. One particular story, "Safe", bears particualr mention. The author's website contains previews of a few pages from each of the Shirtlifter books, and parts of "Safe" were included in the preview. Without giving away too much, from the preview I couldn't figure out where the juxtaposed house-burning-down story was going, but it was an interesting mystery and weighed in favour of my purchase of the book. The way MacIsaac wrote it--particularly the ending--is quite brilliant and very relevant to very real, philosophically difficult issues.

This is uppercase-A Art. I'll explain what I mean: My other half is an artist, so I have maybe more than the average amount of "training", if you will, on how to look at and think about art. I am also reminded of a Q&A with author Stephen King, in which the interviewer asked why he writes about such dark things, and King's answer was "What makes you think I have a choice?". There's plenty of artwork out there of whatever genre or medium that's not especially deep or thoughtful...maybe it has nice lines or pretty colours or fine technique, but not much more than that. It makes the cash register ring, because a lot of people aren't looking for anything more than nice lines or pretty colours or fine technique.

But when the artist really shares of himself, puts himself into his work, it comes through. And that is very much the case with Steve MacIsaac's "Shirtlifter" series. The characters are not just hot and drawn with great skill, talent, thought, and love, but are also deeply dimensional and very real.
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