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Young Bottoms in Love Paperback – February 14, 2007
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There's good news for you if life has been a little less gay, in either sense of the word, since the end of the webcomic! Many of the strips from the feature's four-year run are now thankfully collected into a trade paperback volume. Numbering over 350 pages and weighing a hefty 1 and ¾ lbs, the book also contains new strips and illustrations sprinkled throughout.
Not impressed by "stats"? You're more interested in "character"? These short stories evoke a wide variety of "personality" from witty, charming, bittersweet, fun, "feel-good," poignant, and, of course, kitschy. On the visual side, the array of art styles is equally impressive. A majority of the art is cartoon-like, by no means a put-down in my opinion. Other stories are drawn in a more photo-realistic manner, and a few that sidestep notions of traditionally accepted comic book art are told in very welcomed eclectic styles. There were a couple examples of art that didn't immediately attract my eye. I'm happy to report that my initial uncertain reaction changed for the positive upon reading those individual stories though.
My copy arrived in the mail last Wednesday, a lot quicker than anticipated. I love to read, and small stacks of books and a weekly stash of comics waiting to be read "decorate" my apartment. What to do? Now, being a creature of habit meant I had to thumb through the book, and my question was answered. The other stuff would have to wait and I immediately sat down and began devouring the short five-page stories. The yarns so entranced me that it was hard to put the book down for long and only an urgent personal matter kept me from finishing it over a couple of days.
As with most anthologies, you'll likely have your favorite stories. It isn't my intent to slight any of the writers or artists by listing only a few here because they've all turned in admirable work here. Next week I'll likely be drawn to different stories, too. A few of my favorites are: Monica Gallagher's "The Myth of Hyacinth," a retelling of the how the god Apollo fell in love with the beautiful Hyacinth; François Peneaud and Roger Zanni's "The Gardener," a son's coming out as seen by his father, himself, and the gardener who seduces him; Mike DiMotta and Greg Lockard's "Beauty and the Beast," skewering of body image dictates; Frank Muse and Andy Swist's take on a similar theme in "But They Never Live Up to My Expectations"; and "Grinding Curiosity" from Decker and Paige Braddock if only because one of the guys resembles Braddock's Ethan character from "Jane's World" that I've a crush on.
Contributions from Bill Roundy and Kyle Cummings are also up there. Last and not least is Howard Cruse's "The Hypnotist," which served as the webcomic's finale, and Adam DeKraker's spoof of a Marvel cover colored by my talented friend Phil Good. Fans of Tim Fish's Cavalcade of Boys comics will be entertained by his contributions, too.
YBIL leaves me with another pleasant predicament - finding a spot on a bookcase already filled with favorite graphic novels and trades.
Still need an incentive? Proceeds from sales of the book will be donated to several non-profit organizations. Seems like a win-win situation to me!
And for that, YBiL does it so well.
The book was first a web comic, running everyday for 4 years. Tim Fish, who started the online comic, and put the book together, has selected some of the best, and tossed in a few new, just for print comics. Tim Fish took a lot of time to put this together, and it shows. None of the comics are simply printed from the web images, which would have given them a low detail pixelated image. All the comics reproduce clear and full of details and sharpness.
For $22 dollars, it's an amazing deal. And part of the profits go to the Human Rights Campaign fund, which is always a good thing!
So what are you waiting for! Order now! Be hip!