Kirby, Rob (editor) – QU33R

December 30, 2014




Damn, now that’s how you put together a fantastic anthology. The stories in here are of various lengths, but it gets going with a 20 page story by Eric Orner dealing with his coming to terms with his sexuality, dating a woman in college, having a right wing nut of a father and generally not having much of a source to educate himself about being gay. The social progress this country has gone through in the last five years on this front has been staggering (it’s like the majority of the country realized all at once that they were being homophobic assholes and all decided to stop and pretend like it never happened), but it’s stories like Eric’s that remind the youngsters that there were very few options when you were growing up gay in the 70’s and 80’s. The closet was a lifesaver back in those days. Anyway, I’m rambling, and I haven’t even gotten to the other 32 (!) creators in here. Highlights include (and I don’t think there’s a single actively bad story in here, for the record) Annie Murphy’s story about her elderly closeted relatives and wondering what their lives were like, Marinaomi’s first time being an awkward threesome, Ed Nuce and the rules of survival at death metal shows, Dylan Edwards and his childhood friend who referred to his Transformers toys with headlights in robot form as women to try to even out the gender imbalance, Justin Hall’s story about dating a man with (unbeknownst to him) serious mental issues while Justin just thought the guy was trying to work out his life, Jennifer Camper’s hardboiled detective story, Terrance Griep’s most painful wrestling injury, Edie Fake’s hilarious two pages of jokes told by somebody trying to pay to get into a sex show, Steve MacIsaac’s coming face to face with his childhood bully and the unlikely way the conversation ended up going, Andy Hartzell’s story of Pvt. Manning (in his own words) talking about his potential gender reassignment surgery on top of trying to come to terms with his conscience about all of the awful things he knew that the U.S. was doing around the world, Carrie McNinch’s first summer love, and Sasha Steinberg’s triumphant tale of a drag queen buying panty hose. That’s right, I somehow didn’t mention Howard Cruse (who’s been at this for decades and who at least partially started gay comics in general), Craig Bostick, L. Nichols or Rob Kirby, all favorites of mine. So that should tell you the level of quality you’re going to be getting here, right? Oh, and since I’ve been cranky about it in past anthologies, I should mention that Rob does everything right in editing this thing. Creator names at the top of every page? Brilliant! Check it out and enjoy, but set aside an afternoon for it, as this here is a hefty pile of stories. $29.99


Kirby, Robert (editor) – Three #2

November 2, 2011


Three #2

Are there any homophobes who read small press comics? I’d like to think that the level of open-mindedness needed to read and support small press stuff would weed out those assholes, but just in case there are, I’d like to scare them off: there’s gay stuff in here! There, that should have scared them off, now the adults can talk. This is the second issue of what has been (so far) a damned good anthology with three stories each. All that color doesn’t hurt anything, but it also wouldn’t help anything if the stories were lousy. First up is a piece by Sina Evil and Jon Macy detailing a slightly awkward but also magical night in New York between cartoonists. Our hero the narrator has never been penetrated before, but things are going so well that he has to give it a try, caution be damned. It’s a great story about not being able to properly read the signals and knowing when to hold onto something and when to let it go. Next up is the story by Jennifer Camper and Michael Fahy, and this one gets a little tricky. Our hero meets the man of his dreams, but this man was recently a woman and he still hasn’t had the full surgery to complete the change. Then our hero’s sister comes to town and it turns out that she played a role in the past of her brother’s lover. There’s also a pregnancy in there somewhere but I’m not going to say where. Finally there’s the story by Craig Bostick and Michael Kelly which varies back and forth (with the color coding telling you which is which) between a traveling musician and a male prostitute that the musician falls for. Sort of. Also with violence! Each story is wildly different from the rest, but they all go back to relationships at some level. Sounds like a good recipe for a successful anthology to me. Oh, and if the people who sent me this review copy are wondering, the reason this one took so long for me to review had nothing to do with my usual losing/misplacing of the comic, and was instead due to the fact that this comic was making the rounds among my friends and I couldn’t get it back. So sorry about the lack of a timely review, but it was for a good cause. $6.25