m/m graphic novel appreciation series: a guest post by kassa (nsfw)

Don’t think I can’t hear you all saying ‘finally!’ 😛

This week’s guest post is by the esteemed and just all round fabulous m/m romance reviewer and commentator Kassa.

Like Sarah’s article, I think Kassa’s will open many readers’ eyes to the world of m/m graphic novels, including, dare I say it, that other than yaoi. 😉

*****

So I promised Kris I’d do a guest post because I love graphic novels. I started reading them when I was in high school because let’s face it, I was a geek even then. Video games and comics go hand in hand. I was selective though and got frustrated pretty easily with Marvel comics. I mean the X-Men were fun and all but the dialogue was always so stilted. I got into DC Comics for a while and they really knew how to stretch their wings and about that time I realized that yanno the men in tights thing “grappling” with villains, now that’s more interesting than the complicated webs of lies and deceit they were always weaving.

From there I started looking for graphic novels that branched out from super heroes. They’re great again but I needed more variety and wanted something that felt like reading an illustrated book (and well the overt homoerotic tendencies that exist in all super hero comics was getting tiresome since it’s so adamantly ignored/denied). Here Neil Gaiman’s Sandman truly blew me away.

This not only has a mind bending alternate reality but the plot is well crafted. The story is by turns fascinating, horrifying, creepy, and above all something you simply can’t put down. The artwork is pretty stunning and the entire series is a MUST for graphic novel fans. I can’t really stress this enough. The novels aren’t light or easy per se but well worth the time and energy. I pet my copies often.

But Sandman, as fab as it is, isn’t erotica. So getting into more smexin’ there is the first graphic novel from the LKH Anita series. This is a very slick and nicely done comic and gets across attitude and sex appeal, the two essential elements that are later lost for more and more sex. So don’t bother with the later ones, not worthwhile even for the sex.

However those are just graphic novels in general and some recommendations for those that like to branch out from just yaoi. We geeks have wide ranging interests.

But onto the men on men smexin’ in comic form, which is a particular love of mine. The problem with coming in this late is that favorites are already claimed and mentioned in previous posts.

A few of my beloved yaoi manga already claimed are:

Only the Ringer knows by Kannagi Satoru

U Don’t Know Me by Rakun

Embracing Love (Haru wo Daite Ita) by Youka Nitta

Each of these appeals to my love of yaoi for different reasons yet they are all “extreme” in some ways. The elements that work here wouldn’t work well in an m/m romance but that’s why I enjoy the genre when it’s presented as it was meant to be.


But from all these suggestions those new to yaoi/manga may be wondering where to start and some of the titles are more “advanced” you could say. For yaoi/manga start with Gravitation and Junjou Romantica, both are fun with lots of flirting, twink blushing and little graphic sex. For m/m some good starters are:


When you want the cock and you want a lot of it head to:

Manly by Dale Lazarov (his other comics are equally smutty and fun)

Here there is a mixture of super heroes and non. Pick something that suits more your taste and experiment. The artists are solid and include some raunchy, delicious fun. Plus there is NO shortage of donkey dick in these comics. They’re large, out there, and taking over.


These comics/artwork offer little plot but truly stunning artwork. This is a group of incredibly talented artists that provide some evocative pictures. They’re available in books or just cruise for the pictures. These are the fabulous folks that produced the much loved Black Wade, comic heard ‘round the internet.

So there you have it. If you feel confident on branching out from yaoi twinky goodness into the realm of m/m comics, be brave and enjoy the visual feast (in more ways than one).

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About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
This entry was posted in comic/graphic novel, kassa, m/m, m/m graphic novel appreciation series, yaoi. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to m/m graphic novel appreciation series: a guest post by kassa (nsfw)

  1. Dale Lazarov says:

    Thanks for plugging my work! You can get them on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/8nVTeX

    Cheers,
    Dale

  2. Tam says:

    I was never a big fan of comics as a kid. Sure I read Archie and the odd Superman my cousins provided.

    I do like the blushing boys of yaoi, I'm not a fan of the big muscley guys, in real-life or in cartoon format. And I find I like a specific “look”. The one you showed for the Gaiman book really doesn't appeal to me at all, I know I had trouble with that Blue book (can't remember the name) because I didn't care at all for the drawing style, therefore I didn't care about the characters much. Fair? No likely. LOL But it's a visual experience, not just literary for me.

  3. Chris says:

    The only comics I read as a kid were the Illustrated Classics. I think Tam and I like a similar “look” to our yaoi. 🙂

  4. Kassa says:

    Thanks for the link Dale 🙂

    Hey Tam and Chris, I hear you. I love the twinky look of yaoi. In fact I love the look so much that if a cover has a yaoi cover, I buy the book just praying the characters are actually lovely yaoi-ish. So there definitely is something unique about yaoi that isn't necessarily translated to other visual mediums like graphic novels. I understand that and I'm not trying to really convert anyone. I just thought I'd give something else since previous guest posts covered the pretty yaoi's really well.

    Who knows.. maybe someone will make the jump to m/m comics? Though I will say Starfighter is very yaoi-ish and not filled with muscle men at all. The dynamics are pretty seme/uke hehe.

  5. Jambrea says:

    So…after reading all of these post I finally purchased my first graphic novels.

    -Gone To The Movies by Eric Arvin

    -How To Control a Sidecar (Yaoi) (Yaoi Manga)
    Makoto Tateno

    -Black Wade: The Wild Side of Love
    Franze & Andaerle

  6. Kris says:

    Jambrea: *wipes tear from eye* I'm so proud.

    Kassa: Thanks heaps for this post. Both this and Sarah's have been of great interest to me because I love the graphic novel/comic form. Have done since I was a kid.

    I've been wanting NG's Sandman GNs for AGES, but they're hell expensive here in Oz. I'm going to add them to my ever growing list and see if I can pick them up cheaper in the US.

    I was going to ask you about where you buy your comics from – and I still want to know that – but then I got distracted by clicking on the link for Starfighter and seeing that the creator will be at Yaoi Con… Woot! I'm hoping that I can pick up a lot of goodies at Yaoi Con… I might need another suitcase…

  7. Eyre says:

    I agree that Dale's books are fun! I loved them.

  8. Kassa says:

    Welcome to the club Jambrea! Great choices.

    Isn't Starfighter fabulous? You MUST get a signed comic at yaoi-con. You can thank me when you're camping at kennedy's house, penniless.

    Glad you agree Eyre!

  9. Sean Kennedy says:

    I've always wanted to read The Sandman because I know a character is based on Tori.

    I have dipped my toes into manga with Ghost Hunt, but I don't think I could delve into yaoi. I just don't like the dynamics in the relationships. Are there any that buck the trend? (I saw the Gravitation anime and wasn't really impressed.)

  10. Kris says:

    Kassa: Sean and I would kill each other if we ever lived in the same house. It's bad enough being in the same city… and a river separates us. 😛

    Sean: Have you tried Bara? That's manga created by gay guys for, you guessed it, gay guys. There was a link in Sarah's article.

  11. Hey Kassa..

    About time someone brought some big muscles to this party and I agree with you on those muscled up boys with horse dicks – fun…

    Great listing of books – and I second your push for people to go over and check out some of those weblinks…

    ***you won't regret it****

    E.H>

  12. gynocrat says:

    Thanks for the kind words and recommending 'Games With Me' and 'Only Words'. I don't know if I would rec Only Words as a starter– since many fans were unhappy with the end [yaoi fen love their HEA].

    Sean: Some gay mean push against yaoi because of its unrealistic and exploitative plot lines – original English yaoi or 'GloBL' can gravitate from those themes…but not always. A good way to tell is if the publisher or author is using the words 'yaoi' in their sales material. ^_- If they are, it's likely to fit the Japanese model and will likely turn you off.

    Bara can be just as unrealistic – but because its written for men by men, this makes it more palatable in terms of reader gender-dynamics. That said, keep in mind that most Bara is not plot driven; it's porn with a capital P.

    If you're coming the realm of gay romance fiction, another thing to keep in mind is that graphic novels are geared for readers that are in tune with reading graphic novels. Many of my peers that loves romance fiction were unable to make the transition from prose to sequential-art stories. It just wasn't their thing. 😦

    Thanks again for the mention, and this is a great article!

    -Tina

  13. Kassa says:

    Hi EH, I know not everyone likes the muscles but I'm all for it as a change from the usual twinks. Mix it up!

    Thanks for stopping by Tina! I know Only Words doesn't have the best ending (in terms of HEA) but I love the story and artwork and think it would resonate with a lot of m/m fans.

    You're right that not all romance novel readers can make the switch to the comic/graphic novel style but I think many that read manga may be able to. Or just something to try anyway. There are so many beautiful comics and graphic novels that have all the themes and concepts that romance fans love.

    Thanks again for commenting and such high praise!

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