Man Enough

Subtitled “a queer romance”, this simple soap opera tells of a holiday party where David meets Ethan. They share an attraction and a love of The Simpsons but Ethan isn’t quite what he appears to be.

The figures in this minicomic are flat and basic, but the storytelling is quite confident. The first page turn ends on a cliffhanger that’s bound to keep the reader involved, eager to find out more. The next two-page spread manages to keep four threads going simultaneously. David talks to a friend about his plans while Ethan prepares for their date, while the other page shows the opposite in parallel. The sequences come together at bottom middle, with the two meeting. It’s creative and ambitious, reaching for an effect that it successfully achieves.

Also unusual is the choice of story material. I don’t want to spoil the comic, but the background here is touchy, and it’s handled extraordinarily well. It’s just the right kind of complicating factor: it’s essential to the identity of one of the characters, it provides drama, and it’s something most readers will be curious about. Yet it’s not allowed to overwhelm the incident that provides the story. I’d like to see more of these characters, if only to answer the additional questions the writer raises to make a point.

Also included in this issue is a two-page color piece illustrated by Tim Fish called “My Life in Gay Porn”. It’s more a joke than a story, but it’s well-paced, about a video clerk at a certain kind of store.

Find out more at Bill’s website, or order your own copy.

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2 Responses to “Man Enough”

  1. Bill Roundy Says:

    Hi Johanna,

    Thanks for reviewing my comic! I’m glad you liked it.

    And thanks especially for mentioning the storytelling techniques. I’m really happy with how that two-page spread turned out, and it’s good to know that someone else appreciated it.

    I’ll be at SPX in 10 days, so I’ll see you there!

    -Bill

  2. SPX 2011: Quick Thoughts and Mini Reviews » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] Bill Roundy and I swapped drink notes. Among his journal comics and a series reviewing Brooklyn bars in comic forms, he’s also put out a bartending guide I’ve found helpful. Unfortunately, my favorite cocktail, the sidecar, isn’t in it, but he’s planning a revised edition. [...]

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