The popular online comics collection ‘Young Bottoms in Love’ hits the page.
Popimage.com between 2002 and 2006. Edited by Tim Fish (the romance series Cavalcade of Boys) and written and illustrated by dozens of creators, the stories in YBIL, released this month, are romance-themed, although quite diverse in style and content, from outrageously satirical to poignant and sad (notably, Dave Ortega’s elegiac “Fish Story”) to all-out fantastical.A whopping, colorful tome—and a bargain at $22!—of short gay comics, Young Bottoms in Love (Poison Press) is culled from six volumes’ worth of online strips posted on the website
A handful of Fish’s send-ups of 1960s romance comics and their melodramatic conventions (lots of crying! foolhardy decisions!) kick off the collection, including “My Gay Romance,” about a guy who can’t choose between loving his wonderful best friend and an asshole/idiot who looks exactly like the best friend. A teen’s first love with a pool boy is seen from his, his gay parents’, and the pool boy’s perspectives in Francois Peneaud and Roger Zanni’s “The Gardener.” Queer Eye‘s Fab Five make an appearance perpetrating homo-superficiality in Michael DiMotta and Greg Lockard’s skewed fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast,” while Bill Roundy, Nate, and Mike K. serve up a ghost story with a Tales From the Crypt twist in “He’s All Mine.” Closing YBIL is “My Hypnotist,” a funny and sexy tale from queer comics legend Howard Cruse (Wendel, Stuck Rubber Baby) about a college boy’s ill-advised crush on a hot aspiring hypnotist. The genres, from superhero to storybook, and cute guys just keep coming. (Proceeds from book sales benefit advocacy groups including Human Rights Campaign, The Trevor Project, and Prism Comics, the nonprofit organization that promotes the work of GLBT creators in the comic industry.)
Rarely longer than five pages each, these stories read best in small batches. A minus if you’re on a long train ride with only YBIL for company but a plus otherwise. You can have your fill, put it down, and find more love waiting when you come back again.
Lawrence Ferber reported on the Sundance Film Festival in our March issue.