Manly by Dale Lazarov and Amy Colburn
Special Guest Review by Allen (who is also very manly)
Erotica and high concept are rare companions. For all its steamy content, even Playboy can tout truly engaging articles and fiction. However, for the gay audience, such a combination is a little harder to find at your local magazine stand. Manly, the new erotic art book by Dale Lazarov (writer/editor), provides an avant garde approach to gay erotica and takes the book out of the traditional realm of slash art and cliché macho sexual situations and delivers it into the category of an actual work of art and storytelling. Joining him in his Manly efforts are artists Amy Colburn (pencils/inks) and Dominic Cordoba (colors/inks).
Colburn and Cordoba’s brilliant artwork brings the story screaming to life in both vivid and subtle ways. This is no easy feat considering the book has no dialogue. The lack of wording hearkens back to Lazarov’s previous success with the publication of Sticky, a collection of gay erotic comics compiled by publisher Bruno Gmunder. Lazarov carries this storytelling technique to the three stories of sexual mischief and love in Manly. The only text present in the stories are the titles of the tales. Each chapter relies heavily on Lazarov’s creative vision and the superb renderings of the artists to evoke the story and a surprising depth of emotion and character. This actually lends a nice universal quality to the book, engaging the reader in a fashion that transcends the language barrier, and reminds us of the often wordless recognition and seduction that takes place between gay men. The stories carry a rebellious theme beneath their romantic and charming exteriors. They portray sexual versatility in all their characters, abandoning tired stereotypes or belabored porn plot devices to drive the encounters. Also of note is the inclusion of safe sex. While not pedantic, this detail succeeds in reaffirming a very important message often lost in gay erotica, as art is often disclaimed as fantasy, yet holds profound societal impact. A worthy addition to your personal library, erotic or otherwise, Manly captures and reminds us of the emotion, spirit and excitement of sex between men.
Manly is now available for purchase at Amazon.com.