It’s been a little over a month since Comic-Con, and I’m just starting to read the stack of comics I scored at the show. (Bad gay fanboy blogger! Bad!) I’ve got some fabulous books to share with you in the coming weeks, so don’t go anywhere. First up is the debut issue of Three, a new anthology edited by Curbside and Boy Trouble creator Robert Kirby. Three has a simple, yet brilliant concept: three stories by three artists per issue. It could have been two; it could have been four. Yet, three just feels right. Kirby himself alludes to the magical number of three in his short, but sweet introduction to the book. “Three new stories by three different cartoonists who are, in one way or another, queer as a three-dollar bill. Yes, the Power of THREE…”
|First up is “Weekends Abroad,” an excerpt from Jerusalem Graphic Diary by Eric Orner. You might know Orner from the classic strip (and movie) The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green. “Weekends Abroad” is a world away from Ethan Green, though. A self-proclaimed “bad Jew” finds himself working a contract job in Tel Aviv, struggling with the culture and the language and kicking himself for getting thrown out of Hebrew school as a kid. “Weekends Abroad” is the best kind of autobiographical travel story, showing readers a foreign land, while keeping the experience personal, funny and ultimately thought-provoking. I have not read any other material from Jerusalem Graphic Diary, but now I’m dying to.|
|Next up, and the reason I grabbed the book like it was the last turnip in Scarlet O’Hara’s garden, is “Number One” by Joey Alison Sayers. We’ve featured Ms. Sayers on the site before, and I was fairly obsessed with Thingpart, before she unceremoniously killed it. But that’s…okay…because it allowed her more time to work on her autobiographical series Just So You Know, which is also brilliant. In “Number One,” Joey gives us a peek inside her day job, offering a funny, quirky and refreshingly twisted take on dealing with clients, while also trying to preserve your own fragile dignity. At eight pages, it isn’t nearly enough to satisfy Sayers fans, but it’s another fabulous addition to her canon of work, nonetheless.|
|The final tale in Three is from Robert Kirby himself. A contemplative tale of a young man pondering disappearing from his own life, either purposely or against his will, “Freedom Flight” is rendered in whites and muted blues, perfectly capturing the mood of the narrative. It’s the most experimental and existential of the three pieces, and serves as a wholly satisfying ending for the book. It’s a tale where a walk around New York City can seem like an escape around the world, and a chance encounter with a three-legged dog can feel like spiritual enlightenment.|
Three is a diverse and rich collection, showcasing some of the best storytellers in comics today. Anyone who laments not seeing our stories told in comics should pick this up and start their journey into the world of independent gay comics and creators. Let the “Power of THREE” guide you.