In which we find another trio of stories by a sextet of creative folk in perfect harmony.
Sina Evil and Jon Macy offer up the first story titled “Dragon” which relates a meeting between a man with such a remarkable resemblance to the writer that I presume it is he (another review notes the similarity too) and a New York comic cartoonist whom he admires. The evening starts with dinner and conversation about the zodiac animals on the placemats at a Chinese restaurant, from which the title comes. There’s a spark between them, he thinks. Later at the artist’s apartment our narrator devours the artist’s work and the boundaries between art (his work concerned boys he’d been in love with) and reality blur as passion and lust overtake them throughout the night and into the morning.
Theirs is an interesting collaboration. Consider Macy’s opening statement found on his website, which is paraphrased here, that gay comics need sex to be relevant. Any time Macy is the artist there’ll be men dripping with sex. Consider also that the Persian name “Sina” derives from a Hebrew word meaning “explorer of knowledge”. Perhaps a name’s meaning has nothing to do with this story in particular than my desire to romanticize notions of artistic identity. I’d like to think such a name would influence a person’s perceptions throughout a lifetime. In any case, the feel of the writing is personal, reading like a very intimate journal entry of a real encounter, begging the question of just who this artist is. Undoubtedly details were changed if this is based on a true story, but it hasn’t stopped me from being drawn to curiosity it, mind.
Now about the title. During dinner earlier the narrator comments he was born in a Dragon year, to which the artist replies: “It means you may or may not exist”. Not a strong astrological affirmation. Later on in the night the narrator shares his concern over returning to London “Where boys never look at me. Where I’m invisible and nobody knows who I am.” Where he may or may not exist, like Schrödinger’s cat, until someone notices him. The need to experience this man and himself in ecstasy, to, refer back to writer’s name’s meaning, explore a kind of knowledge through a physical act itself, is intense. The point of greatest physical intimacy, of penetration, is where, with one exception, the coloring of the characters is most life like. Throughout the rest of the story they’re rendered in shades of pale yellow, browns, and grays.
It’s a rare occasion that a writer creates (or bares if such is the case) such emotional depth in a character and I’d like to see Sina and Macy work together again if circumstances permit.
Jennifer Camper and Michael Fahy’s “Help Wanted” gives a humorous and frenetically paced account of love and acceptance between Leo and Raoul. At five pages it may be the shortest story of the three but they maximize the space and show how letting go of conventions and labels can bring happiness. I’m hesitant to say more about the plot because it’s full of unexpected twists and I don’t want to spoil a fun story. Like Joey Alison Sayers’ contribution in Three’s debut, Camper and Fahy have shown a different viewpoint and made an impression on me. Camper and Fahy jammed on this piece. Each page is structured in three horizontal bands and they took turns doing every other band and the result is a pleasing collaboration.
Craig Bostick and David Kelly cast their eyes back to pre-Stonewall times to recount a tale of loneliness in “Nothin’ But Trouble”. Country singer Jimmy West dressed in his cowboy hat and denim jacket is on tour in a big city and one night after the concert ends he goes looking for sex. He finds it when he comes across Butch, the iconic boy next door type packaged in a street-tough look of jeans and a tee. All that’s missing is a cigarette pack tucked inside a rolled-up sleeve. A night of intense sex has Jimmy falling in love come morning, only to have his heart broken. Weeks pass and they meet again quite by accident. Butch literally rescues Jimmy and each leaves a lasting impression on the other despite going their separate ways.
Characterization keeps this story together. Jimmy is charming and almost as naive when it comes to men. The guy can’t help falling in love. Butch is emotionally unavailable to suit Jimmy, but he’s also gallant. And they’re both dreamers in the end. Like Camper and Fahy, this pair share the work. Here they’ve traded off full pages and their individual styles are complementary. Pages are told from either Jimmy’s or Butch’s points of view, and the coloring reflect this. Jimmy being passionate is done shades of red, black and white while unavailable Butch’s sections are done in shades of aqua, black and white.
Order your copy of Three at Rob Kirby Comics.