23rd May 2008
kicking fandom’s ass since 2000
23rd May 2008
With the Rush compilations, Drama Queen has finally achieved what Yaoi Press has been trying to achieve with all of their releases. Here is a gorgeously illustrated collection with engaging storytelling, stellar presentation and it just leaves you waiting impatiently for the next volume to come out.
There have been a lot of grumbles in the BL community about OEL boys love stories and how they are supposed to be somewhat lacking from what’s being imported from Japan. I hope that this series of anthologies will put that to rest.
We start off with “Night and Day” by Akira Atsushi. It revolves around Adder, a pretty young male escort who’s in need of some cash, and Jin, who’s in desperate need of someone to drag him out of his world of doll collecting, teach him how to dress and behave in public. Jin’s sister makes Adder an offer: two million dollars if he can make Jin straighten up and fly right. Adder’s determined to get that money. While Jin’s bound and determined to keep going along his path to geekdom. Simply gorgeous art in this one. I find myself lusting after Jin even before he gets his makeover. I just can’t wait until those two to get naked.
Theresa Zysk gives us “Children of the Bones”, which features a militaristic society and a young man named Taxi who just got kicked out of his house. He moves in with Lucy “Call me Luce” who doesn’t bother to hide his sexuality from anyone. Taxi claims to only be interested in females and is slightly disturbed by this development.
Of course it’s all a front and Luce finds his secret stash of male-on-male porn after Taxi returns home from a disastrous confrontations with some of the members of SOLDIER. The boys end up in bed together, while the surviving members from the squad that Taxi had a run in with are left plotting revenge. I was not as fond of the art in this one, though it did grow on me and very much fits the story.
Laura Yokoshima brings us the next story in the collection, “Master!”. It’s an odd story that seems to be going three different places at once. I’m sure this is something that’s going to resolve itself in the future installments, but it did throw me for a loop the first time I read it. We’re introduced to a young man who is complaining that there is this annoying fellow who recognized him at school as being a fellow Japanese and the extent of the aggravation that this kid puts him though.
Then the young man goes home and we find that he’s got a dog boy in residence who caters to his every whim. Yes. Every whim. Lovely hot sex. We then find out that the young man is a mage who rescued the dog from drowning and in casting the spell turned him into this dog/man hybrid. At the end of the story, we find someone who claims to be the father of the young man hiring a shady character to “protect him with his life.” Very interested to see where this one is going to go.
Lastly is the story “Roulette”, written by Tina Anderson and illustrated by Laura ‘Zel’ Carboni. This was my first introduction to Carboni’s art and I was blown away by the amount of detail that she works into every frame. It’s definitely not done in the traditional manga style, but it’s gorgeous nonetheless. Please don’t let the fact that the characters don’t look like the stereotypical manga characters turn you off from this story. Really it’s just gorgeous.
The story is set in Atlantic City in 1982. The style of this story is based off of the 1983 movie Scarface. Very violent gangsters, something that Anderson excels at. The storytelling is sharp and biting. These are in no way, shape or form fluffy nice characters. They do very bad things for a living and are comfortable with that fact.
I can’t sing the praises of this anthology enough. If this is the quality of the OEL that Drama Queen is going to be bringing over to us, then sign me up for a subscription and make sure my issues come on time.