Wallflower: Rear Entrance Video #2

Heidi Belleau. Riptide, $16.99 trade paper (178p) ISBN 978-1-62649-037-6
Painfully shy artist Rob Ng attends art school in Vancouver and works nights at an adult video store. On the Internet he’s Bobby, a girl gamer with the self-assurance that the real-life Rob lacks. When Dylan Ford, a brash, gentle, Inuit giant—and one of the video store’s customers—turns up in the Introduction to Art Principles class, Rob admires his fearless outspokenness and raw masculinity. He also begins to experiment with allowing his Bobby persona to emerge into the physical world, balancing being male at school and at home with being female at work. But Dylan is gay and in love with Rob, not Bobby, and Rob finds there are emotional and physical risks to being female and keeping secrets. This slim sequel to Apple Polisher is explicit but sweet, and Belleau’s depiction of the diverse, accepting Vancouver culture makes a violent transphobic episode all the more frightening. Discussions of using art to mask and reveal add depth to the thoughtful exploration of complex gender identity. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/19/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
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