cover image Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It

Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It

Edited by Anne Ishii, Graham Kolbeins, and Chip Kidd. Fantagraphics, $35 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-60699-785-7

Replete with rippling muscles and hypermasculinity, this volume provides a fascinating overview of contemporary gay manga and its creators. In a medium dominated by visual exaggeration, the figures given vivid, lusty life by these artists express the apex of a powerful butch sensibility. While the work, by artists including Seizoh Ebisubashi and Kazuhide Ichikawa, is as explicit as it could possibly get, there is a clearly expressed joy to its aggressive sexuality, even in the segments that veer deep into domination and humiliation. The book showcases nine creators with interviews and profiles; cover artist Jiraiya could be most accessible to Western readers, his work bringing to mind a fusion of Arthur Adams and Frank Cho as filtered through the lens of Tom of Finland, with his Hulk-like beefcake bear-gods exuding an unexpected warmth and humor. U.S. collectors of this material will be thirsty for this first-ever English language anthology, and adventurous comics readers will encounter a realm they might have otherwise overlooked. (Dec.)