cover image Play Boy Blues

Play Boy Blues

Shiuko Kano, . . CPM, $15.99 (224pp) ISBN 978-1-933440-11-8

Both the storyline and the classic yaoi ("boy love") preoccupations of Play Boy Blues announce themselves on the book's cover: a dark-haired stud, reclining on a leopard-print pillow, feels up the ripped abs of a tousled-haired, impish-looking young man wearing a half-lifted flowery tank top. There's no coy repression here—the main story here is sex and more sex, and if there's no drugs or rock 'n' roll, it's only because the two main characters require no other stimulants than each other, preferably naked and sweaty. Shinobu Hishiya is the cheerful, cheeky former top gigolo at a fancy nightclub who has recently forsaken the hard work of selling his body to become a construction worker. Junsuke Aki is the new "number-one host," as well as Shinobu's roommate and, eventually, his ardent lover. The elaborate back and forth between the two never results in anything remotely resembling a surprise, but what plot turns do take place are efficiently handled. More importantly perhaps, they frequently lead to hot and heavy x-rated love scenes (albeit ones portrayed with such delicacy that that they sometimes require imagination to decipher). Kano's drawings are filled with spare, elongated lines that complement the sloe-eyed ideals of beauty on display here, and her attention to details of character is almost obsessive. (Feb.)