Love Circles

Laura Carboni, Author, Laura Carboni, Illustrator Yaoi $12.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-93366-413-2

This “boy’s love” book doesn’t feature the usual willowy “why do they look so much like girls?” figures for the readers’ enjoyment. The Italian origins mean the men are stacked. It’s an interesting take for anyone familiar with the excesses of the American superhero comics, which are often criticized for their sexualization of all the female forms; this book treats its men in an equally outrageous fashion, all shiny pecs and bulging thigh muscles. It’s a “what if” role reversal, visually. Meanwhile, the female crush object is reminiscent of a drag queen. Davide isn’t getting anywhere with her, so Valerio, campus stud to both men and women, offers to help with a makeover. Davide grudgingly agrees, only to find himself enjoying the process and thinking more about Valerio than the girl he supposedly likes. Carboni can’t seem to decide between styles, switching from manga influence to beefcake pinup, cartoony exaggeration to almost realistic figure studies, sometimes on the same page. The panels explicitly focusing on the male form are over-rendered, as though she didn’t know when to stop fiddling. The story setup is abbreviated, the build nicely done, but the ending badly rushed. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/28/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
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