cover image Boyfriends


refrainbow. Webtoon Unscrolled, $19.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-990259-78-4

Four college students dip their toes into polyamory in this effervescent first volume collecting refrainbow’s webtoon. The boyish quartet, all unnamed but each projecting a gay stereotype, inhabit a pastel, stylized manga-ish world. To prove to his neurotic, wealthy, and preppy roommate how easy it is to ask a guy out, a trans-masculine goth asks an excitable nerd on a date. Said nerd, however, also has a crush on a jock, who flirts with the anxious prep (“I didn’t have time to put my makeup on!”). The goth, who already cares for his preppy roomie like a boyfriend, and the nerd admit they have crushes on the other two, and the four earnestly and ambitiously concoct rules for their first polycule. In most scenes, characters pair off as they attend a concert, go to a carnival, or roller-skate, but the foursome attend Pride together and quaff rainbow-colored steins of the “prettiest and gayest beer in town.” Their awkwardness navigating first-ever romance (in the case of the nerd) and the uncertain rules of multiple partners (and combos thereof) pairs sweetly with the bubbly art, where even erotic moments trend saccharine. While the narrative doesn’t dig too deep, the almost chaotic, boisterous vignettes boast a heartwarming undercurrent. Readers eager for queer joy will revel in hanging out with these four sweethearts. (Nov.)