February 27, 2012

Not Quite Yaoi, but More Than Noteworthy!

Hello, my dear, dear fujoshi. Have you missed me? I've missed you all.

No! Really! I have! I've just been really busy with a new job and stuff. You can see my full apology and lamentation here on my "mainstream anime" blog. ;)

I must share with you, and the world, my new obsession. Although it is not technically yaoi (even the author/artist is hesitant to classify it as such), it is one of the most beautifully drawn, wonderfully told, realistically approached story about two men falling in love that I have ever read. And, as some of you know, that is a lot of stories about boys falling in love (or lust, or just fucking... you get the idea).

My friends, I introduce to you, E.K. Weaver's The Less than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal (<epic). A quick warning first, it is written in standard Western Webcomic format, so you're reading the panels from left to right, ok? I know we're all used to reading backwards by now, but we should all keep up our Western reading, too. And this... this... I can't even come up with words to describe how much I love this comic. That's how good it is! EK has created characters with such depth that she can tell you the life stories of those we never see, but who had a profound impact on the protagonists' lives.

For a quick run-down: Amal, in a spectacular fashion, cancels his arranged marriage by coming out to his traditional, South Asian parents. His father then disowns him, leaving this med student to wallow at the local bar, eventually taken home in a drunken stupor by TJ, who he finds in his apartment the next morning smoking while cooking eggs and singing Paul Simon. He soon learns that, apparently, in said drunken stupor, he agreed to drive cross-country with this stranger. And so the journey begins from here.

They each have their reasons for escaping from their current situations, some more up-front than others at this point (EK, you tease me with TJ's past!!). Along the way, this mis-matched pair pass the time becoming "not strangers".

The artwork is something I can't even describe, being not-so-artistically inclined. I can, however, appreciate the beauty and attention to detail that oozes from every panel. I've taken to watching her livestream whenever I get the chance, and now follow her tumblr religiously! Although she doesn't put much ecchi stuff in the comic itself (I said not much, not none), she does have some work on her DeviantArt and y-gallery pages that compliment the story sexily. In fact, one of these images is currently my desktop. (o^_^o) (sadly, Y-gallery is down, and that's the image is... so I can't link it yet.... -_-* ) She has even done some stuff she calls AU, since it is future TJ and Amal. I love it all. ALL!!!!

So, to wrap up, because I could honestly gush for a lot longer, but don't want to give anything away, I will say this:


Okay. I think I got my point across. Next time, yaoi, I promise! But trust me, this is worth the venture back across the Pacific.

Jya ne!