In conjunction with Prism Comics, the preeminent website for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) comics and creators, every day this month I will be detailing one good comic book/graphic novel with LGBT themes.
Here‘s an archive of the featured works so far!
Today we look at a collection of a fun series by one of the most prolific indie comic creators out there!
One of the funnest things about Tim Fish’s series, Cavalcade of Boys, is the way he draws his amusing slice-of-life stories about a group of gay men in California in a very traditional superhero style.
You can’t really picture, say, a Leanne Franson or a Robert Kirby drawing the Fantastic Four, but you could totally see Tim Fish doing it.
That’s not to say that superhero-esque art is the only style Fish draws in, because it’s not – the guy is a multi-stylistic artist, able to do Archie-esque drawings, manga-esque, superhero-esque, he’s a regular Zelig, the way he fits into each genre.
Anyhow, the artwork is nice, but that’s not the key to Cavalcade of Boys – the book is built, like most great independent books, around characterization. The lead character, Tighe (like our buddy Tadhg on the blog!), comes from earlier work by Fish, but a chapter or two into the book (the current collection of Cavalcade of Boys replaces the sold out Volumes 1-3, which in turn collected the sold out issues #1-9 of the original mini-series – this is a popular little book!), Fish really broadens our perspective and we get to know the entire cast, and it’s a bizarre little group of guys.
A really nice facet of Fish’s writing is the way in which he takes a bunch of characters who could have easily been reduced to stereotypical sitcom characters and given them an unexpected depth.
That’s not to say that the book isn’t funny, even broadly funny at times (absurdist humor at others), because it is – but the characters never turn out to be as one-note as you might expect when you first meet them all, as they sure seem at first to look like walking, talking stereotypes (they even span the ethnicl spectrum!).
In addition, Fish works in effective darker stories here and then, which really make the stories pop.
Apparently, he’s been doing new Calvalcade stories in a Boston LGBT newspaper (not attached to these stories, although there may be some character crossover), and I hear he’s even preparing a fourth volume collecting just this new work – I have not yet read any of this work, so I can’t say if it lives up to the quality of the initial stories.
If you want to purchase the collection (over 500 pages), check it out here, on Fish’s website.
Thanks to Greg McElhatton for the scans from the book!