Cavalcade of Boys (gay comic book)

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Awhile back I wrote, er, bitched about gay comics and cartooning.

Last week a couple of promotional samples of a gay comic book arrived at my used bookshop (we sell comics as well).

I don't have the copies of Tim Fish's Cavalcade of Boys with me. I'm using untrustworthy memory. That also means I don't recall the issue numbers.

The earlier issue seemed to have more humor and better pacing, more punch lines and proper pauses in the narrative. The later comic seemed more consistently a soap opera. The individual episodes seemed more cleanly separated in the earlier comic. That may have contributed some the feeling of more skillfully paced narratives.

Pursuing more melodrama may be an attempt by Fish to move in what he hopes will appeal to a wider audience. Queer as folk isn't a laugh riot, is it? Self-publishing is an risky enterprise with exiguous profits at best so I won't fault him. My own bias is in favor of humor. (Alison Bechdel is remarkably good at blending both.)

Fish's simple rendering is good in intention. But I wish he'd looked at someone like Roy Crane, Alex Toth or even John Romita, Sr. (who was a credible romance comics artist before taking on Spiderman). He needs to learn where to put his blacks spots, better panel composition and those tricks of storytelling that make any narrative flow better (never more clearly illustrated than by how Toth's abilities rendered many DC horror stories more readable than the surrounding stories written by the same house hacks).

Despite my own reservations I think many gay men would enjoy Cavalcade of Boys if they were to try it. And I'll be ordering copies from Last Gasp for my own shop.

Earlier: Gay comics & cartoonists

Tim Fish's website

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