Some readers out there may be thinking 'I wonder just how bored Oli is of reading comics about gays, by gays, and their gratuitous declarations that comics about gays is somehow controversial and an underepresented group in the medium?' The answer to those readers' questions is 'VERY'.
I feel like I am being challenged to say something homophobic when i just don't really care either way, I rarely find comics by black people that consist solely of racism related issues, and I don't see many comics by heterosexuals where girls and boys have sex alot, unnecessarily, just to try and 'shock' me- if you've got an agenda to push please push it, but I'm not going to be interested unless your comic has A GOOD STORY and ENTERTAINS me, which is, after all the reason we are making comics and not handing out intimidating leaflets.
So here is an oddity, a comic by Willie Hewes, who is, for the most part, heterosexual, and yet with the very in-your-face agenda of homosexuality. But the difference here is, it's actually got quite a good story. It's amusing and does something different to a 'romance-story-but-with-two-men-instead-of-a-girl' template i have seen enough of, by actually incorporating homosexuality into the plot rather than shoehorning it into a tale where it doesn't really matter what sex the protagonists are. It's only a short thing written for a competition, and Willie makes sure the comic is completely suited to it's length with good pacing and judicious use of stereotypes so the characters are sufficiently sketched in. Simple and elegant, I enjoyed reading it, although have never really had the urge to do so for a second time as there is little depth to it, but that's fine, it does exactly what it says on the tin.
While you're here i just want to make a comment about Willie's OTHER comic series Amaranth, which is very enjoyable and fun to read, interesting characters, a great atmosphere and an impressive amount of risk taking and style experimentation, which she nearly always pulls off. The story is a tad rambly and slow and there is alot of cod-philosophy but it fits with the style and never detracts from the pleasure of reading, recommended.
Her comics and always engrossing blog are available at www.williehewes.co.uk for prices between £1 and £3.