Thursday, June 15, 2006

Play Boy Blues, vol. 1

by Shiuko Kano

This book comes with an "Explicit Content: Parental Advisory" warning, and boy did it ever! Graphic sexual content, not to mention gay sex, not to mention prostitution, not to mention incest-in-law (step-brothers) — YEE-HAW!

No way can I describe it any better than this, from the cover of the book:

Selling one's body at Japan's most popular Host Club comes naturally for Junsuke Ake. In fact, he is the club's top performer (and earner!) and is easily the most popular Host with the female clientele. However, his lover, a former Host named Shinobu Hishiya, has forsaken the wild club lifestyle in favor of his new job as a construction worker. Together, they share wild days and passionate nights, making love whenever, wherever, and however they want. But when jealousy and male pride enter the picture, their blissful, sexy relationship may not be able to handle the strain. ... Also includes a sexy bonus feature!

I've finally gotten over my fear of graphic novels. I used to find the images overwhelming, especially when they didn't just go square to square to square the way comic strips do. (Ack! What box do I read next?!) As you can imagine, reading manga was even more challenging, because the illustrators are very creative with the shapes of the panels, but mostly because YOU HAVE TO READ IT BACKWARDS! If you know Japanese or Hebrew, you'll be familiar with the concept, but it can be a bit disorienting for the rest of us. Know what's even more confusing? Trying to read it left to right; it doesn't make any sense.

Actually, it didn't take very long to adapt to reading in the other direction. My complaint that remains is that you have to turn the pages a lot because there's just dialog and sort-of stage directions, so unless you linger over the illustrations (which you might do, depending on what's happening, especially in an erotic book like this one) you turn the page every 30 seconds.

Now I'm hooked, I'm reading more manga and other graphic novels, and I'm distressed by the fact that the library hasn't yet purchased Play Boy Blues 2.

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