Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
All this month I’ll be reviewing different comic books with LGBT themes (LGBT standing for “Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender”), based on submissions from the actual creators of the comic books themselves. Here is an archive of the comics featured so far!
A week ago, I reviewed the first issue of Adam Fair’s This Gay Existence, which was basically a collection of Fair’s web comic of the same name. At the time, Fair noted that the second issue was different, in that it had long form stories as opposed to a collection of quick strips. That sounded different enough for me to give this title another spotlight, so here we are with the second issue of Adam Fair’s This Gay Existence, a comic about a small group of gay friends at an art college dealing with their lives in a very odd pop culture-influenced fashion.
The main character in This Gay Existence is a guy named Eddie. The first story in this book, though, spotlights the somewhat more naive Paul. Basically, his life as a teenager fighting against his own homosexuality, with the “gay thoughts” being personified as Freddie Krueger.
It’s a clever little tale, told well by Fair.
The second story is titled…
and it is much longer. It takes up the rest of the comic (about 20 story pages). It stars Eddie as he deals with his past disappointing Halloweens (there’s a great line when Eddie is talking to his best friend Zen and basically admits that his only happy memories about Halloween are when there was a good episode of the Simpson’s Tree House of Horror).
The second story suffers a bit from “formatitis,” as I don’t know if Fair really had enough story to fill 20 pages, but there’s plenty of strong work here. I particularly enjoyed the way that Fair handled Eddie’s veneer of detachment from society by making it very clear that that is all that it is – a veneer. He’s constantly just one good thing away from being basically a romantic. I found that pretty darn adorable.
So, as you would expect when you make the move from short form to long form, there will be some bumps along the road, but overall, these characters translate quite well to longer stories, and Fair does a fine job placing them into situations that get the best use out of the character’s established tics.
You can buy a copy of #2 here.
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