Review: Fast Friends (NSFW)

0

Cover: Fast Friends, Dale Lazerov and Michael BroderickFast Friends

Writer: Dale Lazarov
Artist: Michael Broderick

Dale Lazarov bills his work as “smart, wholesome, gay comics smut,” and that it is. Fast Friends, like Sticky and Manly is a wordless, erotic comic that balances poignant slice of life narrative with marathon sex.

It’s winter in the city in the 1960s. Two couples, one in a brownstone and the other in an apartment above a liquor store, are undressing each other. Flip the page and they’re fucking. Both encounters are carnal and unequal — one participant is detached, while the other seeks intimacy. One of the less interested parties goes so far as to light a cigarette, mid-coitus, and both are rough, selfish lovers. I can already see where this going, because damn. They duck out immediately after, and our young comics reader — he likes Sordid and Fatale — and mid-40s businessman both leave their lonely apartments for some simple company.

They meet at a diner, not cute, but sweet. Over the course of pages, they slowly, shyly strike up a conversation and discover an attraction. Broderick takes his time, tight, emotive close ups do double duty of getting us closer to the characters, and experiencing the attraction through their eyes. There’s a sweet sensuality to the businessman lighting a cigarette, the comics reader stirring sugar into his coffee. And it is undeniably wholesome — their knees touch, they linger over their food until they continue their surprise date at a gay pub. It’s obvious that they will go home together, and of course they do, but the contrast with the comic’s opening is obvious — here is connection, sweetness, and spark.

Back at the businessman’s brownstone, they share an embrace straight of out those old romance comics, but the setting, the foyer, is so ordinary that it’s warm rather than grandiose. They are swept away by each other, yet grounded. And then the marathon sex, which Lazarov and Broderick build up to with foreplay and lingering glances. The sex itself is egalitarian and sensual, healing and utterly lacking in power plays.

The comic winds down with our distaff, cold lovers from the start getting their comeuppance: cigarette boy comes back to an empty apartment and later, a box of things at his front door; the cold businessman is deep in the closet, and has trapped himself in a relationship with an equally unsatisfied woman, who discovers him ogling the boy next door. Our fast friends, meanwhile, can be silly and sweet together, dancing, reading comics, cuddling in bed.

The art has an unfinished quality — Broderick doesn’t linger over backgrounds where they aren’t necessary to establish character, and there are some pages with faulty perspective — but it’s expressive and sweet. Our leads are always his highest priority and he lovingly renders their bodies and body language. We know who they are, without ever having to hear their voices. The stars here, art wise are the colours and shading. Broderick uses a soft palate, melancholy blues, and warm reds — the strongest note is the white of those extra-wide gutters that he uses as punctuation, variously slowing down and foreclosing action. The lack of inking adds to the air of lightness.

Fast Friends is smutty, lazy afternoon, sweet romance.

Share.

About Author

Editor-In-Chief. Megan was born in Toronto. She's still there. Philosopher, space vampire, heart of a killer.

Comments are closed.