I found this 2-part series on a list of LGBT comics recommended by one of the library magazines (I think Library Journal, but I’m not sure and I’m too lazy right now to go look it up). So I ILL’d it in since it fit perfectly with what I’ve had going on over the last month. Work is still going good with the GLBT News, the weekly news blog I run with the GLBTRT, and then I served as a juror for the first ever William Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant. So, gay and graphic novel has been my extracurricular focus for a good chunk of the last month, so I figured I should find areas where the two meet.
Only Serious About You is the story of Oosawa, a single dad who works at a chef in a nearby restaurant. His wife left him because she couldn’t stand the stresses of raising a child on her own while he was at work all day. So, now he takes care of his daughter Mizu by himself. Oosawa has a regular client at the restaurant named Yoshioka. Yoshioka brings in all his boyfriends, and he seems to have a new guy every week. Well, the shit hits the fan when Mizu’s kindergarten calls Oosawa and tells him that she has a fever and has to go home. He can’t afford to take the time off of work, and he doesn’t really have any friends or family that can look after her.
Enter Yoshioka. He invites them to stay at his place for a while so that he can help look after Mizu. So begins this pretty lighthearted story of a nontraditional family forming to meet the needs of raising a child. Mizu immediately bonds with Yoshi, and they both care for her as she gets better. Then, when Oosawa catches her bug, Yoshi takes care of him, and they end up staying with Yoshi much longer than they intended. Everything looks like its going to be fine, with Oosawa eventually falling for Yoshi in a “I’m not gay but I’m gay for you” kinda way, but then the deadbeat mom shows back up and wants custody of the kid. So the lovely togetherness that ends the first volume is shattered in the second as they have to figure out what their family is going to look like and whether they are going to stay together.
The weirdest thing about this to me was that even though it was printed in English, it maintained the traditional Japanese printing, binding the book on the right hand side and turning pages right to left. While initially a little off-putting, it’s something that I quickly got used to and barely noticed by the end of it. The story in and of itself was interesting, and the book reads very quickly. There’s just enough layers of characterization that the characters aren’t quite stock, but there’s not a detail added in at any point that doesn’t come into play later on. So the story feels very compact and focused, but it did leave me wanting to know a bit more. And, for the most part, the artwork of their relationship stays pretty tame except for one sexy-times bit in Part 2. It was my first time ever reading manga/yaoi, so I didn’t know what to expect, but this was good. I’ll have to try the genre again some time.
JMF Rating: 7/10
‘Til next time,