The Webcomic Overlook #126: Wendy Pini’s Masque of the Red Death

I became a comic fan in the early 90’s during the debut of Jim Lee’s X-Men. Thanks to my nerdy, obsessive nature, I ended up taking a strong interest in the history of comics. I used to hope up at the Detroit Public Library, head up the stairs to the second floor (which had some fantastic Diego Rivera murals that I didn’t appreciate at the time), and pored through various books about comic book history. I learned about obscure, now-forgotten heroes, reveled in pages devoted to Will Eisner’s The Spirit, and took a passing interest in the Kitchen Sink Comix movement of the 1970’s.

When the book got to the 80’s, a couple of names stood out prominently: the husband and wife team Wendy and Richard Pini. Their comic, Elfquest, was the standard bearer for indie comics of the 1980’s. It was THE sterling and unassailable example that creators didn’t need to sell their souls to the Big Two to create a comic book hit.

However, I never got into Elfquest much. I tried reading the books, which were also available in hardcover at the library, but they weren’t for me. I think the books were successful because they pursued the female comic reader market before manga proved to everyone that they were commercial viable. While a noble pursuit, these delicate fantasy comics filled with dewy-eyed pretty boys were definitely not for me, who longed for nothing more than to read page after page of muscly guys punching each other.

Still, I was filled with giddy excitement when, one day while browsing through the “webcomic” entry of Wikipedia, I ran across Wendy Pini’s name attached to an online adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death. Ah, I thought, the perfect gateway into the world of Wendy Pini! I loved Poe’s original short story, and I was excited to see how that would translate to comics.

Imagine my surprise when the webcomic bore less resemblance to Poe’s Masque of the Red Death and more similarities to Anne Rice’s The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. That is to say that Rice, writing under the name A.N. Roquelaure, mainly used a well known story as a framework for erotic literature about bondage, domination, and sadomasochism.

In case it hadn’t bee quite clear to you yet, Wendy Pini’s Masque of the Red Death is similarly and adults-only affair. The review itself doesn’t really go overboard into NSFW territory, but, still, proceed at your own caution.

So what IS so adults-only about Poe’s Masque of the Red Death, anyway? Besides the violently graphic nature of the deaths, which cause “sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores.” The ball held by Prince Prospero has always been depicted as rather prurient, even if the particulars are not spelled out in the story itself. Check out this ribald illustration from 1894, for example, which depicts the lascivious revelry in Prospero’s castellated abbey. Wendy Pini takes the wanton celebration further than perhaps what Poe imagined and dollops a heavy scoop of gay erotica.

Now, I know what you’re saying. “El Santo,” you say, “I remember reading this story in junior high. I’m pretty sure this was a creepy tale of the inevitability of death. Unless I blocked it out of my memory, I don’t remember two dudes macking on each other.”

And I’m like, “What, didn’t you read the line where it says, ‘And there was a brief disconcert of the whole gay company’? And what about ‘The tastes of the duke were peculiar’? It’s right there, people!”

So yes, Masque of the Red Death has some rather extended and graphic scenes where our two principal characters, the amoral and devilish “Prince” Anton Prosper and the genetically-enhanced-to-be-the-most-beautiful-man-in-the-world Steffan, totally get it on. Now, I’m no yaoi fan, so perhaps I’m not the best person in the world to comment on whether or not these scenes of two guys cuddling and, uh, playing erotic baseball were any good or not. However, if I remember my Yaoi 101, fangirls prefer the scenes of two men being bitchy to one another (which thus increases their eroti-meters) over the actual sex scenes. There’s plenty of that, too. In my opinion, they’re kinda cheesy, overly melodramatic, and far too reminiscent of a bad soap opera… but, again, not the best judge.

It did reveal a bit of a double standard at play. Steffan is depicted to be below the legal age at 16. [Author’s note: it turns out I was wrong about the age. In the comments below, Wendy Pini informs me that Steffan was actually 23. Steffan was 16 at some point in the story, but apparently not when the incident I’m referring to takes place. My sincere apologies for the confusion.] Anton also treats Steffan rather roughly. Now, if the role of Steffan was recast as a girl (which is not too difficult given his generally androgynous look) this sequence would be kinda sketchy. But, well, Steffan’s male, so dude’s supposed to take his sodomy … like a man.

But that’s not the only change. Pini brushes off the setting, which always struck me as something from Medici-era Italy, into the future. It’s a world of blueskinned people and flying cars that look like running shoes. However, despite the trappings, is not too different from the present day. Shallow personalities from an entertainment show gossip and dish about celebrities 24/7. Powerful corporations jostle for the next hot product with little regard for the consequences. And technologies are pretty much geared toward how to look beautiful forever.

Anton Prosper inherits the family fortune and the family castle, “Penumbra.” He’s also a bit of a geneticist He’s been working on a project that makes him immune to mortal injuries, and he doesn’t really plan on sharing it. To complete it, though, he needs the help of Madame Kabala, a brilliant geneticist who has an agenda of her own, and her son Steffan, who she schemes into seducing Anton and stealing the secrets.

Steffan is highly emotional. He seems devoted to his mother at first. But when he senses that he’s in love with Anton, he abandons her when Anton banishes her from the island. Still, his loyalty to Anton is just as shaky. They crumble at the slightest flash of jealousy. These feelings become dangerous when Daryel Mirrin enters the scene, a humanitarian salt-of-the-earthy guy whose honesty Anton admires and who Steffan mistakes for a romantic rival.

Using Flash, Pini employs a method that can best be described as “click-through” animation. Pini explains her intentions in an interview with Brigid Alverson at Digital Strips:

… we are going to invent ours from scratch and we are going to take a different approach from what’s up there so far and we are going to take the opportunity to add a little actual animation to it. What you’ll see is more an atmospheric type of approach. For example, if we have two characters in middle of a misty fog, you might see the fog billowing around them even though the characters stay still. We’ll use it very judiciously. It’s all about mood, especially in a story like this.

Press the forward button, and we get the next frame of animation, simulating movement. There’s even an option to have the pages click forward automatically, which turns Masque of the Red Death into a motion comic.

Does this feature enhance the comic, or is it little more than gimmicky? I personally lean toward the latter. There are times when the motion enhances the mood. Early on, one of the flying cars lands and you get a distinct sense of being blinded by the landing lights. In another long scene, we’re treated to a costume ball where we watch a seemingly endless dance. I thought it successfully depicted how Penumbra had become both like a dream and like a prison at the same time.

Most “animations” felt unnecessary and, worse, incredibly cheesy. I snorted during a scene toward the beginning where Madame Kabala chastises her audience by wagging her finger in the “oh no, you din’t” sense. Later, Pini animates Anton and Steffan’s first kiss, which ridiculously comes off as two guys rubbing their noses together.

The absolute goofiest moment, though, comes when Anton kicks off the masquerade ball. It’s already pretty ridiculous, something like a Cirque du Soleil show doing a Vegas dancing girls theme. Steffan and Anton sashay down the stairs in big feathery outfits. As you click through, we zoom in on Steffan. Then we zoom in on Anton. Then we zoom out. We zoom in on Steffan again, and then we zoom in on Anton again… only this time, Pini has animated a very fey wink. The sound of my palm hitting my forehead could be heard in three counties.

Pini seems to want to write a comic where there are no heroes. Anton, for example, is definitely selfish and cold, and yet we, the readers, easily identify with his disgust at the abhorrent shallowness of the world he lives in. Steffan, seemingly the sympathetic one, manages to cause a lot of trouble just because his emotions cause him to put faith in the wrong people.

Pini mentioned in her interview that “by the end of the story you are not going to know who the hero or the villain is.” Oh, there are actual villains. It’s a shame that Madame Kabala and Tono Trankule don’t have mustaches, because their motivations are so one-dimensional that they were clearly made to twirl them. The two conspire to steal Anton’s youth juice to corner the market on beauty products. And, of course, things go bad. (I mean, we are talking about an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death, here.) I’m not sure if Pini is leaning on a lazy literary device or if she’s actually making a statement about unchecked capitalism here. Still, I find it hard to believe that a utopian society like the one depicted in the comic got this far without some equivalent of the Food and Drug Administration.

Sill, despite my reservations about an erotic Poe motion comic set in the future, Wendy Pini is such a professional that she almost manages to pull off a decent adaptation. Her art is quite attractive. The character designs are quite clean, resembling a mix of Japanese and European styles. (Tellingly, some of her most lovingly rendered illustrations are focused on the naked male buttock.) She’s got a keen eye for detail, which are on full display with the elaborate costumes presented at the masquerade. Colors are Ms. Pini’s specialty, which pop when she takes a lavish tour through the castle’s color-themed ballrooms.

Remember how Titanic was rather boring soap opera until the moment the ship hit the iceberg? The same thing happens to Masque of the Red Death, which hits the ground running once the Red Death hits. Complacent characters start panicking, society crumbles, and major characters bite it. Pini is at least correct when she claims that “everybody in the story has a side and you’re going to feel sorry for all of them, even the worst of them.” She’s defined her characters well, and when they begin to die, you don’t care if they were the good guys or the bad guys. You do feel like the death that visits them — whether as a victim to the Red Death or a result of the imprisonment within Penumbra — was totally undeserved.

Now, I mentioned that she almost pulled off a decent adaptation. So, what ruined this webcomic for me? I already pointed out the supreme cheesiness of the “click-through” animations. Yet, the corniness of that feature pales in comparison to the awful-as-hell dialogue. Every single line sounds like it came out of a trashy romance novel.

There are awkward attempts to mix melodrama with high-concept future-speak:

“Addicted to their holo-screens, they know too much … yet know nothing! They graze through the mall paths like docile, pretty cows, clueless about what it is to truly live!”

“The science of life extension, plus ever-improving insights into the quality of man’s mental and material well-being — can manifest on our planet what the ancients who knelt before idols childishly called ‘Heaven.'”

“Great Hoob, no! My equilibrium doesn’t hinge on what that boy does or doesn’t do.”

“Trankule… you snake-fucking son of a bitch!”

OK… so admittedly that last one would look cool on my epitaph.

And there’s the “romantic” talk, made worse by some of the ultra-dramatic poses the characters take while uttering the damn lines. Seriously, these are groan-inducing at an epic level:

“Beautiful Eyes… no one’s ever done something for you with no strings attached, have they?”

“You’re hungry.” “I could devour this island and everything on it!” “Yes, hungry — but not just for food.”

“Something bigger than us … I wonder … if there is something … is it the power of love?”

“Then we’re right back where we started … here, in this room … with you trying to force my neck into your yoke. It chokes… It stifles!””

As you can tell by the dialogue, everything is so goddamn melodramatic. A simple tour through the different rooms turns into a entire chapter filled with daffy lines, pregnant pauses, and histrionic gestures. And, just in case this isn’t campy enough, how about we include some ominous thunder and lightning to punctuate the mood? You know, there is such a thing as being too theatrical.

So there you go: Wendy Pini’s Masque of the Red Death has its moments, but it’s ultimately undermined by its own campiness. It’s like that mysterious visitor in the flamboyant costume that comes to the party at your hermetically sealed manor. Sure, he’s nice to look at. You might be caught off guard by all the pretty colors and the nifty moving doodads on his suit. You feel some unease the closer he gets, though, and once you whisk that mask off, you soon realize that you’re staring face to face with a really hammy webcomic.

Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

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About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on June 29, 2010, in 3 Stars, adult webcomic, dramatic webcomic, literary adaptations, motion comic, sci-fi webcomic, The Webcomic Overlook, WCO Big Review, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. I thought the art was very awkward and stiff, myself.

  2. I can’t read this… flash… stuff…

  3. Rebecca Weaver

    there’s a link in the menu that says “auto” that lets it run on its own without all the click click. Saved me a lot of trouble.

    But man, I never thought I’d see 1D animation till I came across this. Flat doesn’t describe it. It exists in one plane, period. It’s “Paper Doll Theatre Presents Edgar Allan Poe”

    • Thanks. I mentioned the “auto” feature in the review, but it’s a pretty long review this time around (2300 words!) so I don’t begrudge you if you missed it.

  4. I’ve recently started experimenting with a bit of animation in my own Webcomic. Not to the point of using flash, just animated gifs.

    I’ve found it to be harder to pull off than I thought. And I’ve found that most of my readers either don’t care or just would rather not have it at all. So as much as some of us try and experiment with the medium known as Webcomics, I think most readers would just prefer that we remain the same.

  5. Just one correction. Steffan is twenty-three, not sixteen. I’m not into very young boy erotica as some yaoi fans are. As the story begins, we are introduced to Anton at age eighteen (indicated in Barrant’s dialog). In flashback we learn Anton and Steffan met at age twelve and ten respectively. When they meet again as adults it’s thirteen years later.

    Thank you for your very long review. The over-the-topness of Masque is totally intended. I’m envisioning it as a big Broadway musical thriller like “Phantom of the Opera,” which is about as hammy as it gets. Yet, for me at least, it’s very easy to get lost in such excess and thoroughly enjoy it as entertainment.

    Many Masque readers – predominantly women – are deeply into the characters and their motivations, finding much to analyze and identify with. Readers are finding in it whatever depth they bring to it. As one gay male Masque fan puts it, “I want to be left overstimulated and emotionally drained by the end.” That is absolutely my aim.

    After three decades of mostly bouquets and relatively few brickbats for family-friendly Elfquest, I really felt the need to take what might be called a career-busting artistic risk. Masque contains all my passions: grand opera, dark gothic romance, erotica aimed at women and full goose bozo freedom of expression. Ain’t it wonderful the Internet exists so I can get away with it?!

    I’m sorry you don’t care for the animation. With Flash I believe in the “less is more” approach. Any more than simple dissolves looks too computerized IMHOP. Whatever Masque’s destiny once it’s finished, it’s been a strange and much-needed slice of creative heaven for me. It’s for adult readers of every gender and persuasion who’ve been looking for something like it and didn’t know it existed.

    Cheers,

    Wendy Pini

    • Ah! Thank you for the correction. I think it was mentioned at some point that Steffan was 16, but it must’ve been one of the flashbacks you speak of. I mistakenly applied that to the rest of the story. My apologies. I’ve included an “Author’s Note” in the review to clear up the confusion.

      Also, whatever I felt about the final product, I agree with you that Masque of the Red Death was a risky comic to make, especially after all the accolades you’ve received in the past. I admire your ambition.

      • “WAS a risky comic”…? I’m still making it! Seven or so chapters to go. When it’s done, blood n’ guts and all, it will stay up and running as long as readers keep a-comin’.

        • Seven chapters!?!?! The wiki entry tells me this is wrapping up in mid 2010! Oh, you tease….

          • It IS wrapping up in 2010, hopefully early August. Then are we Masquers gonna PAR-TAY!!! *grin*

          • OOOPS! *blush* Major correction! I meant to say “seven more episodes!” Insane I’m not!

          • Hey, El Santo, it’s been a few days. Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for sparking so much interest in and commentary of all flavors on Masque via your review. When all’s said and done, it’s a totally GOOD thing!

            Wendy Pini

          • Thank you, Wendy!

            The Masque of the Red Death fans have been exceedingly fluent in expressing their opinions. I love it, too, when there’s a lot of discussion at hand, whether the poster agrees with me or not. It’s always fun and oftentimes illuminating to see something from a viewpoint other than your own.

  6. First of all this webcomic IS worth reading for no other reason as the quality of the ART. And I mean art not simple drawings, whatever you think of the content.

    As a child I loved all of Poe’s stories. I was suprised wendy took the story too the future, but liked the options it opened. I think (as a genetic lab worker) she made good use of the options it gave her.

    I also was suprised about the gay part. After re-reading the novel it however made sense. And I think she worked it out realistic.

    The dialogues fit the scenes and go well with the full colour settings.

    Wendy Pini is an artist who is freely giving her work to all of us without a penny compensation. The work (hours) she put in here are enough to finish al whole new Elfquest book, which would made her some real cash in stead of stale comments about cheesy animations. The animations add something to this webcomic that you couldn’t find in a book. And although it isn’t perfected yet, it certenly is a plus.

    conclusion:
    I love reading this webcomic.
    It’s beautifull, funny, shocking and entertaining.
    I really love the fact that everything is so over the top, fluffed up and grand! That’s part of the charm.

    M. Wolters,
    The Netherlands

  7. Just to add my two cents – I came to Masque as an Elfquest fan with a tinge of skepticism. Yes, I’m a woman, but no, I’ve never been particularly drawn to yaoi (or the manga style in general, really.) I came as someone who’s never been particularly compelled by technical sci-fi or gothic romance. (I know, what a dullard.)

    I was converted. It took a little time for me to get to know the characters and accept the “science”, but the opulence of the colors and Wendy’s keen eye for the human form drew me in. Her skills as a costume designer are unparalleled; I’m a huge lover of Broadway musicals and the theatricality of the setting and the dialogue and, yes, even the “cheesy” animation plucked at the same chords that make me love “Gypsy” and “Hairspray” – shows that are high on camp, but also sensitive to character and story. Hell, the wink you described above made me laugh out loud with delight.

    It’s a matter of taste. Sometimes you want to revel in bold strokes and glittery scenery. What sets it apart is there’s a great story underneath. This comic is a bright, glossy, expansive updating of the themes that Poe sketched out lightly in pencil.

  8. I find it interesting to note that the comments are, so far, by women, not particularly fans of yaoi, whose enjoyment of and delight in Masque are specifically because Wendy Pini, while perhaps daring in subject matter and pushing-the-envelope, stays true to her core. That core is unfailingly sumptuous art, deft creation of characters that one feels for (or against), and the request of the reader to think beyond wham-pow-angst-cheesecake, which is what so much of mainline comics tends to be (at least for me).

    I came to Masque rather late, as gay erotica is not of interest to me (not a judgment, just a personal taste), and that is what I’d heard regarding the storyline. But the death scene of one of the main characters was so tellingly portrayed – not a line wasted, not a word out of place, not a stroke of the digital pen too many – that the fact that the story was adult-themed faded before the depth of compassion that I felt for this one brave being. And so, once again, I was taken up into a Wendy world, knowing quite well it wasn’t mine – and frankly, my dear, not giving a damn.

    In fine: I trust Wendy’s integrity regarding storytelling and art creation. She is always worth finding, reading, and thinking about after the last page is done. And if I need to observe some wild bedromping to get into the story, then so be it. That’s confection, not the meat (pun intended) of the experience.

  9. I’d skimmed this comic before, but failed to get into it due to an apathy toward tales of debauchery and retribution therefor cultivated by early exposure to terrible fantasy novels. However, I was interested to see how it was presented, because it opens up the subject of form suiting function. In the case of Masque, clicking through the strip without the auto function felt very much like one of the old-school text-based adventure games. Click, get more dialogue — it’s a bit alienating, since all the clicking interrupts the flow of the story and disrupts immersion. I think the inclusion of an “auto” option was a good call, to the point where I’d personally make it the default.

    (To digress for a minute, the one instance I can think of in which the steady click-through would be logical is if we were talking about a webfictional equivalent of a “choose your own adventure” sort of thing. The reader is already “active,” so why not give them a choice as to where the story’s going?)

    The inclusion of animation is a weird area in general. I think the most effective use I’ve seen so far has been looped gif animations — first one I ever saw was in a Sluggy Freelance anniversary strip, where a character was dancing. Integration can be tough, because unless the action is one which would logically repeat in the panel it starts looking bizarre (like a guy winking over and over again). From the couple chapters I skimmed in Masque, I think the dancing scene in the red room would work for this sort of thing very well — it was almost hypnotic.

    Anyway, form suiting function. The internet’s unique in this respect because you can move in far more dimensions than print alone (though stuff like House of Leaves does try). The best example of fusing medium with effectiveness I can think of is the horror webfiction Dionea House. While basically an epistolary novel, it’s been updated for the times to include text messages, IMs, and branch across social networking sites like Blogspot and Livejournal. It was a gimmick, but it was a gimmick integral to the storytelling because it provided alternate points of view, more information, and heightened suspense. And that’s how it should be.

    I’m guessing Isaiah’s readers are pretty standard in not regarding the extras as necessary or even particularly welcome because they feel like a later addition to a standard form. I say that if you’re going to go with a gimmick, it’s better to just go all the way. Pini gave that a shot by choosing Flash as the method of delivery, and for that I gotta give her props. It is a risk, and while its effectiveness may be debatable it’s nice to see people venturing away from the standard “just paper on a screen” formula of most webcomics (and I include my own in this).

  10. I don`t have much to add, except appriciating this whole review and the comments it has generated. And I don`t think you have to be an yaoi expert to have a qualified opnion here. In fact, most current Masque readers are not exclusively yaoi fans, not even Elfquest fans, what they have in common is enjoying the comic for its intriguing plot, easily relatable characters, breathtaking art and well – yeah, simply for being yer over-the-top indulgence. Noone`s disputing that one. For my part, I am a male reader not too impressed with the yaoi elements, but enjoying the overall story, and being completely captivated by one of its characters. I SSOOOO disagree that madame Kabala is onedimensional or acting from onedimensional motives. She may not be any lead character, but – take a closer look – HER moments are actually some of the most crucial moments in the story. She has feelings, ambitions, brains, style and personality, she`s got the most adorable dimples too ! Do not underestimate her, she is not yer average villain, she`s so much more, she is the egde and spice of this otherwise dark story. Even dead, she is potensial spin-off material !

    Oh well, turned out I had a wee bit to add after all ! And while I`m at it, let me also point out that Masque`s audience has its own society, hosted by its creator who pops in on a regular basis to discuss story elements with readers. NOt only do readers get free comic, they even get the privilege of talking directly to the creator ! How unique is that ! I`d say we be grateful for comics like this, and enjoy them for what they are ! It`s as simple as that !

  11. While I am not too fond of the animation, I think the camp adds another appeal to the story. I doubt I would enjoy the story nearly as much if the whole thing is taken uber seriously or both the melodramatic and the fabulous are toned down. However, that may be because I do enjoy a bit of cheese in a dark subject matter. I have actually stumbled upon this webcomic some time ago, but I didn’t read it since the drawing style isn’t my cup of tea. Fortunately, it grows on me as I read on.

    The first few chapters of the story were a bit boring for me though. I think your comparison of this webcomic and Titanic is spotted on. I didn’t mind the first part of the movie (it built the characters) although it bored me a little, but things got really interesting after the shit hit the fan and the ship sinked. It is the exact same thing with this story. Now I can’t wait to see what would happen next!

  12. I want to echo Mir’s appreciation for the review. While I don’t agree with all of it, on the whole your criticisms are constructive. I also agree with him that Madame Kabala is not-so-one-dimensional as she might seem. True, she’s a “villain” (you need to use quotes when using that word in reference to any Wendy Pini character) but knowing what we know about her, her choices make perfect sense and are believable.

    I think what you’ve said about the dialog is important and I think the key here is that our reaction to it is largely based on what we bring to it as readers. Wendy is a child of the 50s and 60s with a healthy dose of the 70s thrown in for good measure, and that is reflected in her characters’ word choice (hair cuts too – see Daryel). As a child of the 80s and 90s myself, I too sometimes find certain phrasing and word choice different from how I would imagine characters speaking, and therefore odd. One small example: Daryel frequently calls Fronda “honey” which is not a word that an early 20-something guy would use,in my experience, and so it seems a little anachronistic and kind of cheesy to me.

    Similarly, Wendy’s representation of same-sex erotica in Masque is totally different from what is produced by and for the gay male community. That’s because it’s based on Wendy’s own tastes and fantasies, and she’s not been shy about saying that. What’s droolworthy to a 50-something hetero female isn’t going to necessarily be the same thing that turns on a 30-something gay man (i.e., me). That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it if it’s done well, as I think it has been in Masque.

    But my main point here is that this is something that makes Wendy’s work shine: the ability to turn her real-life experiences, perspective and wisdom into a titillating tale that, despite its futuristic or fantasy trappings, rings true. How else would she tell a story, create characters, and script dialog except from the perspective that her own experiences have given her? And how else can we readers consume and react to her work, other than from our own perspectives? Just because a story element doesn’t necessarily jibe with the way that we would create it doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad, and different readers take away different experiences from a given tale.

    I think this is the main determining factor in whether or not you enjoy Masque. But armed with this knowledge, even if it’s not your personal cup of tea, how can you not appreciate Masque for the unique and important work that it is?

  13. “enhanced-to-be-the-most-beautiful-man-in-the-world”

    if only the artist could actually draw pretty people…

  14. I hope you have a large gay audience, cause I couldn’t be less interested in seeing two girly dudes make love! Since when did Wendy turn into a fag hag?? Maybe Richard Pini should be concerned!

  15. Somehow it makes me happy that Wendy didn’t it with The Yellow King. I always liked it more than Edgar’s Red Death. It’s not that I particulary dislike “kill your gays” approach (Ai No Kusabi did it and it’s still a great story), it’s that “kill your gays, preserve hetero kids couple” formula stinks big time.

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