Beek's Books - an ongoing collection of comic book reviews
first issue of self-published mini-comic
by Timothy Piotrowski
Rating: OK, Content: [beyond genre] [les/bi/gay]

 This is another item I picked up at the convention in Chicago this summer, at a table shared by a handful of gay (or at least gay-friendly) creators. At $3.00 for a 16-page 8.5x5.5-inch minicomic, it was a bit pricey, but between the color cardstock covers (I picked a fluorescent green one) with hand-glued insets on front and back, and the high-quality photocopying (i.e. blacks that are solid black, not varying shades of grey), I suppose it's justified. Plus, three bucks isn't exactly an investment... about the price of a BK Broiler, actually.

 On the inside covers, creator Timothy Piotrowski explains that he's writing from the viewpoint of a gay man who doesn't relate at all to the dominant gay culture focusing on Madonna, disco, and fashion. He's just an ordinary Nirvana fan who's attracted to dudes instead of babes. As a professional outsider, I can relate (though I have to admit that on occasion I love to squeal and wiggle my butt to "Into the Groove"); even though most gay folks don't really go for that scene, it does seem to be the de facto least common denominator for gay culture in the western world. And it gets old pretty fast if it's not your thing.

 The material isn't exactly groundbreaking. "Protagonist goes to a bar, meets various people, and goes home without getting laid" is a plot synopsis that's been done before, even with a gay protagonist. And the notion that some gay people prefer mosh pits to drag runways isn't as unheard of as it may have been 10 or 20 years ago. But just as a good superhero fight (a scenario that's been done to death) can still be entertaining, so too is this. Piotrowski has a good feel for the kinds of people who hang out in bars like this, and their attitudes and viewpoints. I get the feeling he's taking a few cheap shots at himself in the process, which always scores points in my book. The Kirby cameo (that's Robert Kirby, het-boy!) was cute. And the ending was a nice little twist to the standard plotline.

 All in all, a promising first effort. If he can overcome the price-per-page problem, maybe work on the consistency in the art a little bit, and (perhaps most difficult) find a means of getting this to his target audience, he could do well.

Glitch can be ordered from the creator: Timothy Piotrowski, 4907 N.Glenwood 3A, Chicago IL 60640.
Note: Piotrowski has notified me that issues #2 and #3 are A) out, and B) only $2.00 each.
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