Let’s Stay Together…

I love me some romance comics, and Lucy Knisley recently delivered a true life romance epic as part of her Stop Paying Attention series of standalone autobio comics.

A Light That Never Goes Out, comic by Lucy Knisley

“A Light That Never Goes Out”, Copyright Lucy Knisley (click for full comic)

It may not look it from that one panel, but SPOILER ALERT!  There’s a surprise happy ending…

Besides the romance, there’s some great stuff about the peculiar issues of making autobio comics, and how much you’re willing to reveal, and what you just can’t share at all…  I’ve been thumbnailing some autobio comics of my own lately, but for the most part they’re pretty fictionalized and exaggerated for comedic effect…  Of course, we’ll have to wait and see if I’ll ever finish any of them : P  like, wait a lot…  Anyway, enjoy the pro’s like Knisley in the meantime!

Ancient Roman Holiday

Hadrian & Antinous brooch, Metropolitan Museum

Mid-18th Century brooch of Hadrian & Antinous, from the Metropolitan Museum

Operamission, a small New York opera company that I knew of mostly for their performances of rarer Handel operas, is workshopping a brand new opera this season, Antinous and Hadrian.

Divided into three chunks, it’s being presented at three separate, $10 events.  I just learned of it yesterday, so we missed the first one, but the second is tonight at 7pm, the third on Saturday.  Tickets here!

Love Scene from the opera ANTINOUS AND HADRIAN from operamission on Vimeo.

From composer Clint Borzoni, an alum of programs from American Opera Projects and American Lyric Theater, the opera tells the story of Hadrian, Roman emperor from 117 to 138 AD, and his relationship with the young Antinous.  (Gotta love those same-sex lovin’ Romans!)  After Antinous’ death, Hadrian had him exalted to the level of deity, accounting for much of the contemporary art of him…  The duet above is sung by bass Matthew Curran (Hadrian) and tenor Tommy Wazelle (Antinous).

I’m intrigued by some of the other projects from Borzoni, including song cycles, but especially his one-act opera Margot Alone in the Light, based on a Ray Bradbury story…  And what do you know, Operamission has it in full on their YouTube channel

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpDdB442mIY&w=350&h=300]

Get your $10 tickets here for tonight and Saturday’s performances of Antinous and Hadrian!

Romanian Opera Power Couple

pictures of Angela Gheorghiu & Cezar Ouatu

Angela Gheorghiu & Cezar Ouatu

Remember when I ironically posted about EuroVision and their crazy Romanian vampire countertenor?  Well joke’s on me, cuz Florin Cezar Ouatu (aka Cezar the Voice) has entrenched himself into the operatic world by somehow becoming Mr. Gheorghiu.  Yeah, that Gheorghiu.

Internationally renowned, diva-tastic Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu has apparently been a champion of Cezar‘s since the start, introducing him on Romanian TV back in December of 2012:

And now that they’re the out & proud new Romanian opera power couple, they went back on Romanian TV to sing La Barcarolle, famous duet from Offenbach‘s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, with the traditionally mezzo part taken on by Cezar.

Hats off to you Cezar, you’re really set for life now.

Tripping Over Tuesdays

The last gay romance webcomic I blogged about went on a quick hiatus (Hazel & Bell are both students after all!) so I was going to blog about another one to make it up to y’all…  But Always Raining Here returned from hiatus before I got around to it…  But whatever, the more gay high school romance webcomics the merrier, right?

So yes, Tripping Over You, by Suzana Harcum and Owen White, is an English boarding school-set romance between two pals who decide to be more than pals on the sly.  It’s really cute and there are four full chapters in the bank, with the fifth one underway.

Tripping Over You by Suzana & Owen

Tripping Over You, copyright Suzana Harcum & Owen White

It’s always fun to see people’s art improve over the course of their comic, and that’s certainly true of Suzana’s art here.  One of the distinctive visual features of the comic is the blue and white color scheme, but in the current chapter they’re actually using full color.  Took some getting used to, but gotta applaud artists pushing themselves.  Start at the beginning here.

Suzana and Owen have a Kickstarter to collect the comic in book format, and it has been wildly successful, with $11,000+ pledged for a $2,500 initial goal!

Kyle Baker for Free

Sort of old news by now, but FYI: cartoonist Kyle Baker has put a bunch of his self-owned comics up for free reading on his website.

This is great, because it’s a creator I’ve heard nothing but good things about and who I should know better, so here’s a perfect, no-risk opportunity!  If you don’t know where to start, here are some suggestions from the Beat.  I like me some romance / dating / single-life stories, so may start with Why I Hate Saturn, above.

Always Rains on Fridays

My bookmarks section of gay romance webcomics isn’t quite where I want it to be, but one boy’s love comic that I’m enjoying is Always Raining Here by Hazel (the art) and Bell (the words).

Always Raining Here, volume 2, page 1

Always Raining Here, vol. 2, p. 1 Written by Bell and Drawn by Hazel

It’s your typical high school school romance, with overeager would-be-seducer Carter aggressively pursuing the aloof, previously-burnt Adrian.  That’s how these things work, right?  Anyway, the comic went on hiatus just as they came to a more promising, collegial understanding, but thankfully it has returned!  If anything though, things have gotten awkwarder…  SO BUST OUT THE POPCORN!!!

I really liked Hazel‘s art in volume 1, but she’s using a much looser style for volume 2 which is just as interesting.  Anyway, not too late to catch up on volume 1 and remember: new updates on Fridays!

“You Is My Woman Now”? Uh, Proprietary Much?

Here’s an operatic companion Valentine’s Day post: the love duet from George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, seen in a 1993 televised production directed by Trevor Nunn, with Cynthia Haymon as Bess and Willard White as Porgy.

This TV production was actually based on Nunn‘s 1986 stage production for the Glyndebourne Festival.  Not sure how romantic it is necessarily, but I guess I’m a cynic.  Give me 1950’s romance comics any day.

This is also my belated and paltry first post for Black History Month, which I have been totally slacking on!  I’ll step my game back up folks, sorry about that.

All Romances, All the Time

It’s Valentine’s Day, and to celebrate here is just one of the many terribly wonderful public domain romance comics available for free reading and downloading over at the indispensable Digital Comic Museum.

Ace Comics All Romances #1

The DCM knows what’s up, they even have a romance comic filled banner for the occasion.  This particular example of the genre, featuring such stories as “Tarnished Engagement”, “My Soul Wasn’t My Own”, and “Sister without Scruples” is from the short-lived Ace Comics.  Of course, DCM has tons more where that came from…

I just wish mainstream comics publishers nowadays would put out more of these done-in-one romance stories.  Is there really not a market for this?  I mean, half of these stories are cautionary tales about impressionable young schoolgirls falling in with creepily aggressive older men, so should be an easy sell to the 50 Shades people.  C’mon people, untapped market right here.

Gay Wedding Bells are Ringing Too

So I’ve discussed the lesbian wedding going on in the pages of Danielle Corsetto’s Girls with Slingshots.  That’s slowly but surely coming along,with the occasional tangent (like now, though I’m not complaining as long as romance is involved!).

Questionable Content #1520 by Jeph Jacques

Copyright Jeph Jacques

For more immediate LGBT-marriage related satisfaction though, the fruits of some  gay wedding seeds planted on Jeph Jacques’ immensely popular Questionable Content way back in 2009 are finally sprouting!  (Click here for the really brief proposal storyline.)

Quick context: Henry, the gray-haired groom is the main character, Marten’s, father; he divorced Marten’s mother because, you know, gay, and went on to operate a nightclub in Miami.  Now he’s marrying Maurice (who in his first appearance was an environmental engineer but is now a golf instructor?  downgrade…).

3 years on, IT’S FINALLY WEDDING TIME.  Bring it.