Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ménage à 3: Round One

Here's how this works. I read a book or two and tell you about them and try not to get too long-winded, and maybe you'd like to think about reading them as well. This time, a review of Ménage à 3: Round One (Pixie Trix, 2009).

You know, this blog's a fine place to turn for suggestions about mindless violence and cerebral detective fiction, but it's been sorely lacking in bawdy sex comedy. Well, a few months back, I followed a news story about a collected edition of the web comic Ménage à 3 by Gisèle Lagacé and David Lumsdom, read the archives and mostly enjoyed the heck out of it. Actually, what I liked almost as much as the wacky goings-on was the obvious plan, from an early stage, to assemble the comic in digest editions from the outset. With just a simple tweak, the strip is revealed to be laid out perfectly for the digest-sized format common to Japanese comics, and the first edition is now available for purchase.

Ménage à 3 opens with a skinny, dorky wannabe cartoonist in Montreal coming home to find that his two roommates have fallen in love, broken his light table and are moving out. Fortunately, they were good enough to already place a notice for two vacancies, and before long, the hopelessly virginal Gary is shacking up with an overcharged, unemployed pervert called Zii, who resolves to do something about Gary's lack of a sex life, and Didi, a voluptuous free spirit who never can find her own satisfaction.

It kind of goes without saying that wacky hijinks ensue. That's all this is, really, is wacky, bawdy, R-rated hijinks. It's like a naughtier Three's Company, which suggests that no matter how often you get naked, or who you're with when you do so, a ridiculous misunderstanding and disappointment is always seconds away. The writers suggest the book's intended for older teens and above, and they're not kidding. There's nothing erotic here, but there's plenty of comedy nudity and downright inappropriate behavior. I liked it a lot, but the nice thing about web comics is that you can try it out yourself and decide whether it's worth the investment.

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