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Menage a Trois Goes to Print

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That pervert fornicator of the comic book, the online webcomic; it is in a distant land with many a road forking off into uncharted territory filled with amateurish but energetic art and writing. Finding the Red Ruby of Professionalism becomes a quest only the foolish undertake so far be it for me to start down this path.

That is why I came across webcomic Ménage à Trois by accident. To sum it up, I follow two webcomics right now which is a bit absurd since I'm a) a comic book fan and b) a devout surfer of the web-waves (check out The Comics Explorer for more off my web-cruising). Number one is doyouknowflo.nl which tracks the adventures of a comic book artist living together with his friend and life partner (it's in Dutch though) and the other ... well, you can guess which one that is.

Set in Montreal, the finest bohemian city in North America, Ménage à Trois follows the lives of comic book geek, Gary and his way-sexier-than-he-is roommates in their Montreal tight-as-a-sandwich apartment; where the walls are so thin there are virtually no barriers between their rooms.

And that is it. Easy as pie. Behind this deceptively simple setup though lurks a world of riches in terms of characters involved. Gisèle Lagacé and co-writer David Lumsdon have created an energetic environment with characters who are constantly on the move, reaching out and reacting to the events in their micro-cosmos. And it is very very naughty, have I mentioned that yet? This is 16+ stuff but not of the hardcore variety. Ménage à Trois is a humour comic that employs sexuality as it's main source of giggles but it stays respectful and decent thereby allowing itself to use even the most extreme of sexual pleasures to be spotlighted in a funny and presentable way.

Still being serialised at menagea3.net, vol 1 is the first compilation of this funny webcomic. All  the humour is derived straight from the characters' attitudes and when you put hormonal youths (between 20 and 30 years old) together in an apartment, all searching for their sexual identity, Ménage à Trois is what happens. There's comic book nerd Gary who is still a virgin at 29, there's bisexual Zii who gets her kicks watching same-sex ... sex, good thing for her then that there's a gay couple who drop in every so often and let's not forget innocent big buxom new renter Désirée "DiDi" Chastel who is having doubts about her sexual preferences. Rotating around these central characters are also a few side-showers but most of the 'action' is oriented around the previously mentioned core group.

And it is very naughty, did I mention that already? From cross-dressing to breast jokes to yaoi hentai to gay sex. Everything crosses between the walls of their apartment. Gisèle Lagacé and David Lumsdon have excellent comedic timing and due to the serialised nature, jokes are told at the pace of one on every page (which corresponds with one weekly post). Gisèle Lagacé is also the artist whose gracious clean line brush delineates everything to perfection. She obviously has a deep love for these characters and understands their body language well. The writer/artist dual mode works obviously very well for Gisèle allowing her to pinpoint the comedic timing to visual perfection. Shifting from a clean cartoony style to manga-lite when necessary, she's not afraid to include some typical Japanese iconography to enhance the joke, for instance the bleeding nose/orgasm of joy.

There's a lot of nudity here but it is all of the clean kind, no genitals are ever showed on camera, mostly implied or hidden by either the art or perfectly placed text balloons. The occasional nipple appears though and butts are a dime a dozen, lots of butt jokes in here but it is never offensive and are always erotic in intent.

The paperback features some never-before-seen extras but unfortunately the bonus strips suffer a bit from the not-so-prime-time type of art I mentioned in the beginning, especially compared with the smooth stylings of Gisèle Lagacé. It's nice to read someone else's take on the naughty humour of Ménage à Trois though.

Artist/writer Gisèle Lagacé and co-writer David Lumsdon make sex look like the most fun thing to do in the whole wide world! And it is! Ménage à Trois is a boisterous look at sexual activity from all points of the equation. Unashamed and uncontrived, emotions are laid bare and hilarities ensue as all the residents of the Montreal apartment (and surroundings) in question are either looking for their sexual needs or pushing them onto others. The comedy timing is perfectly punctuated by the art and the laughs become louder as the story progresses. And in a neat trick played on the reader, each individual has a different protagonist to root for! Highly recommended.

Ménage à Trois is a self published for adults only black and white softcover counting 178 pages. It is available online at menagea3.net/store.html

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