Clearly I am willing to try almost anything that looks like a western. Astute readers will note that I have been a comic book reader for some time, and that I don’t particularly shy away from tales of cowboys that don’t involve cowgirls. Now for the first time we have both matched up in the Japanese Yaoi comic Stallion.
Yaoi comics are generally about feminine looking men getting involved in adventure and/or romance with other feminine looking men, often in historical or fantasy settings. In this case our heroes include a generically Native American named Savage Stallion, who does not look quite so savage but rather like an underfed twelve year old girl from Central America. Next is Josey, a bounty hunter whose bullet ridden body still manages to look like a Ken doll from an emo / heroin chic Barbie line. Speaking of Ken dolls, each of these young men share Ken’s anatomical structure. That is to say that their sixguns typically remain hidden, but in particular angles it appears that they have no hog-legs at all. Whether this is a peculiarity with Japanese publishing law or a disdain for protruding anatomy in female readers I can’t say.
Yes, this is meant for female readers. The back cover explicitly says “Yaoi: Boys Loving Boys for Women Readers”. The used bookstore where I bought Stallion was stacked with them. The owner told me that a woman had brought in about $3000 worth of these books, including Stallion, and donated them to the store. That’s roughly 250 volumes of men looking like boys who look like girls loving men who look even more like boys who look like girls. Is this what women really want? Perhaps, which would explain a recent comment from a friend, a married mother of two, who said she would be a lesbian if only women had penises
Josey and Savage Stallion are on the hunt for Billy Tempest, a dangerous outlaw who has a habit of sneaking his sixgun up behind men looking like boys who look like girls without particularly asking their permission. Within a few pages Billy Tempest turns the table on our two heroes and manages to tie them up together, bereft of cloth. Our heroes are forced to free themselves by rubbing their Ken doll areas against each other and nibbling each other’s necks. If Houdini knew that style of escape artistry he may have had an even wider audience. Over the course of the story Josey and Savage Stallion confront Billy and the prejudices of the American West, which involves lots of looking longingly into each other’s eyes, sharing feelings, then rubbing their Ken parts together in a variety of positions.
Worth your time? Maybe. If you read my reviews of Caine's Reckoning, Range War Bride, or Cowboy Dreams and thought you would want to read more, then you may want to give it a read. If you lean more towards Jonah Hex or Guns of Shadow Valley, probably not. If you read my "Brokeback" tagged reviews and want more… well, I have no idea if this would interest you or not. The thing that strikes me is that, for a supposedly dying genre, westerns are still popping up all over the place, even in a Japanese comic book about men looking like boys who look like girls written for women.