Seduce Me After the Show Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Aurora Publishing, Inc.
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 978-1934496169
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Seduce Me after the Show

Seduce Me After the Show Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     May 08, 2008
Release Date: April 30, 2008


Seduce Me After the Show Vol.#01
© Aurora Publishing, Inc.


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Est Em
Translated by:Ari Werry
Adapted by:AJ Glasser

What They Say
Seduce Me After the Show contains five short stories which take place in the artistic worlds of dance, painting and music; the overall theme being a dichotomy of hope and despair as well as passion and anguish.

In the title story, Theo Galland, devastated by the death of his world famous dancer mother, abandons his own dancing career to become an actor and meets the famous actor Daren Ferguson. What should have been a joking kiss shared between them takes a sudden turn, however, when Daren asks "So what comes next?" Theo answers "That depends on the scenario." As lustful passions boil over, will Theo be able to regain the fire that he once possessed and return to the dancing world?

The Review
Packaging:

The cover on this is about as dramatic as you get - stark black and bold red over a plain white background. The art is a little more polished than some of what you find inside, but it does give the reader a good idea of what to expect. The production values overall were excellent - while no color pages are included, the paper is a nice, bright white, the art reproduction is very clear, and the blacks are dark and solid.

Art:

Est em's art is rough and raw, challenging the viewer rather than seducing. It's full of hard contrasts, with little shading or screentone - all solid, unapologetic lines and deep, solid blacks. The characters are going to be a hard sell for some readers used to the wispy and elegant art that fills most BL books - here, they're sketchy, uneven, and rough, but very emotive. It's not pretty, but there are panels that are breathtakingly beautiful, especially where Theo is dancing. This really is like nothing else I've seen, distinctive and powerful, but not subtle in the least.

Text/SFX:

There are no sound effects in this book, leaving the matter of translation rather moot. The actual translation flowed fairly smoothly, although it felt slightly stilted at points.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

Theo Gallardo is a gifted dancer, the son of a world-famous ballerina and choreographer. A deep personal trauma causes him to abandon his dancing career and turn to acting, where he proves just as gifted. After starring with Hollywood darling Darren Fergus in a movie, then being tapped to play a role against him again, the two are almost forced together. Theo, emotionally unstable, challenges Darren - even when he's not in front of the cameras, why is he always acting? He then follows his challenge up with a joking kiss, that ends up complicating their lives when it's caught on camera by the paparazzi. Without a script to guide them, will the two be able to heal the wounds that scar them both?

In the other stories in this volume, a young artist struggles with both his art and his growing attachment to a chance-met gallery owner, a struggling musician deals with the death of his idol, an unusual pair deals with the death of the grandfather they lived with, and in the final story past and present collide when a man returns to his hometown after too many years.

Comments
Not all the stories in this book deal with love, or at least the more traditional sort of love. The emotion that grows up between (boy) and (rockstar), formed after a drunken night at a bar after a mutual loss and strengthened with memories of the past isn't love precisely, but a sort of shared healing. And I'm not sure that cat1 and cat2 are in love with each other in your traditional BL sort of way, but their devotion is unquestionable. Each story deals with a different aspect of human (or not, as the case may be) existence, in a way that challenges the reader. There's very little background given to any character or story - as a reader, you're thrown into the story with little or no real introduction. The characters aren't gifted with extended backgrounds or character stories unless it's absolutely necessary. There aren't neat conclusions that tie up all loose ends - those sorts of conclusions rarely happen in real life, and they don't happen here.

I'm really amazed at how much I enjoyed this book - the art initially turned me off, but then there would be those panels that were just beautiful and drew me back in again. Some of the stories read more like a pulp comic than your traditional BL title, with a sort of rough and unapologetic in-your-face attitude that feels more starving artist than slick commercial product. As mentioned before, the art is going to be a definite turn-off for some readers, but anyone looking for something that stands out from the flowing hair and razor-sharp chin crowd, this is a solid choice. I'm really hoping that more est em books are released over here, because I'd love to see what else she has up her sleeve.

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