Title: When Worlds Collide
Publisher: Iris Print
May contain spoilers
When Worlds Collide is a boys love anthology by new publisher, Iris Print. It contains five stories, and is a trim little package weighing in at about 180 pages. I was impressed with the presentation of the book, and didn’t notice any of those annoying typos that interrupt the flow of reading. I was a little mislead by the cover, which features embracing mer-men. They, sadly, were not contained in this book – maybe a future volume will have some mer-man love…
My biggest disappointment with the book was the length of the stories. Several of them seemed like they needed many more pages to adequately express the creators’ vision. There were some good ideas here that were short-changed on pages.
Story by CB Potts, Art by Studio Kosaru
Kayo lives a privileged life of indulgence, while the masses suffer in poverty. Kidnapped by a servant who wants to ransom him back to his greedy wife, his plans go awry after she declares that Kayo’s been murdered. Giving in to their mutual attraction, the men share some passion, and in the morning, rally to win back Kayo’s fortune!
I enjoyed the setting much more than the story itself. The story seemed rushed, and it wasn’t complete. Kayo’s acceptance of his captivity did not seem plausible, and there wasn’t enough tension between captive and captor. The story was too complex for the pages allotted, and I would have been interested to see it in a longer format.
Story by Tina Anderson, Art by Liv Lingborn
In 1971, Liam, a Vietnam vet, picks up a hitchhiker. Simon is a hippie, out to see the world after his older brother is killed in the war. Stranded during a snow storm, the two seek shelter at motel. Can two such different personalities find any common ground?
In this story, two total opposites happen to meet, and through dialog that flows steadily across the pages, strike up an interest in one another. Though their relationship is fleeting, it seemed natural, and the pacing of the story was good. Liam and Simon are two ships that pass in the night – there’s no possible way for their relationship to work long term, as Liam is married and Simon, at 18, is just starting to explore the wonders of life. Their passion for each other is real and intense, but must be short-lived, and they both know this. Their parting, bittersweet, is necessary for a realistic conclusion to the story. The art, like the story, as an airy, dreamy quality.
Far From Home
Story by Meiyin, Art by Tsukiko
Julian’s father is indebted to Victor Nicolai, and in payment, the boy is sent to his estate to work off the debt. As the days go by in a blur of domestic servitude, Julian discovers something disturbing about his employer – he’s a vampire!
Here’s another story that I wish had been longer. It seemed that it was just starting to get interesting and then, bam, it was over. Julian’s isolation and loneliness was well portrayed, but I think the tension between Victor and his servant should have been more intense. I also thought that Julian’s reaction after learning that his master was a vampire should have been much more intense. Because of the lack of emotional conflict the discovery caused, there was really not point to Victor being a vampire in the first place.
Touch and Go
Story by Danielle Kelley, Art by Wendell Cavalcanti and Carlos Alberto
Daniel has a crush on bad boy Lee, and when the two of them skip school together, it seems like Daniel’s dreams are coming true. The two share an afternoon together, talking and getting to know each other. Accepting that they really aren’t that different, despite their backgrounds, they begin to forge a bond built on mutual respect.
I enjoyed this story the best of the bunch. It flowed the best, and the circumstances behind the protagonists seemed the most natural. Daniel and Lee were polar opposites, yet as the dialog unfolded, they discovered that they weren’t really worlds apart. As their forbidden afternoon progresses, Daniel begins to believe that maybe his dreams aren’t so unlikely after all. The art style really fit the setting and the entire story was nicely self-contained.
Story by Sirk Tani, Art by Will Walber
It’s David’s birthday, and he’s in a funk. His friend, Sam, takes him to a strip club to celebrate, and "gives" him Marcus for a present. As David shares his frustrations with life, Marcus, bored, wanders away. When he’s accosted in the behind the club, it’s David to the rescue!
This was a cute story. I didn’t like it at first, because Marcus was such a snob, but he developed some redeeming qualities during the alley scene. The story flowed well, but the art could have used a little more variety in the panel layouts.
Review copy provided by Iris Print
Recommended for Mature Readers