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Cavalcade of Boys

Love is the Reason

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Love is the Reason follows the lives and loves of four big city bachelors as they muck about modern romance. The intertwined stories of Aubrey, Michael, Chase, and Tighe are at times dark, sexy, romantic, and funny. Creator Tim Fish (Cavalcade of Boys, Strugglers) delivers this complete stand-alone story, expanding the 2007-2008 newspaper serial Cavalcade of Boys with 50% book-exclusive material in this new original graphic novel.

180 pages, Paperback

First published December 1, 2008

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Tim Fish

37 books6 followers

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for Anthony.
Author 10 books49 followers
March 15, 2011
It is no secret that I'm a fan of graphic novelist Tim Fish's style. I reviewed his GN Strugglers here around this time last year. Fish has a clean, open art style that allows the characters to be expressive without being cluttered. Most of this new work originally appeared as a newspaper serial, and Fish retains the landscape layout on those pages (which means turning the book sideways to read) but reverts to standard portrait layout for the new pages. Conveniently most of the new pages come at the end of each character's section of the story, so that there is a symmetry to the book-turning. There's also a (perhaps intended) secondary effect that as the characters deal with their problems and love wins out, the pages go from landscape to portrait -- "love is the reason" the layout changes!

One of the main characters from Strugglers, Tighe, is a supporting character in this new work, but the story centers on three other characters: housemates Chase, Michael and Aubrey. The characters are introduced and their personal problems set up as a group storyline in the beginning section, but then each character takes center stage in their own section. Little moments in each character's section tell you where their story overlaps with the other characters.

I felt like I could relate to Aubrey and Michael in their particular struggles with love; Aubrey's been largely submissive his whole life, and Michael has lost someone and is afraid to move on. They deal with their fears in very different ways, so that there is a lot of difference between the two outside of Aubrey being blond and Michael having dark hair. I think I liked Michael the most despite the fact that his hobbies largely are not mine, while Aubrey was the one I'd want to take care of (as do, apparently, most of the guys he meets). Chase, however, is a very different character and I had to work at relating to him at all; I had to fight that urge to view him as the stereotype of the career-oriented commitment-phobe. Granted, Fish gets a lot of mileage out of Chase fitting that stereotype. I think part of the problem is that we get clear background on why Aubrey and Michael are who they are when the story starts, but with Chase all we really get is the sense that he's pretty much always been this way. (This could be because Chase features in one of Fish's currently un-completed GNs.) For me, this had the effect of making me feel satisfied with the closure to Aubrey and Michael's stories, but feeling a bit less satisfied with Chase's (not that I didn't like the resolution, just that I didn't feel as invested in his story as in Michael's and Aubrey's).

Fair Warning: the book carries a "YA, 16+" blurb on the back cover. Nephew Max was glancing over my shoulder occasionally as I was reading the book on the train home from NYC Comic-Con, especially when I'd laugh at a particularly funny page, and I certainly wasn't concerned that he'd seen anything inappropriate. There are plenty of half-naked men and "sex" scenes (no frontal nudity, but plenty of butt shots and sexy/romantic couplings) but none are really gratuitous -- the scenes are not there for the sake of sex or shock (this isn't Queer As Folk) and they are either used to make a point about the relationship or for a punchline (page 66-67, a double-page splash, is particularly effective in this regard).

I really recommend all of Tim Fish's work. You don't have to have read the other Cavalcade of Boys (or Strugglers) books to get this story, although longtime Fish readers will recognize the settings, street names and various cameo characters.
443 reviews18 followers
January 24, 2009
This collection of the 2007-2008 newspaper serialization of Cavalcade of Boys is not Tim Fish at his finest. Perhaps it’s the stronger narrative of the 20-some-odd-page format available in your standard comic book issue that works best for Fish’s various soap operatic plots – as opposed to his one or two-page mini-episodes here. Or maybe it’s simply the fact that Fish may have already hit his creative peak. Whatever the case, this slender follow-up to his recently collected Cavalcade of Boys omnibus pales in comparison to his earlier (and much better) efforts detailing the lives, loves, and loves lost of a tight-knit group of gay men in their twenties and thirties.

Although a tad underwhelmed, I am excited to know that Fish is still planning on cranking out more CoB stories in the near future (later in 2009, as a matter of fact) – including two promised plot-lines on Gordon and Warren (neither of who appeared in this collection). Here’s hoping Fish received some constructive feedback on what didn’t work in this volume, and improves on his narrative failings in this next one. We mature gay male readers deserve better.
4 reviews7 followers
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September 7, 2009
From gaycomicslist.free.fr site: "...told in a way that constantly feels fresh, sometimes willingly corny but never too much, romantic without being sappy, and funny without belittling the characters.
Tim Fish's art is by now very assured, able to create recognisable faces, offering pages with a real density in the background and a vivid variety of expressions and body language. In a word, it makes the stories believable, and constantly adds to the pleasure of reading. I particularly like the full pages with landscapes that pepper the book, helping it breathe and adding rythm. Rythm is in fact another element that Fish has obviously thought about: the structure of the book, while simple (an introduction for all the characters, and four parts, each focusing on one character), is effective and enables the foreshadowing of story points developped later on. What's more, the presence of some visual and verbal leitmotivs gives an added resonance to the flow of the stories.
'Love is the Reason' is the work of a mature author who's on top form."

4 reviews7 followers
Read
September 7, 2009
From gaycomicslist.free.fr site: "...told in a way that constantly feels fresh, sometimes willingly corny but never too much, romantic without being sappy, and funny without belittling the characters.
Tim Fish's art is by now very assured, able to create recognisable faces, offering pages with a real density in the background and a vivid variety of expressions and body language. In a word, it makes the stories believable, and constantly adds to the pleasure of reading. I particularly like the full pages with landscapes that pepper the book, helping it breathe and adding rythm. Rythm is in fact another element that Fish has obviously thought about: the structure of the book, while simple (an introduction for all the characters, and four parts, each focusing on one character), is effective and enables the foreshadowing of story points developped later on. What's more, the presence of some visual and verbal leitmotivs gives an added resonance to the flow of the stories. 'Love is the Reason' is the work of a mature author who's on top form."

Profile Image for Broodingferret.
340 reviews11 followers
May 17, 2010
Love is the Reason is a collection of shorts written in five parts, each of which follows one of four characters from Cavalcade of Boys (Part 1 is a general intro). While overall on par with his other work, there was some jerkiness in the dialogue in Part 2, which managed to shake up the flow enough to cost the book a star. Still, Love is the Reason was quite enjoyable and I highly recommend it.
2,053 reviews6 followers
February 28, 2014
This is what I was looking for from Tim Fish! It's deeper than his other books, perhaps because he's only focusing on four characters, so they have more room to grow. Good stuff.
Profile Image for Dig.
381 reviews1 follower
September 4, 2014
I enjoyed this graphic novel and recommend it to others. John Michael Chase was my favourite, of course. Although I wish Aubrey was more indepth. The drawings were good.
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