New Comic Puts Gay Men in the Superhero and Villain Roles

A popular gay Web series has inspired an anthology-style comic collection.



Bell (top left) and castmates from the live action Web series


Still, the characters are never in real peril, and everything gets resolved quickly and wrapped up neatly, much like the Web series itself, which many fans think — probably because of the medium — suffers from the episodes being too short. Each webisode ends at the point where a TV show would cut away for its first commercial break. It may also come as no surprise that the Cheeks personas are more fully formed and central to these stories than other characters. That’s probably a natural side effect of Cheeks being the alter ego of creator-writer Brad Bell. These stories seem to suggest that while there may be two heroes, there can only be one star.

While Brady gets short shrift, the couple’s friend Haley could have been eliminated entirely. She pops up in each installment but sometimes seems shoehorned in, as in “Equally Ever After,” where she appears in a single panel. It’s almost as though the writers were contractually obligated to put her in but forgot to create storylines to justify her presence. 

One noteworthy aspect of the hardbound collection is the making-of material in the back, which includes the original outline, rough sketches, and a historical breakdown of a page, demonstrating the input of various players (writers, editors, publishers) in this project. Artists and readers will appreciate the behind-the-scenes look at how these stories progressed from original pitch to final product. This collection is best suited for Husbands fans (of which there are many, including me) and anyone tired of the compulsory heterosexuality in many comics. But be warned: Hardened addicts of darker, cynical, postmodern adult serials would probably find the book far too lighthearted. (

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