Fogtown (2010)

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Fogtown is pretty gay.

Actually, it’s completely and utterly gay.

Fogtown is a gay detective noir comic book.

Nowhere does the description mention it’s about a closeted (did gay guys in 1953 even know there was a door to the closet?) private investigator. The previews I found online don’t mention it either. In fact, it seems like it’s a secret. The first “hint” is on page thirty or so (of 172) and it could just be a facet of the protagonist, not the comic’s entire point.

But no, it’s the whole point. There isn’t one major male character who isn’t gay. And there isn’t one major female character who isn’t hurt in some way by the protagonist being dishonest about his sexuality.

I was really excited for Fogtown because Gabrych wrote some great Batman comics a few years ago and, noir dialect aside, the dialogue’s decent. The plotting is contrived and terrible–nothing in the comic isn’t related to the ills of repressed homosexuality–but I’m not sure Gabrych is writing a comic. I think he’s writing a property for some TV or movie producer to option.

There’s also the strange way Gabrych portrays sex. The protagonist forces himself on everyone he can–male or female–and there’s no comment. The protagonist’s a crappy human being–Gabrych is constantly beating him up to garner sympathy–but it’s never clear if that sexual violence is just another “quality.”

Rader’s art is all right, but way too loose. He needs an inker.

CREDITS

Writer, Andersen Gabrych; artist, Brad Rader; letterer, Sean Konot; editors, Brandon Montclare and Bob Schreck; publisher, Vertigo.

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