I loved Mioki's two earlier books, 'Side by Side' and 'Still Side by Side', and it was good to meet some of the characters from those books again. Unlike its predecessors, this one lacks an overall narrative. Described as 'a family album and a friendship book', it consists of a collection of individual sex scenes featuring handsome young Caucasian guys with perfect bodies (disappointing perhaps for those who like to see black and Asian guys). Some of these scenes suggest stories of their own but you have to construct them yourself. Apart from a few mild bondage scenes (Mioki seems to like his models tied up), the sex is vanilla - solos, couples, threesomes, the occasional orgy.
Given the explicit nature of each picture, the drawings seem curiously innocent. This maybe because the models look perfect with not a care in the world; the sex seems an entirely natural way for them to spend their time. I like the sunny and witty tone of the pictures. I like the way the artwork treads a fine line between book illustration and pornography. It's a happy, guilt-free, tasteful celebration of man-on-man sex. Idealised, of course: we all know that sex is seldom as good, as clean, as successful, as beautiful as it's depicted in these pages, but we happily acquiesce in the artist's fantasy world. You sense his pleasure in perfecting these drawings and appreciate the fine skill it takes to make them. An adult picture book that gave me a lot of pleasure.
on 30 April 2014
Mioki's previous books have been both sexy and appealing, with a narrative to accompany the brilliant gay erotic art. In this one, the art is as skilful as ever but the book looks like a rather random collection of disparate bits of work and I would not have bought it if I had seen it in a bookshop first.