How could I resist a title like this? I Love BL Comics. It seems sort of made for me, doesn’t it?
Our somewhat hapless hero, Ly Chee, is an unemployed artist, who is desperately seeking work as an assistant in the manhua business.
In the opening chapters, he tries a number of places and gets results that are very familiar to any freelancer in the creative arts. Well, I mean, I’ve never been asked to wear a maid’s outfit as part of the job, but I have been asked to work for free:
Finally, Ly Chee ends up finding what seems to be the perfect job. He finds it a little odd at first that all of his potential bosses are women, until they reveal that they write BL/Boys’ Love.
Then the tabes are turned, they wonder if he can handle the subject matter.
He stares at the sketches of naked men for a long time, looking stricken, and they become more and more convinced he’s far too disgusted to work there. Until this moment:
He makes a huge, impassioned speech about the purity of the relationships in BL (he must be reading different things than I am,) which causes the ladies to make an obvious assumption about our passionate Ly Chee.
Ly Chee insists that he’s straight as an arrow, which is an assertion that is put to the test in the following chapters. I suspect, in fact, it will be the main drama going forward.
There are, to-date, only 6 chapters available. Buka Manga, which for some reason shares authorial credit on most sites, is the only translator of this manhua… which, is a bummer. Their grasp of English grammatical construction is tenuous at best. The words are all there, but, obviously, “I am for job here,” is not how a native English-speaker would that they are here for a job.
Yet, I’m not entirely convinced that this detracts from the story. It might make it unintentionally funnier in some cases, and this is meant to be comedy. More importantly, it’s not IMPOSSIBLE to parse what’s being said. It just takes me a second or two to mentally correct it, which, should they ever take a dramatic turn, might lose me as a reader.
The art styles are, as you see, also vary wildly. Normally, where there are two mangaka listed, I tend to assume that one is the writer and the other is the artist. My guess is, in this case, we actually have two writer/artists.
On the other hand, I think that helps them pull off scene like this one, where Ly Chee is showing off his artistic talent to his bosses:
It’s interesting how often this sort of handicap is shown in comedic manga/manhua about manga/manhua writing. At least, there are similar gags in Gekkan Shōjo Nozaki-kun/Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun. Apparently, there is hilarity to be found in the idea that artists might not be capable of drawing All The Things (which, as someone who dabbles in art, seems really LEGIT.)
If you read this, be warned that there were moments of “???” that might be lost in translation or ‘humor works differently in different cultures’ kinds of things for me. As you know, gentle reader, the broader the humor, the less likely *I* am to appreciate it. So, as always, grain of salt any problems I have with the funny bits.
Would I recommend it? I’m kind of intrigued by the fact that Baka-Updates gave it a ‘smut’ designation (however, they seem to also assume it’s shoujo ai/Girls’ Love? So, maybe that’s just a mis-tag.) The cover also seems to imply that there might actually be smut/romance between the two others in the picture, though I will tell you (even though it’s a GIANT spoiler) one of them is decidedly NOT human… which might be a kink for you?
So, a hesitant yes. I do wish the translations were a little smoother, but the chapters are short.