The Queer Quarterly #1 | My Brother's Husband | May 2018


Simon is joined by Old Bliss for their first official Queer Quarterly book club, this quarter they are talking about Gengoroh Tagame’s manga My Brother’s Husband. Let them know if you have read it and if you want to join in for next quarter they will be reading Djuna Barnes’ Nightwood.

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Books mentioned…

My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame Nightwood by Djuna Barnes

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  1. something i like about this manga is how yaichi doesn’t just unlearn his prejudice, he learns of its existence in the first place. he starts off thinking he’s always been a rly accepting guy and then he realizes how normalized the homophobia is all around him. it’s a good take on how most prejudice isn’t overt and violent

  2. The craziest thing about this manga is that it's coming from Gengoroh Tagame, whose other works are definitely not a recommendation, unless you want to stab yourself in the soul :<

  3. I love the premise of the book and was impressed by the art work… but would much rather have had a full literary treatment of the story.
    I'm glad to have it in my collection of gay books although won't be buying the rest of the series.

  4. The art style used is very distinct to bara manga, its a type of manga drawn by gay authors in Japan

    If your not a adult please don't search it up

  5. So have you found any other Gengoroh Tagame books / art? I knew him through his erotic works – which might not be up your street LOL

    My biggest problem with My Brother's Husband was not that it was manga but because it was translated into English but the speech bubbles are right to left so sometimes I automatically read the dialogues the wrong way round – it was my problem but it was interesting that my eyes automatically followed English expectations.

    I read Chinese but not Japanese and love Chinese "Great Cultural Revolution" cartoons and comics – but the People's Republic decided to print everything from left to right in the 1950s.

  6. Waited to watch this until the library got a copy in for me. I really enjoy watching your discussion as you bring up stuff I hadn't really thought of about the themes of assumptions. I really like the look of the characters I like too that they show both men are grieving. I also loved the panel on p251 when Yaichi grumbles into the bathwater it really made me chuckle at a time in the book which was looking at a concerning moment.

  7. I really enjoyed this review!! I agree with your criticisms Simon. As someone used to reading manga though, it’s really common to not be given a lot of information/background/context. Sometimes you get it later and sometimes you don’t get it at all.

    Also, as an illustrator, I immediately got the sense that Tagame has a huge preference for (and therefore maybe more experience) drawing men, which is not necessarily a bad thing though it is very obvious. Kana is young so her features being more rounded and simple is to be expected, but look at her Mom’s design, there is a noticeable lack of interest and, to me, love in her design.

  8. I adore this manga and I’ve been waiting for the next volume for almost a year now. The next volume released in English will be the final one and I can’t wait to see how it wraps up.
    What I really liked about this series was how it displayed subtler acts of homophobia as opposed to the big bombastic homophobia that is over represented in mainstream queer fiction. the time of this volume was serious but subtle and showed that attitudes towards homosexuality in Japan are as complex and nuanced as they are everywhere else.

  9. There will be four volumes in this series (My brother's husband) in total. So it will be a pretty short series. The author is currently working on another series that is about a high school student coming to terms with his sexual orientation, as he befriends an elderly gay man and learns about his experiences. It's called Our Colors, and I really hope it will also get licensed and brought overseas. 🙂
    And Simon, you're right. Tagame has been pretty prolific in the BDSM Bara -manga scene.

  10. I loved this graphic novel! Thanks for choosing it! Had no issue with the girl touching mike's chest! It was cute!!

  11. I'm interested in seeing how the story will progress, in coming volumes. It is Tagame's first more "mainstream" manga, having mainly written about buff hairy men getting it on

  12. Have you read The Spell by Alan Hollingsworth? It's a few yrs back now but I do remember it being funny

  13. I really enjoyed listening to your perspective of “My Brother’s Husband” especially being new manga readers. I’ve been reading this medium for a long long while, so hopefully I can provide some interesting additional information for some points you touched on.

    The English release is being listed as an “all-ages title” but in Japan is a “Seinen” title (Seinen = adult male demographic). Tagame Gengoroh primarily creates seinen manga but usually they are also under the sub genre/demographic “Bara” (Bara = homoerotic stories involving burly men). The reason why these characters look unusual from most manga illustrations is because the stylization of this manga’s adult male characters are only found in “Bara” manga. This is also why you read in a lot of homoeroticism because it is supposed to be there. The manga genre is “slice-of-life” so it shouldn’t have overly sexual themes but I’m still personally concerned by the “all-ages” stamp it’s received.

    Large eyes in manga are an illustrated symbol of innocence. It’s not used as frequently as it was in the past but is still a tool used to show that this person with the large eyes is a good person.

    The series is complete in Japan at 4 volumes and is an own voices title.

    I really enjoyed this title as well and can’t wait to find out how it progresses. There aren’t many manga out there like this one, especially in English, but I’d still recommend Heart of Thomas. It’s quite different but lovely. (o^^o)


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