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Why Yaoi?

June 21, 2006 | | Comments 10 |

My name is Alex. I’m a Bay Area filmmaker and a guy. And I’m putting a great deal of time and money into writing and publishing a series of Yaoi graphic novels — “Yaoi graphic novels” being boy-on-boy romance comics traditionally created by and for women.

What am I thinking?

Why Not Just Create “Gay Comics” there, gay boy?

Well, it all comes down to the subjective matters of tone and form. When it comes to the type of stories I like to read, I’ve found that Yaoi stories are just more in line with what I’m interested in.

Why?

Yaoi focuses more on character and relationship.

On a forum I frequent, a fellow Yaoi creator once referred to gay male comics as “hairy-butthole comics” stating “No, thank you, I really don’t need to see that hairy butthole up close!” That might not be an entirely fair assessment of gay comics, but in my experience, not all, but many “gay comics” are mostly focused on the physical, superficial and occasionally the cultural aspects of male-male romance.

For most Yaoi, while some stories are quite explicit, it is the emotional impact and connection between the characters that is primary.

Yaoi is more inclusive.

I might have larger ambitions (ruling the world from my vast Yaoi publishing empire comes to mind) but ultimately I write my stories for my friends, who include women and men, both straight and gay. The fact that the Yaoi audience is predominantly female but not exclusively so means the stories should by their very nature be more accessible and universal. They should be “fun for the whole family.”

I can’t write slash fiction.

Every time I watch a new anime series or read a new manga, I get tremendously inspired. I find myself writing new episodes in my head, often several episodes. The problem is, the more I flesh them out, the less they have to do with the actual characters in the series, until before long, only my characters remain. Clearly a big no-no for slash fiction. ;-) But I still want to tell these stories — original Yaoi graphic novels seem like just the right home for them.

Yaoi is just more fun.

Alright, so we’ve gone beyond the world of subjective to downright opinionated, but for me, this is true. I like the sci-fi and fantasy worlds I read about in manga. I like the way fans have played with the characters from those worlds in Yaoi and slash. I like the art. I want in. I want to join the fun. :-)

So, that’s why!

I’m sure some people will find things to disagree with regarding my take on gay comics, manga or Yaoi overall. That’s fine — I’m not claiming to be an authority. I’m just happy I now have a home for stories I’ve wanted to tell for a long time. And I look forward to sharing my adventures creating these stories with you through this blog.

EDIT: This was my first stab at trying to explain why I’m creating yaoi books, but some readers still had questions, so for the whole picture be sure to also check out The Sweet Yaoi Action You Can Expect From Me where I tell the story of how I came to do this and Why This Gay Man Is Creating Yaoi, where I answer the reader question: “Why romance comics for women? Why not just write for other gay men?”

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Filed Under: WritingYaoi 911Yaoi in General

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About the Author: Filmmaker by day, yaoi creator by night, Alex has dedicated himself to helping cute guys fight evil and find love.

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  1. nara says:

    that’s why I like yaoi, it’s fun ^_^. People should just create whatever makes them happy anyways. and the more yaoi the more better…

  2. Nara, welcome!

    You have the honor of being our first official poster! :-) I’ve been preparing this site, but haven’t yet made efforts to publish it to the greater world, because I’m still tinkering with the look of the blog and would like to create a few more posts with some of our artwork. But now that I know that guests might arrive, I suppose it’s time to clean up the house!

    (And I’m curious how you came to our site — how exactly did your hear of us?)

    I agree, the more yaoi, the better. I’ve had a lot of fun reading and exploring the different styles of different creators. I hope that someday our work here might give them as much pleasure as their work has given me.

    And I also hope that you will keep coming back to Yaoi 911 and letting us know your thoughts. Our “official” website release is probably a month or so away, but I will be adding posts during that time and I’d love to know what you think.

    Thanks again for visiting us and posting your thoughtful comments.

    Alex

  3. nara says:

    i was looking for yaoi art tutoroals, i think? i’ve bookmarked it so i’ll check back, since i do like to talk. good luck anyhoo.

  4. Well, I look forward to seeing you back — and I’ll try to include some more “How to”‘ articles in the future. :-)

  5. deegroovy says:

    you're right, yaoi is a lot of fun, which is why I love it – I love the relationships between characters as well as the hot sex with beautiful men ;) (really! I do!)

    I'm glad gay men like yaoi as well – means the authors are doing something right, I think. Plus, the more the merrier, I say^^

  6. @deegroovy

    Yes, I definitely think the writers are doing a lot right — and it's usually the writing, rather than the art, that I find most appealing about yaoi. But when both come together for me — like in Little Butterfly — then it's really a wonderful treat. :-D

    Thanks for commenting!

  7. debacle says:

    I would like to thank you for posting all this stuff =) I am well.. a girl.. and am a big fan of all graphic novels, i love reading manga, yaoi and american comics, but I happen not to have the money to keep buying new material, so i am a huge fan of people like you who publish their work onto the internet. now only if they'd do that with the Angel comics…

  8. @debacle

    You're very welcome. I'm very glad you're enjoying what you're reading. :-D

    Now, of course, my not-so-secret plan is to hopefully get you and others like you to like our work so much that when we do have things for sale (like physical copies of the books, posters, T-shirts, etc.) that you will be so filled with the yaoi-love that you'll be moved to buy something. As I've said elsewhere, each of these comics is costing me thousands of my own dollars (I pay all the artists) — I'm just a regular guy with a regular job — so if I'm to continue, I'll have to get at least some money back.

    But I never had any illusions I'd get rich doing this. And, of course, the real reason I'm creating these comics is to connect with readers and fellow fans and to, hopefully, wrap people up in stories I want to tell. So, it's always delightful to hear when someone enjoys our work — even if, at the moment, they are a bit strapped for cash. ;-)

    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I hope to see you here again soon!

  9. entente6999 says:

    Hi,
    I think I am in the right place to comment – it says so. I finally got here via login and “writing”. I love “comics” – artists’ expressions which I find very interesting. Full of life and fun as well as expressions of feelings at times. Great! The two which are my introductions to this “Tough” and “No Kissing” are very well thought through “real life” comics series. I enjoyed them thoroughly. Of course as you read through the expectations and twists are equally enjoyable. I’ll lookforward to the future.

    • Thank you very much. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed “Tough” and “No Kissing”. (We’re still hard at work on Chapter 3 which should be done before the end of the year.)

      Please keep coming back here to let me know what you think! :)

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