ComicsAlliance has a nice little post up today called "American Yaoi", though I'm unclear why they say the three webcomics they discuss are for Women. I thought the definition of Yaoi was simply a genre dealing with male-male relationships, but I guess it's defined by being specifically intended for women. Which is as ridiculous as saying children can't watch R-rated movies and adults can't read the Hunger Games.
Regardless, I'm usually not a big fan of Japanese-style cartoon/comics, but it must be admitted that the frequency with which they tell stories about gay men far outstrips their western counterparts. The ones profiled by CA are examples of that rarity. Due to my aesthetic inclinations, I skipped their first sample and clicked on Artifice, written by Alex Woolfson and drawn by Winona Nelson.
And it is very good. It has elements I appreciate and think generally make comics, and webcomics, successful, such as a simplicity of presentation, clear lines and colors, and an intelligent writer. Artifice itself draws you in instantly, containing both a sense of humor and high stakes. It contains a science fiction/future setting, an astute and aggressive psychiatrist, an endearing, believable young man, and handsome android struggling with issues of love, existence and purpose.
Even if it were just a story of love being stronger than anything else (programming, threats, common sense, etc) I would be into it, but the fact that it does so with skill, compassion, wisdom and whimsy just makes me like it all the more. There are only 78 or so installments as of yet, but they are certainly engrossing and the best part of a webcomic is that there are more to come. Highly recommended. In fact, I think I'll go find more of Mr. Woolfson's work. Not during work hours of course, that would just be...unprofessional. Happy Friday.