Hello peeps! I wish I wasn’t ashamed of my face so I could open the post with an apology video, mega celebrity-style. You know, with all the learning from past mistakes, sobbing, and stuff. Once I fell off my routine of hosting the Friday BL corner, I found it hard to get back to.
Plus, I was very excited to talk about a title (which was a free webcomic on Pixiv) but I noticed it was recently collected into volumes in Japan, that plan went down the drain and I was back to square one. However, as you know, we are never short of amazing BL titles to review and I’m here to tell you about a title I’ve come across while looking for free-to-read gems on Tapas. Plus, who doesn’t love 2-for-1 deals! Because Zarco has a prequel of sorts.
Author & Artist: Toril Orlesky
Release Year: 2017
Status: Ongoing, 46 chapters.
Licensed? (Y/N): Yes, on Tapas! Updates every Tuesday & Friday.
Before I move on to summary, I should mention Hotblood: Steel Book; the graphic novel to which Zarco is a sequel. Hotblood is a completed, 29-chapter-long BL GN that’s set back in the late 1800s. It’s the Old West where centaurs exist, and live together with humans. We meet James Rook, who is appointed as the secretary to a steel magnate Asa Langley, after he fought in the Civil War. Since their journey itself is the key to the story, I won’t spoil it for you.
Zarco takes place 9 years later where Hotblood has left. The sheriff of Sonoma County, Rafael Zarco, is called upon a bank robbery done by two men. The manager claims there was nothing valuable to go through the trouble and there aren’t many casualties, however, the two are causing enough trouble to warrant attention. One of them is recently put in jail, and the sheriff is asked to hand this centaur in so they can collect the bounty on his head. Considering he’s really the infamous James Rook, that is.
Let me say, the homoeroticism is REAL, both in Hotblood and Zarco. It’s there, it’s thick, and makes me feel pleasantly ticklish inside. There is nothing explicit in the series, although the artist has released a separate mature comic that is available to purchase on their website. Nevertheless, if centaurs kissing humans or other centaurs are not your thing, this has been your content warning. Surprisingly, Zarco wasn’t the first BL work I’ve read that contains centaurs, as one of the earliest BL artists I’ve met was est em and their work ‘equus‘.
I dd think I’d feel more familiar or get into the storyline more easily if I knew more about the American history beyond the things I’ve seen in the sunday morning Western movies my dad likes to watch. But luckily, I was too busy admiring the beautifully drawn scenery and soft color palettes that I didn’t mind anything else. Both of the titles are nothing less than remarkable. I’d really like some of the panels as posters in my living room. It’s that good.
Since the chapters in Zarco are short, we aren’t too much into the story so I can’t comment more on that part, however, this is a series that’s strong in its visual narrative and strikingly beautiful that I strongly recommend that you give this title a chance. I’m sure it’ll sweep you off your feet. If you’re a physical copy hoarder like me and prefer reading the graphic novel that way, both of the series have physical copies available as well. Or, you can just enjoy the weekly updates on Tapas.
Phew! There we have it, folks. I’ve finally managed to wrap up my challenge. I’m thankful to you for giving my posts and recommendations a chance and hopefully, you’ve found something that caught your interest. Or even if you’re not a BL fan, the posts were fun to skim through. I think I’ll continue to dedicate my Fridays to BL as I read quite a lot of them, although nowadays my real life is kind of hectic that I’m not sure if I can keep up with the weekly schedule. But, we’ll see. I’ll do my best!
Hope you all have a nice day, and see you around!