An ongoing Furry
, Gay-themed Slice of Life
comic about six men living in a large house together in Boston. The story concerns itself with the comings and goings of the six inhabitants: Paulie, the Den mother
of the group dealing with the effects of HIV; his for all intents and purposes Husband
, Doug; and their four renters
: Ken, part Straight Gay
part Gym Bunny
Part Anything That Moves
; Arthur, an artist and one of Paulie's oldest friends; Taye, a Flamboyant Gay Performance Artist
, and Marty, the Straight Man
and audience stand-in. The six core characters, plus a few secondary characters, form a family unit to work through problems and situations.
The story is told mostly from Paulie's point of view as he writes in a diary, but his is not the pure point of view, since we see many things to which he is not privy. Paulie's diary segments are a Framing Device
used to introduce the subject of that season's problem.
A very much beloved comic book series among those who have read it, Circles
is usually one of the books many furries would indicate to prove that they're not all sex maniacs. It also has a fairly glacial issue speed, as it has taken seven years to come out with eight issues in a comic that started out as "four times a year".
The series started in Spring, 2001. According to the writers, there are supposed to be 13 issues. Issue 9 will have Ken's backstory. Issue 10 will be a collection of short stories. Issues 11 and 12 are supposed to have tragic events (fans already speculating that one is Paulie dies from AIDS
). Issue 13 will be the final issue.
This comic book provides examples of:
- Author Appeal/Big Beautiful Man: The focus on the romances of the chubbier cast members, one of whom is one half of the Official Couple, might reflect a bit on one of the author's proclivities. Also, attractive women are rarely shown.
- Bleached Underpants: The artist draws quite a bit of porn, with characters that, in earlier times, looked almost like early incarnations of the characters. So much so that torrents of the comic often call some of these Circles #0.
- Butch Lesbian: Gus.
- Cast Full of Gay
- Coming-Out Story: Marty is forced to come out to his parents and finds that they are largely okay with it.
- Cranky Neighbor: Carter Allen.
- Development Hell: Issues were released once a year. But the last issue was Circles #8 in 2008, without a formal cancellation.
- Drag Queen: Jesús.
- Expy: Dave, an expy of Davan from Something Positive.
- Firemen Are Hot: A calendar called "Men of Fire" with pictures of muscular anthropomorphic dogs in slutty poses appears occasionally.
- Flamboyant Gay: Taye, on occasion.
- Friends Rent Control: Paulie inherited a fabulous Boston mansion from his American aunt, then converted it to four spacious apartments.
- Funny Animal: Species is purely aesthetic.
- Gym Bunny: Ken.
- Happily Married: A gay example played absolutely straight.
- Hello, Sailor!: Appearently, Paulie's dad had a case of this.
- I Didnt Mean to Turn You On
- Interspecies Romance: There are few repeated species. One exception are Doug, his ex-fiancée and their son, who are all Otters.
- Jerkass: Ken, at least early on when his jealousy and resentment of Marty getting together with Taye causes him to continually insult Marty's chubbiness. When he discovers that Marty has a lot more strength and determination than he thinks at the gym, and witnesses him put the bully there in his place (with assistance from Gus), he changes his tune and apologizes, starting a true friendship with Marty and revealing he has a heart of gold after all. Just in time to receive what some might considered delayed Laser-Guided Karma from his abusive dominant boyfriend.
- Last Guy Wins: In the case of Marty, who meets Taye toward the end of the first issue. Some of this also comes through in John and Arthur, who while part of the One True Threesome with Paulie ended up drifting apart, having several other lovers, and eventually being alone... until at last, they get together in Issue 7.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Ken, apparently, in Issues 7 and 8.
- Love Triangle: The comic sometimes hints at one among Marty, Taye and Ken, but never acted on it. Also, Paulie, John and Arthur were an actual One True Threesome during the 1970s, and Paulie and Arthur are still best friends.
- Manly Gay/Leather Man: both associated with a subplot involving Ken.
- Middle-of-Nowhere Street: In this case, it's #6 Kinsey Circle.
- Moebius Neighborhood: Mrs. Nussbaum, as well as Carter Allen and his family.
- Musical Episode: Issue 8.
- Nobody over 50 Is Gay: except Paulie, and possibly John.
- One Last Fling: While explaining about his past in Issue 5, Paulie reveals that he thought this and had sex with Keith, but it became the biggest mistake of his life as this caused him to contract HIV from Keith.
- Performance Artist: Taye.
- Schedule Slip: Big time: the eighth issue was released in 2008, with no clear timeline (as of 2012) on when the ninth will be available. Not to mention the writers are rumored to be having financial trouble.
- Sexy Discretion Shot
- Sexy Shirt Switch: After their first time having sex, Taye walks out of the bedroom wearing only one of Marty's shirts.
- Shirtless Scene: Men take their shirts off quite often.
- Slice of Life
- Straight Gay: Several characters fall into this simply by not addressing any particularly "gay" stereotype.
- Team Mom: Paulie.
- There Is Only One Bed: The bed in Taye and Marty's bedroom. They initially share it platonically (and without clothes on), but it becomes their bed when they become a couple. Made even funnier when after they become a couple, it is revealed that Taye arranged to have there be only one bed.