Follow TV Tropes


Comic Strip / Chelsea Boys

Go To

Chelsea Boys is a gay-themed comic strip featuring the lives of three roommates in the gay-friendly "Chelsea" neighborhood of New York. The main characters are:

  • Nathan, an "Everyman-type" 40-something Jewish guy, whose semi-normal appearance (he's a short, pudgy guy with a goatee) bely an obsession with Barbra Streisand.
  • Sky, an uber-hunky innocent type, basically walking Fanservice in addition to being a sweetheart and a hippy.
  • "Soiree", aka Delroy, a black drag queen and Deadpan Snarker who embodies pretty much every wild, out-there promiscuous stereotype of gay men, played for laughs.
  • Various supporting cast members recur, such as Soiree's sister, Nate's best friend (another normal-looking gay guy who's more campy), and a lesbian couple.

Curiously, with a cast like that, it manages to be somewhat down to earth at points, very human, and rather touching. Of course, it's pretty much packed wall-to-wall with Fanservice of the hunky-male variety, as pretty much everyone outside of the main cast (and a few characters in it) are 100% beefcake, overly-muscled studs, and there's sex scenes galore, falling just short of X-rated.

Pretty much everything in the Queer as Tropes section has shown up at least once, given the subject matter.


  • All Lesbians Want Kids: Side-character lesbian friends of Nate decide to have a baby, using Nate's sperm.
  • Big Applesauce: The setting is Chelsea, a neighbourhood on the Lower West Side of Manhattan. Various New York landmarks appear throughout the series and the entire cast of characters is racially diverse.
  • Black Sheep: Sky's brother Storm, who has become estranged from his family after running away from home for a life of sex, money and drugs.
  • Bus Crash: After breaking up with Nathan, Steve reappears only once before later dying in the September 11 terrorist attacks.
  • Camp Gay: Soiree and Nate's best friend, both of whom advocate wild, feminine behavior and sleeping around.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Pretty much everyone is LGBT+ except for the occasional family relation of a cast member. It's kind of the point of the strip.
  • Empathy Pet: Nathan's dog, Miss Marmelstein, often echoes the same emotional reactions of her owner.
  • Experimented in College: Inverted when college students Sky and Annie have straight sex on Pride Day ‚Ķhilarity ensues.
  • Fanservice: Buff gay hunks star in this strip. Virtually every background character in every scene will be chiseled to hell, with lantern jaws, huge biceps and pecs, a V-shaped torso leading into a tiny waist and a bubble-butt. Sky of the main cast is the embodiment of this (his nipples stick through his shirt).
  • The Faceless: The face of the lesbians' infant daughter is never seen. According to Soiree and Sky, she's the ugliest baby they've ever seen!
  • Forced from Their Home: Soiree was kicked out of his home at fourteen by a gay-hating father. Later on, they make some sort of peace on the latter's deathbed.
  • Gag Penis: Despite appearances, it's implied (offscreen) that Nathan is well-endowed.
  • The Ghost: Even in flashbacks, Nathan's late partner is only seen in silhouette.
  • Granola Boy: Sky, the yoga-doing raised-by-hippies sweetheart.
  • Home Nudist: Sky, who isn't bothered if his roommates happen to see him naked.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Nathan named his dog after a character played by Barbra Streisand in her first musical. The lesbian couple are named Lucy and Ricki, which Nathan lampshades by affectionately nicknaming them The Ricardos.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Male nipples, oddly enough. VERY prevalent given the art style (in that they are visible through shirts, or stick straight out on bare chests), especially on Sky.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In some instances, in-universe celebrities have names that parody real-life celebrities they resemble (Kelvin Cohen and his famous friends). On other occasions, this is averted with real-life celebrity cameos (Barbra Streisand) or lawyer-friendly cameos (Liza Minnelli and David Gest).
  • Only Six Faces: Avoided with the main cast, but pretty much every background character has the exact same idealized gay male body.
  • Satire: The creators admitted they were doing this on the first few strips on the sterotypes.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Ridiculously gorgeous, muscled young hunk Sky is a victim of this. He finds it hard to be taken seriously for his art because everyone is fawning over his hotness, but he maintains an overall cheery demeanor even when his roommate points out that some people just give him extra favors cause they want to get in his pants.
  • Stylistic Suck: One strip is an account by Nathan's nephew on his weekend with the main characters in Chelsea. It has the appearance of being hand-drawn by a child.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Steve starts dating one after breaking up with Nathan.
  • Teeny Weenie: Steve