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Webcomic / Avialae

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Nerd Boy and Bird Boy
Avialae is a Boys' Love webcomic by Lucid that is, in the creator's own words, "about a gross bird boy and his nerdy wannabe ornithologist boyfr--I mean neighbor who helps him out during the painful and bloody process of growing wings."

More specifically, Gannet Sharpe is an everyday emo gay teenage boy who hates his town, his bird-loving neighbor, and just wants to get laid. His existence becomes not-so-everyday, however, when he wakes up one morning and finds out that wings have begun sprouting from his back. His bird-loving neighbor, Bailey Gilbert, discovers his secret and helps him bind his wings so that they won't be noticed by others.

Gannet now has to be careful to keep his still-growing wings a secret from everyone else, figure out just what caused them, and deal with his developing feelings for Bailey, all while trying to lead as normal a life as possible.

The webcomic can be read at the creator's site (warning for R-18 pages). Its creator also has a Patreon account where extras and doujinshi of the webcomic can be purchased.

This webcomic contains examples of:

  • Almost Kiss: Bailey almost kisses a sleeping Gannet in the first chapter, only to be interrupted by Gannet waking up.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Bailey is brown-skinned in color illustrations, but his exact ethnicity isn't specified in the comic. Word of God says that he's half-Puerto Rican.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love:
    • In Ch. 2, Bailey starts to do this toward Gannet but Gannet cuts him short because he doesn't believe in (or is too scared to believe in) love.
    • In Ch. 4, Bailey tearfully declares his love for Gannet when the latter tries to Break His Heart to Save Him, and this time Gannet accepts it and even gives an anguished love declaration of his own for the first time.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Used by Bailey to break through Gannet's refusal to admit that he's still reeling from Charles's revelations:
    Bailey: You don't have to pretend to be strong around me. I'm not going to run away. It's too late for that. Now, I'm going to ask you again... are you okay?
  • Auto Erotica: Gannet and Bailey's first sexual encounter occurs in the backseat of Bailey's car.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Occasionally seen around Gannet or Bailey when they're looking especially fine or seductive. Bailey's older brother Jamie also gets them as an indicator that he's basically the hotter version of Bailey.
  • Bland-Name Product: Gannet has "Bif" peanut butter in his house, and gets a Maximum Flight book as a gag Christmas gift.
  • Body Horror: When Gannet's wings start coming in, they do NOT look pretty with Gannet bleeding heavily and in acute pain. The bleeding and pain stop afterwards, but the wings continuing to grow cause Gannet and Bailey to fear what will happen when they become too big to hide.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Gannet tries to break up with Bailey in Ch. 4, saying that he deserves to lead a normal life with someone who doesn't have to hide from the public, which incenses Bailey who tells him that a life without him wouldn't feel normal to him.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Gannet does this to his uncle-in-law Charles, calling him out for cheating on and leaving his uncle Everett and not even bothering to try contacting Gannet for far too long a time.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Other than Gannet and Bailey's obvious gayness, Gannet's friend Addie is a lesbian, Gannet's uncle Everett was married to a man, Bailey's older brother Jamie and Gannet's childhood friend Renee are both transgender, and Nat remarks that they "don't feel sexual attraction".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gannet, and Addie to an extent.
  • Death Glare: Bailey, while normally a very nice guy, has given decidedly frosty glares to Luke and Charles.
  • Destructive Romance: Gannet's uncle Everett was in one with Charles who emotionally abused and repeatedly cheated on him, eventually left him for a woman, and never bothered to visit him while he was dying of brain cancer.
  • Do Not Try This at Home: As Bailey tries binding Gannet's wings using tape early on, the series features a disclaimer warning against using compression tape or bandages for chest binding due to the physical dangers of doing so.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Even at the start of the comic when Gannet barely tolerated Bailey, he couldn't help ogling his ass while he was out running. And naturally, them becoming an actual couple leads to more scenes of Gannet admiring Bailey's physique and vice versa.
  • Emo Teen: Gannet and Addie both have dyed hair and piercings and like talking to each other about how much their lives suck. Ironically, Gannet actually acts less like one when his wings begin growing in; he still angsts about them, but he doesn't mope about more mundane things like he's shown to have done the entire day before he got them and has developed a recent tendency to avoid thinking too much about things that terrify him.
  • Endearingly Dorky: Bailey gets very blushy and flustered whenever Gannet or someone else catches him off guard (usually with sexual innuendos). Gannet even thinks, "Oh no. He's cute," after one of these episodes.
  • Fantastic Arousal: Gannet's wings prove to be rather...sensitive to Bailey's touch.
  • Fantastic Racism: Most avialae, especially Tatiana, don't trust humans.
  • Forceful Kiss: Gannet does this at the end of Ch. 1 when he gets fed up with Bailey constantly running away from his flirtations. Bailey also springs one on Gannet in Ch. 2 when he gets ticked off by Gannet not taking his love confession seriously.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Gannet dresses up as an angel for Renee's Halloween party so that he doesn't need to hide his wings for once.
  • Freakiness Shame: Gannet hates his wings and has an identity crisis when he learns that he's not fully human, but Bailey thinks that he's beautiful and his wings are cool.
  • Gay Guy Seeks Popular Jock: Before Gannet began really noticing Bailey, he desperately wanted to "wrestle" with Luke, the one member of the wrestling team who didn't act homophobic towards him.
  • Gayngst: While not the primary focus of the webcomic, Gannet and Bailey both have to deal with homophobic relatives and classmates from time to time.
  • Giving Up the Ghost: This happens to Bailey at the beginning of Ch. 4 when Gannet is sweet-talking him into having sex, with the added humor of his "ghost" having little glasses on and a Luminescent Blush.
    Author Comments: Happy Halloween! Avialae is now about Bailey discovering his ability to use astral projection during sex.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: The comic initially appears to be setting this up with Bailey; Gannet is struck by how cute Bailey looks when he sees him without his Nerd Glasses and Bailey says that he actually sees better with the contacts. Ultimately subverted, however, as Bailey continues wearing glasses almost all the time (albeit a new pair with thinner frames) and Gannet finds him no less attractive, even saying that the glasses are part of his charm. The glasses briefly going are what causes Gannet to start thinking about Bailey in a different way, but the glasses ultimately stay on because Nerds Are Sexy.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Gannet turns out to be the offspring of a human and a Winged Humanoid.
  • Happily Adopted: Gannet's adoptive mother is genuinely loving and supportive of him. His father, not so much, which is why Gannet chose to stay with his mother after his parents' divorce.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Gannet and Bailey insist this on multiple occasions to the family members who see them together while they're in their Just Friends (who occasionally make out) phase. Jamie in particular is less than convinced by Bailey's stuttering denials and repeatedly refers to Gannet as his "friend" in a clearly sarcastic tone of voice.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Most avialae live in Folkvangr, a city that's been hidden for thousands of years to prevent humans from wiping out their species. They really don't trust humans, and Bailey has to stay hidden or disguised within its walls to avoid getting kicked out or worse.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Gannet and Addie, made worse by them both being gay and attending a private Catholic school where a number of students are homophobic. One of Gannet's primary complaints before the wing incident is that he hasn't gotten laid in over a year.
  • Idealized Sex: Averted. During Gannet and Bailey's first few sexual encounters, Gannet notes that Bailey's total lack of sexual experience is very obvious but also that his eagerness still makes the sex extremely pleasurable. However, they then go through a period where they have to abort several attempts at sex due to Bailey failing to get aroused until they realize that it's because Bailey is demisexual and can get into sex only if it feels emotionally meaningful to him. Even after they become comfortable enough in their relationship to have great sex on a regular basis, their attempts at sex in Ch. 5 get repeatedly thwarted by Gannet's body being too sore from his exercise regimen (and once, by Gannet accidentally smacking Bailey in the face with one of his wings).
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Gannet's response to learning that he's not fully human. It becomes even worse when his wings grow so large that he can no longer keep them hidden and has to stop going to school.
  • Immune to Drugs: Gannet's attempts at drowning his sorrows at Renee's Halloween party all fail, and he wonders out loud if it's due to his bird-like metabolism.
  • Insistent Terminology: Gannet is not a bird, no matter how much Bailey geeks out over his wings.
  • Interspecies Romance: Gannet's Winged Humanoid mother Aletta and human father Silas, which his mother got cast out from her society for. This causes Gannet's relationship with Bailey to be one in turn.
  • Irony:
    • Bailey, a massive bird lover, is allergic to birds. This extends to Gannet, who he has a crush on.
    • When Gannet's mother asks him if he's dating Bailey, Gannet vehemently declares that will never happen.
    • Gannet, whose wings have grown to the point where he is capable of flight, is afraid of heights.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Gannet has slept with a lot of men (at least twelve, according to Ch. 4) and views relationships as too complicated and messy to get involved in. It takes him a long while to admit that he feels more than just sexual attraction to Bailey.
  • Love Epiphany: asks Jamie how he realized he was in love with his fiancée Jenna and Jamie, correctly guessing that Bailey is thinking too much about whether he really loves Gannet or not, says that love isn't just an instant reaction and takes time to build but that there usually is a moment where it dawns upon you that you're in love. It's implied later on that Bailey has that "moment" when he sees Gannet sitting at the window.
    Jamie: I don't think love is like that. It's not about whether or not "they're the one." It's something you have to build. It's something you have to work for.
    Bailey: Oh...
    Jamie: Though, you'll probably have a moment of realization. I did. It wasn't anything profound. I just looked at [Jenna] one day and was like "Oh yeah, this is what I've been feeling."
  • Luminescent Blush: Bailey is an undisputed master of this. Gannet is also prone to this from time to time.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Gannet, due to not believing in love after seeing multiple family members have ill-fated relationships, acts like this toward Bailey. The crowning example of this is when he thinks to himself that he has to stop encouraging Bailey's affections and then finds himself asking Bailey immediately after thinking this if he wants to make out. He does admit near the end of chapter 2 that he's terrified of his feelings for Bailey but wants to try out dating.
  • Meaningful Name: "Gannet" is a type of bird.
  • Nice Guy: Bailey checks up on and helps a newly-wingified Gannet at the beginning of the comic in spite of the latter blowing him off in an extremely rude manner during their last meeting, and in general acts as an Understanding Boyfriend to him (even when they're not boyfriends).
  • Not a Date: Gannet starts out adamant that he and Bailey not date as Just Friends "who occasionally make out", but quickly realizes that events like Bailey giving him one of his sweatshirts that he sewed to accommodate his wings as a birthday present feel pretty damn date-ish.
  • Not a Morning Person: Gannet's mother made a deal with Bailey for him to wake up Gannet for school every morning because of this trope.
  • Oblivious to Love: According to Addie, Bailey's been giving Gannet "gaga eyes" ever since he saw him and she never told Gannet because she assumed that he already knew about it. He hadn't. Bailey is also shown to be deep in denial about his own feelings for Gannet until the latter plants a wet one on him.
  • One-Word Title
  • Opposites Attract: Snarky, short-tempered, sexually experienced slacker meets Endearingly Dorky, patient, sexually inexperienced nerd.
  • Perception Filter: Gannet eventually learns that the reason he's never met or heard of another avialae is that they have perception-blocking abilities that enable them to hide from or appear normal to humans and that he can do the same with enough training.
  • Perma-Shave: Averted. Bailey is shown with stubble in some scenes, but the stubble always disappears soon after with him implicitly having shaven it off.
  • Playing Sick: Gannet does this to avoid having to go to school until he's gotten more adjusted to his new reality of having wings.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Happens when Gannet is freaking out about his newly-grown wings.
    Gannet: Wait - you can see them, right?! This isn't some kinda Black Swan shit?!
    Bailey: I-I-I don't understand that reference — but yeah, I can see them...
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: Played for Drama when Gannet passes out in the middle of his first kiss with Bailey from his wings being bound too tightly, which not only kills the moment but also makes Bailey feel guilty and awkward enough to avoid him for the next three weeks.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: In Ch. 5, Gannet learns that his mother Aletta belonged to a royal family from the hidden avialae city of Folkvangr. Which technically makes him a prince, as Bailey points out.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Gannet and Bailey kiss at the end of Chapter 1 and have sex multiple times before agreeing to date at the end of Chapter 2.
  • Right Through the Wall: Hilariously subverted.
    Jamie: So how did things go with Gannet last night?
    Bailey: Y-Y-You heard us?!
    Jamie: WHAT?! No! Oh my god, I was kidding! Fuck, I'm gonna have to burn that couch now.
  • Sarashi: A variant; Bailey binds Gannet's wings with the bandages his trans brother used to wear. He later replaces them with a modified chest binder.
  • Secret-Keeper: Bailey is initially the only person who knows about Gannet's wings. Addie becomes a secret keeper too later on after she gets over her initial shock. When Gannet's mother finally learns about his wings, she isn't too pleased that Bailey helped Gannet keep them a secret from her for so long but eventually concedes that he did it for Gannet's sake.
  • Self-Deprecation: In Chapter 4, Gracie gives Gannet an 18+ Yuri/Victor doujin as a Christmas present while claiming that he has bad taste in pairings. Lucid has created such a doujin, with the author's comment stating "I love 2 call myself out".
  • Settle for Sibling: After Aletta's death, Silas got involved with her brother Ezra.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Bailey toward Gannet. His brother Jamie says that he never displayed much interest in any gender before Gannet to the point where Jamie wondered if the only living creatures he liked were birds. It's confirmed in Ch. 3 that he's demisexual and needs reassurance from Gannet that he loves him emotionally too to be able to have sex with him.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Subverted; most readers assumed that Bailey was the smart one, but a Ch. 4 page shows that Gannet is actually more academically adept than him but normally doesn't bother putting in the extra effort in his classes.
  • Straight Gay: Bailey and Gannet run into Luke at a Halloween party, who's brought a guy as his date.
  • Training Montage: Gannet undergoes one in Ch. 5 when he has to learn perception blocking and exercise to become fit enough to fly in Folkvangr.
  • Ugly Cute: invoked Gannet becomes enamored with a gangly baby crow in Ch. 5 when Ezra gives him an opportunity to select a hatchling to take care of, cooing "It's so ugly and I love it."
  • Winged Humanoid
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Gannet's sister Gracie is shown wearing a Free! t-shirt and thinking that Bailey's flustered explanation that he was "taking care of" a sick Gannet would be a good plot for a doujinshi.