“The Completely Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green” by Eric Orner— Fifteen Years of Ethan

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Orner, Eric. “The Completely Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green”, (foreword by David Ebershoff), Northwest Pres, 2015.

Fifteen Years of Ethan

Amos Lassen

In 1990, Eric Orner’s comic strip “The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green”, debuted in 1990 and appeared in papers in a hundred cities across the US, Canada and the UK. Now, for the first time episode is here in one deluxe collection. There are also behind-the scenes stories and bonus strips, as well as a foreword by New York Times bestselling author David Ebershoff.

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Ethan is kind of an every”gay”man and he lives the kind of life that most of us do. The strip originally ran for some three hundred episodes between 1989 -2005 and appeared in more than eighty publications. It also became a movie and it brought many gay men together.

This book contains almost all of the original strips with the exception of some of the early ones that have been lost. Sometimes the strip appeared out of sequence and that is one of the great things about this new volume. Everything is in the order it was supposed to appear in.

The strip is all about Ethan’s search for the perfect boyfriend. Along the way he has breakups and we get advice on “How to be Depressed and Broken Hearted” which is not always the best but it fun to read. Ethan is not the kind of guy who likes to be single and he seems to have many romantic encounters with all kinds of interesting men. When he has a relationship with an HIV-positive man, we learn about AIDS, when he has an affair with a drug dealer we learn about drugs and when he has sex with a green alien from outer space…

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Ethan’s lives a mostly “unfabulous” life, hence the title. Sometimes we forget that a boring life can also be a source for comedy and we see that in Ethan. Both the stories and the artwork are filled with details and sometimes we have to look for these. This is a wonderful addition to every gay man’s library and it is filled with emotions and men who we want to know and those we do not.