So I’ve found one of my favorite graphic novels in the form of Mioki’s Side by Side: The Journal of a Smalltown Boy. It’s definitely up there with Apollo’s Song, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, and The Dark Phoenix Saga, but this special tale is more personal as it involves a simple love between two dear friends. A rarity in storytelling as 90 percent of the book exhibits really graphic gay sex. Is it porn? Many will undoubtedly call it that, but the loving passionate connection that the two characters share elevates the book to just mere fluff. Evan (the hetero, at first) and Rick (the gay) have been best friends since they were 8 and progresses with Rick confessing his feelings to Evan. He shrugs it off as nothing with witty humor, but after high school, their relationship deepens. Their banter and their situations flow naturally while the sex scenes amalgamate between real-life and porn settings. Side by Side never loses its charm as it‘s an engaging 120-page story. I read the book three times the first time I bought it. I hope Mioki continues Rick’s and Evan’s love story.