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Chelsea Boys is a gay-themed comic strip featuring the lives of three roommates in the gay-friendly "Chelsea" district 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 a huge fascination with Barbra Streisand.
- Sky, an uber-hunky innocent type, basically walking Fan Service in addition to being a sweetheart and a hippy
- "Soiree", aka Delroy, a Depraved Homosexual black drag queen 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 Fan Service 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. But particularly notable examples are:
- All Gays Are Promiscuous: Soiree, obviously, but a huge chunk of the supporting cast is like this, and even the "normal" members can get this way. Nate's friend all but demands this behavior from him when he discovers Nate's waiting to have sex with his new boyfriend.
- All Lesbians Want Kids: Side-character lesbian friends of Nate decide to have a baby, using Nate's sperm.
- 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 except for the occasional family relation of a cast member. It's kind of the point of the strip.
- Club Kid: Soiree definitely, along with most of Chelsea, it seems.
- Depraved Homosexual: Soiree, unapologetically. A huge portion of the background studs, as well.
- Drag Queen: Soiree. Noticing a trend yet?
- Fan Service: If buff gay hunks are your thing, this strip was made for you. 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).
- Gayngst: Relatively little, though some is played out in characters' backstory (especially Soiree's).
- Granola Boy: Sky, the yoga-doing raised-by-hippies sweetheart.
- Macho Camp: One of Soiree's personas/costumes. Stubble and leather.
- 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.
- Only Six Faces: Avoided with the main cast, but pretty much every background character has the exact same idealized gay male body.
- Parental Abandonment: 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.
- 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.
- Straight Gay: Nathan, kind of. Less obvious than the rest of the cast, but still a Streisand fan.
- Transvestite: Soiree.
- What Could Have Been: Orginally, Sky was going to be a New Yorker named Ethan, owning Ms. Marmellstein instead of Nathan. Nathan was going to be named Vince, an Italian leather stud.