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No one likes having a pushy friend… particularly if they’re pushing you for a date, and you’ve never even considered the possibility. Liam finds himself in that position when classmate Milo gives him a passionate kiss, which Liam returns with a black eye. Several awkward moments later, and they’re a couple. However, Liam has several reservations, stemming from the need to please his over-bearing father. As for Milo, he can’t understand what his boyfriend is afraid of, but that doesn’t stop him from showing affection and understanding (or at least trying to). As the title suggests, Tripping Over You is about the realities of a relationship, evolving from new love into a long term bond, and all the embarrassing, ridiculous, and beloved moments that come with the package.
Created in 2011, the comic is a collaboration between spouses Suzana Harcum and Owen White, with Harcum as illustrator and White on writing duty, though they sometimes switch jobs. The inspiration for the comic came about as “a fun way to spend time together and explore our feelings for each other,” when the couple began dating. A slice-of-life story, the setting is described as “Maybengland”, taking place at a school and in family homes. The writing is well-paced, choosing to focus on common issues among young people as they head out into the world, including antagonism from both society and family as well. Milo and Liam navigate their lives while learning to trust and be open with each other, as well as the pains that come from growing into adulthood.
The comic does center on a same-sex relationship, commenting on the joys and hazards that come with it. Whether its peer antipathy or parental disapproval, the comic handles it wonderfully by allowing the characters to work it out in “real-time” as two normal people building a relationship would. The truly great writing comes from Liam and Milo’s conversations with each other, as they explore, make mistakes, and learn to forgive. While not explicit, there are several sex scenes, as well as innuendo. Harcum and White have several mini-comics for sale in their store with more candid visuals, but the main comic is fairly implicit.
The first four chapters are done in a blue monochrome scheme with heavy lines, but switches to color and finer outlines in chapter five. The art is realistic in style, with accurate proportions and anatomy; interestingly, though very little changes in the story, small details, such as hair growing longer over time, are added in, which brings a sense of authenticity to the timeline. The backgrounds have some detail, though not too extensive, allowing the characters to remain the focus.
Updating Mondays and Thursdays, Tripping Over You is a sweet story about two young men in love, who are enjoying what life has to offer. Read it at TrippingOverYou.com.