Hong Kong newsstands, particularly in more working class neighbourhoods, often carry these flimsy comic books, wrapped in plastic and featuring barrel-chested dudes stripped to the waist. Sometimes they carry “Category III (18+)” warnings. Were they gay mags or testosterone-fuelled martial arts mags, I wondered.
It turns out, a little of both.
I bought one to find out. Although there is nothing explicit or overtly homerotic, the chiselled protagonists spend a lot of time semi-naked, including a protracted four page bath scene in the particular issue I bought.
Its not hard to see them as thinly veiled gay pornos for punters too scared to admit their own desires.