I never really tried to excerpt OpenHighHat‘s Small Gestures on my Tumblr blog because it was so big and the narrative was woven so tightly that it would seem like mutilation. Now that it’s completed, however, I want to give it my strong recommendation.
It’s the story of Sam, a man afflicted by a slow-shrinking plague (that only affects men). He has lots of interactions with his girlfriend Sarah, her best friend Nicola, his doctor, and his co-workers, all mostly women. There are many wonderful handheld and close-up face/eye shots, plus several extended unaware sequences. Our protagonist is naked for almost all of the story, and the women he interacts with are fond of short skirts and revealing shirts. Best of all, Sam and Sarah continue to have sexytimes as he dwindles, so that we get many adventures at varying scales. Sam eventually gets to micro size, and he engages in multiple body explorations, both aware and unaware. It’s definitely a Gentle story, with all the humiliation and peril arriving (more-or-less) unintentionally.
The first thing that sets Small Gestures apart from similar sagas is the writing. OHH has a real talent for the illustrated novel, in which the panel and the accompanying narrative are truly complementary. You could just flip through the illustrations and get a good sense of what’s going on (and a good wank, if that’s all you’re after). You could also gratify yourself by just reading the text. But together they amplify each other, so that you know what everyone is feeling and you can also see their expressions. It’s an excellent example of good characterization making for good smut.
OHH also started Small Gestures as 3D rendering packages really made giant anatomy worth exploring. Even over the course of the novella, high-definition skins are introduced as Sam gets really small. And, of course, spelunking Sarah would not have been half as satisfying if that region had not been as detailed as OHH achieves here.
I also want to praise OHH’s talent as a writer. The narrative is from Sam’s perspective, although we get occasional insights into Sarah’s and Nicola’s perspectives. Despite the length of the novella and the same basic theme (“I’m so small!”), OHH keeps Sam fresh and plausible. It clearly helps that he doesn’t have to go into too many physical descriptions and can instead focus on dialogue, thoughts, and action.
The entire series is neatly organized on DeviantArt at the link above, but some of the racier panels are pixelated to avoid DA’s censor bots. The whole series without pixelation is available on GiantessCity, but you have to scroll through the long thread to get everything.
I’m gonna spend the weekend re-reading the whole thing from start to finish. Do Not Disturb.