When Dale Lazarov offered to write a script for me to illustrate, I hesitated for several seconds before jumping at it. He’s the writer of several justifiably acclaimed books of gay erotic comics, and illustrating one of his stories was bound to be a lot of fun.
It was. And now it’s on sale as a digital download (DRM-free, none of that online “rental” business) for just $2.85! This is the same story that was presented in Best Gay Erotica 2014, but at full size, full resolution, and in glorious color.
The plot – yes, plot: Dale writes stories, not just sex scenes – is four somewhat-parallel storylines (inspired by a similar technique used by Rick Veitch in Bratpack). A lanky cowboy and a husky workman meet on a dark city street, two African-American men connect at a professional mixer, a couple of gay geeks play with their action figures, a leather-jacketed Latino and a preppy Asian bodybuilder hook up in a bar. And things develop from there, with each couple ending in a different circumstance than they started. It’s a celebration of consensual, safe, enjoyable sex, whether it’s between strangers, acquaintances, partners, or new friends.
I’m ridiculously proud of the illustration work I did on this book, and the fact that it’s the first comic I’ve created that’s being sold as a stand-alone item (rather than being included in an anthology or just given away online) has me really excited!
I hope you will be too.
After what seems like years (because it has been) of quietly working on JAQrabbit Tales, my bio/porno/graphic novel, I’ve set a date to start publishing! The first story will go on-line on Monday September 1, with a new page coming out every week!
The Tales are a series of short comix stories about a character named Jason who looks suspiciously like me, and whose life story bears a vague resemblance to my own. Most of the Tales involve sex.
I began by illustrating them all myself, but took on my buddy Zlatan Marić as a partner, and I’ve enlisted the help of a few other talented artists to add to the fun. The series is far, far from “in the can” – I’ve got enough story material to fill volumes – but we’re far enough to start publishing. It’ll be a page per week, which means that some stories will take a week to finish, and most will take … longer. Mostly no more than a month.
I just got my comp copies of Best Gay Erotica 2014! Right there, starting on page 174 (which is inexplicably missing its page number), sandwiched by Dan Cavanaugh’s “Coach’s Pussy” and Max Vos’ “A Walk in the Park”, is all 13 pages of my and Dale Lazarov‘s “Everybody’s Doin’ It”!
To be honest, it’s not the best possible presentation of the art. The book is smaller than a standard comic, with margins of the size commonly found in prose books, and recoloring the line art for gray-scale (instead of color) left it looking a bit muddy. But this is a prose book, after all, printed on a press designed for type, and Cleis Press reproduced the comic about as well as one could hope for, given the format. And most importantly, editor Larry Duplechan spelled my name and my web address correctly in my “about the authors” blurb.
And since I already know that Larry has excellent taste in queer porn … I got me some reading to do!
I just got a check in the mail as payment for the inclusion of my-and-Dale-Lazarov‘s “Everybody’s Doin’ It” in Cleis Press‘ Best Gay Erotica 2014.* This isn’t the first payment I’ve received for publication of my work, nor is it the first story to actually go to press (those were the Anything That Loves story), but this was my first contracted exchange of rights for money … just with a longer lead time.
You know, it’s colder than Hell outside tonight, and I was really looking forward to Kraft Dinner with leftover Christmas turkey stirred in, and a quiet evening curled up with a warm drawing tablet. But I think tonight the Baxter Street Home for Wayward Boys will be having an outing instead: dinner at the Green Carnation, followed by drinks at the Subversion Lounge downtown.
*Available any day now in better … are there any brick-and-mortar gay bookstores left anywhere? Anyway, available to order for shipping any day now from better web retailers everywhere.
Thanks to resetting the numbering on all of their ongoing titles, DC is about to publish another Detective Comics #27. The first one was the first appearance of Batman, so this one is a special oversize, overpriced issue with multiple covers to choose from (or buy them all). One of them is by former Batman legend Frank Miller.
My friend Richard Pace responded with a parody of it:
Inspired, I responded with a couple of my own.
The first is a reaction to the fact that Catwoman has nothing to do with the landmark issue. She wasn’t in it. Batman was. So was Commissioner Gordon:
The second refers to the issue about a year later that introduced Robin. Since DC started over with #1, they have yet to reintroduce Stephanie Brown, a character with a strong fan following, who briefly had the role of Robin, before being killed for cheap shock value. (as happens far too often these days in superhero comics). So I figured they should bring her back in the same issue:
Today is the official launch of The Nude 52!
It’s exactly what you think it is: DC superheroes without their clothes on. It’s a silly pun, a creative exercise, a celebration of the human form, and just something fun to do. These pin-ups will range from innocent to a little raunchy, with the main focus on artistic expression and creativity.
I’ll be doing a lot of them myself, but to make it more fun for everyone I’ve also opened it up for other artists to contribute, and I’ve already received a few great pieces, the first of which is posted today. (There are instructions on the web site for artists who want to participate.) I’ll be posting one new drawing each week … for a year.
So far we have drawings of the Flash, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Coming up in the next couple weeks are Robin and Lobo. Other characters on the drawing table include Power Girl, Kamandi, Green Lantern John Stewart, the Doom Patrol, and the Legion of Super Heroes!
Pardon me while I rant a bit.
One of the things I disliked about Warren Ellis’ “The Engine” forum, and his later “Whitechapel” forum (while he was running it) was the fact that anyone participating had to deal with his carefully crafted online persona as an asshole. It was intended to be a benevolent dictatorship, and a good way of dealing with trolls: Warren’s word was law, and objections would get you banned.
But it tended to get pretty elementary-school. Like the time I had the nerve to disagree with a popular artist about something, and one of the moderators (Warren only hired women for that, supposedly because they had better social skills, but seemed more to appeal to men who enjoy being dominated by assertive women) changed my password to “asshole” as punishment.
Which brings us to a certain remake/remodel challenge that Warren issued, to imagine what punk impresario Malcolm McLaren might have come up with if he’d been given a license to the Justice League. I posted what I considered a legitimate fulfillment of that. Warren deleted it as “a two-minute Photoshop job” … apparently missing the point that looking like a sloppy photocopy collage was part of the punk aesthetic (and that I’d spent about an hour on developing it).
And in his haste to delete what he didn’t understand, he missed the little reference I included to one of McLaren’s other projects: the one-hit wonder Jimmy the Hoover.
In response to yet another cheesecakey fuck-me representation of Wonder Woman, and in the spirit of the parodies that followed, Bleeding Cool ran a challenge for visitors to cosplay in the same pose. I don’t post photos of myself online (so my self-portraits are the closest people can get to identifying me in public), but I wanted to play along.
So I did a drawing of Captain Miracle in the same pose …
… and asked my partner Zlatan to draw me in that pose.
There was a short-lived but fun creative challenge on Whitechapel, in which a short-short story was posted, and artists were invited to create a spot illustration for it. This one was a story called “The Indecisive Backpacker”. (Go ahead and read it: it’s freakin’ short.)
Some of the most fun creative challenges can be the ones where I don’t give a fuck about the subject. Case in point: to remake / remodel Rom the Spaceknight, the star of a comic I never read, based on a toy I never played with.
I can’t find the place this was originally posted (probably Warren Ellis’ The Engine), so I can’t quote the specific instructions. For some reason, I decided that this artificial entity should be hermaphroditic.