Had a great time tonight seeing Simon Amstell again… I’ll blog about it in the next day or two, and also post the drawing I gave him. I’m trying to stick to my projected Monday/Friday schedule on this website, but a lot of times when I scan something it I’m impatient for people to see it and I toss it up on my Tumblr immediately, so if you follow that you will have already seen the drawing. Regardless, Simon’s show Numb is great, it was a lot of fun to see it again, and getting to talk to him again after was awesome as well, so I’ll talk about all that later on. For now, I should probably sleep… Or read some Game of Thrones. Hm.
Ok, we’re gonna try out a new schedule here. I’ve been drawing a lot more of things that I’ve been writing, and am gonna post a lot more, but for the immediate future I don’t know if three comics a week is realistic. I have several side projects I’m working on and two anthologies I’m contributing to with looming deadlines, and the comics I’m drawing now are much more complicated than my older ones, anyway, so three a week is still a lot of work even without all of that.
So, we’re going to try a schedule with two posts a week for right now, on Monday and Friday. I’m aware the header on the website still says Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and a new background and site redesign are among the things I’m working on. Hopefully the new background will be up sometimes next week. Anyway, people who have been reading these comics for a while have figured out that the three post a week thing hasn’t exactly been the strictest rule in the past anyway.
So, new post Friday, check back!
Some things about Jodie Foster:
First I’d like to say that, as far as coming out of the closet or staying in it, I don’t think anybody should ever be forced or pressured to do anything other than exactly what they want to do. Talking about sexuality in general, I don’t understand the inclination to tell other people what to do when it has no effect on you. I don’t think this is any less true for celebrities. Nothing pisses me off more than the idea that because you like an artist they now somehow owe you something. If you bought a ticket to see a movie, that’s what you bought, a viewing of that movie. If you bought a CD, that CD is what you bought. You didn’t buy a piece of them.
However. There are some misconceptions people have when they talk about coming out or staying closeted that really piss me off. For one thing, telling somebody you’re gay is not the same as telling them about your sex life, and it’s not telling them “personal” information, any more than knowing that somebody is black tells you something “personal” about them. If you find out that somebody is gay and you think that you now know what type of person they are, you’re a bigot. There is also a lot more to being gay than sexuality, and the sexuality of gay people is as varied as the sexuality of anybody else. Telling somebody you’re gay isn’t telling them about your sex life any more than a straight man saying he has a wife is telling you about his sex life.
Also, coming out isn’t a choice in the same way that being closeted is a choice. In an ideal world, “coming out” is passive. You come out by living your life like anybody else would, and people who know you will figure out that you’re gay by little hints such as you having a partner who is of your gender. Being closeted, on the other hand, requires a great deal of work, and requires you to shape your life around other people so that they don’t see parts of it, and requires you to lie and dissemble. Obviously, people do that to avoid negative reactions that they would suffer if they did differently, but that’s because small minded people have forced you into that position. I’m irritated by the notion that “closeted” is somehow the natural state in which gay people start, and then they have to make the choice to move to another position.
Although many people obviously have good reasons for doing it, staying closeted is damaging. Homophobia is ignorance, and people’s opinions change when they learn more about it, which they do by gay people being more visible. Obviously, it shouldn’t be the responsibility of every gay person to be a teacher to the rest of the world, and it pisses me off much more that people choose to be ignorant until they’re prodded, and that they’re vociferously opinionated on gay people when they don’t know the first fucking thing about gay people. However, there’s no denying that us being more visible helps. In the last few decades, actually, it’s started to cause a sea change.
Which is also important to the Jodie Foster thing. A few decades ago when she was becoming an adult, coming out meant something entirely different, and it very likely could have destroyed her career. I don’t judge her for anything she’s done, even if I might have preferred that she do something different, and to hold her behavior to the same standard as somebody who’s struggling with how to deal with the same questions 30 years after she did is just ignorant.
But I’d really like us to get to a place where in or out of the closet isn’t even a question. It comes from us assuming that everybody is straight unless we’re told otherwise, and that comes from a limited understanding of human sexuality that’s decades or more out of date. There aren’t just two types of sexual orientation, and it’s idiotic to look at it as though plain vanilla heterosexuality is the default position and everything else is an aberration on that. And the idea of hiding who your significant other is because of their gender only exists because bigots and ignorant people have been given the power to make it that way. Very soon the notion of having to hide such a thing for fear of the reaction that vocal bigots might have will hopefully seem as bizarre and chilling to us as it does now to think that recently interracial marriage was illegal, or that women didn’t have the right to vote.
Lastly, Mel Gibson is obviously an asshole, but why on earth do people care if she’s friends with him? Who she is and isn’t friends with has no bearing on anybody else, and that actually *is* personal business.
Found a comics section from a newspaper on Bart the other day and made the mistake of reading Family Circus. It’s a mistake, because every time I read Family Circus it sends me into a sort of existential tailspin of doubt and sadness. This is something people consider a joke? Somebody gets paid to do this? Am I existing in an alternate reality at a slight vibrational degree away from the reality in which this comic has a reason to exist?
I’m assuming the joke is that Jeffy is short, so he sees things that are lower. Get it, how kids are short? Have you ever noticed that, the shortness of kids? Observational humor! Where would the world be without art as our tool, incisive as a scalpel to reveal to us such profound truths as these? If you weren’t aware before that kids are short, you now are.
Of course, this joke has nothing to do with holiday shopping, or it being crowded, or there being sales, and it makes everything else in the comic lines done to fill up space. But hey, these are the funny papers.
Then I began to wonder why it was that the main legs that Jeffy seems to be remembering after they leave are all bare, shapely female legs. You could say that that’s incidental, but then so is all the other visual information in the comic. There has to be a reason it was drawn that way, doesn’t there? To assume otherwise assumes there wasn’t much thought put into the comic, and who would assume such a thing about a venerable classic such a Family Circus?
The joke then becomes that it’s funny that Jeffy is interested in bare, shapely female legs. To that I say, don’t let the mockery get you down, Jeffy! You should be pleased that at such an early age, you know what you like! Know thyself, Jeffy! For some, that’s the greatest struggle!
Then the third possible joke occurs to me, maybe Jeffy is wondering to himself, “Why is it that all these people are dressed as though it’s the mid fifties or early sixties? This strip has a copyright date of 2012, and yet I’m not sure it’s even possible to buy some of those shoe styles. This begs the question, has it been nearly half a decade since any thought has been put into the look or design of this strip? Is it actually possible for people to be that lazy? Oh god, look at my mother, she’s straight out of the sixties, too! And look at Luann there underneath me in the paper… They’re all dressed like some boring middle-aged person’s interpretation of the teenage clothing of 1992! It’s the same in Zits… and oh god, who the hell cuts Sally Forth’s hair, anyway?! If somebody wants to know why newspaper comics are failing, all you have to do is look at fucking newspaper comics!”
Read this way, Jeffy’s stare at those legs and shoes thus becomes insightful meta commentary on the current state of newspaper comics, as epitomized by Family Circus, which is the worst of them. Jeffy’s stare at those shoes becomes a stare at the reader, and a plaintive scream- Save me! Jeffy says.
So who was I to judge this strip so harshly at first? Deeper reading reveals a delicious meta commentary, a playful self awareness, and a dark streak of irony. Well played, Family Circus. Well played.
So I’m posting this as a blog instead of posting the illustration as a comic with a blog attached, because I’m probably going to post the next Morbid Obsession strip soon, and I’d like to keep them somewhat in order when people are browsing through the archives. You know, posting things in order like how I always say I’m going to and then I don’t.
I figured this drawing was worthy of a post, though, because I like it. This was drawn from a picture a fan sent to me a while ago in the hopes that I would draw him, and I meant to but hadn’t got around to it yet. So many twinks, so little time… It’s hard being me, I know. But still, I very much appreciated the picture. I actually had it as the background on my cell phone for a while, so whenever I saw it there I would be reminded of why I’m an artist. For the money shots, obviously.
I especially wanted to draw it because I thought drawings of the things that I’ve had as cell phone backgrounds might make a good series eventually. After this, I had a picture of a guy I was dating on there. When my friend, who knew how much I liked this photo, saw that I had put a picture of the new guy on my phone she said, “Oh, he replaced butt boy? Wow, things must be getting serious!”
I did like him, but that ended up not going very far. After him I started dating my last ex, the one that’s now been the subject of a few breakup comics and blogs, and he was my next cell phone background. It was a cute picture.
When we broke up, I thought that maybe I should have something on there other than a picture of whatever boy I was currently into. It’s nice to have a picture on there of a boy I’m dating, or a boy I just think is really cute, but, assigning importance to things that may or may not have any, I started to feel slightly awkward that, if you looked at the cell phone backgrounds as a timeline of my life, my life was being defined by the series of cute boys I dated and it ended up not going anywhere with.
That was a depressing thought, so I decided to make my new cell phone background something of much more lasting significance. Next to my desk where I draw my comics, I have two things framed on my wall as inspiration for me, things I like being able to look at while I work. I have a poster from the Bob Dylan show I saw a couple years ago, and I have a copy of the last ever Calvin and Hobbes strip that I saved from the newspaper the day it came out, which is, wow, like 17 years ago now. I joke about doing comics for the money shots, but Calvin and Hobbes is probably a much bigger reason, and I love that strip now even more than when I saved the last one from a newspaper back at the age of 12, so it’s a much more enduring love story for me than the last several twinks who have wandered in and out of my bedroom. So, after this last breakup, I took a picture of my framed Calvin and Hobbes strip, and right now I’m enjoying having that on my cell phone a lot.
I don’t know if I explained on my last post that Seduction of the Innocent, based on the Wertham book, obviously, is the title of the Batman on Robin commissioned story that I’ve been working on. I don’t know how innocent Robin is though, exactly, he seems like a bit of a hobag. But it’s cute if he’s playing innocent, so I would go with it. Anyway, I finished the 10 pages, so I thought I’d do a post about the rest of them before I moved on to posting other things.
So let’s see. On this next page we have Batman taking off his jumpsuit, but leaving on the cape and cowl, which is good because that’s more fun to draw in this story than just some guy’s face. This is also some of the first chest hair I’ve ever drawn. My twinks don’t normally have chest hair, so commissioned stories are good because they force me to learn to draw things I probably wouldn’t try to draw otherwise. There are a few versions of the big dick panel, because we discussed whether or not the bottom of Robin’s shirt should be visible, etc., and I did it a few ways and left it to Jason to decide.
I liked this page a lot. I added an extra panel from the script because I wanted to move panels around so that those two panels on the second row were next to each other. I wanted, when your eye moved left to right reading it, for that to follow the thrust of Batman’s dick into Robin. I also like the thing with Batman covering Robin’s mouth while he fucks him. That’s always the problem with twinks, you get to fuck them but then you have to listen to them talk, as well. It’s a difficult trade-off. The word balloon up at the top is Batman telling Robin “No,” when Robin is about to cum. Bottoms love it when you tell them, “No,” they need to be shown who’s boss. That’s free relationship advice there, folks.
This page was difficult for me to draw. With nothing going in Robin’s butt, my interest begins to wane. But his penis is awfully cute, I suppose. On the last panel there, Batman is ordering him to cum, so on the next page we get:
A lot of Bat-jizz. This page comes close to doing one thing I swore I would never do, which is the ridiculous giant penises you see in a lot of porn comics. I don’t think two foot long penises are sexy in life, and I don’t think they’re sexy in comics. They make me think a person probably needs medical attention, not sex. However, on this page the penises aren’t actually larger than I drew them on other pages, they’re just meant to be closer to the viewer. In the first panel it’s Robin’s big cumshot, so I thought the penis should be the focus, and in the fourth panel, Batman is about to start fucking him again so his penis is supposed to be the focus and look intimidating. With foreshortening taken into account, the size of the penises is about right, I just wondered if they looked too big. In the end I think they came out alright.
In the last panel there Robin has kind of turned the tables on Batman and he’s feeling kind of full of himself, post-orgasm. He knows Batman still wants to fuck him and he’s cracking jokes to irritate him. I think the script said that Batman was visible in that last panel, but since the idea was Robin using Batman’s desire for him to his advantage, I thought the pose of him with his butt up in the air, showing it off, and talking to Batman from between his legs, was really good.
I like the first panel here a lot. I think it’s cute how excited and confident Robin looks about getting fucked. I like the fifth panel, too, it’s intentionally done as an homage to this dumb sex scene that, when I was about 17, I loved and jacked off to who knows how many times. The poses are based on the movie, which is not a Batman and Robin porn movie, and then I put Batman’s costume, etc., on them. I also think it’s cute how Batman is grabbing a fistful of Robin’s hair there.
So this is the last page. In the first panel there, Batman finishes up, and then the script said something about him slinking off into the shadows in the next panel. Throughout the comic, whenever Batman is trying to act cool and intimidating like the comic book Batman, I drew him a little more comic-booky in those panels, his chin got bigger or whatever. So in this panel with him slinking off into the night, I drew him more like a comic book Batman, with his shoulders making those pointed shapes that they do in the comics for some reason, and his eyes becoming those kind of Todd McFarlane-y triangle shaped eyes. When I was showing these pages last week at the Center for Sex and Culture, somebody pointed out that in between the first and second panels, you don’t know whether or not Batman actually put his clothes back on, or if he’s still just wearing the cape. I like the idea of him slinking off, all masked-avengery, having forgot his pants.
So, the story is that Batman leaves, but he leaves Robin tied to the bed and the door still open. On the third panel I tried to draw a shaft of light that looked like it was coming from an open door. The focus of that spotlight effect, obviously, is Robin’s used butt with cum leaking out of it, which is of course what I paid the most attention to while drawing.
Then, the guy in the Joker mask, who was there way back in the first page of the story, shows up, and now he’s gonna fuck Robin too. We leave Robin tied to a bed, and used as a slutty cum dumpster which is how, in the comics, I always felt Robin was meant to be.
So last night’s reading at Books Inc. for the release of the Fantagraphics collection No Straight Lines was a lot of fun. I ended up reading portions of my Boy From Santa Cruz storyline and it got a good reaction. I still feel strange signing books for people, like, isn’t that something famous people are supposed to do? But what can I say, people love me. Or they love tied up twinks. Or both, either way it means they have good taste.
Also reading last night were Justin Hall, Robert Triptow, Trina Robbins, and Jaime Cortez. A highlight as when, as Justin was reading his Batman fucking Robin story (Not the Batman fucking Robin story I just finished illustrating, another one) a mom walked in with two little boys, about six and eight, saw Batman and Robin up on the screen and stopped with them to watch. Once Robin was about to get his Bat-cave filled, she started pulling her kids away, but I don’t think the kids were especially shocked. This was a hipster mom walking her kids around Castro, and the six year old had skinny jeans and what looked like a $50 haircut. He also seemed extremely interested in just what was about to happen to Robin, rubber necking over his shoulder to see as they left.
Tonight, if you missed it last night, I’ll be reading the same story at the San Francisco Center for Sex and Culture at the release party for Jon Macy’s new Fearful Hunter book. Also reading will be Jon, Justin Hall, and Agnes Czaja.
So, well, let’s see. I haven’t posted much for the last couple of weeks because the website hasn’t been up much. We’ve been experiencing come hosting issues, but fortunately if you follow my on Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr or whatnot you’ve been able to enjoy watching me complain about that. You’ve also been able to enjoy tons of new art I’ve actually been posting, so there’s that, too. I have up with the whole SFW thing on my Tumblr and added the N to that bitch, so now I’ve been posting a bunch of naked drawings on there, too.
Hopefully I’ll resume posting normally soon, now that the web hosting issues seem to be resolved at the moment, and hopefully be blogging a bunch, too, due to the huge number of important things that I continually have to say. I’m making this blog mainly to notify people about a couple awesome upcoming events that I’m going to be reading at in the next two days. If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area in the next two days, you should definitely check out at least one of them:
Tomorrow: A release party for the No Straight Lines book collection. Edited by the great Justin Hall, this book is a big, massive history of gay comics, and packed with amazing things by a lot of people who are my friends, and a lot of people whose work I don’t know and am excited to discover. Absolutely everybody should be able to discover some amazing new comics they’ve never see before in this collection, and also get some great comics by cartoonists they all love, all printed in a really classy Fantagraphics hardcover collection on beautiful paper with the comics looking great. I’m honored to be in the collection. So, buy a copy! Seriously. There was a reading I attended last week at the Cartoon Art Museum where several of the contributors read great pieces, and tomorrow’s event at Books Inc. will hopefully be equally great with readings by me, Justin Hall, Ed Luce, Trina Robbins, and Robert Triptow.
And then on Friday: The release party for the latest and final installment of Jon Macy’s Fearful Hunter series, at the Center for Sex and Culture. Jon’s been working on his opus of butch gay werewolf/druid/tentacle love for a few years now, and with this final installment the book is finally completed. I’ll be reading there along with friends including Jon, Agnes Czaja, and Justin Hall, so that should be epic as well!
So, I was gonna post this on Wednesday, but I was having problems getting online so I couldn’t. Instead of posting one of my comics, I’m gonna blog about a commissioned project I’m doing illustrating a comic for Jason Quest.
He does a series of semi-autobiographical comics that deal with sex and whatnot, and he had a particular one that he thought might suit me. The general idea of the comic is that a guy at a Halloween party in a Robin costume, Jason, meets a guy at the party in a Batman costume and, obviously, they fuck. Robin ends up handcuffed to a headboard. So, obviously I said I’d draw that. I believe Robin should be fucked, and often, and by a rough top who knows how.
If you’ve been following my Tumblr you’ve already seen inks for the first four pages. Jason’s blog has him talking about it, but also posting the colors as he’s been working on them. He’s doing the coloring and the lettering, I’m doing the penciling and inking. I’ve penciled the majority of it at this point, and inked the first four pages.
If you’re not following my Tumblr, btw, you’re missing out on a lot of awesome these days.
You can click on the pages to see the larger versions.
So, on this first page there was supposed to be a gay Halloween party circa 1997, when the Batman and Robin film came out. To try to keep it in period, I added costumes that might have been popular then. There’s a Power Ranger, and Ghostface from Scream, and to have something from the Batman and Robin movie I put in a drag Poison Ivy. As a nod to my own comics, I also drew in the bunny boy I’ve drawn in the past, and I decided to have the Power Ranger cruising him. And that’s Han and Lando about to make out in the last panel there.
On page two, Batman and Robin start talking, Bat-puns abound, and within a couple pages they’ll be fucking. I would be posting these pages to the Facebook page for my comics, also, except that this is about as far in the story you can go before it gets too sexually explicit for Facebook. I was originally drawing Batman a little more Adam West, and we decided to have him be a little more Neal Adams.
I thought there was a certain element of comedy with him, in the later pages, trying to be very serious and butch in a costume that looks somewhat ridiculous, because it is after all a Batman costume. That’s always part of how I seem to draw sex, though. The power that the top thinks he has is all an illusion. Normally, I draw the top as a cartoon rabbit with a giant head, and I always draw the bottom to be as pretty as possible. Or, what I consider to be pretty, anyway. That’s my own projection. I hope there’s enough of the awkwardness left in how I’m drawing Batman that some of that remains, but it was probably the right decision not to make it outright comical.
They get up to a room, and you can see Robin’s Bat-boner there in the last panel. The idea is that, as soon as Batman gets forceful with him, Robin is immediately hard.
There’s a small homage to a David Hockney painting on the wall in the third panel there, which is sort of a joke for myself because I couldn’t tell you how many gay guys I’ve seen who have David Hockney prints hanging in their houses. More of them have Hockney prints than actually know much about Hockney, I think it’s just in the gay handbook somewhere that we’re all supposed to like him. I do like Hockney, though, probably his photo collages more than his paintings.
Four pages seemed like an eternity to wait to get Robin’s shorts off, which was obviously why I was drawing all this in the first place. The boy from my Boy From Santa Cruz story saw this page a couple days ago, and he said that the pose in the last panel there must be a favorite of mine. I didn’t realize until he said that, but I had drawn the rabbit taking off the BFSCs underwear in a previous comic in a similar pose. I do like it, I think it’s a cute pose. I also like that Robin’s dick is uncut, I find that cute, too. It was described that way in the script, so I was happy to stick with that description.
Stay tuned for the storyline to get much more hardcore in a page or two :D
Also, there will be new A Waste of Time strips very soon, and I’m still working on the page where I’m going to be offering original art for sale, so thanks for checking back!
Alright, well I didn’t quite finish the drawing I had hoped to post today, so I’ll post it Monday instead. I have, however poster a few new pieces, including the drawing that’s going up after that drawing, to my Tumblr, so check that out. Like I’ve talked about a couple times, I’m trying to post things to this site in some kind of order, but over there I’m throwing up stuff more randomly and as I work on it.
I also posted over there a page from a commissioned story that I’m illustrating, and I won’t be posting that here because it’s not really a part of A Waste of Time (Although there is a cameo from the boy with bunny ears that I draw), so if you’d like to see those pages posted as I work on them, you can see them over there. The story is basically: guy at a Halloween party in a Robin costume finds a guy in a Batman costume, guy in Batman costume handcuffs guy in Robin costume to a bed and fucks him. So, obviously I said that I would draw that.
The Tumblr, obviously, is gonna get fairly pornographic and NSFW, but then again this site already is, too, so that should surprise anybody who’s familiar with my work.