Gay comics in the 21st century

(No actually X-rated images, but still not for kids or the sexually modest.)

A few days ago I looked at gay comics in the 70s and 80s, especially as represented in Robert Triptow’s volume:

The series [Gay Comix, begun by Howard Cruse] was continued by Robert Triptow, who edited the 1989 compilation Gay Comics: The Smartest and Wittiest Gay and Lesbian Cartoonists, with a broad coverage of relatively conventional single-panel and strip cartoons focused on humor or story-telling (leaving out material that is mostly visual and material that’s significantly lubricious.)

(So Tom of Finland doesn’t make this volume.) The contributors are both male and female, but all are North Americans writing in English.

Now comes the 2009 volume Stripped: A Story of Gay Comics, by Markus Pfalzgraf, with 13 cartoonists featured, plus a series of essays (in parallel English and German) on aspects of gay cartooning. The artists are all male, working in English, German, Dutch, and Japanese, and the subject matter is much more varied than in the earlier volume, taking in bondage, S&M, and other kinks, and indulging in piles of mansex for its own sake:

(#1)

The publisher’s puff piece on amazon.com:

Comics for gay men have become enormously popular within the past couple of years. You can find everything from witty and humorous (Ralf Konig) to strong and hung (Patrick Fillion), from cheeky youngsters (Tom Bouden) to adorable twinks who are deeply in love (Mioki). Markus Pfalzgraf is a real [aficionado] of the colorful genre. With “Stripped” he has compiled a stunning collection, which offers an overview for beginners and also contains some delightful treasures for those who think they’ve seen it all.

The book starts with Tom of Finland and Howard Cruse — two classic gay cartoonists with very different tones to their work — and then moves to more recent artists, among them the immensely enjoyable Mioki, the crearor of Side by Side and Still Side by Side (both 2011) and Popcorn (2014). More puff from amazon.com:

Side by Side (2011) is the story of Evan and Rick. Fast and close friends since their kindergarten days in a small town their friendship evolves into the love of their lives. They move to the big city where they meet Billy and Charlie and these four friends are soon inseparable. Mioki presents a moving portrait of gay life with all its highs and lows.

The guys have enthusiastic hot hot hot sex (with each other and with other guys), in almost every imaginable setting, at every whipstitch, and it’s all lovingly detailed by Mioki. From amazon.com again:

Mioki lives in New Jersey and was born in 1949 the son of Czech and German immigrants in the US. Although he’s been drawing comics since he was a small child he has never had any professional training as an artist

(By no means the first cartoonist to have picked up their craft on the street, so to speak.)

That’s Rick and Evan in #1. Here’s Rick as the central figure in a droll t-room sequence (the first panel, with him flagrantly cruising for sex at the urinals, is especially entertaining):

(#2)

(#3)

And here are the boys at home:

(#4)

One Response to “Gay comics in the 21st century”

  1. Billy Britt Says:

    Have 2 Authentic SEAN T-shirts, Buff No.1 by John Klamik and some Tom of Finland.

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