Father Tony

Erotic Gay Comics - Superman Never Looked This Good!

Filed By Father Tony | November 04, 2009 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: erotic gay art, gay comics, nightlife


One of our housemates on a recent trip to San Francisco brought with him a gay erotic comic book and tossed it onto the coffee table of the apartment our group had rented. Leafing through it, I was startled by the well executed drawings and the imaginative gay sci-fi text. I decided not to ask its owner if he read it while masturbating but I am inclined to think that many folks use these comics as sexual spurs. Why not? Safe sex couldn't get much hotter!

When gay comics writer Dale Lazarov, sent me his just released "Nightlife", I contacted him with some questions about the genre.

FT: Is this a recent phenomenon or has it been alive and produced over many years?

DL: Gay erotic comics have been around at least since the 1950s -- physique pictorial magazines used to run Tom of Finland and Etienne pin-ups and comics. Homoerotic illustration's been around for much longer than that. :) My publisher, Bruno Gmünder Verlag, best known for the Spartacus gay guides, started a line of gay erotic comics in hardcover a few years ago and I was lucky to catch their interest.

FT: Who buys them?

DL: Gay men and the women who love them. :) The chic format and the quality of the gay erotic comics I write really clicks with folks looking for something beyond what you get from, say, Josman. Even straight guy book reviewers get what's appealing about it: a combination of carnality and sweetness in the stories and characters. Several straight graphic novel critics, most recently Tim Young of Deconstructing Comics, described my comics as master classes in comics storytelling. And my first two books are in special collections of graphic novels at universities.

FT: How are they circulated?

DL: "Circulated" sounds like you think my books are unspeakable texts passed around in secret! I can tell you my books are distributed by all the major bookstore distributors. Usually, you can find them in big city independent bookstores and in gay bookstores. Borders carried MANLY last year so it had an even bigger push in its favor. My publisher tells me, though, that most of our sales come from online booksellers.

FT: The one you sent me features safer sex. In gay comics, is there the same argument that is raging between bare backing/safe sex in the video world?

DL: Not that I am aware of.

FT: Who produces these comics? Are they otherwise successful mainstreamers who are doing this clandestinely?

DL: You should check out The Gay Comics List ( http://gaycomicslist.free.fr/ ) to see the diversity of gay comics, erotic or otherwise, being produced by comics creators. I do not know any "succesful mainstreamers" doing comics clandestinely.

FT: What are the popular websites where one might find these?

DL: You can order my comics throuh Amazon.com. TLA, Barnes & Noble, etc.
Here's the link to my publisher's page for me.

I suspect my questions make it obvious that I didn't know much about gay erotic comments. This despite the fact that I own the big-as-a-bed complete works of Tom of Finland. I've now looked through several different offerings by a variety of artists and writers. I'm happy to report that "Nightlife" is one the most elegant and its stories stirred me. Dale, I won't be deleting the PDF you sent me! Feel free to send me more!

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UGH! SO HOT! Need a change of pants now...

PS, you never finished your damn joke!

For you, Phil baby, will I finish it. You may regret asking for it.

You know where to find me, Padre!

I am very pleased you found NIGHTLIFE elegant and stirring. :) Thanks for supporting my work :)

Your questions are funny, Tony. I think this is the most you've ever sounded like a priest. "Circulated" and "clandestinely..."

I'm a big fan of graphic novels. Finding good ones is very hard - and the erotic graphic novels are usually worse. Many of the artists rely on the illustrations without bothering to develop a real story. That's a really good compliment from Tim Young.

I'd be interested in seeing some of Lazarov's work. I haven't checked him out yet. I will now.

Dear Bil, I've never purchased a gay comic (although I dated a few that thought they were funny) so their accessibility was indeed a surprise to me.

I will, however, stand by my question about mainstream well known writers producing gay comics under noms-de-plume because I know this had been the case in decades past. I wondered if it was still common.

Here in Fort Lauderdale, the Stonewall Library and Archive has a large collection of gay comics. I might have to do some research there.

There's nothing wrong with your question, Fr. Tony. :) I just don't know folks who fit the term "mainstream" AND "clandestine". The ones I know who are "mainstream" are not clandestine about their erotic work at all -- like Joe Phillips.

I personally know plenty of alternative press gay comixers doing gay erotic work who are very well known for their non-erotic comics, also. I am specifically thinking of Justin Hall, who does creative nonfiction travel comics that are always included in best of comics anthologies. Justin also does comics based on interviews with porn stars as well as delicious gay pirate filth. How 'bout that! :)

i would rather live in a society that promotes open and honest discussion of sexuality then one that is repressive.
sex between consenting adults is perfectly natural.
i think there should more openly gay superheros.
not just pornographic gay comics that are hard core, but the type that are more like other comics in mainstream.

Dear Ilona,

I hope we get there someday.

unfortunately, we are unable to buy these comics on paper ((

My question is that is Gay Community is legalized all over the world?