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Glen Hanson exhibition in LA
Sean dead at 70
Tales of the Closet is back
2 Books on Pre-Stonewall gay art
Clive Barker's Tapping The Vein

 

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Entries for January 2005:
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Monday, January 31, 2005
Various news
(List all)
Glen Hanson exhibition in LA



Art by Glen HansonI've been informed by gallery owner Marc S. Arrañaga that there's a new exhibition focusing on queer photographs and artists coming up in March at his Los Angeles gallery. It's rather far from my place, but in case some of you might attend, it seems interesting, since the artists are Henning Von Berg, Tom Bianchi, Rick Castro, erotic artist Beau and Chelsea Boys co-creator Glen Hanson. More about it on the website.


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Thursday, January 27, 2005
Various news
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Sean dead at 70



a panel of his workThanks to the Comics Reporter, I've just learned that the gay artist Sean/Shawn, whose erotic work has been a favorite of mine for years, died on January 5. Sean is survived by his partner of 40 years. I knew nothing about John Klamik, Sean's real name. Well, he was the first cartoonist for The Advocate, and he's long been an activist.
You can find examples of his work on this site.


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Various news
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Tales of the Closet is back



First collection coverTales of the Closet, a ten-issue series which began in 1987 and was never finished, is getting a facelift for the new century: thanks to a Xeric Grant, Ivan Velez (who's also done work for DC, Milestone and Marvel), the author, will reprint it in four three-issues collections, with the last one containing the all-new tenth issue.
Focusing on 8 gay teenagers who meet and bond in a high school in Queens, circa 1987, Tales was well-regarded when it was first published, and I'm very glad to see such a seminal series back in print. You can go to the publisher's site for more information such as schedules and prices.


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Saturday, January 15, 2005
Blog review
If you don't see the images of a review, it means that I've transferred it to the new site.

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2 Books on Pre-Stonewall gay art

Category: historical, illustration.
Author(s): Various artists.


Published in 2002 by Arsenal Press, Out/Lines is a startling collection of pre-Stonewall gay art by gay artists, some well-known, but most completely forgotten - the editor, Thomas Waugh, hasn't even been able to find the names of all the artists. Besides the 200 drawings reproduced, Waugh has written compelling articles on the context in which those drawings were made and the various ways they circulated among their audience, often in the form of small photographs. Also included are information and (when available) short biographies of some of the artists. Of course, a lot of drawings can now be found on the net, but here, Waugh's texts provide a much more rounded experience for the reader. And some drawings are pretty rare, anyway. If you want to see what people before the 70's jerked off to, this is the book for you. And I must say that a good part of these artists were at least as good as more mainstream ones.

Lust UnearthedLust Unearthed is the 2004 follow-up to Out/Lines. Another 200-plus offering of vintage gay art, this time from a private collection, with Waugh writing new essays which illuminate the circumstances of the findings of this collection and the life of the collector. Arranged thematically, the drawings are also captioned with comments by Waugh and quotes from various queer writings by Ackerley, Baldwin, Cocteau... , making strange and unexpected connections between high literature and (often) low-brow art.

Both books are delightful and entertaining, to say the least. Arsenal Pulp Press and Thomas Waugh must be commended for making available some of the most erotic and beautiful gay art I've ever seen.


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Sunday, January 02, 2005
Blog review
If you don't see the images of a review, it means that I've transferred it to the new site.

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Clive Barker's Tapping The Vein

Category: fantasy, gay-friendly.
Author(s): Clive Barker, P. Craig Russell, John Bolton, Bo Hampton.


Reprinting comics first published in 1989-1990, this Checker Book Publishing Group 2002 collection of adaptations of Clive Barker's Books of Blood short stories is very gay-inclusive, and since, thanks to the publisher, I've had access to a copy, I wanted to tell you about it.

Panel from "Human Remains"The first story is Human Remains, one of the best Barker short stories, adapted by P. Craig Russell. Since I wrote a whole review about that one, I'll just point you to my review. It's very homoerotic, and Russell's drawing of the handsome young character is among his finest.

Art by Scott HamptonThe second story, Pig Blood Blues, is illustrated by Scott Hampton. A new teacher arrives at a remand center for youths. He quickly realises something weird is happening, with one of the young guys having disappeared recently, and the staff not seeming very concerned. There's also a sty, where a very big sow seems to hold court. And then it gets ugly.
The relationships between the delinquent boys are strongly homoerotic, but not in a nice, friendly way. After all, this is a horror story. Hampton's art is as graceful and unnerving as usual, and he has a knack for representing masculinity in all its forms.

A panel from the Bolton storiesThen comes In The Hills, The Cities, one of the strangest Books of Blood stories, since there's no fantasy elements, but rather an excellent and disturbing use of an almost-possible idea. A gay couple finds themselves in Yugoslavia in a remote region where two villages have an unusual way of "warring". A wonderful metaphor of conflicts and territorial identities, this story is different from the previous ones in that the fact that some of the characters are gay does not play a role in the narration. Their relationship, sex included, is just part of the story told, and that's very refreshing (it was even more at the time when Barker's original short story was published). You can see another illustration by the excellent John Bolton in my gallery (Bolton also worked on the very queer User).

The last story included in this volume which presents queer elements is The Madonna, ilustrated by Stan Woch. But it's more concerned with gender and gender-bending than with gay characters or themes. That doesn't mean it's less interesting, of course - but I can't show you more about it without ruining some of the story's points.
As you can see, this volume is full of gay/queer themes and characters, and any amateur of Barker's work should enjoy it. You can find it on the publisher's site or at Amazon.


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