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June 19, 2010: I've launched a new version of this website as a Wordpress blog. This version won't be updated anymore.
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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Shoot Your Slut #1
Hard to Swallow #3-4



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Entries for May 2009:
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Saturday, May 30, 2009
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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Shoot Your Slut #1

Category: illustration.
Author(s): Piepke.
Year of publication: 2009.

Here's a rather unusual project, far removed from mainstream gay publications: Shoot Your Slut #1 is a small-sized magazine dedicated to "the wonderful world of Blitz Kids, Club Kids and Freak Chics", in the words of Belgian creator Piepke.
I must admit I know nothing about that scene, even though I recognized a few references here and there, such as a quote from Karl Lagerfeld or Quentin Crisp in the role of a fairy. In the course of 36 pages, the people involved, invited by Piepke for their work, presence and/or fabulousness, give us various texts which open a window on their colorful, gender-bending world, all illustrated by the Belgian artist in a style that reminded me of a Junko Mizuno who'd be into genderfuck and glam. And I mean that as a compliment.
Three more issues of Shoot Your Slut will be published, the second one right this month. I want to add that the production values are really good, with a thick, glossy paper, varied page composition, and a general feel that seems to me something like the queering of a fashion magazine (which again I mean as a compliment). You can find this magazine at Piepke's website, as well as samples.

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Saturday, May 09, 2009
Review update
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Hard to Swallow #3-4

Author(s): Justin Hall, Dave Davenport, Brad Rader, Drub.

cover for the third issueI'd completely missed the publication of the third and fourth issue of the Hard to Swallow anthology, so here's my catching up.
The third issue, published at the end of 2007, gives us a new guest, the artist Drub. With him are regular founders Dave Davenport and Justin Hall. Hall's pirate story is back for another installment, with the captain becoming more and more cruel, instigating a life and death sexual game that could mean the end for the battered cabin boy. Hall also presents three "true stories" told to him by various people, including an extremely disturbing tale of one man finding himself at the mercy of a deranged trick and liking it, and a thought-provoking story of how fluid sexuality can be.
I must admit I was a bit disappointed by Drub's story. It's a fine, sex-filled tale of a demon summoned by a man, but art-wise, I thought it was a bit lighter than what I've seen of Drub's.
Davenport's longest contribution is an origin story for his werewolf character. Davenport has nicely developped his main characters: Feral, the ghost skater and Digit, the former lover of the skater who keeps a mummified finger of his dead love (it's more romantic and sexy than it sounds). When the human alter ego of Feral decides to try and understand what's happening to him, we're treated to the sight of another fantasy character, this one from a different tradition. Drawn with the usual energetic and detailed style of the author, this story adds a lot to the well-populated world Dave Davenport is creating.
Once more, Davenport, Hall and their guest have built a collection that's as varied thematically as visually. 

cover for the fourth issueWith the fourth issue, published late last year, it's even more of the same thing, and I mean that in the best possible way. At 72 pages (64 for the previous issue), it's the biggest yet, and it presents the last installment of Justin Hall's Tales of The Hard Roger, wherein we see the torturing captain gets his comeuppance and we learn who the cabin boy really was, to his surprise and delight. There's more rough sex along the way, of course.
The longest story here is Dave Davenport's, with Feral and his ghost skater friend coming to the rescue of Digit, who's pursued by a bunch of homophobes. I really liked how the story unfolded: in most stories, you'd see the would-be rapists being raped. But here, Digit shows a far stronger moral fiber and finds another way to punish them. Very well done, and as hot as usual.
The guest artist is Brad Rader, which made me very happy since I hadn't seen a strip of his since the wonderful Harry and Dickless Tom. Rader writes and draws a funny, absurdist story parodying 50's sci-fi, with a badly-hung scientist experimenting on himself to make his dick grow. Since the title is "Turr-gid, the dick of death", you might guess what happens. Stan Lee never thought of that particular monster.
Dave Davenport also announces some changes for the comic: Justin Hall won't co-edit it anymore, and the format will get back to smaller pages, so that issues can be published more often. I'm sorry that Davenport has chosen to leave his Feral characters behind, but since he intends to work on another series which sounds even weirder than this one, I can safely say I'll be onboard for the long haul.
You can buy the entire series here, where you'll also find excerpts for each issue.

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