Invisible Men

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Invisible Men was story I did for the Prism Comics “Alphabet” Queer Comics Anthology edited by Jon Macy and Tara Madison Avery. I started the story when I was still in the midst of struggling with what it means to be a bisexual married man and to give some feel for the discussions and conflicts I had with my wife. By the time I finished the story I was already into transition and moving into a completely different category of person which I do not address. I leave my character in his life as bisexual cis-male and wish he and his partner luck and peace whatever they decide to do. I think the story does a great job of distilling most of my thoughts around being a bisexual man in a monogamous relationship and in the society at large. I’m proud of how the story is structured and how the characters are revealed. I am glad to be out of that particular closet and gender, but I am a big believer in bisexual liberation and in bi-men in particular being more visible and seen with honesty and compassion.

Read the PDF story here and please consider buying the Anthology, it’s filled with work by amazing queer artists. I was flattered to be asked to contribute by my longtime friend Jon Macy. It dragged me out of retirement from queer comics and I am hopeful I will manifest some new stories soon.

Walk On The Wild Side

There’s this story going around about a student union at a Canadian college apologizing for playing Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side at an event. It’s being put forward as another example of leftist PC culture gone awry. Please don’t buy into it. Nobody is censoring Lou Reed.

The real worry is the way the alt-right uses something like this to divide us and further isolate the trans community from support. The right works very hard to encourage radical feminists, for instance, in their assault on trans people. And if the crazy trans people are attacking saint Lou, screw them! The headline does the job and the nuances of the topic are lost.

My first thought when I saw this was irritation at the younger generation for attacking what for some of us may as well be a liberation anthem that encouraged us to come out as well as immortalized Holly Woodlawn who should be on a postage stamp as far as I’m concerned. I’m 100% positive I shaved my legs listening to that song. It’s canon. When I was asked to do a page in the Queer Heroes Coloring Book she was my choice and the lyrics are right there in the picture.

A lot of the language in the song is out of date, of course, and I think it’s similar to older trans people using the word “tranny” and getting blowback from younger more “woke” folks. The idea that being with a trans woman is a walk on the wild side is indeed discomforting now, as is the casual “he was a she” line which kind of goes against current thinking.

What this song means to ME is different from what it means to a young person, and for that matter what it means to a transphobic bigot who finds things in the song that support their view of us as subhuman freaks. But that’s the deal with art, of course. It’s available to all to use and appropriate and you can’t control what the bad guys do with it. Ask Richard Wagner about that.

Mostly, I say cut them some slack, they are working it out. College campuses get a lot of grief for leftist PC censorship, but they are also currently cesspools of toxic 4chan masculinity and vicious transmisogyny and when we tell these kids to toughen up and deal their “widdle hurt feelings” we really don’t know what level of awful bullshit they are dealing with.

Red Car Crash

I made this painting during early recovery.When I used to speak at Overeater’s Anonymous meetings I would use a metaphor of a sports car to describe being skinny and beautiful. After being a chubby kid with a homely sense of self image I suddenly had this skinny gorgeous body. It was like being a teenager with a new license and a sports car. Too much, too fast. I promptly wrapped it around a tree and burst into flames. Or burst into fat, more like it. And then I was in hell.

The lyrics are from the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I’m certainly not the first trans person to find intense meaning in those songs, and I’ll accept being so “on the nose”.

Forgive me for I did not know
For I was just a boy
And you were so much more
Than any God could ever plan
More than a woman or a man
And now I understand how much I took from you

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Homozone 5

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When I first encountered drag queens I immediately thought of them as super heroes. Statuesque, larger than life, colorfully dressed for battle of one kind or another. I wanted a way to fit in the queer culture of San Francisco in the early 1990s, to contribute my talents to the cause. I was not inspired to lip-synch or do Judy Garland numbers. I wanted to draw!

I started drawing drag and gender bending superheroes and rediscovered my love for illustration along the way. Working on this book inspired my return to art school where I completed a degree in illustration and went on to a decent career as an artist in the animation industry.

I had been a wanna-be comic book artist my whole life and had spent my teen years steeped in 80s X-Men comics and their epic battle as an oppressed minority in a world that hates mutants.

I had a great deal of anxiety about joining the queer movement and I poured that anxiety into a comic book about a dystopian future world where a team of drag queens and transsexuals in a queer ghetto fought against a homophobic totalitarian system. It was occasionally fun, energetically drawn, very wordy, violently dramatic and politically paranoid. I loved the characters and am amazed to this day by the amount of time and energy I put into the 3 issues I completed before abandoning the project to focus on school and the struggles of my life. I feel like I let my characters down, I wanted to do so much more with them.

Homozone 5 became a guarded secret along with the rest of my past, probably less from shame about sexuality and gender identity than shame over the artwork and writing “not being good enough” for the horrible critic that lives in my head.

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