Today’s book feature is the gay comic collection Boy Trouble, Vol. 2, edited by Robert Kirby and David Kelly; it was published in 2008 by Green Candy Press.
Green Candy Press is a small publisher in San Francisco, specializing in books on gay topics and books about S&M, drugs, and art. Boy Trouble started as a zine-style comic in the mid-1990’s, and this is the second volume of Boy Trouble anthologies.
The very first comic in this anthology (Then There Was Claude) is by Howard Cruse, a well-known gay comic artist and founder of Gay Comix, a series published in the 1980’s. All in all, this full-color book contains 29 comics in a variety of styles. Some of them are pretty sexy, but the majority of them focus on humor or a storyline.
My favorites are Ex Communication, by Todd Brower and Steve MacIsaac (about two bear ex’s who get together for a beer) and The Voodoo You Do–So Well, by Tim Fish.
This slick, well-bound book is bargain priced at $15. And with a recommendation from Alison Bechdel (“Boy Trouble boys are my kinda boys!”), you’ll want to get your hands on a copy!
To order a copy, visit Abebooks.com.
To browse a great selection of vintage gay comics (including Gay Comix, founded by Howard Cruse), visit the Somewhere Books online store.
Welcome to First Pages on Fridays! Most Fridays, we share the first pages from a book (usually vintage), along with a bit of information about the author and the book’s history.
Today’s book is Mr. Madam: Confessions of a Male Madam by Kenneth Marlowe and published in 1964 by Sherbourne Press (Los Angeles).
Kenneth Marlowe, a female impersonator, is described on the book’s dust jacket as “queen of a beehive of pretty little homosexual slaves who brought exclusive Hollywood clientele.” Famous author Armistead Maupin once wrote of him, “I met Kenneth Marlow[e] in 1972 when he was in the process of becoming Kate Marlowe. He threw a fundraising Big Band dance at which Sally Rand (then 70) performed her famous Fan Dance under a VERY DIM blue bulb. He called the evening ‘The Ball to End All Balls.'”
Below is an alternate cover, from a later (paperback) printing.
Read these first pages from the “most startlingly candid homosexual autobiography ever written–a significant contribution to sexological literature” (again, from the book’s jacket). Enjoy!
Chapter 1: I Was a Problem
“One day is like another,” I said. “Unusual? No, I have always regarded this place as a kind of Grand Central Station West.”
The comment was prompted by the sum total of everything happening. The phone was ringing, the maid was asking who wanted cream or sugar in his coffee, someone was knocking at the door, and I was trying to explain the Service on the other phone.
“Yes, he’s young, blond and blue-eyed,” I said into the phone, waving the maid to hurry the coffee to the five young men in the living room. “And I know he’ll take good care of you. That’s right, you pay him in cash.”
I hung up the receiver and went back into the living room. The young men were eying all the furnishings. It was elegant. It was me!
My life-sized portrait hung over one of the long champagne-coloured couches. Everything about the apartment reflected the elegance that money can buy.
One of the boys was seated on my white chaise-lounge. I put my five foot five down on the end of the chaise and said, “Move your footsies, Honey, Mother needs to park her tired ass.” It wasn’t that I’d been working it, but keeping a dozen young, beautiful boys working around the clock takes more than talent. I picked up one of the cups and sipped a Cafe Royale.
“You see, my dears, business and pleasure mix well enough when you’ve been knocking around as long as Mother has.” They were new tenants in the building and one of the neighbors had called to ask if I wanted them over for coffee. They were wide-eyed. I love it.
“There’s no pay-off in this town,” I told them frankly, “and that’s quite a problem because you have to be really careful. But Mother’s been extremely cautious. Lean over, sweetheart,” I laughed, “so I can knock on wood.” Read More…
Today’s feature is The Gay Liberation Book, edited by Len Richmond and Gary Noguera and published by Ramparts Press (San Francisco) in 1973.
Basically, this book is a collection of essays, poetry, photography, and personal stories by a number of well-known authors, including William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, John Lennon, Huey Newton, Gore Vidal, Alan Watts, Perry Brass, and N.A. Diaman. It’s divided into three sections: Gay Oppression, Gay Liberation, and Beyond Gay Liberation.
The editors plainly state that they are dealing with the Gay Liberation Front specifically and not trying to cover all of gay history or every gay subgroup. If you’re not familiar the the Gay Liberation Front (GLR), a number of activist groups claimed that name, most of which were formed immediately after the Stonewall riots in 1969. This book deals with those activist groups pre-GLR, during the height of GLR activity, and after many GLR groups disbanded.
One of the essays included in the book is translated from Fuori, the first gay liberation newspaper in Italy. It states, “To make revolution you have to have one or more antagonists; if they don’t exist, you have to create them.” While that statement is undoubtedly debatable, the list of “antagonists” presented after the above statement is interesting: Read More…
[July 2013 update: Unfortunately, it appears that the blog Pulpnography no longer exists. Believe me, it was awesome.]
Today I’d like to draw your attention to a fantastic new blog called Pulpnography. The author of the blog writes:
I’m a collector of gay pulp fiction, mainly from the 1960s through the 1970s, although I [have] some earlier works as well as some novels from the early 80s. Most of the book covers depicted here are from my own collection of gay pulp novels. Look around and enjoy your stay. Remember to come back often as this is a living document, constantly changing!
Every day, a cover image from a gay pulp novel is featured, and the author has an impressive collection! Most of the covers are inadvertently hilarious and pretty high in kitsch value. Occasionally, the author also writes articles about specific authors or publishers.
In addition, the blog features a great “Bibliography” page, with a nice list of resources about gay pulp novels.
I’m looking forward to seeing how Pulpnography evolves over time; I hope you’ll check it out, too!
Below are a few of the book covers featured recently on Pulpnography:
[July 2013 Update: Unfortunately, it appears that the blog Pulpnography no longer exists. Believe me, it was awesome.]
Welcome to Sexy Saturday, a Somewhere Books series. Every Saturday (or Sunday, this week), we highlight a (usually funny or campy) vintage image or magazine. Don’t worry, it won’t be extremely graphic; but it might get kinda sexy.
This week’s images are from the August 1981 issue of In Touch for Men magazine. How nice of this young man to write a letter to his mom, for the cover of a porn-y gay magazine.
Yet, we discover inside (and in the image below) that this all-American boy is actually French-speaking. As I’ve stated before, no one was reading the words in these magazines.
Welcome to First Pages on Fridays! Every Friday, we share the first pages from a book (usually vintage), along with a bit of information about the author and the book’s history.
This week’s selection is from Willow Song by Richard Amory, published in 1974 by Freeway Press. Richard Amory is best known for his classic gay pulp/erotica novel Song of the Loon. Thanks to Arsenal Pulp Press, Song of the Loon is now readily available in a reissued edition; but Amory’s other novels have not yet received the same treatment.
Richard Amory was actually a pen name for Richard Wallace Love. As Richard Amory, he wrote at least eight gay-themed novels, including a couple of sequels to Song of the Loon.
Willow Song covers some of the same ground as Song of the Loon, but with a decidedly more fantastical and mystical bent. The back cover describes the book as a “poetic gay fantasy” and “a gay masque.” Read the following pages, and judge for yourself!
Alum Rock Park: April, 1972
Strickland knew who Wilghe was the moment he emerged from the trunk of the old willow tree, near-naked, white-skinned, and twined about with greenly shining ivy. Wilghe stood on the dappled bank above the creek, gripping the dark earth with his toes, and smiling. His skin seemed like bark at times, but wasn’t–there was no telling his age. He could have been twenty or two hundred or two thousand. Strickland smiled, and offered him a cup of water from the fountain. Wilghe drank. Rainbow droplets clung to his bronze-colored beard. Strickland drew a deep breath and sighed “Hello, my love.”
“Hello to you, Alor,” Wilghe murmured. His voice was barely distinguishable from the April wind combing down the wooded slope, and his blue-gray eyes were amused and knowing slits. “Have you been waiting a long time?”
“Yes,” Strickland answered. He didn’t know what Alor meant, but surely Wilghe did, and that was all that mattered. He gazed at the tree man’s smoothly knotted body and then away, up the sea of spring-blooming mustard on the opposite slope. Wilghe was not up there so he glanced back, at the man’s golden-hairy legs; there was a sprig of wild, blue-lavender phlox in the hair behind his ear. “Yes, a long time,” Strickland said, “but I wasn’t entirely miserable. Some days were quite nice.”
The tree man’s smile broadened at that, and he stepped carefully to the old table and helped himself to a bread stick, cocking his head at the screams of the blue jays. There were greenish shadows down the groove of his spine, and below, green shadows where his bronze-haired buttocks met muscular thighs. He crumbled a bread stick for the jays, tossing brown and white crumbs to the far side of the table, then turned back to Strickland with a flash of knowing in his eyes. Read More…
I’m having an extremely busy day, so I don’t really have time for a full post. But I wanted to share a young adult (YA) book that I recently picked up and can’t wait to start reading: Totally Joe by James Howe.
I adored James Howe’s books when I was a kid, especially Morgan’s Zoo and the Bunnicula series. Totally Joe, published in 2005, was Howe’s third YA book (following The Watcher and The Misfits; with Addie on the Inside published more recently, in 2011). James Howe has come out as gay and, in 2011, married lawyer Mark Davis.
Totally Joe is about a seventh grade boy, coming out and “coming-of-age.” I haven’t read a good YA book in a long time; and it’s been years since I read anything by James Howe. So I’m looking forward to getting started!