Saturday, August 29, 2015

(13) "What Are You Wearing" and other true stories

True story, but not my story. 

PRO Toledo had a phone councilor line - to help community members with coming out and homophobia issues. To be a phone councilor, you had to pass a training program. I never went through it. 

Among the popular questions phone councilors got --- Where are the gay bars? How can I get hot sex in this town? and, What are you wearing? Here's my smartass answer to a stupid question.

Friday, August 28, 2015

(12) Memories of Seductive Scarves

Once more I air my views of bars. But truth to tell, through PRO and its Monday Night rap group 
(generation Xers, please apply for translation) I hung out with a group ... of friends. What a unique experience for me. 

We used to close down Scaramouche once every couple of weeks and finish the night at Steak and Eggs (Central near Douglas). My wild oats were not very plentiful and not very wild, but this was the period when I sowed what I had. 

I tolerated disco because it was just part of the scene. Fond memory: Jan Suter dancing solo-freestyle, suggestively, running his scarf seductively over the buttocks or around the torso of fellow dancers, to a rhythm that had nothing to do with the beat. Perhaps in his head he was dancing to something from Götterdämerung. 

Very likely.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

(11) But I Have a System

 Aha! Satire! 

Aimed at our community, not the world of homophobic straights for once.

Friday, August 21, 2015

(10) When Murf was Older Than I

I never liked bars. 

Instead I went to weekly coffees, or "cookie parties." I made friends there. Often the conversation was gay-camp, and favored campy humor. -- including age jokes. Looking ahead, Murf was six years older than I was.

I kept a comic strip clock with Murphy's Manor. Characters aged at one tenth the normal rate. Before long, Murf was my junior. In 1982 I could still afford age jokes.

The kid is the first appearance of Rick the Hustler. A character who shows up over the  years in different roles of surprising variety.


Friday, August 14, 2015

(9) A Simple Formula for Happiness

Even Jeff has to have a job. This strip is really kind of "non-gay" unless you chalk up working at a new age restaurant as a gay-ish lifestyle. This was Jeff's assumed but rarely mentioned job for over 20 years. Jeff's life needs are simple. Enough money to pay the rent, buy food, and pay cover fees to bars. He's in his early 20s, so what worries does he have?Life's good. Enjoy it. A paycheck is just something to help make it happen.

Still waiting for this much gentrification to reach Toledo's Old West End. A coffee shop called Black Kite starts to come close. And Pumpernickel's deli has reopened. That's the most retail the corner of Delaware & Collingwood has had in years. Retail which admittedly I don't patronize much, but it makes me feel good to know that it exists.

Monday, August 10, 2015

(8) When Size Mattered

Size jokes. Remember when? Do young gay men make jokes like that today?

Is it that we viewed size is important, or were we just fond of making size queen jokes?  In any case, we were living in a post sexual revolution era, or so we thought.  It was standard practice to talk about sex in the gay community with a frankness that would shock polite company even today.

Or do I just not know any 19 year olds? 


Saturday, August 8, 2015

(7) First in a Long Series

With this strip, Murf began its long run of syndication. Every wondered why I dropped out of apas, didn't contribute much to fanzines, and let Endeavor lapse? I was busy with Murf. One strip a week was more time consuming and more of a creative challenge than I'd expected 


This is one of the strips that I later redrew for reprint (1991). I wanted the artwork not to look like it'd been inked with a toothbrush. Drawing a weekly comic strip did a lot to improve the quality of my artwork.