Sunday, August 28, 2016

(59)Sid Meets Jan

I've always said that Sid Jacobs was based on Toledo's Jan Suter. This strip illustrates it. And it's an exercise in self-censorship'.

Perhaps half a dozen people who knew Jan will read this post. We recall how open Jan was about his sex life; he noted that it pays to advertise. If he cared what other people thought about him, he knew how not to let it bother him. I on the other hand, was a freelance cartoonist who was trying to keep editors happy. That required that I not be too explicit about sex. Yes, gay bar newspapers had their limits, and Murf lost more than one subscriber who thought my cartoons too racy. I thought they were no more explicit than "Three's Company."

Jan also viewed life as a series of virginities to be lost. This became a joke. "I lost my Ring Cycle virginity when I was seventeen," he might say.

He also likened publicly acknowledging one's interest in S&M to coming out for a second time. Again, it pays to advertise. He socialized with a Midwest group called FFA. I'll give you a clue. These boys were not Future Farmers of America. And "FF" does not stand for French fries.

Here's where my self-censorship came in. In the comic strip below, where it says "leather" substitute "S&M." At the time it seemed generally assumed that leather meant S&M 75% of the time, so leather could be understood by the readers as code for S&M. Today I don't know readers would make that presumption.

Oh, Sid and the woman have just finished an opera performance. Hence the costumes.

(58) At home with strangers

This strip is a relic of the end of my bachelor days. I always felt ill-at-ease in bars, gay or otherwise. I never met anybody at a bar, never had a conversation with a stranger. If I went to a bar with a group of friends, it was okay -- although I didn't mix outside my group. Not because I was snooty, just very defensive with people I didn't know. Yes, I knew by body language and lack of eye contact were probably why I never met anybody. Take this strip as self-parody as much as a poke at gay barflies.

About the time of this strip, I met John. (Not at a bar)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

(57) Look up Cruising in the Yellow Pages

Jeff doesn't know how to use the Yellow Pages, but understands exactly where Clem would go to cruise! 

This is a continuation of the story of Jeff and Clem,  in which Jeff  falls in love with a hair stylist. That's all you need to know about the plot.

 Yes, the storyline is going on concurrently with effective cruising.

In the entire run of the comic strip this is the only time Jeff ever has a steady boyfriend.

Monday, August 15, 2016

(56) Look up, Jeff!

The strip is notable for the erotic way in which Jeff gives the parking meter an affectionate squeeze.

You've got to admit, it is a very sexy parking meter.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

(55) Jeff Learns Some Rodgers & Hart Songs

Jeff met Clem, the hairstylist. One look, and Jeff was speechless. -- How often does that happen?? We're not sure if Jeff told Clem how he felt, but he looks pretty bewitched, bothered, and bewildered. Can this be love?

And Jeff didn't even get to spend the night with him.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

(54)Jeff Falls in Love. For More Than One Night

The first Murphy's Manor story line begins.

Speaking as a writer, what's the nastiest thing I could do to Jeff, the eternal party boy?

(53) Gay Historical Figures & Thoughts on a Murf Book

Back home from Queers in Comics in May 2015. After that it was back to the routine for a week, then it was on to Chicago. After being together for 32 years, John and I got married. 

This strip continues jokes at the expense of gay revisionist history that went into some books of the 80s.

At Queers and Comics & Comics I got the same question at both panels where I presented: where can I buy a book of your work? All I had to offer was a self-published book I made in the 80s. There was a lot of Murf after that. I explained that I made a number of attempts to bring out Murf books through publishers, but most came to naught, Except Between the Sheets of course, which is still available:

After getting a Talking To by several colleagues, it seems that self-publishing has come a long way, and has become the way to get your work Out There. I'm inclined to think they're right -- time for me to produce a few Murf books. Probably about 100 strips with condensed commentary.

The first step is organize the contents of the first book. Second is to pick a self-publishing service and distribution. 

Onward. I have work to do.

August 2016: I have a collection of strips selected and am still working on layout. I want to add a series of about 15 new strips. two done,  two more partially drawn,  and a few additional scripts.

Working title: Murphy's Manor: the 30 Year Wedding.

Nag me!