The Statue’s Breath

watercolor sketch of a golden-hued humanoid robot fashioned after a muscular male

Appearing in the anthology I Like Robots
Available August 2022

There’s always a danger you’ll fall in love with your work. Dr. Simon Galatea, a renowned but deeply embittered, archeologist does just that. When the story opens, he is at work excavating the find of a lifetime: the remnants of what appear to be a genuine alien robot.

Concept sketch of the robot. 16 in x 12 in, watercolor on paper.

Appearing in:
I Like Robots: A Chidrawgo Magazine Graphic Anthology

170+ pages of robot comics, illustrations, and beyond from over 40 indie creators coming at you this fall!

Stay tuned for updated on where to get your hands on some robot action.

Move Better, Draw Better

Your physique is not a product, or even a goal, it’s a process. One that never stops changing. Approaching physique as process has changed my relationship with my body and shifted my approach from one of desperately trying to achieve a single, static and perfect appearance to an open-ended exploration of movement.

What does this have to do with art, you ask? Paradoxically, understanding movement more deeply (like as lived, embodied experience) helps to capture it in the static images I create as an artist. This makes the pursuit of movement a benefit to both health and creative practice. Physiques crafted through intense movement and skill also happen to be more appealing to me. Your mileage may vary.

I’m a lover, not a fighter

But damn, fighters do have the most amazing physiques! If one wants that physique, without pummeling people and profuse bleeding, what’s a body to do? Enter calisthenics! Or aerial, dance, gymnastics, certain styles of yoga, and quite a few other options, I’m sure. Basically, think outside the gym.

Like so many well-indoctrinated gays, I treated the gym as temple and religious obligation. This went on, not without some benefit, for decades. Then, the pandemic happened and they all closed. I went back briefly when they started re-opening. But, when poor old Astral Fitness (where I belonged for years) went out of business, I decided it was time to shake things up. I had been slowly sampling and adding things beyond the weights/cardio dogma for years. Dropping yet another aspect of outdated gay culture was surprisingly easy.

Briefly, my current routine mixes qi gong, yoga, and calisthenics, either at home or in nearby parks. (Exercising outside is glorious!) There have been a few other interesting things along the way, too. It’s a perpetual work-in-progress derived from a variety of sources and a great deal of self-reflection. You must chart your own path by finding your ideal companions for the journey. Mine will not necessarily be the same as yours. Enjoy the journey.

And remember, you are what you eat, so give a thought to that, too.

A thotful himbo

Getting outside the gym, literally and figuratively, freed up my thinking about health and physique, freed up my body and, believe it or not, freed up my art, too. Shifting my health routines to be more playful and expressive has added more fluidity to my figure drawing. It’s helped me better remember and visualize anatomical details while drawing. And if I’m really feeling it, I have the wherewithal to try out some ambitious poses for myself to both feel and see the reference.

The formula is simple: move better, draw better.

Cover photo: Jonathan Borba/Unsplash; the rest is all me.

The world is too damn straight!

two handsome men kissing

Drop your email in the box and get my Queer Quantum Dispatch, immerse yourself in geeky particles of male beauty and gay joy so you never have to feel left out or invisible. (And can take those reruns of Will & Grace off of repeat…)

Got a favorite routine, health hottie, or wanna show off? Drop your comments below…

Exclusively Queer?

I have written, and said a few times, semi-earnestly “don’t make characters straight unless you have to”—or words to that effect. Yes, there is irony at work. But there’s something deeper to it. Buried in the snark is also a question: is it okay to focus my work entirely on the queer?

The scales of representation still skew heavily to the straight, white, and cisgendered. People that don’t check off those boxes—or just aren’t that interested in seeing more of the same—are made to feel less than. Made to feel invisible. Told we don’t belong and our stories aren’t worth telling.

That shit hurts. Always has, always will.

When you start to engage with the cishet power brokers and gatekeepers, pundits and pontificators, you’ll often get the well-intentioned advice to straighten it up or go nowhere.

Why do these gatekeepers speak with such authority? How do they actually know? In fact, the runaway success and glorious Black representation of Black Panther and Into the Spiderverse suggest a different story. Is there perhaps a hunger out there for diversity? Will my queer stories tap into that hunger? Could I instead find success because of the queerness of the work, not in spite of it?

If I choose a path ahead that is primarily, even exclusively, producing queer-focused work, I will definitely leave behind the dominant corporate content structures. It’s a scary but exhilarating thought, in a stick-it-to-the-man kinda way.

Those structures, offering the illusion of security and success, are layered in centuries of heteronormative and white supremacist suppression. Are they really salvageable? Suppose I toed the line, played it straight, worked by butt off and somehow managed to “get in” without totally losing myself. Then what? Is there any possibility of change from within? Enough to really make a difference?

Perhaps, but I chose a different path. It will be an interesting adventure. I hope you’ll follow along.

Cover photo: Dominik Lalic / Unsplash

The world is too damn straight!

two handsome men kissing

Drop your email in the box and get my Queer Quantum Dispatch, immerse yourself in geeky particles of male beauty and gay joy so you never have to feel left out or invisible. (And can take those reruns of Will & Grace off of repeat…)

What kinds of questionable advice have you been given about navigating a world that wants to you disappear? Drop your comments below…

Of course he’s looking

2021, 14 in. x 11 in.
Casein on paper
$200, unframed

Alright everybody, hit the showers!

This scene is inspired by the at once highly erotic and highly restrained ritual of group showering—usually in hyper-masculine settings. But it’s also a rare opportunity, in American society, at least, when men can both freely see and be seen.

Appears in the forthcoming book Shower with Affection, vol. 2, from Raw Meat Collective.

If you’re interested in purchasing this work, or just have questions, hit the button below to send me an email. I also have DMs open on Instagram and Twitter, if that’s your jam.

Thicc of Heart

Some recent reading of Kickstarted goodies got me thinking about muscles. Like I ever stop. What was I reading? Well, since you ask: Comrade Himbo, an anthology by POMEgranate Magazine and Beef Bros by Aubrey Sitterson and Tyrell Cannon. Both books put some beefy physiques front and center (bring it on!) but more than that, we get big heart with our big biceps. The courage, generosity, and compassion of these folks are just as well developed.

Beef Bros, art by Tyrell Cannon
Comrade Himbo, art by Mengmeng Liu

Upon reflection, I started wondering about the various associations we make, nearly automatically, when it comes to physique—especially the carefully cultivated beefy variety. Too often we expect (or experience) some combo of dumb, mean, and vain.

How did we come to a place where physique is the realm of toxic masculinity?

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of bullshit, our should I say broshit, in our society that feeds this. Walk into just about any gym anywhere in the US and you’ll see (or experience) some instance of broshit going on. Social media is a minefield of greed, trolling, and misinformation. Advertising and mass media are exercises in pure exploitation. In the midst of all this insanity, what’s a would-be beefy body to do?

The two books above, and dare I say my own work, show some alternatives. I hope some glimmer of a more enlightened thiccness reaches the denizens of the gym, calisthenics parks, trainers and fitness gurus, the fitness media, and all the purveyors of the toxic broshit. We seriously need it. Let’s grow more than just the biceps and traps, let’s grow our hearts as well! Let’s encourage and support everyone, no matter where they are on their fitness and physique journeys.

In fact, it’s actually happening in Oakland as we speak. Here’s a glimpse of the future I’d like to see.

Cover photo: Charles Gaudreault

The world is too damn straight!

two handsome men kissing

Drop your email in the box and get my Queer Quantum Dispatch, immerse yourself in geeky particles of male beauty and gay joy so you never have to feel left out or invisible. (And can take those reruns of Will & Grace off of repeat…)

Got some recommended reads, workouts, or places to move your fabulous body? Drop them in the comments below…