Aug 19, 2017

Four Color Beefcake and Bonding

When I was a kid, my comic book buying budget was limited, but when I started making my own money in the late 1970s, the extra income allowed a thorough investigation of the back issue bins at the Comics Cave, and I expanded my beefcake and bonding library with Dell's Four Color Comics.

It was a series of one-shots, each issue dedicated to a different movie, cartoon, tv series, or comic strip character, over a thousand between 1942 and 1962.  The range was staggering.  Here's a brief selection: Donald Duck, Tilly the Toiler, Roy Rogers, Flash Gordon, Harold Teen, Tarzan, Fearless Fagan,  I Love Lucy, Gunsmoke, Captain Kangaroo, Johnny Jason Teen Reporter.

I was looking for beefcake or bonding covers, like this Leave it to Beaver (FC 1191, 1961).   It showed Wally and the Beaver (Tony Dow, Jerry Mathers) considerably younger than they would have been in 1961, in a romantic pose, sharing a soda (one soda, two straws) while Beaver rests his hand lightly on Wally's thigh?

Tonka (FC 966, 1958) came out at the same time as the 1958 movie, with gay teen idol Sal Mineo as a bicep-bulging Native American (Tonka was his horse).

But this Spin and Marty comic (FC 1026, 1959), with Marty's hand placed tenderly on Skip's shoulder, was released after the series ended.

Often the characters were completely unrecognizable, relics of the distant past.  Who on Earth was this blond, muscular Curly Kayoe (FC 871, 1957) boxing with a barefoot hunk?  Turns out that boxers were heroes during the 1930s and 1940s, and Curly Kayoe, like Joe Palooka, rated his own comic strip (1945-61) and comic book (1946-50). (Kayoe means "Knock Out.")  He didn't seem to have a girlfriend, but he did have a youthful ward named Davy, Robin to his Batman, who took over the strip in 1961.

Or Clint and Mac (FC 889, 1958)?  Turns out that Kurt Russell didn't play Disney's only American adventurer abroad.  In 1957-58, The Mickey Mouse Club featured a serial about the American Clint (Neil Wolfe), the one in the crew cut and extremely tight jeans, who visits Britain and buddy-bonds with Mac (Jonathan Bailey), the one in the beanie and striped tie.

Their adventure involves catching the thieves who stole an original manuscript of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. They also encounter a street gang, drive a car, and go to a birthday party for Prince Charles.  Both actors vanished from show business soon thereafter, and the serial has never been released on DVD, so without the comic it would have vanished completely.

Or Johnny Yuma, the Rebel (FC 1136, 1960), who shoots one gun and holds another, and wears a Confederate uniform (minus the shirt)?

Turns out that The Rebel (1959-1961) was a Western about Johnny Yuma, an ex-Confederate who wanders around the Old West with his shirt off.  Johnny was played by gay actor Nick Adams, who hung out with a crowd of barely-closeted gay actors, many discovered by gay agent Henry Willson (others included Guy Madison, James Dean,  Lee Patterson, Anthony Perkins, and Van Williams).

Aug 18, 2017

Fill Your Beefcake Quota with "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul"

Fans are upset because the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie, The Long Hall (2017), doesn't star Zachary Gordon or Devon Bostick.

Come on, the guy is 19 years old and buffed.  Do you really want him playing the 11-year old wimp Greg Heffley?

Jason Drucker, seen here with "Rowley" Owen Aztalos, is really 11 years old.  A better choice.

And actor/model Charlie Wright as sarcastic older brother Rodrick has some beefcake potential that Devon Bostick didn't.

Plus there are many other opportunities for physique-watching.  Hot tubs, showers, swimming pools.  Check out Tom Everett Scott, who played Johnny Galecki's boyfriend on stage, as Dad.

It's a road movie, so the usual junior high nightmares take a back seat to hotel and roadside-amusement nightmares and Greg's quest to meet Mac Digby, the creator of his favorite video game, plus an ongoing antagonist, Mr. Beardo (Chris Coppola).  He gets a shower AND a hot tub scene.

No heteronormative "boy meets girl" preteen romance, only minimal homophobic anxiety-jokes -- in that regard, it's far superior to its predecessors.

Unfortunately, it eschews plot development for scatological jokes and seeing how much abuse Greg's body can take -- it takes a lot. I suggest renting the DVD and going through on fast forward.

See also: Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Penis Sighting at a Chinese Restaurant

Rock Island, May 1974

When I was growing up in Rock Island in the 1960s and 1970s, there were no Chinese restaurants  in town.  I knew only a little about Chinese food:

1. On a 1967 episode of The Andy Griffith Show where Andy and his sidekick Barney go to a Chinese restaurant.  Andy orders a steak, a baked potato, and green beans, but Barney is so stupid that he actually orders from the menu, and receives platesful of disgusting horrors.

2. My mother's cookbook, Meals with a Foreign Flair, offered a Chinese meal: chow mein, cucumber salad, asparagus, and fortune cookies.

3. Chinese food was cooked and served by Chinese men.  I had never met anyone of Chinese ancestry before, except for the mysterious boy that Bill and I played with a long time ago.

I hadn't even seen many guys of Chinese ancestry!  But doubtless they were amazingly attractive.

With tree-trunk penises!

When I was in eighth grade at Washington Junior High, a Chinese restaurant, the Mandarin Kitchen, opened in the Quad Cities.

I was anxious to go, but it was across the river in Davenport, Iowa. I wasn't allowed to cross the river by myself.  Besides, no buses went over, and it was too far to walk.

My parents wouldn't take me:

"It's too expensive," Dad said.

"And you wouldn't like it," Mom added.  "I had Chinese food once, in Long Beach.  It was awful!  What's wrong with Harris Pizza?"

 Then I thought of my birthday excursion!

My birthday is in November, when everything fun is closed, so every May I got a "birthday trip": I could invite two or three friends to go anywhere I wanted in the Quad Cities.  We went to Mother Goose Land (it's not as lame as it sounds), the Niabi Zoo, the Putnam Museum, the "Little Bit O' Heaven" at Palmer College.  Why not go out to lunch at the Mandarin Kitchen?

I invited Dan and Darry, my boyfriend and my best friend, plus my brother by default and Peter, the only Asian guy at Washington Junior High.  He was of Japanese ancestry, not Chinese, but I thought he might give us an air of authenticity, so we wouldn't look like tourists.

On a Saturday in May, shortly before the streaking incident, Dad drove us across the Centennial Bridge and into Davenport.  We turned down River Drive and drove through a rather seedy neighborhood, past shabby office buildings, taverns, tattoo parlors, and the Col Ballroom where sinners went dancing, until finally we reached the Mandarin Kitchen.

The uncensored story, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Aug 17, 2017

Oliver Hooks Up with Andy Taylor and Opie

West Hollywood, September 1985

I've been in California for only a couple of months, but I'm completely star struck!  I've met Michael J. Fox, Scott Valentine, Robin Williams, Dean Paul Martin, Chris Makepeace -- I can't even keep track  -- and heard about a lot more.

I'm asking every guy I meet about the celebrities they dated or tricked with.  Sylvester Stallone, Scott Baio, Rob Lowe, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ted Danson...I could write a book!

It's the morning after my date with Artie, a chubby older guy with weird rings and gold chains around his neck, reeking of cologne -- not at all my type.  I just accepted the date because I thought he would have a lot of celebrity dating stories (he didn't).

While Artie is frying bacon and eggs, his roommate comes out of the bedroom.  Naked.

A black guy in his mid-30s, slim, short black hair, round face, bleary-eyed.  His thin Kielbasa+ semi-aroused!

I'm not used to seeing naked roommates, especially ones who are cuter than the guy I'm on a date with, and I flash him a cruisy smile.  Artie notices and frowns with obvious jealousy.

"Boomer, this is Oliver.  He was just leaving."

"Pleased to meet cha," Oliver says.  He crosses over to the kitchen and pours himself a cup of coffee, then sits at the table, his knee "accidentally" pressing against mine.  "Are you in the business?  I'm an agent -- Cloris Leachman is one of my clients.  I definitely could get you some work."

Before I can answer, Artie brings over the bacon and eggs on a plate and squeezes in between us, trying to defuse the cruise.  "Boomer's studying Renaissance Italian at USC,  He can speak five languages.  He's not into anything so low-brow as movies."

 "Actually, we were just talking about celebrity dating stories," I tell him.  "You must have some good stories."

"I'm afraid Oliver doesn't have time to..."

"I got plenty of time, bro."  He thinks for a moment.  "How about this one: the very first big stars I ever got down my throat.  Andy Griffith."

"No way!" I exclaim.  Not The countrified hick of No Time for Sergeants!  The harbinger of conservative American "just plain folks" values on The Andy Griffith Show, about a small-town Southern sheriff in the days when folk loved Law and Order just as much as Aunt Bee's prize-winning apple pie!

"Please!" Artie exclaims.  "He trained to become a Moravian minister, and released an album of Country Gospel songs.  No way he's gay!"

"Well, maybe not gay for white boys, but definitely into dark meat."

Hollywood, September 1970

Oliver wanted to be a dancer as long as he could remember.  When he was only fifteen, he was dancing on American Bandstand and on The Swinging Times Review at the Palm Theater in Detroit.  After high school, he enrolled in the Dayton Dance Academy, but after a year he dropped out and moved to Hollywood, where he crashed with a friend and made the rounds of auditions.

In the summer of 1970, his lithe physique landed him a walk-on role on The Headmaster (1970-1971), with 44-year old Andy Griffith trying to escape country-hick typecasting by playing the headmaster of an elite private school in California.  Oliver played a track star who jostled his buddy and said something like "Dig the cool cat."

Just one line in an annoying jive -- did the writers really think that Afro-Americans talked like Sambo? -- and Andy Griffith wasn't even in the scene.  But Oliver saw him watching all during the taping, and figured he must be doing something right.

Sure enough, he was immediately cast in the next episode, as Normie in "The Experiment."  This time he had a whole conversation with the Headmaster, and a hand-on-shoulder moment that, for some reason, took a dozen takes -- Andy kept flubbing his lines and laughing.

The next day Andy called Oliver's agent and asked him to come to his house to discuss "making Normie an ongoing character."

This was rather unusual, but he figured, big stars are eccentric.  And he had the chance to play an ongoing character in a show that was sure to run for years!  So on Saturday he drove out to the house in Beverly Hills.

The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Aug 16, 2017

Extreme Bodybuilding: When Your Biceps are Bigger than Your Head

There are many theories about why most people find muscular male bodies beautiful.

1. They represent health and vitality.

2. Their strength suggests sexual potency.

3. They are able to protect us from a dangerous world.

4. They suggest the wealth necessary to spend hours at the gym.

The ideal male physique displays symmetry and definition, with every muscle group visible.  The muscles should be big, but not so big that they stand out, calling attention to themselves and ruining the symmetry.

Some guys, however, prefer size to symmetry.  A combination of genetics, over-training, and steroids lead to huge over-development of some muscle groups.

The biceps and triceps are particularly easy to over-train.  When your bicep is bigger than your head and your triceps look like goiters, the symmetry of your physique is ruined.

Where does the tricep end and the chest begin?

If this isn't photoshopped, this guy has over-developed his trapezius, biceps, triceps, and calves.

That's got to be photoshopped.

Why do they do it?  According to extreme bodybuilder Greg Valentino, it's about the challenge, about getting as big as they possibly can.

Who cares about symmetry? Who cares about physical attractiveness?  Who cares about what other bodybuilders think?

Size is all that matters.

Aug 15, 2017

The Bygone Boys of Lake City, Tennessee

I was interested in this photograph from the Bygone Boys tumblr blog, originally from the Tennessee State Library Department of Conservation: two boys with nearly identical faces, one shirtless, facing each other.

The caption says that they are Frank and Bill Burton of Lake City, Tennessee, with their pet deer Bucky, July 1952.

Here's another picture of Bill Burton and Bucky.

There's another picture in the archive of Mrs. William Charles Burton outside her cabin near Norris Dam, with her sons Dan Ray (age 6) and Joe Mack (age 3) and their pet deer "Bucky."  Photo taken in June 1952.

I'm guessing they're Frank and Bill's cousins (not brothers -- Dan Ray's obituary doesn't mention them).

That deer really got around.

Lake City, Tennesee, about 25 miles north of Knoxville, was originally named Coal Creek.  It became Lake City in 1936, after the construction of the Norris Dam created Norris Lake.  In 2014 it changed its name to Rocky Top, to take advantage of the popular country-western song which glamorizes moonshine, wild sex, and shooting outsiders (also used as the University of Tennessee fight song).

William Burton is a very common name, so the only other likely piece of information I could find about him was from the Lakeville Town Crier in 1956: he had been transferred from Fairbanks to Nome, Alaska.

He was about 20 years old.  There was no U.S. military base in Nome in 1956, so what job did he have that got him a transfer?

After that, the leads dry up.

But I did find Joe Mack Burton, Bill's "cousin," living in Moose Pass, Alaska, a town of 200 on the Kenai Peninsula, consisting of a few lodges,  restaurants, and a "Trading Post."

In those days you often moved to where you had relatives to stay with.  So apparently when Joe Mack grew up, after his older brother died, he followed his older cousin Bill to Alaska, where they went camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing, and maybe opened a hunting lodge.

No wives are listed for either of them.  Doubtless they preferred the world of men.

The Kid Named Moosie

How could you not like a kid named Moosie?

Born in 1964, Moosie Drier was a force to be reckoned with during the 1970s and 1980s.

1. He appeared everywhere.  He had recurring roles a kid-regular on the hip variety show Laugh-In (1971-73) and as Howard Borden's son on The Bob Newhart Show (1972-77).   Plus guest shots on The Waltons, Adam-12, Police Story, Chips, the A-Team, and Hunter. Plus movies: American Hot Wax, Homeward Bound, Hollywood Knights.

2. He was well-known to kids, due to his string of after-school specials, weekend specials, school break specials, and special treats (short, "relevant" dramas aimed at a preteen or early teen audience).  Unfortunately, though sometimes his characters are gay-vague, more often they are paired with a girl..

 Runaway (1974): a streetwise boy assists a runaway teenage girl.
Hewitt's Just Different (1977): a teenage boy befriends a mentally retarded peer.
 If I'm Lost, How Come I Found You? (1978): a runaway orphan finds a surrogate Dad.
The House at 12 Rose Avenue (1980), with Chris Petersen: a white boy befriends a black family.
Student Court (1985): a student court tries a shoplifter.

3. He was especially well-known to gay kids, because of cute smile, cool hair, and total inability to keep his shirt on.

4. He was well-known to adults because he worked with nearly every comedy legend in the business, including George Burns, Tim Conway, Cloris Leachman, Jay Leno, and Dean Jones. And those he didn't work with, he played: Mickey Rooney in Rainbow (1978).

5. He remains especially well known to gay adults, because of his frequent voice over and dialogue work on gay-friendly projects such as American Beauty (1999) and 40 Days and 40 Nights (2002).

Some of his recent work includes The Book of Life (which sounds like a fundamentalist Christian tract, but is actually a heroic fantasy), The Comeback Kids (about former child stars), and The Fur is Gone (behind the scenes at the Actors Co-Op in Hollywood).

He's also been doing theater, including Tennessee Williams' gay-subtext Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Here's a 2016 photo.  He's with Erin Murphy of Bewitched at a Christmas tree decorating benefit for A Minor Consideration.

I don't know if Moosie is gay or not, but there's no wife listed on imdb or wikipedia.

Making Friends Through Sex on the Plains

There were about 3000 gay clubs and organizations in West Hollywood, but I wasn't much of a joiner.

I went to a few meetings of Black and White Men Together, but they had a strict rule against cruising -- no asking for the phone numbers of any members.  To keep out the fetishists, probably.  But if you couldn't meet people, what was the point?

Idid a few meetings of Asian-Pacific Gay Men and Friends, but it was all about fetishists, white guys looking for soft, passive Asian trophy boys.

Alan dragged me to a group for gay dads, but it wasn't "older gay guys and their admirers," it was actual dads, men who had been in sexual relationships with women and thereby become biological fathers, discussing mostly child custody issues (in the 1990s courts usually refused visitation for gay parents, assuming that the child would be in danger of turning gay).

And that was all.  Who had time to join anything? I was working three jobs, going to school, and spending two hours per day at the gym.

Besides, I was meeting all the guys I could handle for dating and sex at church, at the gym, and at the bars.  For friendship too, of course, but friends were always guys you had dated, and their current partners.  There was no such thing as a friend that you hadn't gone down on.

New York was no different.  Classes, jobs, a two hour commute.  Besides, I could meet guys while walking down the street -- why join anything?

In Florida, I tried Frontrunners, but who wants to drive all the way into Fort Lauderdale to run outside in 90-degree weather?  Especially since they're not really naked.

Then I moved to the Straight World.  No gay neighborhood.  No gay bars.  Almost everybody you pass on the street or see at the gym or in church is heterosexual.   And when you do meet a gay guy, all of his friends are straight.  And he's planning to move out of town next month.  Where do you meet gay men?

1. The university's LGBT employee group, which met monthly at various area bars. First meeting: six lesbians, two very stuck up gay men, and me ("You're from California?  How can you stand it?  It's so superficial and tacky!").

Second meeting: four lesbians, one very stuck up gay man, and me.  Third meeting: three lesbians and me.  No fourth meeting.

2. The Plains Gay Alliance monthly happy hour, which met monthly at various area bars.  First meeting: twelve lesbians, a gay man, his hag bff, and me.  I didn't go again.

3. I started my own Plains Gay Men's Social Club, which met monthly at various area restaurants.  First meeting: Six gay men and me. Second meeting: Three gay men and me.  Third meeting: Me.

"You can't get gay guys in the Plains to come out for a social group," one of them said.  "They socialize with their straight friends.  They want to meet other gay guys for dating and sex."

And, to be honest, that's why I joined Black and White Men Together, the Asian-Pacific Gay Men and Friends, and Frontrunners -- to met guys for dating and sex.  And friendship, of course, but friends were always guys you had dated or hooked up with.


4. The biweekly M4M Party.  It's open to bi and downlow guys, too, of course, but a lot of gay men attend.  Conversation and snacks, then sex.

The full post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Aug 14, 2017

Joe Dempsie: From Gay Skin to Gladiator

The two boys checking out each others' packages are Chris and Max (Joe Dempsie, Mitch Hewer) of the British teen drama Skin (2004-2007), which was controversial for its portrayal of teenage nudity, and sex.  Max is gay, and Chis is straight, but a sexual opportunist, up for anything that will help him accomplish his devious plans.

The actors are friends in real life, both Straight but Not Narrow.  Mitch Hewer has played gay characters several times, and Joe has played a gay teenager in the British radio play Once Upon a Time (2010), and several gay-subtext characters.

1. Clive on an episode of Doctor Who.

2. Will, an old friend of Merlin's

The villain John in The Fades is heterosexual, but at least he gets naked.

From 2010 to 2013 he played Gendry in the heroic fantasy series Game of Thrones.   He didn't expressed any romantic interest in anyone for many episodes, giving gay fans the opportunity to "read" him as gay.  But it was a "tease."  Gendry eventually fell in love with a woman.

Philipp Danne: Teen Horror Hunk

Born in 1985, Philipp Danne is well-known in Germany as a hunk with a chiseled physique who specializes in horror movies: his characters encounter zombies and monsters, a virus that turns you into a zombie, and a few psycho-slashers.

  Hunks in horror movies usually spend so much time falling in love with women before, during, and after the crisis that men are either irrelevant or competitors, but Philipp seems to be surrounded by male friends instead.  And he's had time for a few especially intense gay subtexts in his non-horror related roles:

Klaus, best friend of class bully Diego (Martin Dimant) in The School Trip (2004).

Robert Greinier, the high school swimmer who competes with Rico (Fredrick Lau) and is killed in Freischwimmer (2007).

I haven't seen the Finnish film Black Ice (2007), about a heterosexual romantic triangle, but rumor has it that Philipp plays a gay-vague character (not one of the triangle participants).

Der Mann auf dem Baum (2011): about unmarried father Hans (Jan Josef Liefers) buddy-bonding with the college student Martin (Philipp) after they collide in a skateboarding accident.  They team up to prevent Hans' son from being taken away to Denmark.

And that's not including his tv work.

Aug 13, 2017

Lion Boy's Incredible Changing Age

Not the boy from L'Enfant Lion (1993), a movie directed by  Patrick Grandperret.  This is a weird Tarzan clone from the Golden Age of comic books.  He appeared in 16 issues of Hit Comics between 1940 and 1942, but never got a cover.

Lion Boy has a traditional Tarzan back story: parents killed when their plane crashed in the jungle, raised by lions. Ok, he was raised by lions -- that's why he wears a leopard skin loincloth (sometimes).

How long ago was that plane crash, exactly?  Lion Boy varies tremendously in size.  Sometimes he stands waist-high to the adults, and sometimes he's taller.

And in muscularity: sometimes he's buffed, sometimes not.

And in hair and loincloth-color.

Not just betwen stories: between panels.  Here he seems to have aged from about 6 to about 16 in ten seconds.

Now he is a tall, slim young adult, and his loincloth has changed into yellow shorts.

George Tuska (1916-2009) wrote the script under the pen name Merton Holmes.  He worked on many classic books, including Crime Does Not Pay, Captain Marvel, The Incredible Hulk, Ka-Za, Superboy, The Teen Titans, and Iron Man.

Guess he was too busy to use a model sheet.