KICKSTART THIS: “Hard To Swallow” Brings Smart And Sexy Back To Gay Comics
As we’ve said before, we love queer comics because they can show us imaginative new worlds, identities and relationship styles that TV and film just can’t (or won’t). While Star Wars fans are forced to imagine its characters falling in love or having sex together, comics allow heroes and villains to (ahem) come together in vivid fantasies you can actually see.
Comic artists Dave Davenport and Justin Hall understand the appeal of smart, erotic, gay comics, that’s why they created Hard to Swallow, a collection of highly sexualized strips that ran from 2006 to 2009 with compelling stories of booty-plundering mutineers, pent-up Victorian ghost hunters, punk-rock go-go dancers and even city-smashing creatures on a sexual rampage. They’ve recently amassed their previous strips — some of which even featured guest artists — and added 50 more hot and sexy pages for a full paperback edition of Hard to Swallow, a project they’re currently crowdfunding to complete.
Queer geek interviewer Eric Starker reports that Hard to Swallow‘s artists took their inspiration from early underground comics like Gay Comics and Love and Rockets, the confessional sex stories of Straight to Hell and the gei manga of Gengoroh Tagame. The result is a diverse collection of stories in different styles that stretch the imagination and excite the libido.
“Gay erotic comics were a staple in the early queer underground comics scene,” says the artists in their Kickstarter campaign. “These comics, designed to titillate, also became a way for gay artists to find and work with each other, and celebrate the sides of themselves that society wanted kept under the covers.”
Davenport and Hall are raising $15,000 for their project (which will be printed by the LGBT comics publisher Northwest Press). Donors will receive digital and physical copies of Hard to Swallow and with an upgrade to hardcover editions if the campaign raises an additional $2,500. Donating could literally get your hands on a piece of 21st century gay erotic art, full of stories too hot and strange to be told anywhere else.