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May 2005

Gotham City NAMBLA Art Show

Yeah, it's a clichÉ to dredge up the homoeroticism of the Batman/Robin relationship, but I still get a kick out of seeing it done well, especially when there's something more than a cheap laugh driving the images. Artist Mark Chamberlain made a lewd and lovely set of watercolor drawings that connect the dots between Golden Age comics and Bel Ami videos, as portayed by the Impressionists. Saucy, but yet sweet.

Robin and Batman sitting in a tree

So do you think that’s Dick, Jason, or Tim?

Faustus on Parade

Now that our dear Faustus has come out of the closetagain — there seems to be no stopping the publicity juggernaut for his delightful new book, Gay Haiku (which you already know about, I’m sure). I just hope the dear doctor is ready to fulfill his end of the dark bargain when it comes time to pay. I shudder to think what he must have offered in trade for all the talent he's showing off these days.

Super Bad Boy

Rob Clarke's Super Rollins

I had the pleasure of finally meeting illustrator Rob Clarke, and picking up a signed print of this illustration he did for Unzipped magazine. It's a drawing of Henry Rollins, but as far as I’m concerned it's everything I really love about Connor Kent taken to an extreme.

If you don't know Rob's work, you have to check it out. It's smart and funny and mischievous and hot, and someone needs to hook him up with a writer and get him working on some comics before it's too late! His illustrations already tell great stories, but I would love to see where he could go with a longer format.

Zum Stammtisch!

The Jolly German at Zum Stammtisch

For Alex's bachelor party two weeks ago, we dragged ourselves all the way out to Zum Stammtisch, home of the best German food in New York. (Especially since Yorkville and its plethora of German restaurants has pretty much ceased to exist.) It's way the hell out in the middle of Queens, but it's totally worth the effort to get there. Mark found it by accident years ago when we first lived together in Bushwick, and it's a crime that we waited a full seven years to get ourselves back for a second visit.

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Weddings and WYSIWYG

PJ rehearsingIn all the hubbub of last weekend, I never actually got a chance to report on all the goings on. My absurdly slow recovery was put to the test not only by a rare visit from my pal PJ, but also by a beautiful, debauched, overnight trip to New Haven for my pal Alex's wedding to his lovely bride, Tess.

PJ, of course, was in town for this month's WYSIWYG show (and shame on you for not going!), and the first chance he and I have ever had to see one another for more than a few hours at a shot. We had a swell, subdued couple of days to hang, thanks to a combination of weather, my stitches, fatigue from my sleepless night in New Haven, and our low-impact personalities. My tender abs could have done without our trip to MOMA and subsequent stroll down to the West Village, but I suppose I’m willing to suffer for art and good company.

Alex and Tess had already gotten married justice-of-the-peace style back in October, but now that the INS is off their backs they wanted to do it properly. And that they did, with a perfectly lit afternoon ceremony in an austere little white chapel followed by a swankified shindig at the New Haven Country Club. Mark and the other fellas successfully talked me into sticking around for the all-night bender back at their hotel, which finally ended at 4 a.m. when the gents all passed out and I hopped the first train back to New York. (I wisely grabbed a cat nap at some point, so I had just enough rest to compete with their drunken energy for most of the wee hours.) Pictures of the more presentable moments of the event below:

Tess and Alex, perfectly lit
Marc Lynn, catalog model Jay and Mark blow
Tom IS the best man Alex demurely giggles
Agnes and Elke cut a rug Marty has Mark's full attention
Tess and Alex, officially wed


You knew there'd be pictures right?

appendix scar

Sperm of Steel

As a sci-fi writer, Larry Niven is the type who likes to extrapolate the problems and possibilities of a gimmick. Taken to an extreme, that leads to things like the Ringworld series. In smaller doses, you get really, really fun things like this 1971 essay about the dangers of Superman actually landing his Kryptonian rocket in Lois Lane's hangar deck. A sample:

The problem is this. Electroencephalograms taken of men and women during sexual intercourse show that orgasm resembles "a kind of pleasurable epileptic attack." One loses control over one's muscles. Superman has been known to leave his fingerprints in steel and in hardened concrete, accidentally. What would he to to the woman in his arms during what amounts to an epileptic fit?

HX Site of the Week

Hey, did anyone catch this? The May 27 issue of New York City's HX magazine featured a write-up about the Poseable Thumbs:


G.I. Joe Type ISO Same

Handcuffed studs, boot-licking slaves, leather-clad muscle queens — sounds like that notorious party at the old Lure, but this web site is different in one critical respect: The men are all six-inch-tall [actually, they're all twelve inches] action figures. "I’ve heard from a lot of guys who used to have their own G.I. Joes act out their burgeoning sexual fantasies — and a lot of guys who are surprised to find themselves so turned on by the photos I’ve taken," says Pete Handler, the site's New York-based photographer and designer. Indeed, the various clever scenes — of fisting, bondage, gangbangs and more — could easily be mistaken for commercial pornography. All the pictures are for sale, along with a book of them, and you can send in your own suggestions of storylines or poses you'd like Handler to shoot, which fits in perfectly with his master plan. "I’m trying to get people's circuits to cross," he says, "almost daring them to see how much about what turns them on is in their imagination." — Jonah Tully

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The 9th Winged Division

For the record, I am totally pro-Thanagar. Of course, I’m a classic- bleeding-heart liberal so I don't actually endorse the current Rann-Thanagar hostilities, but Hawkman and his hairy chest are way hotter than Adam Strange's wimpy father-in-law, so if I’m forced to choose it's a no-brainer.

Mmmmmm, Thanagarian beefcake

Brushes with Fame

OK, so I finally got sucked into Lost about halfway through the season, and I’m getting all worked up as the season finale approaches. I was feeding the frenzy by reading through this post over at my favorite TV blog, thinking how much I agree with the idea that Yunjin Kim has turned out to be one of my favorites on the show. So I follow that link to her bio, and it all clicks into place: Staten Island, the High School of Performing Arts, Boston University.

Yup, I knew her in high school, when my pal Scott and I started hanging out with her and some of her friends on the ferry. And went to college with her, too, although I never realized that even though we would have spent every day in the same building with one another for about three years.

Me and Yunjin, circa 1985

So there's yet another brush with Hollywood fame to add to my collection: Yunjin, Eddie, Gwyneth, Queer as Folk's Peter Paige (same scholarship program at the same college), and a handful of others who've ascended to varying degrees of success in the Biz.

And then we have Joel and Paul with their published works (that goddamn Eddie once published a book, too), and an assortment of other good friends who have gone on to do interesting, productive, and often successful things. Jerks.

I’m not bragging about what fab-u-luxe, glamorous people I know. (I do, but that’s all beside the point, and their charms owe nothing to me.) No, I’ve just been feeling for a while now that I’ve really squandered a lot of my potential. I haven't done all that much with all the imagination I’ve nurtured or skill I’ve amassed. I haven't produced all that much or achieved all that much, even though there are all sorts of things I do well. I’ve cut myself off at the pass a number of times, and those decisions have been weighing on me. I’ve done things of which I’m proud, but they've been more modest than I would have liked, or than they could have been. Maybe the trouble is that I’ve been more modest than I would have liked, and have neglected to push myself along the way I might have. Maybe sliding into relative poverty for the next year or so will give me a good kick in the pants. The frustration could be just what I need.

Unless it paralyzes me with misery. We'll see, eh?

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Seven Minutes in Heaven

I was a weenie and a wallflower as a youngster (and once again, I’ve come to realize), so I never got involved in all the typical party shenanigans that sex-crazed adolescents supposedly stumble into. But now I finally get my Seven Minutes in Heaven with a really hot chick.

A Jones for Desolation


Yes, it does, don't you think? Man, I loved the first issue of Desolation Jones so much that I was gasping for air when I finished reading it. It's funny and dirty and fucked up, which is my passport to happiness.

What's even better is knowing that Warren Ellis enjoys following his bizarre ideas to their conclusion. Grant Morrison, for instance, is another crazy-plot-point factory, but he's more likely to just throw down nutty ideas left and right to set the scene rather than to gather them all up and deliver the punch line. What makes me more excited by the first issue of something similar by Warren Ellis is knowing that these freaky tidbits usually lead somewhere. Anarchy is fun, sure, but when it comes to storytelling it lacks payoff. I can't wait to see how Desolation Jones ties together the Hitler porn, the visions of angels, LA's secret intelligence underground, and whetever else comes our way during this mini. Wheeeeeeee! Let the fun begin!


Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, I discover that they're making a TV miniseries based on one of my all-time favorite movies (for reasons both high and low), The Poseidon Adventure. That could've been a bad enough idea on its own (because you don't fuck with a classic, OK?), but they managed to make it worse. This time, the ship isn't capsized by a tidal wave — it's capsized by...

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Wolvies to My Left, Wolvies to My Right!

real_wolverine.jpgIsn't it about time to limit Wolverine's appearances to only, maybe, 40 or 50 books instead of the current million or so that currently feature him? I know the fanboys can't get enough of all that testosterone he radiates, but hasn't it gotten a little out of hand yet? (Wow, considering recent events, that’s one shitty pun, eh?) If there's an X-book, he's in it. If there's a team book, he's in it. If there's a shameless marketing stunt, he's in it. Enough already! Jeez. Thank goodness he's a giant collection of schtick, so his characterization is consistent enough. Well, except for no one making any damn effort to coordinate what he's doing while he runs around with every single other character in the Marvel universe. At the moment, by my count, he's possessed by the Hand, trapped in the Savage Land, being turned into an alien killing machine, fighting the sentient Danger Room, fighting every tech-enabled Marvel villain, fighting a zombie samurai, fighting another resurrection of Jean Grey, and on and on and on. For all I know, he's also battling Galactus, voting for a new pope, curing sub-Saharan famine, and giving Aunt May a sponge bath. He'll probably be personally delivering your subscriptions next, just because he can be everywhere at once, like Santa Claus. Hmmmm, maybe that could be yet another mini-series for him...


The appendix may be an inconsequential little organ, but they sure do have to go through some useful stuff to get at it. You know, like the abs? Yeah, those muscles that you use a little bit every time you bend, twist, reach, or even twitch, apparently. It's bad enough that the ingrown hairs around the shaved area are itching a lot, but I find I also have issues like this morning, when an errant sneeze hurt so damn much that I’m still feeling the strain on my stitches hours later. I may enjoy a running schtick about being a delicate flower, but this is all a bit much.

Hmmmm, maybe I weaned myself off the Vicodin earlier this week than I should have.

Update: Yes, another sneeze has confirmed that it's definitely the single most painful thing that can happen in my current condition. Pardon me, but I think I have to pass out now.

All Stitched Up

Last week at this time, I was starting to shake off the anesthesia from the previous night's emergency surgery. I’d been waking up up every now and then since about 2 a.m., when I first had a few minutes of consciousness in the post-op area. It was still too hard to keep my wits about me then, but by morning I was feeling normal again. You know, except for that sharp pain where they cut through my abdominal wall to get at my appendix.

The doctors all agreed that they cut me open in the nick of time. It seems that any more delays and my appendix would have ruptured, with all the resulting hilariousness of that. The real thing that saved me then, was that I happened to score a last-minute appointment with my doctor the day before, thinking that maybe the previous day's two-hour cramp with the stabbing pain and the vomiting might be more serious than a reaction to some bad leftovers. I thought it would be a good idea to act early in case last year's mystery stomach issues were returning, but the doctor was pretty sure that I should just walk myself over to the emergency and plan not go home that night. If I hadn't gotten an opening in his normally tight schedule, I probably would have stayed home chugging Tylenol and Pepto Bismol, waiting for the pain to go away until I keeled over or something.

I'll admit that I received excellent care from everyone at the hospital, but overall the system is pretty screwed up, especially in the emergency room. As a general rule, all the nurses there were jaded gossips who were easier to find clucking away in a huddle at the desk, rather than — let's say — noticing the patients piling up around them. When I first got there, the triage nurse disappeared for about 20 minutes, leaving me wondering who was supposed to check me in and read the "I have appendicitis so look at me immediately" note from my doctor. The staff of young internists and residents, though, were all amazingly friendly and helpful, and as attentive as their workload could allow. Interestingly enough, they were all movie-star good-looking, so I can't roll my eyes when I see the casts of TV medical dramas anymore. Apparently, young doctors are dazzlingly beautiful these days. Who knew?

I was in the hospital for just over a day, and then went upstate for a few days to recuperate under my sister's watchful eye. I came home last Sunday, and have been slowly getting back to normal. I taught a little this week, ran an errand or two, checked in with the surgeon, and generally felt more like myself again. I can handle a few hours of activity a day, and then I’m forced back to the couch to wonder, "Wow, they cut right through me, didn't they! Hmmm, that smarts. And itches."

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