Monday, September 6, 2010

Where Gay Art Meets the Paranormal...

Art is one of the trickiest subjects to clearly define. What one person sees as art can easily be seen as vulgar, junk, or absurd by an observer. Yet it comes in many forms. Personally I view art in a wide range and admire many forms of artistry. And when this creativity turns its scope toward the supernatural, it piques my curiosity even more. Paranormal themes fit quite easily into artistic pursuits since they tend to involve some imagination and vision on the part of the creator. And every once in a while, they cross boundaries with overtly sexual themes.

I never did let the Puritanical views of most of my fellow citizens cloud my openness to explore these arenas. I can admire anything that is well-crafted, from most innocent to what some people might find frighteningly disturbing. There are always exceptions. (I just can't bring myself to consider most John Waters camp movies as anything remotely appealing and artistic.) But today I'm going to share with you some of the interesting things I've stumbled across with very adult themes and a good amount of talent (even if it's not what everyone sees as such) and originality.

You've been warned...

Just last week, I finally sat down and watched Twinklight, a gay adult film I mentioned previously on this blog. Directed by Afton Nills, it's part gay porn, part parody of the Twilight movies. I heard about it while it was in the production phase and seeing some of the sneak peeks being released here and there, it certainly seemed like something different from the standard, dull, plotless videos we all picture when we think of adult movies. That doesn't mean I gave it too much hope.

After watching it, I still realize there were no Oscar-winning performances or incredibly well-written dialog. Yet it was a vast improvement. More emphasis is placed on storyline and plot. The characters even poke some fun at the book series and have some humor whenever possible. I'm still not sure if all my laughter was at the jokes or the movie itself, but kudos are deserved for the effort. At the end there is a cliffhanger, leaving you waiting to see what will happen in the sequel and exactly what the vampire Edmond is going to do about a major dilemma--caught between the new boyfriend and the ex he believed was dead!

Thanks in part to a few recent ex-boyfriends, I have also been more exposed to comics than ever before in my life. Does this mean I've become a "comic geek"? Far from it! But there are a few web comics and other works I've been told about and read here and there (even some anime, which before 2008 was a totally foreign concept, no pun intended) which I find compelling and amusing. Only a few of the comics I've followed have gay themes. Barely any even touch on anything occult or paranormal. But a few I've read this weekend do touch on topics including demons, ghosts, and mysterious creatures.

I've been familiar with the artwork of Québécois Patrick Fillion and other illustrators and writers found on his gay comic site Class Comics for at least a few years, if not longer. I really do love his artwork (not simply for the obvious reasons those of you who know me too well will assume) and admire his illustration skill. But after all these years, I hadn't actually bothered to buy a comic. I know, shame on me! Every artist needs a little support from their fans. We all want to be paid for our efforts. So this weekend I finally broke down and bought a couple digital copies of works I have had my eyes on for a while. And yes... they involved the paranormal!

The first was by French artist Logan Kowalski titled The Pornomicon. Given that the artist is a satanist, it's only natural for him to incorporate such themes in his art. He does say that the work might have H. P. Lovecraft "rolling over in his grave" but how could you go wrong mixing demons, Cthulu, and gay men? The rest of the reading material for me lately revolved around a Fillion-created superhero: Naked Justice.

Technically, any time you deal with comic book heros with super-human abilities there is a certain amount of the supernatural which comes into play. Any time you have men who can fly, change size, or--as is the case with Naked Justice--shoot lightning from an erection, it's not exactly in the "normal" category! In one of the episodes I read today, the team of superheroes had to rescue their leader in an allegedly-haunted abandoned mental hospital and one of them was... oh, well, I won't give away too much. If you're really that curious you should take a look yourself!