Gay Comix #1 was my first professional publication. About a year and a half later I launched Murphy’s Manor. The world of gay cartooning turned out to be a good niche for me to work in. Of my nine Gay comix stories, two (Saboteur and Home Movies) have been reprinted. The others are available only in the comic of the comic book of their original publication (except for Honeymoon). At some point I should collect them all in a book. Feel free to nag me.
A tip of the hat and special thanks to Gay Comix editors Howard Cruse, Robert Triptow, and Andy Mangels Thanks for the support and encouragement!
Gay Comix 1 (1980) Saboteur
Gay Comix 3 (1982) Weekend Revolutionaries
Gay Comix 6 (1985) The Sparkle Spinsters: Stains on the Sofa
Gay Comix 7 (1986) Sparkle Spinsters: Home Movies
Gay Comix 8 (1986) The Sparkle Spinsters: In Midsummer Night’s Super Stud
Gay Comix 12 (1988) Sparkle Spinsters: in the Ghetto
Gay Comics 20 (1993) Gender Bender
Gay Comics 22 (1993) Honeymoon
Gay Comics 25 (1998) I’ve Got a Secret
Unpublished: One Step at a Time (1982)
As the first issue of gay comics was being launched in 1980, the Advocate ran a notice and call for contributions. I responded. I had been out of college for a little over a year, knew I was gay, but was terrified that the word should get out. The story that I produced was called “Saboteur.” It was an allegory that living a double life of a gay man was like being a secret agent.
My second story billed itself as “a story about the mechanics of social change in modern America.” The characters billed themselves as advocates for gay rights as long as it didn’t entail any risk to themselves or actually coming out. At the time Murphy’s Manor was just starting to run in newspapers across the country, and I had started down the irrevocable path of coming out myself.
The first Sparkle Spinsters served as kind of an “origin story.” My purpose was to demonstrate how they worked as a family unit — sticking up for one another when expedient, but also preserving their trio relationship by making sure that none of the three was ever successful with their own romance.
Home Movies seems to be the Sparkle Spinsters story that people remember. My favorite part of it was a full-page spread where the Duchess described the plot of the movie he was making, done as a filmstrip that made up a border for the interior panels.
In the all gay superhero issue of Gay Comix, Jeff Sorensen (on loan from Murphy’s Manor) became a superhero. He had a little trouble putting his finger on exactly what his mission should be, but he did seem to enjoy the dress up.
Gay Comix 12 (1988)
The Sparkle Spinsters: in the Ghetto
In their third story, the Sparkle Spinsters visit the Big Gay City, where the gay community is so much more advanced than their home city in the Midwest.
A two pager about a gender flexible superhero, who spends his/her time rescuing sidekick characters — in itself a kind of sex act.
Pat ‘n’ Jerry, those two fun-loving gay gerbils, get a pet human as their own relationship flounders. The gerbils have a strong resemblance to certain conservative pundits. And for the whole story, click here.
A one-pager on gay marriage – is it worth the struggle? Ultimately it was -- but we sure had a long wait!
One Step (1982)
I think it's fair to say that everybody has a project or two that didn't work out, buried deep in a filing cabinet. "One Step" got to the thumbnail stage, and Howard rejected it. The story concerned a member of the local gay pride committee who's planning a Pride Day that involved getting nekkid and frolicking in a city park. And wondering how the hell they got away with it. The idea came from an annual gay picnic held in Detroit where, it was said ... you get the picture. I don't know if the rumor was true.
The same character has a father who is a homophobic local TV personality. The "hero" of the story deals with his father while also going throgh Relationship Angst. Does that sound like a bit much for six pages?