Friday, January 17, 2014

Sean the Artist

It's refreshing to see a resurgence in adult gay comic artwork, originating from computer-generated media these days, compared to pencil and paper in the past.  The genre itself was very popular in the sixties and seventies of the last century, when gay magazines and gay newspapers were hungry for content and their readers for equally starving for media that was about people like themselves.  One of the artists of that era that seldom gets the acknowledgement that he deserves is John Klamik.   His talents in drawing were matched by his intellect and analytical skills when it came to political satire.  He was also a social activist, active in the fight for gay rights.   But most of his fans just recognized him as “Sean the Artist.”

It's reported that he was born in 1935 in Chicago and as a little boy showed both an interest and a natural talent for art.  He studied at the Chicago Art Institute and then like many before him, made the move out west--way out west to West Hollywood, California.   In 1961 he was working as an artist and display director for the Akron department store chain.   He was also an editorial cartoonist  for the original Advocate newspaper and would go on to contribute to many gay magazines as gay liberation flourished and new publications sprouted up.  John's drawing style was distinctive and his characters celebrated men enjoying their sexuality as a natural part of living their daily lives.  In interviews, he would say that his work was not picked up in the popular physique magazines, probably because he didn't care to draw naked muscle men just posing.  Instead, he wanted his male characters to be having sex with one another. 
Never was. I didn’t go for drawing muscled figures unless particularly requested, because I didn’t think that was too normal. My characters, I just wanted them having sex. I wanted to go in that direction because there were a lot of good muscle artists but [their characters] weren’t having sex. They were just posing. I wanted to go in the direction where we could show what really goes on. - See more at: http://gaycomicslist.free.fr/blog/index.php/2005/01/a-sean-interview.html#sthash.YmUi8zMx.dpuf
Never was. I didn’t go for drawing muscled figures unless particularly requested, because I didn’t think that was too normal. My characters, I just wanted them having sex. I wanted to go in that direction because there were a lot of good muscle artists but [their characters] weren’t having sex. They were just posing. I wanted to go in the direction where we could show what really goes on. - See more at: http://gaycomicslist.free.fr/blog/index.php/2005/01/a-sean-interview.html#sthash.YmUi8zMx.dpuf
Never was. I didn’t go for drawing muscled figures unless particularly requested, because I didn’t think that was too normal. My characters, I just wanted them having sex. I wanted to go in that direction because there were a lot of good muscle artists but [their characters] weren’t having sex. They were just posing. I wanted to go in the direction where we could show what really goes on. - See more at: http://gaycomicslist.free.fr/blog/index.php/2005/01/a-sean-interview.html#sthash.YmUi8zMx.dpuf



There were many flavors that John enjoyed in his artwork and these included men engaging in rough play times together, fantasy characters (including Bigfoot) and bondage.  One of his most popular comics was placed in the old west and featured a cowboy with a huge cock.  The dialog in this sketch is funny and the action is hot.  Some of his most-famous worked include legendary Nova Publications which published 18 of his fantastic sex-adventure stories.  He also worked with Nova Films as a set decorator, art director, and scriptwriter on some of those classic flicks.  His work has been exhibited by the Tom of Finland Art Foundation.  John's work has been especially prized in Spain, Germany and Japan.  The Palm Springs getaway home which once belonged to a Hollywood closeted star supposedly had wall-sized murals painted by John in one of the bedrooms, featuring an orgy scene with male debauchery suitable for even ancient roman times.  With handsome and very hung men everywhere in the mural (including caricatures of famous men for the era), it was sadly was later painted over.  His is inventory of artwork has been estimated to be over 10,000 drawings. 

For a sampling of his work, we have his great comic strip Pledge Watchers to enjoy, which delves into the seemingly forbidden world of straight horny fraternity men.   Newcomer to the frat house filled with swarthy hunks is Mark, who quickly finds out that sexy senior Steve is going to be his pledge duty instructor.  Steve quickly informs Mark that he has to clean his room daily.  Little does Steve know that Mark and a $3 bill have a lot in common, and being able to get personal with Steve and his roommate's personal belongings is actually a turn-on.  Only things in jocksville are not always what they appear to be, and Mark gets a nice surprise when he discovers that his frat brothers seem to like the same things that he does! 

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