Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



New gay manga anthology gives art form legitimacy
by Tony Peregrin

This article shared 4266 times since Wed May 6, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

What is the big idea behind Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and The Men Who Make It? Featuring illustrations rarely seen in the United States outside of pirated, poorly duplicated content available online, Massive showcases big, hypermasculine men with soft edges, along with nine in-depth interviews of some of the most talented comic artists producing work for a gay male audience in Japan.

Massive—which Chip Kidd designed and Anne Ishii and Graham Kolbeins edited—is a follow-up to The Passion of Gengorah Tagame: Master of Gay Erotic Manga and marks the second the time the trio have worked together in this genre. With Massive, now in its second print run, the Western world is introduced to the first English-language anthology featuring the masters of Japanese gay manga.

Fantagraphics, which publishes Massive, will participate in CAKE ( Chicago Alternative Comics Expo ) at the Center on Halsted on June 6-7, featuring comics for sale, including Massive, along with workshops, exhibitions and panel discussions.

In an effort to get the big picture on Massive, WCT chatted with Ishii to discover how gay manga is shattering sexual and cultural archetypes.

Windy City Times: How are Massive and gay manga content similar to Tom of Finland?

Anne Ishii: Massive and gay manga are similar to the style of Tom of Finland's illustration work in that there are specific artists from Japan that delve into the hard-core macho gay look and BDSM culture. Certainly, the caliber of artwork is matched by the impact of the content, which is to say, the activities depicted—like being peed on by someone in a cop uniform—may be similar. Gay manga [specifically] refers to literally all gay comics from Japan, primarily intended for a gay male audience. Naturally, that encompasses other styles not limited to this style, so it's not really fair to compare an entire universe of artwork to one artist.

WCT: Can you summarize the general theme or concept behind Massive?

AI: Elicit and tacit romance is a resounding theme for the whole book.

WCT: Massive offers more iterations of diverse Asian archetypes of masculinity than we typically see in [U.S.] media and popular culture. Why is that important?

AI: I am only speaking on my own behalf but I believe that, at best, representations of Asian masculinity has been underwhelming in Western culture. At worst, Asian male sexuality has been grossly mis-caricatured as neutered or perverted. I think, therefore, literally any other iteration of positive Asian male representation in the West would be a boon.

More philosophically—and specifically pertaining to Japanese gay manga—this may have to do with a size obsession in U.S. culture that doesn't translate into Japanese culture. That's not to say there isn't a size obsession in Japan but that it's not apples to apples. We hear a lot of well-intended questions about our artists' work along the lines of "…but Asians aren't big or hairy. Why do these artists depict them as such?" Well, for two reasons—comics are allowed to be fantasies, and who actually looks exactly like the media portrays us?

WCT: What was it like working with the highly-respected graphic designer and author Chip Kidd?

AI: Chip Kidd is a hero for book design and comics art and gay visibility. We started working together around 2003 at Vertical, Inc. where he was moonlighting as the art director and where I was the publicity and marketing director. We continued to work together after each of us left Vertical, and a few years later we discovered that Graham was interested in doing a survey/ introduction to gay manga.

Chip continues to be an inspiration to everyone not the least of whom is myself, as a designer with sharp-shooter ability to identify what makes a book work ( and conversely, what won't work ) on the visual level. He's also just a mountain of information and connected to so many champions of gay letters. And he has a really cute butt. We love him.

WCT: You and Graham traveled to Japan to conduct these interviews. After meeting these artists, what surprised you the most, Anne?

AI: I was really taken aback—pleasantly so—at how into adorableness they all are, you know, they enjoy looking at pictures of pets for example. Some of the comics are pretty brutal, but I realized that they all have this blunt, soft side.

WCT: Do you identify as a straight, lesbian, cis or transgender person, Anne?

AI: [Laughs] I am just bendy—I don't have a sexual orientation.

WCT: How do you respond to people who may be uncomfortable with you, as a woman, co-editing a project like Massive that is so gay male-centric?

AI: I haven't actually received criticism for being a not-gay male in this context but, if cornered, I could make a pretty good case for Graham and me being one complete gay Japanese man. I'll do the talking, he'll do the bonking.

But I suppose what you're asking is about whether any significantly different culture oughtn't to be brokered by people or fellows in the same "category." It's a big top issue, for sure. I just don't know how to respond to that. I mean, I hesitate to get on any side because I think it all depends on context. It's hard to know the "correct" way to establish affinity with the world, but intentions are transparent, I think, and I'd like to say ours are all awesome.

Massive: Gay Erotic Manga And The Men Who Make It is currently in its second print run and is available

Fantagraphics, which publishes Massive, will be part of the CAKE ( Chicago Alternative Comics Expo ) at the Center on Halsted, June 6-7, featuring comics for sale, workshops, exhibitions and panel discussions. .

This article shared 4266 times since Wed May 6, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

GLAAD publishes back-to-school guide 2022-08-17
- LGBTQ+ media-advocacy organization GLAAD is publishing a new back-to-school guide on how to respond to book bans and school censorship, titled "Back To School [Redacted]." The organization also announced that it has joined two national efforts ...

Gay News

StoryStudio Chicago's LGBTQ+ nonfiction writing class starting Aug. 17 2022-08-11
- StoryStudio Chicago is offering a unique writing class titled "June Is Not Enough: An LGBTQ+ Nonfiction Writing Class." The idea behind the class is to promote and foster the work of LGBTQ+ people. Writers who register ...

Gay News

Journalist Chuck Colbert passes away at 67 2022-08-08
- Journalist Charles "Chuck" R. Colbert—who had written for several LGBTQ+ publications, including Windy City Times—passed away June 30. He was 67. He was a freelance journalist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, according to his biography on ...

Gay News

BOOKS Inside Sinkhole, a darkly comic coming-of-age fiction 2022-08-06
- Davida G. Breier's debut book, Sinkhole, takes readers on a trip to rural Florida in the 1980s. Amidst golf courses, mobile homes and alligators, some things on the agenda: friendship, identity, sexuality, grief and murder. Breier ...

Gay News

Utah school district removes LGBTQ+ books from libraries 2022-08-02
- A Utah school district removed 52 books from its library shelves due to parent complaints mainly concerning LGBTQ+-focused material, LGBTQ Nation noted. A spokesperson for Alpine School District tells The Salt Lake Tribune that the district ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Miami textbooks, Lia Thomas, Florida churches, Key West figure dies 2022-07-24
- Miami-Dade County students could go months without sex-education books after school board members, by a five-to-four vote, rejected two proposed textbooks over concerns they violate the state's Parental Rights in Education bill, known by opponents as ...

Gay News

Local non-binary poet wins Stories Matter Scholarship 2022-07-21
- The Stories Matter Foundation and StoryStudio Chicago have awarded the annual $1,500 Dana Wood Chaney Writers Fund tuition grant to local non-binary poet A. Ng Pavel. The scholarship is awarded each year to a writer working ...

Gay News

John Pennycuff's memorial library at Unity Park is graffitied 2022-07-10
- The John Pennycuff Little Library, at Chicago's Unity Park, was recently sprayed with graffiti. Robert Castillo, Pennycuff's surviving husband, stated on Facebook that some tried to cover the original tagging with their own rainbow-hued graffiti. ...

Gay News

How Coming Out in the 1970s Helped Me Make Brave, Life-changing Decisions 2022-06-25
By Edith Forbes, author of Tracking A Shadow: My Lived Experiment With MS - As a child growing up in Wyoming in the 1960's, I did not know any actual person who was gay. I knew exactly one fact about gay people, a fact universally accepted but never talked about: Gay people were strange. Even ...

Gay News

Five Worth Finding: WNDR Museum, Prince, queer books, flowers 2022-06-16
- — WNDR Museum's Pride event "Crafting with Queens": The West Loop museum is usually entertainment and, um, wondrous enough on its own—but during Pride Month, WNDR is queering things up with "Crafting with Queens" on Tuesday, ...

Gay News

Northwestern University Libraries and Center for Applied Transgender Studies launch trans studies journal 2022-06-16
- Northwestern University Libraries (NUL) and the Center for Applied Transgender Studies (CATS) are now publishing the Bulletin of Applied Transgender Studies. The Bulletin of Applied Transgender Studies (BATS)—the first journal ...

Gay News

Catholic publisher cancels Chicago theologian's 'Queer God de Amor' book 2022-06-13
- On June 9, New Ways Ministry received the following statement by Miguel Diaz, a former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and the John Courtney Murray, S.J., University Chair in Public Service at Loyola University Chicago. ...

Gay News

34th annual Lambda Literary award winners announced 2022-06-13
-- From a press release - New York, NY, June 11, 2022 — Lambda Literary, the nation's premier LGBTQ literary organization, announced the winners of the 34th Annual Lambda Literary Awards (a.k.a. the "Lammys") at a live virtual award ceremony hosted by ...

Gay News

TRAVEL Descanso is Palm Springs newest gay resort 2022-06-08
- Descanso is the first resort for gay men to open in Palm Springs in more than 10 years, and "The response has been beyond expectations," said general manager Kent Taylor. Weekends are already booked through June, ...

Gay News

BOOKS Artist Sam Kirk talks 'The Meaning of Pride' 2022-06-08
- In the children's book The Meaning of Pride, Rosiee Thor pens an ode to LGBTQ+ culture and identity by celebrating the beauty, significance and many dimensions of the concept of Pride—and showing that the word can ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.