Friday, June 08, 2007

A Day In The Life Episode 1

Long ago and far away, the mid 90's to be exact, there was a little comic strip I did called "A Day In the Life" for a magazine out of Detroit. That black gay culture magazine was Kick Magazine, helmed by the fabulous Curtis Lipscomb. Back then it seemed every town with a sizeable black gay population had small home grown lifestyle and club-zines. It was a heady time because a lot of us were getting our first artistic exposures in these xeroxed, hand stapled labors of love. Some went on to greater fame and distribution, more went by the wayside when life, economics or both got in the way. But for a brief shining moment there was a lot of activity in the independent press as well as black gay culture in general. So anyway, back to "A Day in The Life"....If memory serves, Curtis approached me at DC Pride one Memorial Day weekend in either 95 or 96 about doing a comic for him. I think I had already or was about to create "Boo" at this time but couldn't say 'no' to Curtis. He's an Aries and they don't take 'no' for an answer usually. Anyway, the comic was born and in exchange for my services, I was allowed to advertise my little chap books that ultimately made up the contents of the "Brothers of New Essex" anthology. It was terrific exposure and I got lots of orders. Anyway, ADNTHL was the polar opposite of my erotica and really challenged me to use a different set of muscles for doing stories since I only had one page to get an idea across, i had to think of this as more of a comicstrip with a punchline rather than my usual multipage stories.
In this first installment, we meet best friends, Billy and Dane. Billy's the straight-laced buppie and Dane is the avant-garde free spirit. I had just relocated to Los Angeles from Chicago and this strip was a reflection of my mindset at the time. It was around the time the DL was rearing it's ugly head and having openly gay black characters would go out of style in life and in fiction for about ten years. Thank God, that's turning around slowly but surely. These strips are definitely of their time when things were different and there was excitement in the air about the possibilities of being black and gay. Enjoy them for what they are/were: my attempt at a slice of life from the mid-90s right before everything would change.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

even after so much time has passed, that is STILL very funny.

ReggieH said...

I remember this! Great to see it again...ah memories:)

Luc said...

Always great to see old work alongside the new stuff. Thanks for posting the strips, and the story behind it all.

Bro, I had no idea what "DL" meant so I had to look it up! Showing my whiteness/Canadian-ness, I know. And yes, thank goodness we ARE seeing openly black gay characters, as well as *real* men in general out there feeling OK about coming out.