Blue Monday 2: Meatmen!

Cuddly Caveman & Henry Kujawa’s Overview of The Classic Reprint Gay Comix Series 

“Broc of the Stone Age” TM & ©1991, 2012 Mike Kuchar, all rights reserved.

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WARNING: The following content, though non-explicit, may be offensive to some.

Proceed with Caution.

Have Fun!

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For the time being, this will wrap up the gay comics & comix Blue Monday posts for early summer. I’ll get into Alison Bechdel‘s new graphic novel and more in future weeks.

There’s plenty of online sites and resources dedicated to the genre, but what follows is unique and comprehensive—as is the paleo-comix element appropriate to Myrant—hence the decision to conclude this particular arc.

So, unless you’re under 18 years of age or a complete homophobe—dig in.

Next time (these “Blue Monday” posts will arrive once every blue moon, so to speak), I’ll share more on the Eric Stanton/Steve Dikto Stantoons comics, so (ahem) come prepared.

I wrapped up last Monday’s Blue Monday post by citing the Meatmen reprint collections, which it turned out I do have a single copy of in the collection—namely, Meatmen: An Anthology of Gay Male Comics, Volume 1 (1986, G.S. Press/Leyland Publications)—which I’d stored in the long white boxes with my friend Howard Cruse‘s comix.

It’s on my book shelves now, for easy comics history class/reference.

To provide as comprehensive and conclusive an overview of the multi-volume Meatmen series as possible, I’m essentially turning this particular Blue Monday post over to cartoonist/writer/archivist/frequent Myrant commenter Henry Kujawa, who has archived, reviewed, and basically made some sense of all the reprints of vintage gay comics and comix, starting with the Meatmen anthologies.

I’m a straight cartoonist—this is outside of my own arena of interest and expertise—but I’m curious to know all I can about all aspects of comics & comix history. And besides: there are dinosaurs and cavemen here!

The gay compliment to Budd Root’s Cavewoman? They’re equally ass-centric comics sexually fetishizing their prehistoric characters. The incredible gay paleo-comic “Broc of the Stone Age” by Mike Kuchar; ©1991, 2012 Mike Kuchar.

The Meatmen anthologies are quite a resource; I’m thankful to Henry for steering me to the science-fiction themed Meatmen Vol. 12 and Vol. 15 in particular, and above all for letting me know “Broc of the Stone Age” by Mike Kuchar even exists!

Mike Kuchar is one of my favorite underground filmmakers (along with his brother George), and I love any and all of his comix I’ve had access to—his artwork graced a number of underground comix, including the cover of Gay Heart Throbs #4 (below)—but “Broc of the Stone Age” is a rare gem. I’ve taken the liberty of posting some Broc images here, including a sequential… enjoy!

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Note to Paleo Pop buffs:

This places the relevant Meatmen issues featuring Kuchar‘s “Broc of the Stone Age” alongside paleo sex comics like the underground one-shot Pure Joy Comix #1 (1975) and Penthouse Comix #25 (September 1997). I’d also argue for including Rick Meyerowitz and Henry Beard‘s hilarious Dodosaurs in this subgenre, too (see “Dodosaurs” in National Lampoon #27, June, 1972; “Return of the Dodosaurs,” #50, May 1974; and the book, Dodosaurs: The Dinosaurs That Didn’t Make It, Harmony/1984, all highly recommended), but that might be a stretch.

Pure Joy Comix was an instant classic, particularly for its cover feature, Rich Chidlaw‘s 12-page “Valley of the Dildosaurs,” which I’ll post about on a future Blue Monday. Pure Joy Comix was edited and published by Leonardo DiCaprio‘s father George DiCaprio—who was a close friend of my late pal Chas Balun (Deep Red), and Chas and George did their own memorable underground minicomix. DiCaprio edited Cocaine Comix #1 for Last Gasp the same year Pure Joy was published, and he wrote the lead story featuring Rich Chidlaw‘s character Wildroot (who also popped up in Cocaine Comix).

Rich‘s solo opus “Valley of the Dildosaurs” is a spot-on antic sex parody of 1950s drive-in sf movies like Untamed Women and comics like the Bob Kanigher edited/scripted “War That Time Forgot” series: three men and a woman crash a small plane into a remote Pacific island populated by outsized prehistoric Dildosaurs; sexist and shamelessly juvenile lunacy follows.

Penthouse Comix #25 showcased vet British comic artist Ron Embleton‘s “The Lost World of Dinosaur Sex,” featuring graphic dino-sex imagery (“…For the first time anywhere, here are the remarkable findings of the mating habits of the dinosaurs…”). FYI, the rest of the issue was jam-packed with Ron‘s collaboration with Penthouse mogul Bob Guccione on their character Sweet Chastity; Ron had previously worked with British novelist Frederic Mullally on the popular Penthouse comic series Oh, Wicked Wanda! (1973-1980).

I’ll have to excavate my copy of Penthouse Comix #25 to prep a proper Blue Monday post down the road about that Paleo Pop gem.

Anyhoot: context, context.

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OK, back to Meatmen

Like all-too-many multi-volume manga series, I just don’t have the pocketbook necessary to gathering a complete collection—and like all limited-circulation books, some volumes of the Meatmen anthology are hard to find and/or high-ticket collectibles—so I’m happy to provide a showcase for Henry‘s near-complete assessment of the series. This might help some of you steer your own interests or purchases.

Here, with Henry‘s permission, is his overview, with active links (active as of June 2012, anyway). All reviews archived here are ©2012 Henry R. Kujawa, posted with permission:

“I’m familiar with some of this stuff, via Winston Lelyand‘s MEATMEN anthology. Unfortunately, the HARRY CHESS stuff he reprinted was printed too small to really appreciate it, a complaint I often have with reprints not being done at the original size intended. The anthology series as listed at Amazon.com was a real mess. There was no hint as to contents, and in many cases, not even the volume number listed, all you had to go by was the [ISBN] number. How are people supposed to know what to buy? I wound up getting ahold of more than half the books, wrote detailed reviews (which got posted at several different websites) and even posted cover scans. In effect, I felt like I was doing more to promote the books than the publisher was! And he never even accepted MY submissions. No wonder he went out of business.”

Henry‘s comment whet my appetite, so we continued our conversation via email:

“Back when I was trying to put out STORMBOY (2002), I had a hell of a time just trying to get straight answers from people about who I needed to contact about getting ISBN #s, bar codes, etc. A guy in NYC who actually manufactured bar codes finally answered my question (the lady at Morgan Printing in ND directed me to him). So, of course, I gave the NYC guy my business.

Afterwards, the ISBN #s were the ONLY way I could figure out which MEATMEN books posted at Amazon were which. It was absurd! I’d say most of the images there are probably my own scans. I spent so much time setting up the Amazon page for ONE book (mine), I couldn’t figure how a publisher who’d been in business as long as Leyland could just not seem to care like that. Especially when I later figured out that countless websites tie in to Amazon‘s database. You get something listed there, that thing turns up like “everywhere”, all over the world! Definitely worth the effort, I’d say.”

What Henry has pulled together is a pretty definitive list and overview of the entire Meatman series, and more.

Here we go. I’ll dispense with the blue/italics print for Henry’s material; the bulk of what follows is his (cited as quotations in all cases).

“The debut volume of MEATMEN from 1986 is an amazing collection containing a wide variety of styles from no less than 29 different cartoonists! Nico (including the cover, at left), Brad Parker, “Blade”, “Tom Of Finland”, Joe Johnson, “Sean”, “A.Jay”, “Stephen”, “Dandy”, Jerry Mills, Howard Cruse, Bruce Billings, Jeffrey A. Krell, Tom Hachtman, Burton Clarke, Bing, Rick Campbell, Gerald Donelan, The Hun, Vaughn, Kurt Erichsen, Michael Goldberg & Richard Cornwell, Robert Triptow, David Young, Joe Sinardi, Gregoire, Bill Ward, and Tim Barela. (Whew!) Most of the material had appeared earlier, in The Barn 1948 (1980), Miss Thing (1973), Nova, Harry Chess In 3 Hot Vintage Episodes Vol.1 (1980), Firsthand, Manscape, In Touch, Gay Comix, Stroke, Male Review, Soho Weekly News, The Advocate, Torso, Drummer, and at least 23 different newspapers. Quite an achievement, putting all this together in one book!

As usual, not everything will appeal to everyone, but I do have my own favorites…

NICO — wonderfully photo-realistic style, both covers and 2 short stories inside (The Biker, 2 Blondes) for a total of 10 pages altogether.

“COME WARS,” a 16-page “tribute” to STAR WARS, x-rated of course. The first of many appearances by “SEAN”; I’d love to see all his stories collected in a single book one of these days.

“HARRY CHESS: The Curse Of Kahlua Blewa” by “A.JAY” — A really funny serial that mixes spies, adventure & sex. My one problem with this is the art is shrunk down to fit the vertical format of the book, when it should have been much bigger. There’s just too much detail here that gets lost, and I’m sure I’d have had an easier time enjoying it if I didn’t feel I needed a magnifying glass to do so.

“MEATMAN Meets The Monstrous Milking Machine” by “STEPHEN” — from 1975-76, an early gay superhero parody, almost non-stop sex for 15 pages.

“POPPERS” by JERRY MILLS — funny, cartoony short stories.

“BILLY GOES OUT” by HOWARD CRUSE — more drama than sex, but Cruse shows everyone else how to do “real” comics! [sample page, above, right; ©1980, 2012 Howard Cruse]

Other highlights include “JAYSON” by Jeffrey A. Krell, “MURPHY’S MANOR” by Kurt Erichsen, “LEONARD AND LARRY” by Tim Barella, 2 photo-realistic illustrations accompanying a pair of text pieces by “Blade”, 4 cartoons by Gerald Donelan (consistently one of the best parts of any MEATMEN collection) and 2 very “Disney“-style cartoons by Gregoire– I’d LOVE to see a lot more from this guy!”

* Continuing:

MEATMEN Vol.2 from 1987 very much follows in the path of Vol.1, with a wide range of artists and styles. This time out: Nico, Brad Parker, “Stephen”, “A.Jay”, Jerry Mills, Michael Willhoite, Jeffrey A. Krell, Michael Goldberg, Richard Cornwell, “The Hun”, Burton Clarke, Vaughn, “Sean”, Gerald Donelan, Rick Campbell, Kurt Erichsen, Bruce Billings, “Dandy”, “Mike”, “Chuck”, “Gregoire”, Ellsworth Jackson, “Bing”, and David Young.

My favorites include…

“HERE COMES THE GROOM” by “STEPHEN” — a honeymoon night takes a left turn when the groom winds up in an all-male orgy, while his wife is happily consoled by a young cutie who goes “both ways”.

“SHOOTERS OF THE DEEP” by “SEAN” — hijinks on (and under) and Hawaiian island.

Other hightlights: “HARRY CHESS” by “A.Jay” (more spies & sex); “POPPERS” by Jerry Mills [sample strip, below]; “JAYSON” by Jeffrey A. Krell; “MURPHEY’S MANOR” by Kurt Erichsen; a trio of shorts by “Nico“, who once again did the front cover; “BERNIE”, a humor strip by David Young; 5 cartoons by “Dandy“, 8 by Gerald Donelan & 3 by “Gregoire“.”

Above: a sample of Jerry Mills’s “Poppers,” ©2000, 2012 Jerry Mills.

* Meatmen Vol.3 is listed as “currently unavailable,” with no image, listing, or review (what’s there is erroneous, and posts Henry‘s review for Vol. 26!).

* Moving on:

and the same goes for volumes 5-9 (links provided, at the bottom of this post, as an addendum).

and Henry noted to me via email, “I think “William Morgan” is also “Howard Stangroom“, who had a collection of his work reprinted by a German publisher several years ago. I just now see the same publisher is doing a series of reprint collections of work by “Zack“, who appeared in several of the last few MEATMEN books (and was getting on the covers as well).”

“Another fun collection of gay comics, from 1991. Highlights include:

“UNFAIR EXCHANGE” and “HARRY THE FLYING PYRAMID”, both by STEPHEN LOWTHER, who brings his “mainstream” art style to tales involving unrequited lust, mind-swapping, and a very peculiar alien from outer space. Lowther also supplies front [left] and back color covers for this volume!

“WORKING THE SHAFT” by “SEAN” — elevator repairmen get sidetracked from the job at hand.

Other highlights: “MURPHY’S MANOR” by Kurt Erichsen; “JAYSON” by Jeffrey A. Krell [see above, right]; “KAKE: HIGHWAY PATROL” and “NIGHT FLIGHT” by “Tom Of Finland“; “POPPERS” by Jerry Mills; “CATHARTIC COMICS” featuring The Brown Bomber & Diva Touche Flambe by “Prof. I.B. Gittendowne“, a super-hero parody; 5 cartoons by A.J.Toos and 10 by Gerald Donelan.”

“Another fun collection. Highlights this time:

“HARRY CHESS VS. THE PYTHON” by “A.JAY” — Another hilarious farce with spies and sex; I only wish the art was reproduced larger, there’s too much detail here to appreciate in this format!

“SKY-HIGH AND HARD” by “SEAN” — Window-washers get stuck outside a building– then get it on, before finding they’re not the only workers having fun that night. As always, “Sean“‘s work deserves a collection all his own.

Other highlights include “MURPHY’S MANOR” by Kurt Erichsen, “JAYSON” by Jeffrey A. Krell, “KAKE” by “Tom of Finland“, “KIDNAPPED” by “Stephen“, 15 assorted pages from Howard Stangroom & Stephen Lowther, 11 cartoons by Gerald Donelan, and front & back covers by “Etienne“.”

“This volume of MEATMEN stands out from most for 2 reasons: it has fewer & longer features, and all have a sci-fi theme.

THE highlight of the book is “HOT PURSUIT”, a 40-page opus by artist Stephen Lowther & writer Howard Stangroom (once a member of comics-a.p.a. KLORDNY). Heavy on plot, action & drama, the art is very much in the style of many 1970′s Marvel comics, while having it broken into chapters was common among many early-1960′s Marvels. Lowther also did both color covers [right], and alone his contributions would have made a terrific “Annual” in the old days.

“PROJECT EXODUS” is another epic, this one 31 pages in length, but made entirely of full-page illustrations by “Mike“. I like his “clean” linework, but his distorted anatomy does little for me. The story of a future Earth about to be abandoned far outshines the visuals, and this may be the best thing I’ve seen from him.

“CRYOGENICS” seems to have predicted the pilot episode of FUTURAMA by quite a few years, with its hero accidentally frozen, only to awake in a very different world– where everyone is homosexual! There’s been 2 sequels so far, in Vols.15 & 19. “Farraday“‘s layouts & storytelling continue to impress me, but I think he’d be better off either improving his drawing, or teaming with a better illustrator to do his stories more justice.

“MASTER OF MASTERS” is something different from “Sean“, whose excellent work has appeared in Vols. 1, 2, 6, 10, 12, 14 and 16-21. This time it’s all full-page illustrations, which allow much more detail than usual. As I suspected, these “pulp”-style pages originally accompanied a story serialized in LEATHERMAN’S WORKBOOKS Vols. 2-8 (many MEATMEN features are reprints that appeared elsewhere, earlier). Some of the HOTTEST art in this book, these work even without the text!

Gerald Donelan contributes 10 of his always-delightful cartoons; Jeffrey A. Krell‘s humorous JAYSON has an adventure on another planet; Greg Garcia‘s “BIG BANG” involves black holes in space; and Kurt Erichsen‘s “ROBOT LOVE” involves a salesman trying to turn the tide away from mechanical sex BACK to the “organic” variety.

Definitely less sex than usual this time, but absolutely readable throughout.”

There’s a listing—

—which brings us to Henry‘s review for Meatmen Vol. 14,

“Another fun collection of gay comics from 1991. Highlights include…

“TUNNEL OF LUST” by “SEAN” — sewer workers find more than their work to keep them busy below the streets.

“JACK MASTERS: DIAMOND STUD” by “JOVEN” — The “Private Dick” takes on a missing-persons case which leads to danger, villence, and S E X.

“BROC IN THE STONE AGE” by “MIKE” [aka filmmaker/artist Mike Kuchar; art above, below] — well-muscled cavemen & plenty of dinosaurs.

“FORCED ENTRY” by “STEPHEN” — An apartment break-in leads to a non-stop orgy! One of the hottest stories in the book.

“COLEY ON THE EDGE: ROLLER BOOGIE HOTROD” by JOHN BLACKBURN — The 2nd MEATMEN installment with Coley Cochran, voodoo-endowed blonde bi-boy has him putting on a street exhibition on wheels, then tactfully hitching a ride from a pair of admirers before the cops arrive. Next thing you know, they’re back at the guy’s place for a hot “69″ while his girlfriend watches. This also appeared as the 3rd episode (of 5) in Blackburn‘s COLEY: WILD IN THE STREETS book. The dialogue in the last panel has been altered; originally it acted as a lead-in to the complex soap-opera, BREATHLESS.

Other highlights: “KAKE: SEX ON THE TRAIN” by “Tom Of Finland“; “CONSTRUCTION CREW” and “JUST DESSERTS” by “Hozer [cover artist for this volume, above, right]; “MURPHY’S MANOR” by Kurt Erichsen; “JACKIN’ OFF WITH HANK” by “Joe” (well-rendered well-hung studs in the gym & in the showers); and 8 cartoons by Gerald Donelan.”

but Henry offers this review:

“If only for the subject matter (more than the quality of the art, as usual) this was one of my favorite Volumes in this series. Most (if not quite all) the contributors did stories with a sci-fi angle– robots, time-travel, space ships, you name it.

Highlights: In Stephen Lowthar‘s “Out Of The Blue”, a suburbanite finds & falls for the pilot of a crashed UFO– the art here is among the closest to “mainstream” comics I’ve ever seen in MEATMEN. “Cryogenics” by Farraday, a very good-natured tale about a man awoken in an all-gay future, which I enjoyed despite terribly amateurish art. “Dimension X” by John Blackburn finds his blonde hero Coley transported by scientists to another world whose royal ruler is in dire need; one of my favorite Coley short stories, and one of the HOTTEST! [A sample of Coley art by Blackburn is at left]“The Nine Billion Names Of Penis” by Kurt Erichsen is an amusing encounter involving aliens on a quest for books of knowledge. “Rocket Riders: Planet Of The Blondes” by Greg Garcia & “Space Adventures Of Nick & Seth” by Joven provide more fun space antics with traditional (if not overly outstanding) art. Cartoonist Gerald Donelan, always a joy, provides 9 cartoons this time, including front & back color covers. Also in this volume are 3 chapters of Jeffrey A. Krell‘s “Jayson”, a humorous TV sitcom-like strip. These are lots of fun– they just seem very out-of-place in an otherwise “sci-fi” issue! (The rest I could do without– but that’s nothing new.)”

“…my least-favorite of the Volumes in this series I’ve seen. All the same, there are highlights:

“The Prisoners Of Lazareth” & “Penetrating Heaven” by Jon Macy are intriguing stories involving aliens from space and demons of hell– I just wish the artwork lived up to the writing. “Heavy Loads” by Joe involves truckers; Joe‘s overly-muscled art is very “cleanly” rendered, though the drawing is far better than the visual storytelling. “Murphy’s Manor” by Kurt Erichsen features cute, cartoony art & thoughtful, fun writing. “Johnny Shadow” by John Blackburn is, to date, the ONLY story I’ve seen him do with a hero other than his blonde character, Coley– though the difference isn’t that noticeable. “Friends” featured “Jack Masters Private Dick” by Joven in a case involving gay-bashing. “Rapid Shooters” by Sean has a group of guys wild-river rafting together (clothing optional). And “Jayson’s Dream Man” is another installment in Jeffrey A. Krell‘s humorous sitcom-like series. Also worth a look is “Broc Of The Stone Age”, a silent story all told in full-page panels by “Mike“, whose rendering is far better than his actual drawing (the linework is very refined, but his human figures all have extremely distorted, exaggerated anatomy– funny enough, his dinosaurs look fine!)[sample art, below]. Gerald Donelan contributes 12 of his light-hearted cartoons this time.

As usual, this series continues to feature a mix of good and really below-average work. As a forum for “up-and-coming” talent that’s to be applauded; I just wish the format didn’t make such a mixed product so pricey!”

Move over, Alley Oop: “Broc of the Stone Age” by Mike Kuchar; ©2012 Mike Kuchar. Enjoy the brief
“Broc” sequential, below. 

“This volume opens with “The Adventures Of Harry Chess” by “A.Jay” (Al Shapiro), reprints from DRUM magazine from 1964-65. Fun, quirky, cartoony stuff! Other highlights: “Virgin”, starring “Jack Masters Private Dick” by Joven; “Coley Meets Doctor Sade” by John Blackburn (one of his most bizarre episodes, this would have fit in an “S&M special”– OUCH!); “Stud Stars” by Sean (a pair of travelling guitarists “play” at a surprising venue); “Murphy’s Manor” by Kurt Erichsen; and 12 more fun cartoons by Gerald Donelan (who gets both color covers this time out).”

“Highlights this time out: “Interrogation” and “Pledge” by “The Hun“– as usual, his anatomy is seriously exaggerated, but his rendering this time seems more refined than usual, and he threw in a lot of details to “read” as well. “Hawk: Service Station” by Greg Garcia, in which his biker hero pushes himself on a smaller guy, only to have it done in turn to him by a BIGGER guy. “Coley And the Polynesian Dragon” by John Blackburn takes the blonde voodoo boy to exotic climes again; ironically, this episode isn’t quite a violent as the one in Vol.17! As usual, the Coley installment is probably the BEST part of the entire book, in both writing AND artwork. 3 short episodes of “Johnny Leatherhead” by Stephen Clarke show a lot of potential in the art & visual storytelling. “The Buddies And The Bastards” by Sean is a fun romp in which a couple of guys stumble into the WRONG club initiation– but the guys who take advantage of them get paid in kind by the end. Gerald Donelan contributes another 12 cartoons, including the back cover.”

“More of the same, for better or worse! Highlights this Volume: “Hot Shot Seamen” by “Joe“, whose art is more “pin-up” than “sequential storytelling” in nature; “Jack Masters Private Dick: Love” by Joven, in which the P.I. (P.D.?) is hired by a jealous wife, only to find it’s not other women her hubby is cheating on her with; “The 23rd Century Lovers” by Farraday continues the “Cryogenics” story from Vol.15– as usual, the story far outshines the amateurish art; “Coley: Riverboat Boy” by John Blackburn, in which the blonde voodoo boy loses at cards– AND loves it; “Little Red Riding Crop” by Kurt Erichsen– more fun, humorous work; “Gang Bangers” by Sean– in which a lost biker runs into a wild bike gang; and 12 more cartoons by Gerald Donelan.”

Gerald Donelan has 15 cartoons this Volume, including both color covers! [front cover at left]

Other highlights: “Coley: Bayou Boy” by John Blackburn, in which the blonde voodoo boy has fun with a guy he meets in a riverfront bar (at least, until they’re interrupted); “Mythology Revisited” by The Hun, wherein he experiments with fully-rendered graytone art; “Big Lay Down The Highway” by Farraday, a fun tale about truckers shot from pencilled art (I just wish this guy would take some DRAWING classes!); “A Wedding In The Family” by Kurt Erichsen, a comedy involving a guy trying to deal with a possessive mother; and “Dune Buggers” by Sean, in which a guy celebrates his birthday outdoors in the wild– with a wild pack of friends!”

which doesn’t include Henry‘s full review, which reads:

“As usual, great & terribly amateurish art is presented side-by-side. Which is which may be a matter of personal taste, but I know what I like, and I keep wishing the excellent will one day outnumber the dreadful.

Highlights this volume: John Blackburn‘s Coley in “Body Heat”, wherein the voodoo bi-boy helps a confused husband come to terms with who he really is; “Visitation Rites” by Sean, where leather-clad bikers meet (and “meat”) campground guys; “The Sons Of Ramus” by Joe, a dive into Greek mythology with decent art if not very strong visual storytelling; “Link Up” by Kurt Erichsen, a fun story about a computer nerd with some nice cartoony art; and one-page cartoons by Gerard Donelan. Blackburn gets to shine IN COLOR on both front and back covers this time, and in fact the back is possibly my very favorite single illo of Coley I’ve seen to date. Can you say… “HHHHHOT”??”

 

which boasts a vivid cover by Zack (pictured at right):

Winston Leyland‘s MEATMEN books each contain a widely varied mix of styles among their contributors. With 160 pages on good paper with slick covers, they’re a sizeable package (to borrow a turn of phrase), although I question the choice of some of the material. Amateurish below-fanzine-level hackwork is presented side-by-side with stunning, exceptionally high-quality art, and this may turn off some potential paying customers.

Highlights of VOL.22 include: “Bike Boy” by Zack, very European-in-style art I only wish was printed in its original full color (as I discovered on a website); “Coley On The Lost Coast” by John Blackburn, one of the nicest and hottest Coley short stories to appear in MEATMEN (Blackburn has appeared in every collection from #13-up, often contributing the best work in each book); cartoons by Gerard Donelan (cute and funny, another “regular” in this series); and “Straight Man’s Burden” by Kurt Erichsen (very entertaining with a cartoon style reminiscent of Phil Foglio‘s).

I’ve been buying the MEATMEN books mostly to have a complete run of “Coley” stories. While I’ve enjoyed quite a few of the other features, if I had my druthers I’d enjoy seeing somebody collect all of Blackburn‘s short stories in a single volume (color optional!). But until then, these are the only place to read them.”

with a Caligula-like cover by Zack for his “Message to the Emperor” story inside:

“Following up on Vol.22‘s “Bike Boy” is “Message To The Emperor” by Zack, a 30-page mini-epic which takes an innocent youth down a long road in ancient times toward a truly spectacular climax, with amazing art that really raises the book’s standards a few notches. (I only wish I could see it all in color, like the cover illo!) As usual, the other highlights this time are Gerard Donelan‘s single-panel cartoons and the latest installment of John Blackburn‘s blue-eyed blonde bi-boy, Coley: “Voodoo Swamp Angel”. Disturbing violence is portrayed side-by-side with incredibly erotic sequences– standard stuff for Coley! Between Zack & Blackburn it’s a toss-up as to which artist’s work is “better” or “hotter”, but who cares? I only wish ALL the work on display here was of this high quality! (As for the rest– oh well…)”

“All the stories this volume focus on SM, which probably will turn on some more than usual while making it too disturbing for others. So it goes!

Highlights includes Zack‘s 3rd story in 3 issues, the 30-page “Slaves To Lust”; John Blackburn‘s Coley in “Baitbucket”; Stepan Zubinski‘s “In The Kingdom Of The Snake God”, featuring some of the most stunning artwork in the book, wherein a downed biplane pilot in Africa confronts sexual and supernatural forces head-on (so to speak!); and more cartoons from Gerard Donelan. The rest I could do without, but that’s about average for this series. 2 noticeable glitches found their way into this volume: Zubinski‘s story has pages 3 & 4 reversed, and Blackburn‘s story ends rather abruptly after only 12 pages. The reason, as I suspected– it was supposed to be 20 pages (as most Coley episodes in MEATMEN have been) but the editor apparently objected to something, causing some changes. Geez, in a specifically “SM” issue, I wonder WHAT was considered as possibly “going too far”?”

“10 artists contribute to the raunchy proceedings this time, with more highlights than usual. “Teasy Meat” by Zack (the cover story—note: too explicit to post here) is about a porn director who’ll stop at nothing to get what-and who-he wants. “Going Long…. ….Going Deep” by Farraday is a comedy about a football players. Farraday‘s writing continues to far out-distance his still-amateurish art, but the drawing’s come a long way, as I see a lot of improvement with background details, anatomy and use of perspective. “Stagecoach” by John Blackburn sees his Voodoo Love-God Coley Cochran in Western gear to entertain guests at a theme park. As usual, this gets my vote as the HOTTEST story in the book, and surprisingly features a brief cameo by Quincey Quartermain, Coley‘s movie-producer / father-figure who to date has only appeared in the limited-edition graphic novel BREATHLESS (1991). “The Longshot” by Joe features his usual well-muscled studs enjoying a 3-way in between beers. “Newcomer” by Stepan Zubinski is a post-apocalytic sci-fi tale involving robots, mutants, gladiators and she-male geishas, all eager for sex and more sex, and features some of the most STUNNING artwork in the collection! “Camilli-Cat And The Djinns” by Patrick Fillion is heavy on sex while short on plot, while the art is very slicky-rendered, the most “mainstream”-looking in style that would fit in well on many current DC or Marvel comics. “Before Time & Space” by Jack Jacklin is a sci-fi-fantasy speculating on the origins of the universe; the line-rendering on the anatomy is a bit on the rough side, but otherwise the sense of design & storytelling is wonderful. And finally, Gerald Donelan contributes 18 more of his delightful cartoons; his work has been so consistently among the best parts of every MEATMEN volume I’ve bought that I’m fully expecting to see a collection, in the manner of Charles Addams or Gary Larson, one of these days!”

“The latest installment of MEATMEN was a bit of a disappointment. No Zack! No Patrick Fillion! And for the first time since Vol.12, no John Blackburn! Oy. Let’s see what’s left… Highlights:

“NEWCOMER Part Two” and “MOVE YOUR ASSES” by “STEPAN ZUBINSKI” – The follow-up to the stunner from last time features more submissive “training” in a far future world. The 2nd story involves a new guy on a football team. The art looks rushed on these; I’m not sure if less was put into it, or if the reproduction is just seriously “off”. I’m wondering what the original art looked like?

“DADDY’S HOME” by “FARRADAY” – light-hearted romp where fantasy meets “true love”. As usual, Farraday‘s writing far outshines the art.

“HAWK: BACK STAIRS” by GREG GARCIA – The biker returns to the house where he “served” 10 years earlier for a reunion and reminisce about the years in between.

“BAWDY BUCCANEERS” by “MIKE” – Pirates are the subject this time, with far more detail in the art than usual.

“GOLDENLOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS” by GERALD DONELAN – a 4-page variation on the fairy tale, plus 7 more of Donelan‘s light-hearted cartoons.

This book can be ordered direct from A Different Light Bookstore, or direct from Leyland Publications.”

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Special thanks again to Henry for sharing and indulging this post, and for so carefully detailing and reviewing this significant comix anthology series for everyone.

Hopefully, this archive will assist comics fans, creators, scholars, historians, and librarians sort out the specifics of the Meatmen series—and bring “Broc of the Stone Age” to the attention of dino-comics devotees everywhere!

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* For more on Henry R. Kujawa and his own comics creations,

Henry also has two comics & comix blogs worth visiting, the first for all comics fans/scholars, the second a showcase for Henry‘s explicit gay comix.

Henry‘s own gay adult comix creations—including his prehistoric gay sex comic Cave Boy of Dino Valley in “Dino Rescue!” and his straight softcore Little Annie Fannie-inspired, prehistoric planet-set Bunny Roget in the Far Flung Future strip—

Paleo Pop Note #2: Silly saurian trivia, I know, but the opening sequence of Henry‘s first Cave Boy comic echoes one of the first-ever Golden Age dinosaur comicbook series, specifically the first (circa 1939-1940) serialized arc of “The Hurricane Kids” strip in Dell‘s Popular Comics, scripted by “Albert Hartje” (real name?) and illustrated by Will Ely.

As best I can tell, the series ran from #39, May 1939, through #86, April 1943; no idea if dinosaurs popped up throughout the series, but it did yield one juvenile novel featuring dinosaurs and cavemen, The Hurricane Kids on the Lost Island (1941, Whitman) by Dell editor Oskar Leback and prolific Dell Comics script writer Gaylord Dubois. In the original Popular Comics series, when a Tyrannosaurus rex first reared its scaly head, the kids blew its noggin to bits, too—Hurricane Kid Dave gorily shoots its head off before Alan shoots out the eyes of another. It’s a surprising, shockingly graphic sequence—especially for a Dell Comic!

Of course, neither Hurricane Kid got a blow job afterwards as a reward; just goes to show ya how times have changed.

Special thanks to Scott Saavedra, for alerting me to the “Hurricane Kids” dino story and mayhem—he wrote about it in the incredibly great zine Comic Book Heaven (Vol. 1, #5, 2001, pg. 20).

Oops, sorry! Couldn’t resist. Back to Henry Kujawa:

Henry has also just launched a third blog/site,

* Mike Kuchar fans, you absolutely must see Jennifer Kroot‘s documentary It Came From Kuchar (2009), which covers the life, art, and films of Mike and George Kuchar with more intensity, love, and affection than most documentarians ever muster for their own family members.

or from your preferred DVD retail venue.

Comics historians/scholars/instructors: I highly recommend you pick up It Came From Kuchar not only for the sequence on the Kuchar Brothers and Arcade Comix (which they contributed to) and Bill Griffith‘s interview material—and Mike Diana‘s surprising role in their life story (including his appearances as a janitor and weightlifter Mike‘s 1993 film Statue in the Park)—but also for rare footage from one of the Kuchar films co-starring an incredibly young Art Spiegelman! Not to be missed!

* Also, if you’re now a “Broc of the Stone Age” fan, like me, you can find

complete—I’ve only showcased the non-explicit images with this post.

_________________

All Meatmen reviews are ©2001-2012, Henry R. Kujawa, all rights reserved; posted and linked with permission. All artwork © years of original publication and 2012 their respective creators, all rights reserved; all images are posted for archival and educational purposes. 


Discussion ¬

  1. Henry R. Kujawa

    Wow! Thanks a lot, Steve. Hard to be sure, but Vol.22 sounds like it might have been the first review I wrote. I got those books completely out of sequence.

    That full-color illo of Coley was a real surprise. I once put together a gallery of Coley pin-ups at a Yahoo group that contained many pieces not included in the reprints. I also corresponded with John Blackburn for awhile, and he always flipped me out by including original drawings on the letters, or on the envelopes. But I’ve never seen that one.

    The Hurricane Kids review cracks me up. It always amazes me when 2 different people have very similar ideas, without any knowledge of the other. (In my case, the exploding dino was the one clue in the story that it takes place in the future, not the distant past.)

    This overview was so long, I guess you’ll get to the John Blackburn books later. If my financial situation allowed it, I’d love to be able to collect and re-publish his stuff myself. The writing is that good! Blackburn became one of my many inspirations. I’m sure I would have done STORMBOY anyway (I created the character back in 1966), but I doubt I would have done an X-rated version if I hadn’t been readng the Coley books.

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