I just finished my latest cover project which is for the forthcoming book “The Golden Age of Gay Fiction” by MLR Press. I thought it would be fun to share some glimpses into the process of bringing this happy little gay scene to life...
The editor, Wayne Gunn, envisioned a 60’s-era chance encounter between two strapping young fellows perusing a book rack for gay pulp novels -- and discovering each other in the process. After doing some research at the awesome site Gay on the Range, I took photo references of my partner, Dennis, and friend, Brian, who were both great sports despite some initial reluctance (and my constant nagging to intensify their come-hither gazes).
Then I began sketching...and the pompadours just kept growing! Also at this point, I was given some really interesting insights from Mr. Gunn about the culture of the era – specifically that gay pulp novels were often intermingled with hetero-themed romances in order for shoppers on the DL to peruse discreetly. He said that they would usually even purchase two or three other items just to conceal their “scandalous” merchandise.
Here’s the sketch that was approved.
Then I transferred my drawing to Gessobord (which is my new favorite thing!), and painted it in oil. The little gay pulp covers nestled in amongst their straight brethen on the book racks were especially fun. And here’s the final result, coming to a bookstore near you this summer -- and you never know what (or who) else may be may be awaiting you there... ;)