Collection of postcards
by Gengoroh Tagame (田亀源五郎)
Photographed from the collection of the Tom of Finland Foundation.
Gengoroh Tagame’s illustrations from the covers of G-men‘s early issues are the source material for this 1998 set of postcards. In an e-mail, Tagame explains that the hand-written dedication to “Mr. Hooven” refers to F. Valentine Hooven III, “the author of Beefcake: The Muscle Magazines of America, 1950-1970.” Tagame met Hooven in 1995 when, along with the chief editor of G-men, he visited the Tom of Finland Foundation to gather materials for their new magazine:
Since the 1950’s, the works of ToF [Tom of Finland] were already published many times in Japan, but all of them were piratical publishing. They were just expendable pornographic eye candy, and never introduced the artist himself.
I was a big fan of ToF, and already mail-ordered 2 books of “Retrospective” personally from the publisher.
So, when I started G-men, I wanted to feature ToF formally, not only his works, but his portrait as an artist. The chief editor agreed, and we went to USA for a week for coverage.
We went to San Francisco first, to walk with the pride march (one of our friend who was a Japanese postman had the plan to walk with SF’s postmen group, so we asked to join it, and walked).
Second, we went to LA to visit ToFF. Then we visited their place, and had meeting with Durk Dehner, Richard Hawkins and F. Valentine Hooven III who is the author of Beefcake: The Muscle Magazines of America, 1950-1970.
There, I saw the original drawings of ToF for the first time, and was very impressed, and also impressed to see Tom’s playroom in the basement.