Some sad news: after 21 years and 241 issues, G-men magazine will...



Some sad news: after 21 years and 241 issues, G-men magazine will be ceasing publication. The magazine’s publisher, Furukawa Shobou, will continue producing gay manga for digital distribution via e-books and a forthcoming smartphone app. The company’s DVD and book publishing business will also continue. 

G-men was launched by founding editors Gengoroh Tagame and Hiroshi Hasegawa, along with another editor from Badi magazine, in 1995. The early issues (#1-62) featured cover artwork by Tagame, during which time the artist was intimately involved in many aspects of the magazine’s production. The magazine’s impact in the 1990s cannot be understated: it helped establish a boldly masculine new aesthetic for the Japanese gay community, spoke openly about issues like HIV/AIDS, and had an outlook that was both global and proudly Japanese. 

Jiraiya’s hypermasculine computer illustrations graced the cover of G-men issues #63-124 (from 2001-2006) and set the tone for gay Japanese art in the 21st century. Aside from its iconic covers and culturally significant editorial content, G-men has published thousands of gay manga stories over the years. Many of the artists we love and frequently post about here on the blog developed their careers in the pages of G-men, including Go Fujimoto, TAMA, Noda Gaku, Kumada Poohsuke, Takeshi Matsu, Kazuhide Ichikawa and many more. Here’s an excerpt of what Kaz wrote on his English-language blog today:

I’d been drawing my manga on the magazine for….I think more than 20 years.
The magazine gave me lots of memories.
Through the magazine, I got to know so many people not only within Japan but also from overseas, too.
I think quite big part of my career as a gay manga artist came along with the magazine.
The publishing company published all of my 7 books. Wow.

Gengoroh Tagame had a more complicated relationship with the magazine over time, as he describes in a Facebook post:

I was one of the founders of the magazine, so once the magazine was very special for me. But our relationship already ended in 2006, when I was betrayed and was kicked out. Frankly speaking, now I already don’t have any kind of love with the publisher and the magazine itself (except writers and artists), because of my serious suffered memories on the break-up time.

So I can’t say “Thank you” and I don’t want to say “Good job” to the magazine. I only say “Good-bye”. It’s my second good-bye. But I want to say “Thank you, good job!” to all writers and artists who have ever worked with the magazine. I praise them to the skies. They marked great footsteps on the history of Japanese gay culture, especially on gay art. And I sincerely pray for their good fortune. Even if the magazine is over, the publisher is treacherous and the editor is incompetent, arts never die.

Gay manga will continue to thrive, and despite its at times problematic relationship to the artists, there’s no denying that G-men was an important springboard for the genre’s success. Its loss will be felt. The legacy and impact of this great magazine will reverberate for generations, while gay art continues to evolve and adapt. 

Some sad news: after 21 years and 241 issues, G-men magazine will...



Some sad news: after 21 years and 241 issues, G-men magazine will be ceasing publication. The magazine’s publisher, Furukawa Shobou, will continue producing gay manga for digital distribution via e-books and a forthcoming smartphone app. The company’s DVD and book publishing business will also continue. 

G-men was launched by founding editors Gengoroh Tagame and Hiroshi Hasegawa, along with another editor from Badi magazine, in 1995. The early issues (#1-62) featured cover artwork by Tagame, during which time the artist was intimately involved in many aspects of the magazine’s production. The magazine’s impact in the 1990s cannot be understated: it helped establish a boldly masculine new aesthetic for the Japanese gay community, spoke openly about issues like HIV/AIDS, and had an outlook that was both global and proudly Japanese. 

Jiraiya’s hypermasculine computer illustrations graced the cover of G-men issues #63-124 (from 2001-2006) and set the tone for gay Japanese art in the 21st century. Aside from its iconic covers and culturally significant editorial content, G-men has published thousands of gay manga stories over the years. Many of the artists we love and frequently post about here on the blog developed their careers in the pages of G-men, including Go Fujimoto, TAMA, Noda Gaku, Kumada Poohsuke, Takeshi Matsu, Kazuhide Ichikawa and many more. Here’s an excerpt of what Kaz wrote on his English-language blog today:

I’d been drawing my manga on the magazine for….I think more than 20 years.
The magazine gave me lots of memories.
Through the magazine, I got to know so many people not only within Japan but also from overseas, too.
I think quite big part of my career as a gay manga artist came along with the magazine.
The publishing company published all of my 7 books. Wow.

Gengoroh Tagame had a more complicated relationship with the magazine over time, as he describes in a Facebook post:

I was one of the founders of the magazine, so once the magazine was very special for me. But our relationship already ended in 2006, when I was betrayed and was kicked out. Frankly speaking, now I already don’t have any kind of love with the publisher and the magazine itself (except writers and artists), because of my serious suffered memories on the break-up time.

So I can’t say “Thank you” and I don’t want to say “Good job” to the magazine. I only say “Good-bye”. It’s my second good-bye. But I want to say “Thank you, good job!” to all writers and artists who have ever worked with the magazine. I praise them to the skies. They marked great footsteps on the history of Japanese gay culture, especially on gay art. And I sincerely pray for their good fortune. Even if the magazine is over, the publisher is treacherous and the editor is incompetent, arts never die.

Gay manga will continue to thrive, and despite its at times problematic relationship to the artists, there’s no denying that G-men was an important springboard for the genre’s success. Its loss will be felt. The legacy and impact of this great magazine will reverberate for generations, while gay art continues to evolve and adapt. 

Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make ItEdited by Anne...





















Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It
Edited by Anne Ishii and Graham Kolbeins
Designed by Chip Kidd

Big, burly, lascivious, and soft around the edges: welcome to the hyper-masculine world of Japanese gay manga. Fantagraphics Books’ Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It is the first English-language anthology of its kind: an in-depth introduction to nine of the most exciting comic artists making work for a gay male audience in Japan.

Jiraiya, Seizoh Ebisubashi and Kazuhide Ichikawa are three of the irresistibly seductive, internationally renowned artists featured in Massive, as well as Gengoroh Tagame, the subject of The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame: Master of Gay Erotic Manga. Get to know each of these artists intimately, through candid interviews, photography, context-providing essays, illustrations and manga. Massive also includes the groundbreaking, titillating work of gay manga luminaries Takeshi Matsu, Fumi Miyabi, Inu Yoshi, Gai Mizuki and comic essayist Kumada Poohsuke.

Drawings of Danshoku Dino by Kumada Poohsuke...











Drawings of Danshoku Dino by Kumada Poohsuke (熊田プウ助)

Danshoku/nanshoku (男色) is a centuries-old Japanese term for male-male sexuality, originally imported from China, that literally translates to “male colors.”  Danshoku Dino (男色ディーノ) is a pro wrestler whose tongue-in-cheek persona is that of a theatrically lecherous gay man. 

As demonstrated by this video, “The Top 10 Moves of Danshoku Dino,” most of the wrestler’s moves, including the “Cock Bottom,” “Testicular Claw,” and “Diving 69″ involve kissing, sitting on, or rubbing his crotch in opponents’ faces. Dino’s ravenous appetite for men is played for laughs, and the gay panic responses of disgust his actions in the ring elicit smack of homophobia, but his commitment to over-the-top homoeroticism is second to none. If Dino doesn’t identity as gay in his private life, methinks the lady doth protest too much. 

I love Kumada Poohsuke’s cute drawings of Danshoku Dino, because they opt to take the performer’s sexuality at face value. Poohsuke looks at the wrestler’s meaty, pouchy body and flamboyant fundoshi through the male-male gaze that professional wrestling mocks with characters like Dino and Hard Gay. Poohsuke is re-appropriating “danshoku” from Dino.

Drawings of Danshoku Dino by Kumada Poohsuke...











Drawings of Danshoku Dino by Kumada Poohsuke (熊田プウ助)

Danshoku/nanshoku (男色) is a centuries-old Japanese term for male-male sexuality, originally imported from China, that literally translates to “male colors.”  Danshoku Dino (男色ディーノ) is a pro wrestler whose tongue-in-cheek persona is that of a theatrically lecherous gay man. 

As demonstrated by this video, “The Top 10 Moves of Danshoku Dino,” most of the wrestler’s moves, including the “Cock Bottom,” “Testicular Claw,” and “Diving 69″ involve kissing, sitting on, or rubbing his crotch in opponents’ faces. Dino’s ravenous appetite for men is played for laughs, and the gay panic responses of disgust his actions in the ring elicit smack of homophobia, but his commitment to over-the-top homoeroticism is second to none. If Dino doesn’t identity as gay in his private life, methinks the lady doth protest too much. 

I love Kumada Poohsuke’s cute drawings of Danshoku Dino, because they opt to take the performer’s sexuality at face value. Poohsuke looks at the wrestler’s meaty, pouchy body and flamboyant fundoshi through the male-male gaze that professional wrestling mocks with characters like Dino and Hard Gay. Poohsuke is re-appropriating “danshoku” from Dino.