15 Oct Review: Doable Guys – Volume One
Luscious candy-colored visions of lust, reflecting a wide breadth of masculine do-ability.
I honestly am not sure how I came upon the Doable Guys series launch the first time, but am sure it had to do with the amount of anime and Furry tumblrs I follow and my insatiable hunger for hypersexual depictions of men who are comfortable in their bodies. But as soon as I became aware of it, it became an instant Baader-Meinhof situation and I was encountering posts about it everywhere. If you’re not familiar, here’s the headlines, (via the About page on the Doable tumblr):
Doable Guys is an art anthology zine focusing on each artists interpretation of guys they see as “bang-worthy.“
The goal of this zine is to create a beautiful, fun collection of illustrations and comics that are also boner-inducing.
If you’re active on tumblr it’s possible you came across it too, without even realizing what you were looking at. The Doable Guys anthology (which my fingers are so desperate to type as “dooable guys” for some reason) is the product of the sexy imaginations of Kyle Anderson and Lena Green, who have taken time out of their busy lives to curate what will become an annual collection of sexy fukkin wangs and the doable guys that run them.
Kyle was kind enough to offer to answer some questions I had about the work, and where inspiration to make something like this came from:
How did the idea for Doable Guys initially come about?
The idea for Doable Guys came one night that my friend (and co-curator) Lena and I were out for some drinks and complaining about feeling excluded from a couple of art anthologies on tumblr and a couple other places. Eventually we worked ourselves up enough and just thought, “hey, let’s just make our own!” A few years later, we finally got around to making it happen.
What was the process for choosing these particular artists for the first edition?
For this first volume, we reached out to to a bunch of artists that we followed on social media. Our biggest goal was diversity, in both artistic style and the subjects. We wanted there to be a little something for everybody. And seeing artists who got more sexually explicit with their work always caught our eye. It wasn’t a requirement for the book itself, but we wanted people who weren’t afraid of it.
How many volumes of DG can we look forward to?
Right now, we are planning to make it an annual thing.
This seems like the kind of thing that might look especially beautiful in real life. Is there a print version of the work available? Might there be plans for one in the future?
I’m always curious about ‘behind the scenes’ stuff that leads up to beautiful finished products. What kind of criteria or instruction did you describe or provide for the artists involved?
We tried to leave it very open to the artists. We asked the artists what makes a guy “doable” to you? We were looking for something a little more personal. It’s all about celebrating the male form, whatever shape it might be in! And the only restrictions we put on it were no fan-art and whoever/whatever was being depicted needed to be legal, non-hateful, and consensual.
Are most of these new works by these illustrators? Or old favorites they had from other assorted projects?
I’d say about 90% of the works were made specifically for this. And the rest hadn’t been published yet.
Are you working on another edition already? AND (more importantly) are you taking recommendations for contributing artists?
The next volume will be out next summer. Hopefully packed with even more artists! We have definitely had artists get in touch with us about next time, which is really exciting, but we are always on the lookout for new artists that want to be involved.
Do you have a favorite Guy out of this first edition? Tell me about why.
I feel like it changes constantly. It has been such a pleasure working with all of these artists. We came into this ready for everyone to turn us down or just never respond, so to have other people actually get excited about it was really great to see! Not only are they all extremely talented artists, but absolute sweethearts as well.
As with this review of one of Dale Lazarov’s most recent books, I can’t show you all the good stuff here, but I can show you some favorite highlights and promise that it’s well worth your bucks, in the end.
Of all of the artists featured here, the works that caught my eye first were the ones that look probably most like my own tumblr. Hairy, often thick, casually sexual men who flaunt their desirability without cockiness or arrogance. It’s impossible not to think of things like Tom of Finland, Belasco, and the Summer Diary Project when flipping through these alluring depictions of sex and sexually potent males. Not necessarily because they conjure up direct associations (although Lucky Sanford’s entry certainly calls to mind the men of Belsaco’s world – thick, overtly sexual, well-endowed men with full lips and chess-pawn nips always get my nuts churning pretty quickly) but more because without the groundwork of ToF and the wider cultural acceptance of masculine sexuality brought to the mainstream by art photography like SDP, we might not get to enjoy such conspicuous and prideful depictions of male pleasure today.
In that context, Doable is not just a showcase for some pretty penis illustrations, but a significant nod to some gay cultural institutions and a celebration of different bodies, different desires, and different visions of do-ability. I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to anything I’ve been saying about mainstream gay pornography, but that’s fucking rare as fuck. Like. Unicorn flying over a rainbow rare. Soak it in where you can. Here’s my favorite selections:
I highly encourage you to check out the Doable tumblr, follow them on Instagram and consider picking up your own digital or print copy of Volume 1 of Doable Guys. It’s inexpensive and the proceeds go to renowned LGBT charity GLSEN. So you’re basically giving some bucks to a group that deserves it, and getting some free dick drawings in return. It’s a good deal. Trust.
ALSO! If you’re in NYC, Doable is hosting some live drawing nights on the first Wednesday of every month! It’s only 20 bucks, and you’re guaranteed to see some model dicks, even if you’re not that good at drawing! I’m gonna be at the next one (in November), so let’s hope I retained something from my art school days.