To my readers......

I'm playing with the mitchmen blog format to improve the display of landscape pictures and text readability.
If you see a post that's wrecked, please post a comment against it.

Thanks for visiting Mitchell's blog

(Jan 18th 2018)

Monday, 19 February 2018

Malex in space


I tend to think of Malex as a purveyor of teeth-gritting, snuff imagery but there's plenty of less scary fetish material from him. His Sci-Fi and Space images are particularly interesting. 

This image showing a helpless, naked captive gazing out of a space ship window where a battle seems to be in progress. It's not obvious why he is in this position, a hostage hoping for rescue perhaps. The picture makes him seem highly vulnerable, as indeed he is should a stray blast damage the air tightness of his vessel. The sense of danger is subtly erotic in quite a powerful way. 

Seeing Malex's familiar and rather austere 'black and white' technique applied in a Sci-Fi context brings out it's relationship to the style commonly used in commercial adventure and war comic books. Perhaps Malex also worked in this field.

Notice how the spaceship overhead (if that's the right expression in space) bears a striking resemblance to the Starship Enterprise. Malex often borrows from contemporary movie imagery for these pictures*

(*look out for the laser cutting scene from 'Thunderball', the half-buried Statue of Liberty from 'Planet of the Apes' and the frame whipping scene from 'Starship Troopers')

  

 This picture reworks the same visual idea but the scenario is even more obscure. (Some of these images come from the old Katharsis site so I dare say the there's a reader out there who knows the story line please let me know via 'comments'). Two space crew seem to have been turfed out of their bunks and tied up naked. Once again a (vaguely phallic) spacecraft hovers overhead seeming to pose an ominous threat which the blackness of the sky seems to accentuate. 

It seems to be the 'situation' that interests Malex most here, the two captives in this image seem fairly tokenistic representations of men, lightly built and relatively ordinary looking, you don't get a strong idea of their personalities or emotions in this situation, even their erotic state seems ambiguous. It seems that it's their nudity, vulnerability and captivity that is important.


It this image the unspoken threat is realised but not fully resolved as the captive is carted off by heavily-armed, robotic dinosaurs to face some further unknown fate. The method of transport invokes the representations of primitive natives in 20th century exploration/jungle stories, Tarzan being a regular 'customer' of the technique in that genre. The captive's suspension is reversed by Malex to make a more erotic display of him and incidentally give him a much more exacting ride to his destination. Whilst the captors here seem to be impersonal, clumsy automatons, the phallic log from which he is suspended hints at more organic tests ahead.


In this picture, the naked captive is not tethered to anything but is completely immobilised and unable to move. Tightly bound and hooded he's placed in a kneeling position that immediately suggests a sacrifice or execution. Surrounded by a bleak wilderness, his body is covered in perspiration indicative of his fearful anticipation. 

One threat to him appears to be from below, underground where a strange alien creature can be glimpsed possibly able to burst out of the ground and and consume the hapless spaceman. Materialising imaginary creatures is a risky business in terms of credibility (as the images below and tentacle art generally illustrates). The partial cropping here helps perpetuate the sense of an ill-defined menace

The starbursts in the background may be meteors, raising the possibilty that this man's fate is to endure a meteor shower out in the open and exposed while his captors hide safely underground. A sort of extra-terrestrial stoning.

 

 In this picture the castaway astronaut is being spread out and tied down in a similarly bare landscape by a fearsome-looking, horned, spider-like creature. We finally get a decent glimpse of the victim's face. He looks up in awe at a plant-like entity which looms over him with fluid dripping ominously from it's tendrils. Notice how the shadow of the plant seems to suggest a threat to the young man's neck. 

The background geology here is quite intriguing. What we initially take to be weird rock formations bear a striking resemblance to crashing waves and the more you look at it the more it looks like sea. Perhaps it's a petrified sea.


This unfortunate traveller faces a threat of a different sort, that of medical experimentation by curious humanoid aliens. In all of these images it seems these inhospitable distant planets have a perfectly breathable air for humans but not apparently for these creatures who are suited up as full blown astronauts rather than medical technicians. 

The human's face is covered by what looks like a tentacled creature inspired by the movie, 'Alien'. It's tail is wrapped round the guinea pig's neck making a none-too-subtle suggestion of suffocation or some other deeply invasive coupling. I use the word coupling deliberately, because at this point the captive seems to be quite excited by the experience. Of course that doesn't mean he is going to survive it. The unpleasant threat posed by this creature may explain the protective suiting worn by the observers and it may be that these are humans too, with a warped sense of scientific curiosity. 

It's interesting to compare the tentacled creature here to the ones that took Harry Chess and Mickey prisoner in my Ajay article (Part 3). Humour aside, these images are exploring similar ideas of being totally taken over, engulfed by a more powerful being, one not constrained by normal human rules.
.

This scenario too would be worthy of a Harry Chess tale for it's sheer outlandish complexity. The image of a terrified, tied up man dangerously balanced above a pit containing a tentacled creature is fair enough. Quite why the caterpillar-like captor is using this contrived method of 'delivery' requiring considerable dexterity to set up and quite how it managed to capture and tie up the human in the first place is baffling. That said, the danger ingredients here are quite compelling. It seems unlikely that the creature in the pit is planning to tickle it's captive and the caterpillar 'feeder' is suitably powerful and repellent. It's another example of inter-species collaboration like the spider and plant above. Malex's drawing of the captive is one of his more realistic and physically attractive human creations.

At one time, these bleak landscapes were standard sci-fi territory but I think Malex's folio is unique in terms of fetish art. Modern artists, helped by the power of computers, seem to have moved on to more fantastical worlds and creatures in lusher settings more akin to earth.

Malex's spacemen all appear totally naked, ramping up the hostile threat of alien worlds and airless space. He doesn't appear to have explored the erotic power of tight-fitting spacesuits which have always interested me. I have published two astronaut pictures here 'Astronaut by Mitchell
and 'Space Cadet Chastised' by Mitchell

I don't think there's any decent repository for the work of Malex, 
visit my original A-Z article on Malex for search advice and more about the artist's other work.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Bareass blogs 15


Bareass Baggage Bloke

(he loves to sniff the leather-bound boxes, when no one's looking)


View series from No 1

for more bareass boys click on the 'bareass' label below

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Bareass Blogs 14


Bareass Builder 
 That's a real man-butt! 
for more bareass boys click on the 'bareass' label below

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Bareass Blogs 13


Bareass Bungling Burglar, Bound and Butt-Ready
For more 'bareass boys' click on the label below


Saturday, 10 February 2018

A-Z of Fetish Artists - Ajay (Part 3)

Read this series of articles from Part 1
Boys in the tub - Harry Chess & Mickey Muscle

The two principal characters of the Harry Chess adventures in relaxed mood, indulging their interest in sleazy, fetishistic activities. It's slightly less caricatured than the comic strips conveying more of their relatively youthful personalities. In the comic strips they are shown as adventurous and open to erotic experiences but they always seem to encounter the wrong man. Ajay described Harry Chess as his alter-ego but the characters that interested him most were his villains and their generous pecs. The other images presented here capture that fascination with big, dangerous men.

Ajay - Getting Off
A much meatier, masculine man showing an equally meaty attitude to the enjoyment of bondage and domination. Whilst some take pleasure in maltreating weedy boys, the possibility of a beast such as this submitting to discipline seems much more exciting to me.

The fleshing out of the comic-style character seems surprisingly effective in conjuring up a more believable erotic ideal. But notice the sophisticated, angular shading technique on his six pack and the accomplished detailing of the biceps. More than a mere caricature.



Ajay - Marine Discipline
 In images like these, the frivolity of similar Harry Chess scenarios is transformed into something more substantial with impressive, equally muscled men engaged in earthy and forceful erotic encounters. The milder caricaturing allows deeply masculine qualities to emerge that would not be apparent in more realistic imagery.

There's still humour present of course but in this case it's the intimidation of the captive, the imminent, unexpected stretching of his limits that amuses, rather that the incongruity or absurdity of the situation which has mysteriously evaporated.

I'm not a fan of the "Yes Sir! No Sir!" style of submissiveness, but the Marine Corps labelling provides a legitimate context for it here. It's strange how potent dressing two men in identical clothing can be. Be it jockstrap, team kit or uniform, just telling them what they have to wear and giving it to them, assigns to them a subordinate status. It also links them together and curtails their individuality in a mitchmen-esque 'putting them in their place' sort of way.
 
Ajay - Nipple irons coming up!
The bubble reads "Go...Fuck! ...I gotta think fast. He's heating up those nipple irons"

In this image Ajay explores the concept of limits and danger more explicitly. An array of S&M implements and paraphernalia seem to indicate that this hunky brute is receptive to a wide range of fetish exploitations but he shrinks from more the prospect serious pain and permanent scarring. The danger of submitting to inescapable bondage in an S&M situation is part of it's intrinsic excitement and the trust needed to enter into it can be intense bonding experience for the men involved. 

But do you ever really know someone that well, can you truly trust someone who wants to engage with you in this way? The discovery by a captive, that his trust may have been misplaced, that his captor's intentions are misjudged or even malign, that is a moment that sets in motion excitement of a different sort, an emotion that forms the foundation of every horror pic.


Ajay - In the Lair
 I've tagged this image 'In The Lair' because it seems to encapsulate the ever-exciting allure of the mysterious, dark and dangerous, big and masterful man, here given a hint of Latino as an extra exotic twist. His captive, caged for his master's pleasure and discovering the delights of being dominated is pretty hunky himself. Contrastingly blond and still dressed in remnants of his clothing he seems to have a degree of innocence or inexperience about him that is already going the way of his clothing. 

You'll find Ajay's characters' sex equipment' quite often migrates to impossible but convenient places, I suppose you just call it artistic licentiousness!


Ajay - Cauldron
 This poster for a fetish club shows something of Ajay's softer side and more serious application of his technical skills to create an image that seems stylised rather than caricatured. However 'straight' images like this by him are hard to find. 
For more about Ajay, the man, I recommend you read his interview with Jack Fritscher

There's a decent archive of Ajay's work  at Daddy's here. It includes 4 of the Harry Chess comic stories (not all complete unfortunately). They are presented in deconstructed format for easier screen reading. The strips do work better in their original crowded multi-frame format but you can only still see Harry Chess in printed form in some of the 'Meatmen' comic compilations (including Nos 1, 2, 3 and 11), also old issues of 'Drummer' if you can find them. I believe there was also a collected edition of his work at one time.

Read this series of articles from Part 1

for other A-Z articles click on the label below or search using the artist index page or the search facilities in bloggers navigation bar or top right sidebar

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

A-Z of Fetish Artists - Ajay (Part 2)

Read this article from Part 1
Tentacle capture from 'That Man from AUNTIE' *

The methods used by the bad guys to foil Harry and his companions are often inventive but few are as unexpected as this scene where Harry and Mickey are captured by their lunch at a beach-side, seafood restaurant. Despite it's absurdity there's something quite erotic about this situation with the overwhelming tentacle restraint spiced up by the double-capture 'buddy effect'. The men's matching, swimming trunks highlight their nudity in the octopus's intimate embrace. There's a mouth down there, I believe!

The image has connections to the famous Japanese watercolour of 'The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife' and I would also mention the beautiful homoerotic reworking of this theme by Priapus of Milet in 'Force of Nature' plus a more recent tentacle animation of unknown origin. These pictures concentrate on the seduction and sensuality of the imagined encounter. Ajay, however, has transformed it into a tight bondage capture. This is surprisingly absent from most renderings of tentacles which generally depict spread-eagle restraint as a facilitator for penetration (click on the 'tentacle' label below for examples).

Buddy torture capture from 'That Man from AUNTIE' *

A few frames later Harry and Mickey (minus swimming trunks) are lined up for a sort of 'Pit and the Pendulum' experience in the baddies dungeon. The coup-de-grace, however, turns out to be something quite different to what you expect, the continuation is shown below. Ajay's Ying and Yang style of buddy restraint is most original, if a little confusing visually. In this close-up we can see that the anatomical detailing of the men is pretty comprehensive and only held back from being full-blown sensual erotica by the caricaturing style. 
("Gee!" is Muscle Mickey's regular catchphrase, part of his 'dumb jock' persona).

from 'That Man from AUNTIE' * (click to enlarge)

Ajay's talent for inventing complex erotic tortures and dispatches is well illustrated by the villain's environmental management system (top right) and in the final frame where a 'simple' telescopic lance is chillingly augmented by curved, spiked side pieces, presumably designed to 'embrace' the victim on impact. Ouch! As we can see, the heroes are just as inventive in finding ways of escaping.

In this example of a full page you can see how dense Ajay's Comic style is, with compacted pictures and a good deal of funny (and sometimes mis-spelt) text crammed in as well. This means that they are not exactly a quick read. The style is designed for and probably best suited to the magazine format in which they first appeared. That way they are able to be read at leisure, undistracted by the myriad other thrills which always seem to be just round the corner on the web. Printed pages also seem to allow 'zooming in' by the brain which doesn't quite work on a computer screen for some reason, but even in this medium they richly repay patient reading if you set aside the time and get in close.

The Drums of Bang Kock Wong

Ajay recreates another classic B-movie scene in this excerpt, the old 'trap door and hidden pit' trick. The phallic eels infesting the waters below seem to have the transmitting powers of modern zappers but I don't think Bound God's ever tried this scenario. Even in comic form the sight of 3 naked men struggling to avoid the plunge out-does the average Hollywood 'dangling hero' cliche by a considerable margin.


from 'Daredevil', the abduction of B.O. aka Amyl Arm Pits

While the comic images are not exactly sensual in themselves, there are exceptionally sexy glimpses on occasions and the fetishistic captivity scenes provide fertile ground for erotic fantasies which are not quite fully realised on the printed page (not altogether surprisingly given the date and the mainstream publication medium used). The hunky captive's little cry of dismay here in response to an ambiguous threat from his captor, is a wickedly well-judged elaboration.

With images like this it's tempting for admirers to separate out the most erotic elements, view this example. If you compare these two images you can see more clearly the painful tethering technique used on 'B.O.' but something else gets lost in the simplification. The richness of the original image largely disappears as does the sense of panoramic flow from frame to frame. In fact you can see now that the character with his back to us is actually participating in both scenes and it's a satisfying and sophisticated integration device.

The overlapping of B.O.'s tackle with his captor's trunks (and presence of a hand nearby) are suggestive of intimacy in a general way but I can't see any specific 'hidden eroticism' in the juxtaposition. The tantalising little star (which is baffling in the cut down version) may be be the answer (is it referencing electricity or anatomical clenching?). It's possible Ajay was deliberately obscuring risky detail here or simply teasing his readers, but there's not a lot of evidence of such caution or coyness elsewhere in these works.

from Bang Kock Wong

Ajay does not idealise his team of heroes into handsome hunks nor the villains they face of course, but occasionally a good guy happens by who is allowed to look 'interesting'. This Marine, Lieutenant Rimmer, arrives with his men just in time to cart off the dejected villains and immediately attracts the universal, wistful admiration of the crew.

from Daredevil Doll
This equally rugged looking character is one of the FUGG* support team,
It's James Bond's techie 'Q' reimagined as big 'F' for gay consumption (so to speak)
That bull neck and jutting jaw is reminiscent of former English rugby player Lawrence Dellaglio

*There's a good round-up of acronyms and characters in the wiki article on Harry Chess


It's easy to dismiss Ajay's contribution to gay culture and liberation through his Harry Chess comics, but his assertion of all things gay, both sexual and social, serious and camp back in the mid-sixties, represented a rare (if not unprecedented) public expression of a completely formed and genuine, gay, cultural identity which was contemporary and not glorified by classical precedents. All gay men could potentially see and recognise themselves in the references, gags and political barbs, something that had never happened before in such an open way. As such he deserves to stand proudly alongside Armistead Maupin whose 'Tales of the City' stories set out on their similar (if less pornographic) path much later, in 1978.


In Part 3 of this article I will look at Ajay's more convential erotic images
which give a more rounded view of his artistic capabilities.

Go to Part3

Note: Part 1 of this article was originally published in 2008 
but entirely re-written in 2018 and Parts 2 and 3 added

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Ajay revisited

Ajay - from Harry Chess - Bang Kock Wong
As part of my on-going updating of early mitchmen A-Z articles, I have completely rewritten the piece on Ajay and expanded it to three parts. In retrospect I underestimated his importance in the fetish art world and I admit I was put off in those early days by the rampant explicitness and sadism, which the example above graphically illustrates!

from Daredevil Doll
These days the political incorrectness troubles me more, but then he was Jewish!

You can read part one of the revised article at