To my readers......


Thanks for visiting mitchmen, home of Mitchell's Gay Art

The Caps and Collars/ Flat Cap Gang story at Google Groups has been on a break since January, I hope to resume shortly. (see Group News for link)

Message updated 5th May 2024

Monday 27 May 2024


At Last! He's Mine! All Mine!

Another sportsman, a rugby player, being tied up on the field of play (see Supersaver)
He was the only one who turned up for training, defying the miserable weather.
In the dull light he'd not noticed the figure in black approaching until it was too late.

This does not look like a run of the mill, criminal kidnap (if there is such a thing).
The attacker's shiny, black kit looks highly professional (and just a bit kinky)
It's as if the Special Forces have come to take out an important, 'person of interest',
intending to put him under extreme interrogation at a secret, military base.

It's hard to imagine why a  muscular and very handsome Rugby player would be hunted down by the Army like this. (Oh I don't know though).The mud on his kit suggests he didn't surrender easily, but somehow this skilled operator persuaded him to sit calmly on a bench so that his arms could be tightly clamped behind his back with dense, neat roping. 

His mouth is tightly gagged, it's more symbolic than practical, but nevertheless it muffles his protests and makes him feel uncomfortable and restrained. The same applies to the ropes tied around his thighs. They don't seem to have a restraining purpose, they don't prevent the man from using his legs, but they do restrain the muscles, severely restricting his ability to walk and run. This means the kidnapper can walk him to his vehicle rather than carrying him, but hobbling is a simpler way to do this.

The rain buckets down depressingly. The captive gazes upwards as if resigned to his fate - perhaps he's a deserter, a military offender of some sort whose past has finally caught up with him. Or perhaps he's trying to work out, what's going on, why me? You see, something's not quite right here. His attacker has not hidden his face with a balaclava as you would expect to keep his identity secret. The captive can see it's not someone known to him, pursuing a grudge. He looks more mature than would be expected of a professional kidnapper. Obviously, though, he's still good enough to take out a fit, rugby player. But then again the over-elaborate restraint has taken up a lot of time when you'd think he'd be keen to get away with his catch. Obviously he's done his homework and the filthy weather gives some insurance against being seen, but there's no accounting for the obsessive routines of joggers and dog walkers, so why take the risk? 

The alarming explanation that seeps into the Rugby player's mind at this point is that he's enjoying all this, overpowering him, tying him up, gagging him. It's too late now, his attacker moves to lift him off the bench, in what looks like a precursor to hoisting the guy over his shoulder, commando style, and sprinting off into the wood with him .


I'll give links to this artist in a fuller review scheduled for mid-June

for similar posts at mitchmen fetish blog, click on the label below

Friday 24 May 2024

Matt's New Art

I featured Matt's ear tweaking and spanking cartoons here in 2021. Like many artists he has begun to experiment with AI recently. Unlike many other artists he has managed to make an astonishing leap in picture quality with it, it's comparable to Franco's amazing  rebirth some years ago.
I've featured some examples below.

Matt - Paddle 002

The second bit of good news is that Matt's victims have grown up into splendid young men,
but still subject to old-style discipline and still clad in the briefest of school-issue grey shorts which are so tight the braces (suspenders) are scarcely needed to keep them up.

The familiar torments wielded by Matt are still in evidence. And if ear-pegging is painful and humiliating for a college-aged youngster, how much more crushing it must be for a man of mature years like this. As if being paraded in skimpy shorts, tight shirt and crazy dickie bow were not embarrassing enough. It even looks as his hands are restrained behind his back here, which Matt is not usually noted for.

Removed from the schooling context, this heroically muscular, adult figure tied up and subjected to bizarre punishment in outlandish clothes by an old man works even better for me. 

But I'll concede that young men do have special charms of their own.
The sense of movement in this picture makes it very effective.


Basil Clavering of Royale Studio, made his name in the 1950's producing  pictures similar to this with bullying and tight shorts* a speciality, except that he featured military personnel as authority figures. I think he would be amazed, as am I, by these images and green with envy at the freedom we have to view them. Oh that he could return and work this magic on his own marvellous images.
(*from The Cheat)

Thanks to JockSpank for introducing these images,
you can view the full collection there, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Tuesday 21 May 2024

A Chunky Inspiration


 A man lounges on a commercial trolley dreaming absently, as if bored.
He's completely naked, apart from sports socks and chunky trainers.
His legs are wide open, shamelessly displaying his cock and dark recess.
Balanced a tiny yellow platform, it's as if his manhood is being offered on a plate.

He is waiting for his buyer to come for collect him.
For this is the checkout of the 'Cash and Carry' of male serfdom.

He doesn't come with a name and the outlet didn't give him one.
I call him Luke.


Luke stretches languidly flexing his muscles as a customer walks by, 
He knows the sheen of display oil on his body catches the lights
and likes the way it makes them look at him - and at his groin.
They're sizing him up, but he's already spoken for, 
the buyer is completing his leasing arrangement close by.


Luke isn't tied up or fettered like a slave, he's free to get up and stretch.
But he can't just walk out of this secure warehouse, not even naked. 
But that's about his contract, not imprisoning him against his will. 
These days, serf labourers, as they are now called, don't want to escape, 
they get an up-front fee and their conditions are fair and governed by law. 
They submit themselves to serfdom by choice, knowing the score.

Luke gets up and stretches his muscles which have stiffened up sitting so long, 
He turns and squats on the trolley, flexing his back and legs,
also flirtatiously presenting his back and ass to an approaching group of buyers.
Luke has a beast of a back and they stop and watch him, marvelling at it

At this end of the market, few of them are looking for a lap dog or sexual servant, 
They are more likely to imagine him before them in the traces, pulling the plough share,
licking his back with the whip occasionally to drive him straight and narrow.
(Oh yes, you can do that under the standard contract, Luke knows the score)

This is a wonderful image, such a shame it's not in colour, 
it inspired one of my images in The Lost Patrol, 'Luke in the Can'
 (Part of a series that also lost it's way some time back! But one day!)

If you'd passed Luke in the street in the days before he went into service,
You might have given the man casually leaning against the wall a second glance.
Big, muscled, loitering in skimpy shorts, just out of the gym perhaps.
You might even have looked at those massive thighs and thought woof!
But the scruffy clothes, the fleshy face, the stubble, the hard look?
Maybe not.

Casual, hard. Luke cuts the same challenging figure in the saleroom
Out of his clothes, it's obvious he's carrying too much weight
But that's his niche, he's a heavy worker, priced by the kilo.
He'll shed some of it once they put him to work, that's called depreciation.
If he had cut muscles or a pretty face he'd be in a swanky sale up West.
But those qualities don't last either.

Take me or leave me. That's his style.

He's still obliged to shape up for interested parties though.
Putting on whatever poses they want from him, answering their questions
while the salesman does his patter, listing his skills and considerable experience.
The clients examine him, experienced fingers assessing his muscle tone and conditioning
He waits for their hands to land on  his thighs and linger there (they all do that).

Some pass remarks about his untidy body hair.
"You can shave me if you want", he might challenge them.
It sorts out time-wasters sometimes or makes a connection

Of course, they can do whatever they want - once he belongs to them.
Some buyers do it as soon as they've paid for their purchase,
shaving the serf's body bare, there and then, in the busy, checkout hall. 
Because they can.

If he's told to turn and face the wall, Luke knows they're interested.
He cuts a much better figure in that perspective too,
He likes to hear them say 'Wow!' or give low whistles of appreciation.
The salesman usually puts in some bull about impressing their friends.

Now his back will be subjected to tactile examination 
It usually takes longer if they are serious about buying.
The longer it takes them to reach his ass crack, the more genuine they are.
But they all finish up there.

Luke always says it's OK to touch it, but speaks as if it isn't.
Luke knows the score, he'll give it up if the client wants it,
but his reluctance is a sweetener, often it clinches the bargain.

His show of reluctance leads naturally into considerations of discipline 
The clients want to know how the prospective serf reacts to chastisement
The law says it must be non-damaging, on the back or the ass. 
That doesn't mean it can't be painful, of course.

The client must pay an insurance fee if he wants a try out.
A short session allows serf and master to gauge their compatibility. 
The showroom has a selection of suitable implements to hand.

Luke's style is to acknowledge the blows without dramatics.
After he waits for the touch between the legs that almost invariably follows.
Wanting to know if it will be aggressive, gloating or gently reassuring. 
Luke has his needs too.

Quite often the client will just walk away at this point
Attracted to the bull, but unsure about their ability to manage him.
Some never of them intended to buy, Luke can usually spot them,
they just like browsing through men who want to be bought.
It makes them feel powerful.

It's been a long wait for Luke and it's getting chilly in the showroom.
The doors are being opened for clients leaving with their purchases.
Some look at Luke sadly as they pass, thinking he's been left on the shelf.
Luke himself is wondering if there's some problem with his paperwork.
But it's reassuring to him that the client cares enough to check it thoroughly.
He'd rather be in a secure position, not returned under the money back guarantee.

By the time the client and salesman reappear, Luke's gotten quite grumpy.
A man with greasy hands just tried to fluff him and it's left him in a state.
One that delights the client, fortunately.

The salesman explains that the client has asked if he can take an option for life.
This means that after a probationary period his lease on Luke can be converted
by mutual agreement to renew automatically for the rest of their lives.
Luke has to give his initial consent to this arrangement.

He looks at the client hard, reviewing what he knows.
He's rich and spanks with a vengeance
He looks OK and has a gentle touch where it matters.
It's a tempting offer........

These images were published in Zipper back in the 80's and I rediscovered them recently while browsing through my scrapbooks and digitising them. His looks are quite unprepossessing in some ways, but obviously I was attracted to his animal bulk and masculinity back then, Those feelings were renewed while preparing this article. Woof!

Saturday 18 May 2024


 Maybe Superman ought to try other ball games

I'll give links to this artist in a review scheduled for mid-June

Wednesday 15 May 2024

Captivity Art by Eclyom

Eclyom - Old Marrakech 05 Taking Pictures Of The New Puppy

It's supposed that almost anything can be found for sale in the Bazaar and these soldiers seem to have stumbled on a dangling man of exceptional muscularity.  They stop to have their pictures taken with the unexpected sight. The naked captive isn't obviously up for sale, this looks more like a public humiliation. He has been strategically situated right next to the municipal water fountain as if he's expected to perform a similar public service, like delivering salty shots or just being a convenient licking block

Eclyom - Old Marrakech 06 A Picture Of The New Puppy

 Since the soldiers are carrying guns we might suppose they are not tourists but men on patrol, keeping order. They probably have orders not to interfere with local customs, but seem oblivious to the fact that the prisoner is obviously not a local. He might be a fellow countryman of theirs, an incautious tourist perhaps or even one of their own comrades, one foolish enough to have ventured alone into the Old Town late at night. Sadly he's drifted off to sleep in the heat of the sun and can't tell them - or object to their crass manhandling of his bits for Instagram purposes.

Eclyom - Old Marrakech 3

Later that day a different pair of soldiers pass by and find the captive has been taken down from the suspension shackles and his collar attached to one of the dangling chains instead. Now he's tethered like a dog on a lead with matching butt plug. Fortunately the lead is long enough for him to get a drink of water, not from the fountain of course, but from the bowl thoughtfully provided by locals, next to it. Just as well in such blistering heat. I'm not sure whether the plug is a protective device to spare him further blushes or an open invitation to passers-by to tease him by tugging on it (his tail that is).

The latest likely lads to have stumbled across him don't seem to be any better behaved than the last lot, they too obviously find the poor man's predicament very funny. They are both a lot better looking though, chunky hunks with attractive musculature playing host to a tasteful quantity of sexy body hair. 

They might be well advised to take care though, good looking Caucasians obviously don't pass unmolested in this town. That thoughtful-looking woman might just be thinking of earning herself a finders fee from a slaver, which would enable her to pay for some decent clothes. For that matter she might fancy getting herself an obedient man, these two come ready trained to command and that blond might be right up her alley, given the right incentives.

Eclyom - Old Marrakech 1 - Slave Market

Later that day, nearby, a Sailor looking for company has been drawn to three similarly well-built men standing on display at the roadside, in front of a shop full of cages.  They are all wearing collars which suggests that, even if they are not slaves exactly, they do have an owner, lurking within the shop perhaps while the Sailor picks his favourite. The owner might even be eying the prospective customer himself with more than passing interest, since he is not without bodily charms of his own as we can see very clearly in this picture. A young tourist ogles the scene as though he's never seen a sailor approaching a male prostitute before.

Eclyom - Old Marrakech 2 Just Purchased

The hunky sailor moves on through the market with his choice of manflesh following on a chain. Despite the title it's unlikely that he could have actually bought him, for a start he'd not be able to take him back to his ship as a souvenir. There may be an accommodating hotel nearby. Perhaps more likely, the actual knocking shop is discreetly hidden a short distance away and contrary to appearances, the slave is really leading him there. 

A passing woman admires the sailor's bottom, she might even be in collusion with the pimp, summoned by him to put her seal of approval on the prospective acquisition. The young tourist kneeling to photo the pair of them for his scrapbook may turn out to have captured the last known sighting of Ed Grant of the USS Bigdick before he mysteriously disappeared in the seedy hurly-burly of the Old Town.

If you like this scenario, have a look at Amalaric - A Slave To Passion

Eclyom - Master and Puppies 1

It turns out this artist has a bit of a thing about dogs. I don't, but I do very much like this line-up of hunks forming an honour guard for their master on the local recreation ground. The group submissiveness here is something else. Their behaviour isn't like any pack of hounds I've seen, so he must be a ruddy good trainer. It's the whip what does it, I suppose. Or whatever he puts in their food. 

Eclyom - Dog Parade 2

In other pictures in the series it transpires that he dotes on his pets, even going so far as to tickle their tummies (and crotches, methinks). Imagine the jealousy amongst this lot if they don't get scratched behind the ears on a daily basis.

The picture on the wall gives me a convenient link to the next example of this artists work.

Eclyom - Spartan Tableau

Rendering is a medium that leads artists into constructing formal tableaux, particularly since it's so easy to summon up interesting, arty backgrounds and objects. The resulting images are pretty, but not always that easy to decipher in the absence of dramatic clues. However, this image has more interest than first appears. 

It looks like an adventurer from classical times presenting the spoils of his most recent excursion to his Overlord (who seems to have a taste for Moorish wall decoration). The collection includes lots of shiny objects (which I hesitate to describe as gold since we saw some of them earlier, down in the Bazaar). There's also a sword which would typically be that of a defeated adversary. 

Oh - and there's also a man, I nearly missed him! Big, naked and shackled hands and feet. Quite mature too, not the sort of pretty, young thing one might pick up in the departure port to boost the Lord's Harem. Not that he's without attractions, he's in very good shape for a start, still got plenty of work in him. It's quite possible that he is the actual, vanquished adversary, still alive, here in the flesh, but now severely humbled. 

The soldier probably knows his master's tastes and there are few pleasures to match that of a powerful enemy reduced to giving personal service. Joining the Hareem might be a relatively attractive prospect for him if he is (or was) a man of some stature. Legends abound of slaves who rose to become leaders, but by and large that possibility wouldn't sit comfortably with the present incumbent. Unless the new slave can win him over, the alternatives for a captured leader are often grim - hard labour, pain, death or all three, one after another.

Eclyom - Captives For The Arenas

These three men have also been enslaved and if they ever had any standing in the world, it's all gone now, along with their clothes. They look as if they're washed up too - on the beach after their galley was shipwrecked and here they are sitting trying to recover from the trauma of it all and the exertion of reaching the shore. The illegal immigrants of ancient times, but more welcome than most modern counterparts because they come ready-to-go as free labour and/or arena entertainment material. There should be a cash bonus for the lucky guard who discovered them in this state, which is why he's waiting patiently for them to recover and look as if they are worth buying. 

Perhaps they've landed the job of loading or unloading a ship moored in deeper water off the beach. Those iron bracelets won't make the job of ferrying stuff through the surf any easier. Never mind lads, only another 150 oil jars to go! Still, it's probably better than working naked in the fields with scratchy crops and hidden thistles at crotch height. And it's definitely better than a stint in the arena (unless it's a cushy front of house job!)

Eclyom - Secret Agent won't talk

Another man who has fallen into the clutches of a powerful adversary. This spectacular image of a suspended captive almost brings us full circle in this article. A few years back it was very well known, widely circulated and adapted. The elaborate lengths that the interrogator is prepared to go to in order to personally wring the truth out of this man is extraordinary. He's even taken him home with him to work on. No doubt he has some special equipment he keeps there and won't want to waste the opportunity to try it out on this particularly gorgeous specimen. 

Personally I'd take precautions to prevent the expensive carpet being damaged by dripping sweat and stuff.  I suppose we shouldn't ask how he came by those two familiar paintings on the wall.

Eclyom - Secret Agent won't talk

At this point in the interrogation, the hunky agent has probably realised that getting him to talk is not the only purpose of this encounter. He's bedded a lot of beautiful women in his endless quests to protect his country and is doubtless aware that he appeals equally to men of a certain kind. However, he might not have realised that they don't all go for the romantic supper and silk sheets as a seduction technique. Indeed, once the quarry is securely restrained, seduction is unnecessary to this man, because ultimate satisfaction is there to be had whenever he requires. However, finding perverse ways to arouse him and keep him that way while he suffers can pass the hours quite pleasantly whilst edging towards the final goal. 


(Recent, free pages are loaded with AI experiments, pretty men but a bit dull as art.
Everyone is doing it at the moment but it will pass) .

Saturday 11 May 2024

James Seely meets some naked men

James Seely and Dave Hodge (AMG)

James Seely didn't only pose for Kris, he was also photographed by AMG using the name John Selig. This is from a duo session with Dave Hodge with both men fully naked at this point. James face is as expressive as ever. He looks here like the rookie learning some uncomfortable facts of life from a pro. It looks like a genuine reaction to something Hodge has said in a casual conversation, rather than being staged.  

James Seely and Dave Hodge (AMG)

A similar spontaneity can be seen in this unusual image, seemingly taken between formal poses. This series does not simmer with the same sexuality as the Kris set but seems a more relaxed affair with a naïve-looking James being here put at ease (or being chatted up) by his studio partner in a charming, unguarded moment, deftly caught by Bob Mizer.

James Seely and Dave Hodge (AMG) Wrestling

It wouldn't be AMG without a wrestling scene. James hams it up for the camera here but his body does genuinely convey a sense of great, dominating strength. His military tattoo adds a bit of extra edge. His partner's passive reaction is disappointing and tells us he is not really applying painful leverage, but it's still a great image.

James Seely and Dave Hodge (AMG)

Seely projects assertiveness more subtly in this photo from a 'biker' sequence (also with Dave Hodge). This set up is a trademark AMG image, much repeated with other biker duos. Some models carry it off better than others but this image certainly showcases Seely's built physique, contrasting it with Hodge's who appears to be the bigger man in the previous pictures. 

The scrunched-up sliver of pouch fabric emerging from between Seely's cute cheeks is a sexy detail, but more than a little incongruous.

James Seely and John Manning (AMG) - distracted

James also posed with AMG's well-established physique star, John Manning. Here they seem like jungle playmates, just out of the pool with wet pouches in evidence and suddenly surprised by an unseen threat (white hunters, I hope, but they are actually posed as if a body-building judge is lurking in the bushes).

Seely is dwarfed by this partner and there's a big difference in muscle definition between them (and pouch mass too if you're interested!). Nevertheless, James's natural looking physique comes across well, assisted by an alluring sheen of oil. Mizer has caught his face looking at it's boy-next-door best. 

Seely seems to be recoiling here, but Manning is confidently thrusting himself forward, almost as though armed with a javelin. His left hand hovers protectively just behind Seely's head as though seeking to make a connection.

James Seely and John Manning (AMG) - 

In this photoset, the two men spend a lot of time not looking at each other directly, or rather, James spends a lot of time looking away wistfully to the side while John, who presumably is supposed to be doing the same, sneaks furtive (and dare I say lustful?) glances at his new playmate. In this photo you can sense he likes what he sees and is inching closer, trying to make contact.

James Seely and John Manning (AMG)

This is a slightly bizarre way to compare physiques, with both men down on their knees.
However, it does show Seely's biceps to be more than a match for Manning's. 
John seems unimpressed, but intrigued by the infectious personality of the new boy.
Their forearms brush together.

Manning has actually settled his buttocks right down onto the mat, here, and is leaning back in a passively inviting position that creates an erotic display at his groin. Seely, less experienced and less relaxed enjoys the fun of participating and the illusion of being in charge, but he's matched with a man here who knows that sexual presence is more telling than bravado.

James Seely and John Manning (AMG) Wrestling

Seely's Marine Corps background seems to earn him ascendency in the wrestling.
As with Hodges he puts plenty of effort into making it look convincing, 
but, like Hodges, Manning looks like his mind is on something entirely different.

James Seely and John Manning (AMG) - bewitched

When the men are told to take off their pouches, the atmosphere changes
The full majesty of Manning's physique is revealed.
Propriety is satisfied by maintaining formal body-building poses, distanced apart.
but arm flexing leaves no place for modesty and it's only natural to be curious.
John seems to be openly eying up his partner's 'form'.
James suddenly looks like a rabbit caught in car headlights.

A curious object has appeared at James' feet in this sequence, 
an invaluable continuity aid, but what is it?

James Seely and John Manning (AMG) - Intimidated

As they inch closer together, Seely's confidence seems to drain away.
We get a great view of Manning's sweeping back 
but James, who has a glorious back himself, seems to shrink.
The joker has met his match.

Next time: fun in the shower

Wednesday 8 May 2024

Art by Holzman

Holzman - Merchant Navy 1

This Hussar advert in Fizeek magazine in 1963 introduced a new artist to the gay scene, Holzman, with a 'playlet' about a nautical thief. The illustration shown is one of the opening images of the series showing the 'toughie' arriving with his kit bag. You can tell he's tough because he's got a torso-revealing, open jacket (leather?) and a cigarette drooping from his mouth. You sense he's a man with attitude although the cant of his head here is what smokers do to keep their cigarette smoke out of their own eyes. In that respect this is a neat little piece of observation by Holzman, documenting a practice that's gradually dying out. The tough is thoughtfully examining something that he's found, his seaman's papers perhaps although I suspect it's a bottle  (see below). 

I don't have all 16 images in this story or any information about their sequence and have therefore  simply numbered them in what seems to be the logical sequence

Holzman - Merchant Navy 2

The new boy climbs on board with a long, butt enhancing stride and a determined look on his face. 
The texturing of his jacket and jeans suggests they might be leather, which in the 60's was thought of as the uniform of wild bikers. However, the presence of turn-ups and the styling of the jacket with visible seams is more suggestive of denim, a more suitable material for working on a boat.

Holzman - Merchant Navy 3

Below decks, the toughie examines a bottle of alcohol which has a label promising serious gut rot. It's enough to make him drop his cigarette, which apart from being a breach of good manners, is liable to start a fire on a boat, a danger to life and limb. 

Despite these shortcomings in character we are learning about, he's portrayed as a sexy beast. The 'Latin look' was quite common iconography at the time and very exotic to UK eyes. The exaggerated fleshy lips and dark-rimmed eyes seem to be borrowed from female notions of sexual allure (unfortunately for the image of gay men). A distinctive vocabulary for the male equivalent had yet to be developed (and probably wouldn't have been accepted by society at large anyway).

The straw-clad carafe of wine in the cupboard behind him is a nostalgic image from a less sophisticated era in the UK. You might also recognise the 'Heinz 57 Varieties' label on the tin on the bar, amazingly it hasn't dated in 60 years and I suppose the same is true of his fashion wear.

Holzman - Merchant Navy 4

In this image it seems that the new crewman has removed various articles to his cabin and is about to hide them in his kit bag, furtively concealing his actions from a member of the crew working on the deck just outside. It must be a hot day because everyone seems to be undressing. The enticing glimpse of flesh through the porthole is the calf of a crewman walking towards the left of the picture. 

You could be forgiven for thinking here that the thievery entailed drinking the liquor and then topping up the bottle to hide the theft. However I can imagine this clever 'hidden eroticism' probably escaped the attentions of the censor and deservedly so, because it's very nicely drawn, a neglected classic. 

The villain has become more Anglo-Saxon-looking in this image, but I think it is the same character. judging mainly by the turn-ups (image 2) and the presence of the two tins. The Latin look does return later but only in one special example.

The smoky effect at the left, by the way, is not the result of his dropped cigarette but a scanning effect. It has fortuitously added a nice texture of dappled light to an otherwise 'flat' image.

Holzman - Merchant Navy 5

The villain's activities are disturbed by the arrival of a 3rd crewman (also apparently wearing a leather jacket). He too starts to undress, whistling as though routinely changing into his work clothes, which judging by the porthole vision in the previous picture might consist of very few clothes indeed. The thief is horrified, presumably imagining he's about to be exposed - as a thief, according to the story line, or, in the more subversive sub-text, as a man who has problems with naked male flesh. 

Holzman's picture here copies classic, film noir imagery, with the unsuspecting innocent making himself ever more vulnerable to a hidden threat of which he's unaware. The hidden eroticism in this image surrounds the ambiguous interpretation of the bottle, angled just right to suggest the villain is getting other ideas about dealing with this new arrival. The coat hook just above his head provides a more graphic hint of what he might have in mind with the backing plate suggesting a tight fit. 

Holzman - Merchant Navy 6

The crisis seems to be precipitated by the arrival of a third man. He appears to be the skipper of the vessel, previously glimpsed through the porthole in picture 3 and now revealed to be dressed only in a cap, skimpy slip and sea boots (the last a worrying link to the contents of the bottle!). At this point the undressing crewman has lowered his underpants. In fact they are nowhere to be seen, presumably lost in the folds of his jeans, unless they're ripped to pieces on the floor.  

The villain's reaction seems a bit over the top. In the story plotline he seems to think that his exposure as a thief is imminent and so goes into self-defence mode, smashing the bottle to use as a weapon 
(or it could be that he's suddenly revolted by the thought of sampling it's contents!) 

Alternatively, in the delicious ambiguity that pervades this story, the young skipper's sexy appearance here offers an explanation of the actions of the villain back in picture 3. His panicky reaction now is triggered by the rapidly accumulating male nudity and the sudden prospect that he might be about to witness something unspeakable going on between these two men, whom, we should remember, didn't know he was there until he announced himself by smashing the bottle.

There used to be a accepted legal principle of 'homosexual panic', i.e. a fear of being in imminent danger of being raped by a homosexual. This was advanced as a legitimate excuse for assaulting gay men and even killing them. In some cases the reaction hid the fear of having his own, secret, homosexual leanings exposed. This concept perversely confers a power on gay men over straights that is erotically appealing, if entirely fanciful.

 Holzman's rendering of the hunky skipper is masterly but some severe cropping seems has gone on, spoiling the depiction of his crewmate. The villain's aggressive act has been converted into a disembodied eerie 'manifestation'. This may have been intentional, to amplify the sense of panic and the shock to the sailors. It might even allude to an explosion of a different kind. However, it was also common practice in this period to publish incomplete images in order to encourage viewers to buy the full artwork.

Holzman - Merchant Navy 7

Somewhat surprisingly, the villain chooses to confront the defenceless, nearly naked seaman with the bottle rather than the Captain. It's him (or his nudity) that he finds most threatening, or it could be that this crewman has challenged him or is attempting to calm him*. Interestingly, his jeans have now dropped round his ankles and the villain is suddenly sporting a recognisable manifestation of excitement in his jeans rather than the generalised bulge seen occasionally in the preceding pictures. 

*Perhaps Holzman simply thought it made a better picture. Whatever the case it's a great image using a challenging viewpoint. The quality of these pictures in both technical and dramatic terms is certainly on a par with the emerging stars of this era - Tom of Finland and Etienne.

Holzman - Merchant Navy 8

The captain intervenes with a mighty upper cut. By this time, his half-undressed crewmate is down on the floor, on his knees (and with bare ass raised in a classic, passive pose). The broken bottle is nowhere to be seen, suggesting that he managed to disarm the villain before he could do any damage with it.

Holzman has included the coat hook (from picture 4) in this image, positioning it a short distance from the villain's half-open mouth. It sort of matches the sweep of the Captain's fist and suggests there's an erotic consequence in store for him, but is slightly off-piste in the circumstances.

I don't have a satisfactory copy of this picture but it's too important to leave out. 
The cartoonised version below gives a neater sense of how the original might have looked.

Holzman - Merchant Navy 8 (AI variant)

This more balanced variant gives a better sense of the drama of the moment. It also brings out the nudity of the fallen sailor, almost seeming to suggest that the other men are fighting over him (hence, I suppose, the presence of the phallic coat hook, which, in a bizarre AI tweak, is suddenly dripping!). 

However, we can also see more clearly that the fallen sailor's arm is entwined with the villain's foot, confirming his active role in overpowering him. 

Holzman - Merchant Navy 9

The thief is down but not yet out as the crewmates pile onto him. The captain's hands are clasped tightly together round the villain's neck and he is struggling manfully to detach them. The second crew member, having disentangled himself completely from his jeans and underpants, has grabbed the villain's free arm and is pulling it into his uncovered crotch, where it can't cause any mischief but feels nice. 

Ominously for the villain, his flies have come undone and his Y-fronts are pushing up through the gap and being nuzzled by the skipper's shin (entirely accidentally, I dare say). His choice of underwear makes the bulge in picture 6 improbable, although the picture below shows they are not a very tight fit, so maybe it was an escaper.

Holzman - Merchant Navy 10

The sailors turn the villain upside down, perhaps hoping to see what will fall out of his pockets, which is the traditional way of exposing a thief in kids' comics. It has the effect here of pulling his jeans off anyway, which will enable them to conduct a more thorough search (or something like that). Losing his pants also makes it a tad more difficult for him to run off, but I suspect that being undressed by these men is only going to intensify that instinct.

You may think you've seen this picture before and you'd be right if you're a regular visitor to this blog, because exactly the same picture appears in my article on the Art of Cas. The same that is, except that it is signed there by Cas. Cas and Holzman are the same person.

Another Cas-Holzman picture can be seen at the mitchmen Royale Studio blog in the 'Timeline' post section 63.1. It's in an ad, emblazoned with the Cas logo, but a contact address has been positioned on top of the original Holzman signature. The background to this name changing is a mystery. Perhaps something to do with publisher's exclusivity.

Holzman - Merchant Navy 11

Finally the villain seems to have collapsed, or at any rate he has stopped resisting. The crewmen lift him bodily almost as if intending to pitch him overboard. Their bulging trunks symbolically almost touch in a sort of low five (or three) you might call it . Apparently the stripper has managed to put his underpants back on. The enhancement and clarification of this image has brought the villain's underpants into stark relief, stretched tight round his buttocks and deep between them. 

The clues to what is actually about to happen to him can be seen behind them.  

This picture and 13 below have both been retrieved from small thumbnails in Hussar ads, hence the inferior, fuzzy quality. They suffice to allow us to understand what is going on, however. 
If any reader can supply better versions, please get in touch!

Holzman - Merchant Navy 12

The sailors hold the would-be thief down over a barrel, which can be seen standing against the wall in the previous picture. The captain takes the lead in punishing him, flogging him with a knotted rope. His crewmate sits on the villain's head to hold him down (with his balls resting on his shoulders where they can monitor the villain's movements as he reacts to the thrashing). His pose here, with the characteristic turning of the head is reminiscent of Spartacus.

The skipper's fleshy physique does not disappoint in this picture but his face has now transformed rather unpleasantly into an appearance similar to that of the villain when he arrives at the boat. This seems to be a look chosen by Cas to represent nastiness and it's been gradually developing in the Captain in the preceding pictures, like something out of Dorian Gray

Cas seems to be playing with a very dubious stereotype of foreignness here and unnecessarily so since it would perfectly OK for the cute, hunky, young man in picture 6 to maintain order on his own boat without turning into a demon. I suppose there's a certain satisfaction in the villain being 'out-nastied', having underestimated his intended victims. The crewmate steps up for his own crack of the whip next.

Holzman - Merchant Navy 13

The villain must have struggled energetically during the Captain's assault because the two sailors have now tied him down over the barrel with his arms and legs spread wide. The sailor who was earlier threatened with the broken bottle stands astride him with the miscreant's head between his legs. He pulls it up by the hair so it's snugly wedged in his crotch, almost face upwards here so it gets the fullest experience. He proceeds to flog him himself with the knotted rope, no doubt enjoying the villain's struggling movements between his thighs which seem to be dislodging his already skimpy trunks.

The skipper watches them, flexing his muscles triumphantly. He even seems to be rubbing his packet with his left hand, but that may be wishful thinking on my part!

Holzman - Merchant Navy 14

In this final image, again recovered from an advert thumbnail, the punishment seems to finished. The scene has shifted to a bedroom with a washbasin in the corner and the chastised villain meekly seeks the comfort of a cushion to sit on, on the bed. He's now without any underpants at all and there's a faint suggestion of criss-cross weals on his buttocks. It's possible that a bare-ass final spanking was the subject of one of the two missing images.

His two adversaries stand, lording it over him, with undisguised enlargements on their pants. One of them is resting his arm on a long pole which faintly suggests the punishment may even have reached into internal regions in some shape or form. The Captain, restored to normal handsomeness, breaks out the liquor that seems to have been the root cause of the problem. The villain hasn't got much to celebrate but it doesn't look like he's free to go just yet . You sense the affair is not yet over.


These images were obtained from the internet and some from TimInVermont
and enhanced by mitchmen where my logo has been added.  


more about artists featured by Royale and Hussar