So you draw a queer webcomic: Monsters Union. This has got to be a pretty new genre of comics—do you think you’re its founder?
(I should clarify something I’ve never made explicitly clear: the comic title is actually Deckle Fetish, and everyone works for Monster’s Union.)
Oh my, no! Queer comics themselves have been around for decades, and queer webcomics have been circulating since before most of us knew what a webcomic was. A big part of my nerdiness is an intense love of comics ever since I was a kid, so I follow a LOT of webcomics. Just off the top of my head, some of my favorite queer webcomics are Rooster Tails by Sam Orchard, Curvy by Sylvan Migdal and the works of Erika Moen (Dar! and Bucko). I geeked out so much when I met Erika at WonderCon; she is such an inspiration as an artist.
I think about the only unique thing I’m bringing to the table is myself (which is the case with any artist). I’m enjoying making a queer porn comic as a queer porn star.
Tell us about the comic—who are your characters? Where did they come from?
My comic is set in a world populated by sci-fi, fantasy and mythological creatures as well as humans. All of these non-humans have various governmental organizations that work with them, but the focus of the comic is on the Monster’s Union, whose expressed purpose is to “facilitate monstrous activity in a safe and consensual environment.”
Our more-or-less main character is Whitehall, a librarian and caseworker at M.U. who seems pretty human, but is quickly revealed to be something else entirely. The cast is filling out slowly with his boss, Amunet Banoub, an ancient mummy with a penchant for sexually harassing her employees; Mary Kiss, director of HR (she literally only deals with humans involved at M.U.); Malcolm, a giant green gorilla and star client of M.U.; Von, a human who is very reluctantly taking an internship with Whitehall; and Sheila, a library page who’s only just now making an appearance. The aim is to portray monster activities as just another day job. Malcolm punches the clock, kidnaps a buxom princess, throws some barrels, and then at 5, maybe he goes to have a beer with his friends (and invites the princess, too).
Your comic explores issues of gender fluidity and queerness and sexuality, your self-proclaimed favorite topics. Why do you think the comic medium is a good one for discussing these ideas?
Comics are a medium of storytelling, and these sorts of human experiences of gender and sex are fascinating stories to tell. I have a storyline planned to play with gender fluidity, but I’m a little restrained in what I’ve been able to get into so far, just because of my snail-paced production schedule. There are lots of comic artists out there tackling these subjects and are much better about updating than I am. (The comic is currently my third job.)
Is Monsters Union a way of expressing the marginalization of queers and kinksters?
I think that monsters can be a metaphor for a lot of different types of marginalization. They’ve been used as literary devices for homophobia, misogyny, racism and even religious persecution. I’m leaving it open to what the reader sees in it. My job is to take these characters who are labeled as monsters, and show that they’re just ordinary people. They have day jobs, love lives and hang-ups.
So you’re pro-monster, then?
Absolutely. In fact, I think I’m going to steal that. If I ever do merchandise, that has to go on it. Pro-monster.
What is the sexiest standard monster, do you think? Vampire? Werewolf? Mummy? Swamp thing?
I’m gonna be a bit of a contrarian here, because the standard monsters just don’t do it for me anymore. I actually find myself drawn much more towards the unusual, lesser-seen monsters. It’s why Ms. Banoub is the only normal-ish monster that has popped up in the comic so far. I find myself doodling shy yetis, hipster nagas and white-collar goblins. The sexiest monsters make me go “Oh!” and reach for an encyclopedia to learn more.
Being a genderqueer male-sexed person puts you in an interesting position, as it seems many of the genderqueer porn performers who have established themselves already female-sexed, either by birth or transition. You are one of very few who looks the way you do in this world. Do you find it difficult for people to wrap their minds around your body and expression, or do you think there’s just more of a public desire to see female bodies sexualized, and therefore fewer male bodies being filmed seriously?
I agree that there are a lot more female-bodied individuals identifying as genderqueer, but I’m certainly not the only male-born person who has settled into this identity. I’ve encountered very little resistance about my personal identity, and often it’s more about the identity itself than about me using the identity. I’ve had a few curious fans who asked me to explain the whole genderqueer concept, and I’m always happy to educate.
As to your second point, that’s a bit more difficult. There is a lot of talk about male talent in the porn industry being undervalued, but I think that’s a mainstream issue that queer porn and ethical porn in general is working to combat. I mean, look at Heavenly Spire. It’s a brilliant love letter to masculinity. I’ve always felt appreciated for my body and my identity with all the performers and producers I’ve shot with. I can count off a handful of cis-males who are participating in queer porn, but I think it’s just another piece of getting all bodies represented in porn. We need to work harder to show the sexual beauty of the individuals who are underrepresented in porn, whether that be people of color, plus sized individuals, disabled individuals or any dot along the gender spectrum.
Have we just crossed some way-too-intellectualized line by suggesting maybe there’s still some discrimination in the way queer porn is viewed by its fans? Should we just stop? I don’t think so. I think part of queer porn is always critiquing pornography. There’s a certain intellectual bent in the way that we’re queering pornography at large, and we should be able to look inward to do that, too. We need to be able to point out and discuss any potential discrimination in our industry, whether it be in casting, marketing or consumption. However, we also need to do it in a constructive manner. Let’s at least transition. If you had to pick out the hottest experience you’ve had making adult films so far… which one would it be? Obviously the sex is hot, so I’m going to go with an experience that really stuck out in my mind. Whenever I do anal, there’s a lot of prep and I try to wear a plug when I’m in transit to the shoot, just to make things easier. One time, though, I was shooting over in Oakland, which meant about an hour+ of buses, trains and walking. So there I am, sitting on the BART train with all these people, and I can feel this big Pyrex butt plug grinding on me every time I shift in the seat or we hit a turn. And it hits me: none of these people know what I’m up to. I was on this morning train with these everyday passengers, but they had no idea that I had this sex toy rubbing my prostate for the whole commute, or that I was about to do porn. I felt so kinky. What do you WANT to do on film that you haven’t yet? I’d really like to do a boy/boy scene, for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I just think it would be hot, and I think a lot of people would enjoy it. Also, I just haven’t had many opportunities to shoot with male talent. My only scene with another boy was my very first, the Bordello threesome with James Darling & Tina Horn. I’d also like to do a costumed shoot sometime. It just seems fun, and if you know me, I take any excuse possible to throw a costume party. You definitely have a particular style about your dress and carriage. Who are your style heroes? I had a long stint where I dressed like J. Jonah Jameson almost every day (go check out my QTube video for more of that). Like I said, costumes are a big draw for me, so I collect a lot of odd pieces that I like to base my outfits around. I spent a good week wandering SF in search of a garrison cap that would fit me. I also spend a lot of time on my glasses, tights & shoes collections (whether they be sneakers or high heels). If I had the time and wherewithal, I’d settle into a style somewhere in between Josh Homme and Jiz Lee. What kind of music do you jam out to? I have a tendency to get intensely infatuated with one genre of music for weeks at a time before moving on to something else. My favorites are psychobilly, nerdcore hip hop, prog rock, psychedelic rock, thrash metal and desert rock. I would have to say my favorite bands are The Flaming Lips and Queens of the Stone Age.
Where can we find your work? My site, vidtuesday.com, has my comic and will direct you to most of my work, which has been for Cocksexual, Heavenly Spire, Courtney Trouble and Delores Park Studios. Where can we find you? At a used bookstore or a library. I also love old wood bars, so it’s been great that queer porn parties often happen at places like El Rio or The Lex here in SF.