The erotic allure of graphic art
Dale Lazarov has been creating queer comics since 2005.
Ahead of his appearance at Los Angeles Comic Con, I caught up with Lazarov to talk about the erotic allure of graphic art.
Your style of storytelling is wordless — you let the images do the talking. Why does wordless storytelling appeal to you?
Wordless storytelling in comics is more immersive. People dwell on the image and read the facial expression, body language and sequential art design since they are used to visual media or write their own dialogue in their heads.
What appeals to you about comics and graphic art that make this the right medium to tell your stories?
Ultimately, it’s a function of comics as a narrative form that it can present and represent the intimate and the subjective experience of sexuality. Pin-ups, photos, and video clips can’t — they depend on the spectacular or objective for its hotness. Fan art depends on the viewer to view it with the borrowed hotness of a context of another medium.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
At this point I have multiple places — my own history, what the artists want to draw, what I respond to in the culture around me, and what I want to see in gay erotic comics that I haven’t yet seen.
What’s your creative process?
Usually I start with a pitch — whether it’s inspired by an artist’s work, the canon of gay narrative art, or my ambition to represent something I haven’t seen. Most of the time, I write with an artist in mind after they’ve accepted the pitch of the project.
Which are some of your favourite characters or stories that you’ve created?
Fast Friends and Pardners have my best character-based scripts. Manly was the first book that crystallised the sophistication of what we can do in comics that no one else has tried to do. Super Creeps! and Adversaries! show we can even do it with superhero tropes.
What sort of feedback do you get your stories?
One fellow in France told me my books inspired him to start dating again after twenty years of self-imposed spinsterhood. Another told me that my artists and I surpass Tom of Finland for story basis alone. Another said that they couldn’t imagine living in the world without the healthy implications of the comics I publish. All of this makes my heart sing.
If someone was interested in creating an erotic comic or an erotic graphic novel, what advice or guidance would you give them?
If it doesn’t turn you on and if it doesn’t mean anything to you, it shows up in the story and art.
What are some of your goals and objectives for the months ahead?
I hope to continue booking comic cons and learning which ones have receptive audiences for our books — like AwesomeCon, C2E2 and Rose City Comic Con — so I can continue exhibiting in them in the future. I have several projects in process to keep a two-book-a-year pace going. Right now, I use publishing services that include printing and distribution but not funding, marketing and publicity, so I am eager to return to working with a traditional publisher.