welcome to GAY ON THE RANGE

After two years of promising a brotherly companion to strangesisters.com, I've finally pulled the men out of the closet and onto the flatbed. Welcome to gayontherange.com, my homage to the hey-day of paperback sleaze, a world where lavender boys cruised horny corners and senators swished. Like most every other 1960's sleaze publication, gay paperback covers portrayed a fantasy world full of clichés and misguidedness and absurdities. Thanks to the defiant and talented artists working for publishers like Corinth/Greenleaf, being gay didn't have to mean a tortured and miserable existence... in fact, it could be downright fun! Look at all the smiling faces and knowing looks gracing the covers on imprints like Adult Book, Companion Book, Late Hour Library, and Leisure Book. There are, of course, plenty of pathological and unfunny treatments mixed in as well... such treatments were the norm long before and long after these paperbacks saw print. This site is a time capsule, a glimpse into a handful of publishers pushing the boundaries of "acceptability" in the quest for further fistfuls of dollars. The campy cover styles showcased here were short-lived. By the time the 1970's rolled around, the colorful illustrations were replaced by photos and more explicit black & white line drawings, the type most associated with Tom of Finland (though we much prefer Tom of Norway). So, for the love of your fellow man, shake those martinis and mouse-click your way through some bygone kicks. In a country where anti-gay sentiment apparently trumps all other social, political, economic, and global concerns, getting a few laughs sure ain't easy. Wave that rainbow flag (on second thought, don't — the design is hideous) and harken back to a time when men were men... more or less.

— Ryan Richardson
Austin, Texas
4.25.2005


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