Dec 152017
 

Tom of Finland (2017). Directed by Dome Karukoski, written by Aleksi Bardy and Dome Karukoski. IMDB

I only know the broad outlines of the life of Touko Laaksonen‘s, AKA Tom of Finland, so I can’t attest to the historical accuracy of this film. It is definitely a biopic, not a documentary.The film spans a considerable span of time, from Laaksonen’s furtive outdoor experiences during WWII to his celebrity in HIV-era America.

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Nov 152017
 
Nov 142017
 

Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman (2017). Director and writer Angela Robinson. IMDB

Who was Professor William Moulton Marston? A fantasist in the tradition of Frank Baum or Lewis Carrol? A guy who ruled a secret menage a trois with his wife and his younger student? A failed academic turned huckster and pornographer with a line in psychobabble? A loving father and husband with an unorthodox, closeted family?

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Oct 242017
 
Still from the film. Central is Bella Heathcote as Olive Byrne. In the background is JJ Field as Charles Guyette.

Still from the film. Central is Bella Heathcote as Olive Byrne. In the background is JJ Field as Charles Guyette.

[The film Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017, dir. Angela Robinson) is a “based on true events” story of William Moulton Marston, the two women he lived with, his interest in bondage, and how all of that influenced his superheroine creation, Wonder Woman. The film includes scenes in the 1930s in which Marston meets Charles Guyette, an early pioneer of fetish/BDSM media in the USA. While Marston definitely had an interest in bondage and fetishes, I was skeptical that meeting had actually occurred. I asked Richard Pérez Seves, a fellow kinky historian, and author of a biography and photo collection of Guyette, if this had happened.]

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Oct 152017
 

The complete manuscript is now with the publisher, along with the bibliography and a variety of other paperwork. Right now, the biggest problem is getting the art I want. I know the images I want to use, but finding high resolution (300DPI or better) scans is hard enough. The real struggle is getting the rights. Figuring out if a given image is in public domain is far more complicated than it ought to be. Images published between certain dates are probably public domain, if they haven’t had their copyright renewed. But finding out who has the proper rights to an image published decades ago, by a company that has probably long since dissolved, is very difficult. Some of the pieces I would like to use have been located in public domain archives, which only require proper credit to use. Others I’ve located are available, but cost money, and I as the author would have to pay for it. I am convinced that this book would benefit greatly from an authentic piece of vintage fetish art on the cover, instead of a piece of stock art, but it remains to be seen what the art department will come up with for the cover.

It’s too early to make any precise predictions, but it looks like it will be released in the summer of 2018. I’m already thinking about a book tour on the west coast.

Last month, I visited San Francisco for the Folsom Street Fair, and got to see Wicked Grounds, Mr. S Leather, Leather Etc, and the Citadel BDSM club. I wanted to see the Armory, but this was well after Kink.com had left. More to come on another post, with pics.

Oct 152017
 
Sep 012017
 
Aug 282017
 

A lot has happened recently. I have officially signed a book deal and my book will be published sometime next year, probably the summer. This is the fruition of twelve years of research, writing, submitting, presenting, and networking.

Right now, I am working on cutting the 120,000-word current draft to under 100,000 words. Most of that 20,000 words were a couple of chapters that I freely admit were a bit weak, and that material may appear on the blog or in other work. The rest of the words to cut are mostly overly long quotes and some redundancies.

I am also sourcing images. I had always assumed that publishers would pay for licensing of images, but this is not the case. The author has to do it. For a while, it looked like this work would be without images, but I’ve found some of the images I want to use for free in the public domain. There are other images I would like to use, and I’m debating whether it is worth paying for their licenses.

I will be updating this blog as I continue this work with my agent and publisher. In the months to come, you can expect to see a new title, cover art, and more.

I will also be in San Francisco for my first Folsom Street Fair in late September. If anyone there recognizes me, please say hello.

Jul 262017
 
Jun 262017
 

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but there have been important developments.

The first is that I have signed with an agent to represent this project, with the working title of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. (Title borrowed from William Blake.) This is actually my second agent, but I broke it off with the first agent a while back. The new agent sounds pretty enthusiastic and optimistic about the book, as both a commercial trade book and an academic reference.

I’ve been researching historical images at GettyImages, though I don’t know if this will be an illustrated book. I think it could have a strong visual appeal, but illustrations would require a lot of extra work and money to source the images and get their rights.

I’m also thinking about another book project,. One possible topic would be looking at heterosexual male submissives, which I see as an under-examined quadrant.

Second, I will be presenting on the history of female-dominant/male-submissive BDSM at the Enclave femdom conference in July. My first trip to the US since last year.