Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Dildo Cover Takes Balls

A big hat's off to CityBeat for their cover this week. The cover story is a Valentine's Day themed montage of articles on various love related topics.

What takes balls is CityBeat going to the edge with cover art that slides in a Dildo on the end of the machine gun. It is subtle enough for the non-reader to catch while shopping at Biggs or other locations that fear the right-wing prudes (CCV) who have worked to ban CityBeat from as many places as possible.

1 comment:

  1. This is the first and hopefully the last time I am forced to write a response to the alarming misinterpretations of the intent of one of my illustrations. I am referring to the Love and Sex issue’s cover illustration. I knew that there would be some mixed reactions to my comic portrayal of the perfect Valentine’s gift from a man’s perspective as apposed to a woman’s. However, only in Cincinnati could such importance be placed on such a triviality. I have heard many ideas on why CityBeat would run such a controversial cover.
    The ideas have ranged from the left wing liberals of CityBeat trying to wave the dildo’s of sexual freedom in front of the repressed conservatives, to a drowning CityBeat circulation being crush by the bold, boring, blandness of Cin the Enquirer’s response to it’s declining circulation. Parents around our Tri-state have questioned the intellect and moral fiber of the CityBeat hierarchy for their disregard to the sexual corruption to the minors of our great city. These accusations and many very interesting pro and con arguments can be viewed at http://cincinnati.blogspot.com/.

    With all this confusion I felt it was my responsibility to comment. I will try to address the accusations in order of my level of frustration. First and most importantly, the two figures in my drawing do not represent anyone living or dead. In my line of work I often use photographs as references. In this particular situation relative’s photos were used for folds and lighting but those loose representations are merely archetypical of the image I wanted to convey. The models were never told of the use of the photos or that these photos had been taken for that use. After the illustration was complete I informed the relatives of the similarities to the characters I created but did not tell them the intent of the illustration. They subsequently being proud of this fact told people at their place of employment and this caused unnecessary complications. Any blame or anger should be redirected at the appropriate source, myself. Both of the people in question take their jobs very serious and do an excellent job at it. They should not be subject to the repercussions of my bad decision.

    The next issue I will address is the blame and responsibility for CityBeat. I have heard rants about legal repercussions for this horrible oversight and again let me assure you I am fully responsible, not the paper. The questions arose that they must have known the effect this would cause and surely some one would have checked the illustration before press. I have been employed with CityBeat since 1998. In that time I have earned special privileges that would not be given to new artist. One of these privileges is turning in a project seconds before it goes to press and even then it is checked by the director I work with. On this particular day due to the flu and his doctor he could not make the press check and when he called I assured him all was well. I said Ass Master 5000 and he heard Thigh Master 5000. Apparently the products slightly vary in use and this is where most of the problem arose. As far as those looking for compensation I am not sure of the current net worth of my dog, 79 Pinto, and two old paintbrushes for those seeking mental anguish damages but you can divide them up as you see fit.

    Finally the question arises if I am fully to blame and aware of the consequences this image may invoke especially when in the presence of a minor how could I make the decision to proceed. Some have said I am in search for fame and notoriety from this publicity stunt. I will assure you this is not the case. I have won multiple acknowledgements from the Society of Profession Journalism. My work has been featured at the Taste of Cincinnati, Oktoberfest, and in the Enquirer. Walk anywhere downtown and it is hard not see one of my posters. With this being said the idea of being known, as the sexual toy artist is not all that appealing to me. Mr. Flynt can maintain that title without challenge. As for the angry conservatives and bible-beaters I am a registered Bush voter and active in my church so it was not done in spite of you either no matter how special you believe you are. I have never seen in person, touched, or purchased any sexual devices nor has my wife. I do however believe there is nothing wrong with these devices or the discussion of sexuality in an open forum.

    The idea was based on a few simple concepts. CityBeat produces annually a Love and Sex issue and I had to come up with an image. I wanted to convey a humorous image about how men and women have different ideas about intimacy. I wanted to convey a change in the way society views sexuality as apposed to the past. The design is based on the old masters of illustrations: J.C Leyendecker, Coby Whitmore, and Coles Phillips. This nostalgic approach was supposed to represent the conservatively naive (Cincinnati) views of sexually juxtaposed to the new age sexual devices of today and our reactions to them. It also was a pop culture reference to the 1984 film Top Secret, which is shown each year on the network TV stations. In the film Nick River (Val Kilmer) gives his agent a device that looks like a jackhammer with a fist on the end. Another attachment (a large French tickler) was then placed on the end. Latter in the picture we see the device burnt to a crisp and we are informed by Nick’s captors that his agent accidentally killed himself due to the different voltage system in Germany and it took their best surgeons 3 days to remove the smile from his face. In 1984 I was 8 years old. I remember laughing that Nick bought his boss a funny punching machine. As I grew older I came to realize the device wasn’t a punching machine and I finally got the smile joke. When I was drawing my device I thought a fist would be more offensive than the actual device. If your children see a vibrator on a machine gun instead of a paintball gun or rocket shooter maybe it is time you sit down and have a talk with your children instead of writing letters about my illustration that you do not understand.

    A few months back I asked my Art Director how he could print the crap they put in this paper. The article was about abortion. I was furious at the seeming lack of thought that was put into the article. I asked him was this article just suppose to piss people off. He replied yes. I asked WHY! He told me so people talk about it. I finally got it then. My job isn’t just to make people laugh or fill dead space were type should go. My job is to stimulate thought to get people to communicate about issues they are passionate about. I did this illustration because more than ever I believe we need to communicate in Cincinnati. I am disgusted in what has happen to my neighborhood I grew up in (Pricehill.) I can’t watch the News with out hearing some spin about a pervert touching a youth or a shooting. Race relations couldn’t be worse when elected official platform on harmony then preach hate. The cover ups of the church continue to plague and tarnish the good works of countless devout clergymen and lay people. I am sick and tired of doing nothing and saying nothing. Until we discuss the problems in our community instead of sitting and doing nothing we cannot change them. I want to change them. So if I have to get your ass off the couch with a didlo I will.

    Danke,
    Wu-D


    P.S. God Love U Jed u lil NuT

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