With this weekend being Comic Con in New York City, it is fitting to highlight ones that are being designed for the LGBT community. What if there was one that dove deep into the secret world of male escorts & sexual politics? Well… brace yourself, fellow gays, because there is one and it's definitely a series you are going to want to divulge.
Dave Davenport, who created iconic comic series such as "Hard To Swallow", has teamed up with porn star Bryan Knights to create a new series called "Velvet Collar". Bryan takes the role of the author, where Dave is the artist.
What's the background on this? It's the story of 5 male escorts caught up in the Fed's crackdown on a certain notorious escort website. It mirrors real life in many ways, especially with what happened with that particular website only a couple of years ago.
Here's how Bryan and Dave describe the series on its official Kickstarter page,
People who are sex workers rarely get a serious place in comic books. Their roles have traditionally been limited to victims, criminals, or as secondary characters with limited development. Their personalities, life choices and decision making are never fully realized.
While a rare selection of titles have had protagonists that are sex workers, they have been primarily female roles with limited agency. For example, in Chester Brown's famous Paying For It, the author strips away any individual identifying features, personalities and human essence from the women he meets in his encounters. Velvet Collar puts the color and life back into the people.
Velvet Collar would be the first comic series to focus not only on the lives of modern adult industry workers, but specifically on male-identified individuals. Explicitly, these are experiences of professionals who have voluntarily participated in the industry as legally recognized adults. This is not the same as those who have entered sex work against their will (human trafficking victims and involuntary participation.) The work does not endorse illegal activity. This work talks about what actually happens with both adult industry members and the people they are involved with.
Ultimately, the series breaks down how the performers are with their audience, loved ones and themselves. It sounds like an incredibly interesting series that paints sex workers in such a great light, and not the stereotypes that they have been portrayed as both in and out of the gay community.
If you are interested in donating for this project, or want to learn more, click here.