(SOLD): [Tom of Finland]. AXGIL, A. Kake.

(Ostervang and Ringsted, Denmark, Aseda Sweden): D.F.T., and Tom Studio, no date (c. 1970-73).  First edition.  18 volumes.  Issues 1-3, 6-19, and 21.  A substantial run of the original publications of Kake.  In 1965, Tom of Finland began flirting with the idea of an ongoing character for his panel stories, the ultimate Tom’s Man. He tried out a blond named Vicky-a common male name in Finland-followed by a Tarzan-inspired Jack. Then in 1968 Tom settled on Kake, a dark-haired, moustached leatherman who often wore a tight white T-shirt bearing the motto “Fucker.” Kake lived up to this moniker, a sort of post-Stonewall, hyper-masculine Johnny Appleseed traveling the world on his motorcycle to spread the seeds of liberated, mutually satisfying, ecstatically explicit gay sex. Tom lived out many of his most personal fantasies through Kake, and Kake’s international fans made him the template for what came to be known as the gay clone look of the 1970s. Between 1968 and 1986, Tom published 26 episodes of Kake adventures, most as 20-page booklets and in doing so created some of the most iconic and readily recognizable imagery of post-war gay culture.  Kake robbed straight homophobic culture of its most virile and masculine archetypes (bikers, hoodlums, lumberjacks, cops, cowboys and sailors) and recasting them – through deft skill and fantastic imagination – as unapologetic, self-aware and boastfully proud enthusiasts of gay sex.  Through fastidious renderings of gear, props, settings and power relations inherent therein, Tom created the depictions that would eventually become the foundation of an emerging gay leather culture. He imagined the leather scene by drawing it; real men were inspired by it … and suited themselves up.  Issues measure approx. 20cm by 15cm save issue nine which measures 24cm by 17cm.  Issue nine with some wear at the spine, with a split below bottom staple, otherwise issue are generally in very good condition.  Single issues of these original editions are uncommon, a run like this is scarce.


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