August 20th, 2009

andrew potter

Top 100 Gay Novel: PsyCop, Partners by Jordan Castillo Price

Guest review by Amie Love (amielove1)
Original review posted here:

I love this series and this author. After reading a few of her works, she is now an auto-buy for me and I have never been disappointed. I have to admit that when I read the blurb I didn´t think this storyline would work; I was never so thrilled to be so wrong. This is not only a romance, m/m, or erotica. Told from Victor´s point of view, these stories are rich and vivid, immersing you into an engrossing world of the paranormal and murder. The plotline and amazing world building vividly intertwine with the growing relationship between Victor and Jacob. In a world where the paranormal has now become accepted as fact, riveting mysteries take center stage. As in real life, the characters and their relationships unfold and grow as an integral part of the storyline. The eroticism of this book is beautifully balanced with the paranormal and mystery; none of the elements overwhelm the others. When Victor and Jacob are intimate, the first person perspective makes it feel immediate and very, very hot.

Victor is broken. He´s a detective and a medium overwhelmed by the burden of his psychic powers; he has difficulties living with the constant bombardment of harassing ghosts and repeated visions of their deaths. He is an oddity who makes almost everyone around him uncomfortable. He´s a scruffy and rumpled train wreck of a man, a drug addict with poor self esteem, a former mental patient misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. He is inundated with paranormal activity and struggles to conceal his homosexuality from his fellow police officers. He lives in a perpetual drug-induced fog in an attempt to reduce his psychic powers, living in a world where it is dangerous to be too strong of a psychic.

Jacob is almost Victor´s opposite. He is physically and mentally strong, well dressed, handsome, successful and intelligent. He is a widely celebrated detective in another precinct, and is the "normal" in the psychic/normal partnerships required by the police force. He is powerfully attracted to and protective of Victor, who is a bit confused by Jacob´s attention.

This series has fully fleshed main and secondary characters, fantastic mysteries, an engrossing plot and striking world building. I highly recommend the entire series; they are as enjoyable on the second or third read as the first. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to read these. Once you pick them up you won´t be able to put them down again.

Amazon: PsyCop: Partners
andrew potter

SubSurdity - Vignettes from Jasper Lane by Eric Arvin

Jasper Lane is a middle-class wealthy neighborhood. At first it appears like the neighborhood from the '50's american fiction, with pretty wifes who bake cakes, handsome husbands who trim the grass and All American teenagers who ride a bike and help the elders to cross the street.

But Jasper Lane is not your classical neighborhood and behind the doors, but above all, in the front lawns all type of events take place.

And so here you meet Melinda, a forty something housewife, with an husband you never see and a bithcy mother who lives with her. And since she married so young to escape her mother clutches, to be again under her hold is an hell. And then she worries for her son, that like all teenagers, is in that phase when he no more speaks with her and he always tries to hide things and above all thoughts.

Meet Rick, a sweet guy who is just out from an abusive relationship with a gambling man, a man who not only spent all his money, but also put Rick in a dangerous situation which ended with Rick loosing an eye. Now he is moving in with his friend David, who offers him a shelter for all the time he needs.

Meet Terrence, the epithome of flamboyant queer guy, with a love for antiquites and for expensive clothes. Also Terrence lives in the impromptu gay's shelter of David's house and he thinks to have an happy and careless life. But then he receives the "phone": the only girl whom he slept years ago told him he has a son, Christian, a sixteen years old guy who now wants to meet his father. And so we witness to Terrence who tries to change himself in the role of the perfect father, with pipe and sport newspaper in hand.

Meet David, a free-lance journalist in health and fit matters, and his lover Cliff, a huge bodybuilder with a side career in gay porn industry, who likes to be the bottom of the couple: don't miss them dressed as husband and wife, with Cliff in white tulle.

Meet James, a former army man, new in the neighborhood having inherited his uncle's old big house, who wants to meet Rick, but doesn't know how, above all since he is not out of the closet, nor with friends or family.

Meet Cassie, the wealthier lady of the neighborhood, who lives in the biggest house with a drag queen as lady in waiting.

Meet Steve and Sandy, the most perfect couple of the neighborhood, perfectly in love and perfectly pretty, who risk to fall apart when Steve looses his job and decides to accept to filming gay porn movie to avoid telling his wife that they are out of money.

Have you have an idea on how much absurd is this book? and how much in its absurdity it's genial? I was laughing like a nut for all the book, there are some funny scenes, and I continued to imagine all these scenes with fluorescent colours, pink, yellow, green, all vivid and brigh, happy and strong. It's like a Baz Luhrman's movies, one of his first, like Ballroom: all the characters have their colours, and they are so alive.

SubSurdity is another stunning book I will read often, and it's even better than Slight Details & Random Events, which was very good. I will continue to follow Eric Arvin's career since I think he will gift us with other wonderful stories.

Amazon Kindle: SubSurdity: Vignettes from Jasper Lane

Reading List:

Cover Art by HvH
andrew potter

Gay Commercial: One Life

I will post the Gay Commercial one day in advance since tomorrow and for all the weekend I will be out of town, and hopefully far from a computer if not to check my emails at night. So yes, even the weekend schedule will be delayed to Monday (excerpts and so on).

This week I decided to post on a campaign for AIDS awareness brings on by One Life, a no profit organitazion depending on canadian firm Bristol-Myers Squibb. The new campaign has the following slogan, "Each time you sleep with someone, you also sleep with his past", and it is represented by the images of three couples, two same sex couples and one het couple. One of the same sex couple is also a interracial one. I think the main purpose of the campaign is to prove that being AIDS aware is not strictly linked to be gay or to your social status.

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The ads were photographed by Alain Desjean for ad agency Bleublancrouge, Montréal, Canada. I like very much the "dry" style, that conveys so much intimacy.

Another very strong campaign, Spread the Word, was the one with the slogan "You Got "One Life", Get Tested", which was represented by a series of little ad with powerful messages for each one. You can see the whole commercial at One Life website ( or the single ads on Youtube:

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andrew potter

Nick Backes: Classic and Vintage

Professional Artist and Illustrator with extensive experience in publishing, fashion, advertising, television, and retail industries for over 25 years, Nick Backes is known for creating classic, realistic images for a diverse clientele. Accomplished in pencil, pastels, and oil, he was honored in the Society of Illustrators Show in New York City with work in the Society’s Thirty-First Annual of American Illustration. He has also additional experience in theater art.

OK - Let's Talk, 18" x 24"

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“I’ve never liked my work,” Backes said. “I don’t think it’s good. I prefer other artists, and like different styles than what I do.” Despite Backes’ personal opinion, for decades the 58-year-old Oklahoma City native has made a career out of creating art for those who see his work in a much different light.

Nick Backes lives and works in Oklahoma City, OK, and formerly was a San Francisco's resident. He attended Academy of Art, San Francisco, CA, and previously University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK. He served as Designer and Illustrator for OKLAHOMA EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION AUTHORITY (OETA) while attending Central State University on full scholarship. Backes studied art as his major, while minoring in theater. It was several years after moving out from his strict childhood home and only a couple of years after graduating from college when Backes truly found himself in the midst of a successful profession. With a confident mindset, Backes moved to San Francisco to launch what would become a whirlwind career. “I thought I may be famous,” Backes said. Within a week of job hunting and a quick skim through the phone book, Backes had an artist agent and a job with Levi Strauss.

He illustrates books for The Pleasant Company, a division of Mattel, Inc., including the art for the “Molly” books in the American Girls Collection. He slso worked with Bantam Books and Dell Publishing Company.


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He was commissioned by Italian couture designer, Valentino, to illustrate fashions in the 1983-1985 international advertising campaigns for HOUSE OF VALENTINO, Rome, Italy. Backes’ eyes still twinkle when thinking back to working in Italy with the famed designer. “It was thrilling to be in the Couture House with Audrey Hepburn in the next room, and to touch and feel Brooke Shields’ dress,” Backes said. “It was a whole new world; I was so innocent and had never traveled that far. But I got used to it pretty fast!”

Experiencing first-hand the damage and distress caused by the 1989 earthquake, Backes reevaluated his living conditions and decided to move back to his childhood home of Oklahoma City. “It was a traumatic experience,” Backes recollected, thinking back to the earthquake. “It’s odd to not be able to cross a bridge, or to fear going up to the 20th floor to see a dentist. I had a first aid kit and a suitcase by my bed – that’s crazy.” Moving back to Oklahoma, Backes found himself closer to family and friends, and comfortable in the familiar setting. The opportunity to continue working in theater gave Backes the ability to hone his acting skills while designing and painting sets for Carpenter Theatre. But as the years passed and new technology developed, Backes realized he must reevaluate his career as well if he wanted any kind of future in the business.


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“The advent of the computer has almost erased all jobs,” Backes said. “It was an era that kind of went away.” Always ready to try something new, Backes looked at this as an opportunity to jumpstart his career and to delve into art in which he had little experience. While computers have made finding work much more difficult, Backes remains optimistic, and has turned to new challenges, including oil painting and murals.

Though work may be slower these days, Backes does not plan to add technology to his current successful duo of pencil and/or paints and old-fashioned creative ability. “I don’t like computer art at all,” he said. “Machines and technology, I just don’t have a sense for them. I’ve worked my whole life to get where I am now, and it’s very hard to try to start a new career.”

While Backes looks for new clients, he spends his spare time painting for art shows, a rare occasion when he can create whatever art he wants. For Backes’ latest art show, oil paintings dotted the walls, breaking away from the customary drawings that have always driven forward his career. “I liked doing oil paintings because I never do it,” Backes said. “It takes techniques I’m not used to, and it’s freer and less restricted.”

The future of Backes’ art may be uncertain, but one thing is clear – he will always be ready for a new challenge, and is almost undeniably going to conquer it. “I love what I do because I can do some things that a lot of people can’t do,” Backes said. “It’s very nice to be born with something that can make you a living, and I feel very lucky.”

Original Interview: