BOYTOONS MAGAZINE #18– The Studs of Ray Schulze

They say that Tom of Finland was the father of modern homo-erotica. Certainly, Tom’s work served to inspire a generation of fantastic artists like Etienne and the Hun, but I dare say that the early 80s saw the emergence of artists who have inspired today’s creators of homo-erotic art just as much. My love for Tom of Finland is great, but I can relate a little more to an artist like the incredible Ray Schulze (or Shultz as it is occasionally spelled), or RAS as he is known by his artist’s tag.

I picked up my first gay magazine in the early 90s, and being an aspiring artist myself, the illustrations caught my eye almost more than the actual nude photographs. I remember looking at an illustration Ray had created for Inches magazine. It was an image in his “Giants” series, and the detail blew my mind. It was a drawing of a Baseball player! The uniform was flawless, the pose was perfect, and the beauty of this Boytoon was all-consuming. Another aspect that truly caught my eye was the detail in the penis. It made me realize that all-male erotic art could truly be a serious craft, and was worth pursuing.

As an artist, Ray Schulze worked for several magazines in the 80s as an art director. He had the opportunity to apply his skills as an illustrator on several occasions, but it was not until Inches magazine approached him that he had the chance to put his talent toward illustrating male nudes. It was his idea to create a series of “pin-up” illustrations which would run one per issue and feature a different kind of guy each month. From Sportsmen, to business men, to policemen, to firefighters…Ray’s Giants were a huge hit and did more than their share towards selling Inches magazine. The man is a traditional artist, never once having used a computer to work on his art. Felt pens, paints and pencil and paper are the tools of his trade.

Ray Schulze is as important an artist as Tom of Finland, and not just to me. You can talk to any number of gay erotic artists who have found work in Adult Gay Magazines about the influence this man and his incredible talent has had over their work. The story is the same each time.

Schulze is an inspiration, and a wonderful human being, always willing to share his experiences and encourage new talent. I will forever be grateful to this man for the encouragement he has given me over the years.

Ray is a lovely man, who lives in New Jersey with his beloved dog. A pleasure to talk to, he and I have shared many a conversation discussing our work, and in recent years have even had art appear in the same magazines together.

My biggest sadness about Ray however is that he does not have an official website, nor have plans of creating one. My greatest fear is that his beautiful artwork runs the risk of not moving into the cyber-age. To me this is would be an absolute tragedy, because this is an artist that inspired me to be the best artist of male erotica that I could possibly be. Through the beauty and virility of his work, I was encouraged to forge on and continue to hone my skills. Today you can find a smattering of his works, illegally included in gay cartoon pay sites, and always un-credited. The thought that those sites might be the only web home of Ray’s Boytoons breaks my heart.

And so, this is my small way of repaying him for that kindness. I want you to see for yourselves what a talent this man is. And so long as my little Blog exists, it will be a place where at least a few of Ray’s magnificent pieces can be viewed, where the artist is given his due credit for his breathtaking work. Of course back issues of Inches, Latin Inches, and Black inches magazines will always be a great place to see his gorgeous depictions of masculinity. It may well be worth your while to do some digging.

Meanwhile, if any of you know of any sites that have information on Ray’s career as an artist and show some of his works, please do let me know. I believe this is an artist of great importance, whose work is worth being cherished.

Comments

  1. Wow! Great blog! Love the illustrations!

    Check out my blog if you get a chance.

  2. Hey Patrick,

    “The Studs Of Ray Schulze” perfect name as these guys are studs.

    I have never seen his work or knew that he exsisted until you mentioned him.

    I really have a appreciation for people who do work the way he does, kind of “old school” I guess.

    I can see how he was an inspiration to you also how Tom Of Finland was to a lot of people.

    Though when I read about his work going unseen on the internet, I felt a real “pang” of sadness as his work shouldn’t be forgotten about, and I agree, it should be seen.

    I’m really proud of you Patrick for caring so much about this man and his work and for sharing it with us.
    I, for one will love to see more of his work and will look forward to any future postings that you may do on Ray.

    So – I did a google search and all I can find on the internet regarding Ray is on the following website. I hope this helps.

    http://www.leslielohman.org

    Manny!

  3. I’ve had that “RAS Suck” image on my computer for years and always thought it was one of my favorite gay illustrations of all time. I’d never seen any more of his work though.

    Glad you “introduced” us to him, Patrick. I will definetely be on the lookout for more of Ray’s work!

  4. Charvolth says

    I’ve seen his work circulating for years, the foot massage was a favorite, not so much for the foot action as the blonde guy reminded me of the late Steve Fox.
    I liked his overall style, and anatomy, but in terms of what I consistently found arousing it was a bit of a hunt to find his illustrations of guys without chest and facial hair (hence the foot massage pic)A hang-up that I fully accept. That along with a desire for a more idealized form is why I personally prefer your work Patrick, though the influence is very obvious, and if you weren’t a fan of RAS I would have been shocked.

  5. Hiya Boys…

    I am so pleased I could introduce you to Ray’s work! He truly is a brilliant artist! I know what a lot of you mean about having saved some of his artwork over the years, but not really knowing he was the man responsible for creating it. It’s like I said in the post. Some of his work is out there, but mostly un-credited. It’s a sad reality of the internet, I’m afraid. People can post and repost art without ever giving due credit. I like the idea that as art enthusiasts we can stick together, and keep each other informed on the talent responsible for the art we view and collect. Also as an artist, it is BIG TIME important to me that my work be properly credited. I like to return the favor whenever I can!

    Manny, thanks so much for the link! As I said, there is little else on Ray’s work out there, but it is always nice to run across sites that mention him and his work.

    Charvolth, glad you liked the post. Ray’s work has certainly had an influence on my stuff over the years. I have always admired the way the man details the penis… LOL!!! The penis is not all-important, but it is a huge part of the Boytoon’s anatomy…literally! HA! HA! HA! It’s always been important to me that each character have one distinctively his own.

    JC… Glad I could shed some light on the artist behind the “RAS suck” pic. And hey, check out the next issue of BTM, my friend! You are the man of the hour! ;)

    And j0m1n1n…thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and say hello! I will be more than happy to check out your Blog my friend!

    Hugz + Kisses
    Patrick XOXOX

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