BOYTOONS MAGAZINE #95 – The Slash Issue!

What IS Slash exactly, and why are we so fascinated by it? Well, according to the Wikipedia “Slash fiction is a genre of fan fiction. It focuses on the depiction of sexual or romantic relationships between two or more male characters, who are not necessarily engaged in relationships in the canon universe. While the term originally was restricted to fan fiction in which one or more male media characters were involved in an explicit adult relationship as a primary plot element, it is currently more generally used to refer to any pairing between male characters.”

The Wikipedia continues to say that “although slash is believed to have originated as fan fiction involving purely homosexual relationships, it has evolved from there into a wider definition.”

“It is commonly believed that slash fiction originated within the Star Trek: The Original Series fan fiction fandom, with “Kirk/Spock” stories first appearing in the late 1970s generally authored by female fans of the series. This should not be surprising, as modern fan fiction as a whole owes its start largely to the popularity of Star Trek.”

So apparently we have Kirk and Spock to thank for the birth of this art form. Not surprising really as I believe that Trek is at the root of so much of today’s pop fiction. I find it very interesting that women account for a large part of the authors who create Slash fiction. But as I have stated before, men have been having women on women fantasies for ever… it’s only fair (and right somehow) that women should fantasize about seeing 2 men together.

And so while Slash is a term primarily applied to fiction, I would like to add that it can and should also apply to artwork which depicts mainstream characters in sexual situations – whether they are involved with other characters, or shown on their own. At least, that’s my definition.

So what’s the deal with Slash? Why are so many of us fascinated by it?

Well, I figure it’s that writing slash or depicting slash art is our way of getting closer to the characters we love – a way of controlling their outcomes and destinies. I could be wrong here, but I think that because Slash permits us to explore a side of these characters which we rarely see in the canon universe, the act of creating Slash is quite intimate. On some level it might even satisfy our need to “have and to hold” the characters we choose to involve in the fantasy. Perhaps it’s our way of taming them or making them “ours” for a little while.

I pose this question today because I have often wondered why I enjoy drawing mainstream characters in the buff? Personally, I know that as an artist, I love depicting the male form, and I think that to draw characters like Namor and Spider-man in various stages of undress just emphasizes their masculinity and sexiness.

Of course, I could be reading far too much into this. Maybe Slash is just fun to write or draw because it’s a cool way of expressing our fantasies involving these characters.

Whatever the case may be, it strikes me that there is a TON of really beautiful slash artwork out there. You can certainly find a lot of it on the net, and though there is an equal amount of crap floating around, the quality stuff does have a way of standing out.

One thing is for certain… Slash art is not about to go away. Fans like feeling like they can hold on to at least a little piece of the characters they cherish. Slash brings us closer to doing so than any piece of art or fiction in the Canon universe ever could.

PS – I chose art from some of my favorite artists to accompany this article. Check out more gorgeous works by artists Kupopo, Iceman, Soto and Logan by stopping by their various galleries and websites. Trust me – you’ll thank me!

And while you’re at it, here’s a cool little article about fan fiction and slash over at Slate magazine.

All characters © Copyright 2007, their respective owners and creators. All Rights Reserved. All artwork © Copyright 2007, respective artists.

Comments

  1. Y’Know Patrick, it’s funny you chose this particular topic for discussion.
    I’ve always been a fan of some SLASH myself for years (practically, stumbled across it by accident…). Part of the motivation for me to do my own series in MYTH was to blend the “popular” story-telling with the erotic–basically, leave nothing out just to have that available where it hasn’t been in the past.
    Much like your own wonderful work with Class Comics…I hope this trend will continue in the future, so all these “forbidden” genres, will no longer be so “forbidden.”
    And just simply, another part of the story.
    :)

  2. Slash is cool but you have to wade through a lot of mediocre crap to find the good stuff.

  3. Charlie MJR says

    Hay Patrick.
    Very good article, and so great you actully managed to mention all my favourite artists on the same thread (including you :D), I love the style of guys like Logan, kupopo, iceman and Soto draw. Well on sites like y-gallery there are many great artists, I’ve never been a major fan of the ‘yaoi’ style if you get me, never really into the whole slender boy look. I like to see Slash pics of much manly hero types going at it like crazy.

    Slash itself has always been something I admire a lot, when a great artist draws a pic of 2 or more of my fav heroes or fictional characters together, I just start to drowl. I’m always looking for pics of Wolverine and Beast and Soul Calibur and street fighter guys, Hellboy too (bless you Soto!).

    Its great to be able to express how you would want to see these characters together, in both drawings and writing. I’ve read many a great slash fics… hell, after brokeback mountain, my mum got into reading slash fictions since now she’s infatuated with Jake Gyllenhaal :)

    Long live slash I say.

    One thing I will mention since we at this place, I often find it both strange and a little scary at how certain slash writers, if their women, have been known to take offense to the idea of a man writing about 2 of their favourite fictional characters, its like some form of etiquette that it has to be from a womans perspective only :S

  4. Raúl Guerra says

    Hi there,
    You know what, you have been a great great inspiration, and a reference since i started…now i have decided for the first time to write you a few lines. First i would like to know where do you have the banners so i can link you to my blog and second to let you know about my blog.
    http://www.therainbowboys.blogspot.com
    Thanks for the hours and hours of inspiration
    Raul

  5. Raúl Guerra says

    Hey Patrick…do you have any banner that i can take and put it in my blog…i just started uploading my stuff and i would like to link your site, if you dont mind…
    feel free to visit my blog…thanks for the hours and hours of inspiration man!!!!
    raul

  6. Hey Patrick. I am somewhat a fan of slash fiction myself… Considering I am a huge video game and anime/manga fan, there are so many characters that I would love to depict doing something they wouldn’t normally do. Haha, that Wolverine picture is beautiful by the way, I totally love it.

  7. I used to write and illustrate X-Slash. After my 3rd or 4th story, Bobby Drake was starting to turn into such a little tart. I stopped because I thought I should’ve been directing that energy to original stories and art.

    Sadly, I no longer have hard drive copies of my long lost X-slash tales. Hopefully they’re floating around the internet somewhere.

  8. Hello my friends…

    Thanks for taking the time to comment on this issue. I was looking forward to your thoughts on the matter and fount your comments very cool to read!

    Z… You know, I think that is why I love your work so much actually. You have successfully created a universe of characters that are multi-faceted, in depth and compelling, but that also get naked! LOL! It is so well rounded and it’s a fantastic combination for us fans of both comics and erotica. Hopefully, the work we do will eventually become more mainstream and people will be able to access it more easily.

    As for Slash, I too enjoy the well written and illustrated stuff, and like you, I think it’s mostly stuff I’ve just stumbled upon that really works for me! Sometimes you can happen onto a great story or illustration and be really blown away by the writer or artists skill AS WELL as be turned on. That’s a great combo! Much love my friend! XOXO

    Hey there Anonymous… I agree that you have to dig through the crap to get to the good stuff sometimes… but it can really be worth it. Thanks for stopping by! XOXO

    Hey there Raúl Guerra… I’m so glad you stopped by and turned me on to your Blog and Work! My friend, YOU ARE AWESOME! LOL! I just love your work, especially your White and Black FUTURE LOVERS! They’re gorgeous!! You are extremely talented, and I would love to feature your work here at BTM and exchange links with you!

    As for a Banner, you can find one for my website in the Links section over at http://www.patrickfillion.com but if you want one for Boytoons Magazine, I could always email you one. Just let me know. Thanks for the kind words, my friend. I look forward to seeing more of your exquisite artwork! Hugz + Kisses! Patrick XOXO

    Rarutos… hello my friend. Glad you enjoyed the article on Slash! Yup, like you I am a HUGE video game fan and LOOOOVE the video Game slash fiction and art. There is some beautiful stuff out there. I’m also so pleased you enjoyed the fantastic pic of Wolverine that Logan drew. Doesn’t it make a great cover image for this issue? LOL! That Logan is amazing! Much love my friend! XOXO

    JC… Hey Dude! Oh man, it totally sucks that your X-Slash fiction was lost to time. I hate it when that happens. I have lost soooo much art and stuff over the years. But on the bright side at least you’re still creating Slash art, and judging from your recent X-Men remixes, Bobby Drake is still a little tart in your universe – and we’re VERY GLAD for it! LOL! Much love! XOXO

    Thanks again for the comments everyone! Much love!
    Patrick XOXO

  9. Hiya Charlie…

    Glad you enjoyed this latest posting, my friend, and I loved reading how your mom has even gotten into slash lately! HA! HA! HA!

    Meanwhile, I think that no matter what genre of art we’re talking about, there will always be those who don’t like to share with others. Sometimes, people are very protective about the art form they favor,and can be very exclusive of others. This of course is a shame because art should be for everyone. I think the best thing to do is just to ignore the negative people and focus on the good ones — and the art.

    Much love my friend,
    Patrick XOXO

  10. I first discovered slash [and not just gay smut] through Harry Potter fanfiction.

    .

    .

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    P.S. I’ve never told anyone that.

    .

    And I think I’d love X-Men slash…

  11. I first discovered “slash” while at university. I took a class on TV history, during which was a discussion of cult TV shows like the 1960s versions of “Star Trek” & “The Outer Limits.” The professor mentioned that one of the off-shoots of the eventual popularity of Trek (thru re-runs in the ’70s) was the intense fanbase that sprung up — and one of the off-shoots of this fanbase was people who wrote a very particular kind of fan-fiction called “slash,” wherein, say, Kirk and Spock would have sexual relations with each other. The classroom fell silent upon hearing this info. The collective mood of the room (myself included) was: “What… the… fuck?”

    In fact, even now, it’s difficult for me to imagine Kirk & Spock getting it on with each other. I’ve seen “Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan” (the best Trek movie, bar none) about a gazillion times and I just can’t fathom those guys, whose relationship was all about the platonic ideal, going behind some bank of blinking lights on the Enterprise and start sucking each other off. :-P

    Perhaps it’s easier for me to accept “slash” when it involves comic book characters, because we’re talking about patently imaginary figures, not actors who’ve played these roles for eons and are synonymous with them.

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