Hungry Bottom Comics Book Launch. Thurs, Aug 16, 7-9pm. Glad Day Bookshop
598 Yonge St. Comics on sale for $5.
“I don't want to give too much away, but a lot of the sex is given an absurd spin that you can only really get away with in comics,” explains illustrator Eric Williams. “I get fucked by comic panels at one point, and, well . . . the penultimate scene involves a fire hydrant.” Appropriate that his new comic series is titled Hungry Bottom. An Ottawa-native, he began studying cartooning in a weekend class during high school and is now juggling his Hungry Bottom work with studies in OCAD’s illustration program.
Williams was inspired by a sense of “gay scene fatigue” when he started drawing the comics. “I had spent three years clubbing almost every weekend and doing the online dating thing, where I encountered a few too many ‘straight-acting dudes.’ So the comic became a great outlet for reflecting on that experience, gauging what I like and dislike about the community, and forging a ‘bottom-friendly’ empowerment narrative from all that.”
His debut work is an autobiographical adventure into the Toronto gay scene, combating a culture’s obsession with masculinity and normalcy. It is peppered liberally with cameos. “We have Beyoncé, Tom of Finland, Jean Genet and Camille Paglia, among others,” he says, although there may be some local faces as well. “I made a short tribute comic to the late Will Munro, who has been a huge inspiration to me as a queer artist. I thought it was important to bring in these cameos when reflecting on the gay experience, because gay culture has such an attachment to pop culture at large. It's one big messy soup of high- and lowbrow.”
The Hungry Bottom Comics launch, which will feature a reading followed by a Q&A with Williams, is fittingly taking place at a local gay institution. “The queer community has been super supportive, especially the folks at Glad Day, who are holding a launch party for the comic. It's reassuring that in a city as big as Toronto, there is still that artistic support network.”
The Hungry Bottom Comics Book Launch is Thurs, Aug 16, 7-9pm. Glad Day Bookshop, 598 Yonge St. Comics on sale for $5. ericdraws.com