Okay, so this is more than a little weird. A while ago I came upon this fun website
while hunting online for a particular comics image
. It's the sort of site where a guy can waste a lot
of time just clicking around looking at stuff. And that was how I stumbled upon this --
Now, I've no guarantees this is a genuine, undoctored cover image. I found it on some fanboy's website. That's about as reliable as... well... 96.3% of what's on the interweb. I mean, it's a pretty damned convenient image. (Never mind the possible lewd reading(s) of that cover copy...) If someone was having photoshop fun, they did a mighty good job with it. Although I'm not 100% sure about light source and shadows. And that eyeline -- oh, my, that eyeline! -- seems just a little off. Still, if it is assembled, it's a better blending than a lot of VHS movie covers I could name.
And I have to wonder if it's not somehow related to this
It's a sketch for an unused cover in the Rawhide Kid: Slap Leather
miniseries from Marvel
back in 2003. Yes, the gimmick was that the Kid was a wild western flamer. On the whole, the book was a disappointment (to me, at least). Lovely art, crappy writing. The idea of the Rawhide Kid as a fey, gay, gunslinging cowboy is not in itself enough to support much of anything, least of all several issues of a comic in which it's the center of attention. The joke is doomed to grow tired pretty quickly, regardless of how well the material is written; this wasn't written very well. The general tone was more sniggering schoolyard humor than clever wit. And it's a little astonishing to me that Marvel chose not to use this cover, given how heavily (and baselessly) they pushed the book's "Explicit Content" tag on the equally suggestive, but not nearly as whimsical, cover they did use.
As far as I'm concerned, nothing in the book's actual content ever fit the description of "explicit." The tag seems to have been motivated by some combination of a desire to generate sensationalism and a fear of outraged backlash. "We can sucker in readers and
cover our asses at the same time!" Complicated motivations, to say the least. What's saddest about it, though, is that the book itself offered no real basis for outrage beyond the simple fact that the Kid was acting rather, shall we say, faggy. There's certainly no explicit sex. Hell, it's been quite a while since I read the thing, but I don't think the Kid ever even comes close to getting laid. The only "explicit" things are his obvious poofterish mannerisms.
Why are all the good queer characters in comics women?