Mancalendar: Webcomic Artists Unite For Countershot Press’ Beefcake Pinup Calendar [Interview]
One of the great strengths of webcomics is that they can offer a corrective to mainstream media. Rather than pandering to the interests of the perceived common majority, webcomics can target under-served audiences, embrace alternative heroes, and present a non-traditional view of the world. And sometimes that philosophy can manifest in surprising places. Like a beefcake calendar.
Mancalendar is a project put together by Countershot Press, a collective of five webcomic creators from Canada, the US and the UK, which brings together twelve talented illustrators to present their refreshingly different takes on the pin-up.
The calendar was inspired by 'Brovember', an annual art jam project concocted by Boss Monster creator Nancy King and The Muse Mentor's Amy King, in which webcomic artists draw male pin-ups throughout the month of November. Cami Woodruff, author of Doomsday, My Dear, pitched the other members of Countershot on the idea of a calendar that could, in her words, "encourage some community bonding and help promote webcomics as a medium."
"The intended audience is pretty much people who love webcomics, people who love pinup calendars, and/or people who like looking at cute dudes," Woodruff told ComicsAlliance. "I think comics culture, if not all entertainment culture, is starved for something that is explicitly geared toward people who aren't straight men, although straight men are more than welcome to enjoy Mancalendar if it makes them happy. It's meant to make people happy."
The twelve artists featured in the webcomic include the five members of Countershot and seven friends in the community who they reached out to for contributions. "I specifically sought out one or two people who have an obvious enthusiasm for the subject matter, and a few others who I figured would just have a lot of fun with it," said Woodruff. "I'm actually mad the year only has twelve months, because I wanted to ask way more people than I was able to."
All of the pin-up guys are characters from the artists' own webcomics, and Woodruff said the criteria for 'man' was whatever the artists were comfortable with, and she's pleased with diversity.
Countershot is keeping the full images under wraps, so if you want to see them for yourself you'll have to buy the calendar. However, Countershot was kind enough to share the above image exclusively with ComicsAlliance, featuring Beckey Grundy's pin-up of Dr Herville Schtein from their series String Theory, as well as some teasers for some of the other images.
In addition to Grundy, Woodruff, and Amy and Nancy King, the other artists and webcomics featured in the calendar are:
Miri Chamberlain, Riverside Extras
Tish Doolin, Modus Operandi
Ash G., Monster’s Garden
G.C. Houle, H&J
Lily Hoyda, Bad Reputation
Rosa Lee Marnie, Mythos
Kelly Turnbull, Manly Guys Doing Manly Things
E.K. Weaver, The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal
The Mancalendar is available for pre-order until October 30th for $20, plus shipping and handling. We're assured that the calendar does not contain any explicit content. (Hey, there's always next year!)