The Male Pin-Up

American Yaoi: A Look at Three Man-on-Man Webcomics for Women
Yaoi has been around for more than thirty years, and it provides a livelihood for several publishers and creators in Japan and Korea. It also supports a thriving fan community, to the point where there are bookstores in Tokyo that sell professional-quality collections of fan-produced yaoi. Because the internet encourages the same sort of niche community-building that seems to come naturally in Japan, we're seeing the emergence of female-oriented male/male webcomics in English. These series, like Teahouse, Artifice, and The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal, might not be considered yaoi by purists, but yaoi provides the precedent and the frame of reference.
The Myth of Sexy Superman and the Search for Superhero Beefcake
2011 was a good year for superhero beefcake. Not in comics, of course, but at the movies. And not in terms of quantity, but in terms of quality. What I'm saying is that Chris Hemsworth took his shirt off in Thor, and it was great. All right, Chris Evans took his shirt off as well for his Charles-Atlas-ification in Captain America, and I understand Ryan Reynolds was briefly featured in his scanties before having his body replaced with a cantaloupe-skinned wire-frame in Green Lantern. That was it, though. The bar for superhero beefcake is set pretty low. And the bar is set low because the source material -- actual superhero comics -- has never been fertile ground for the shameless sexual objectification of men.