Geek out, watch, go, read, listen, and wherq with the seven things that are everything this week.
A gripping story in the tradition of cult classics such as Shaft and Django Unchained, this must-read graphic novel from out comic scribe Steve Orlando (Midnighter) and Artyom Trakhanov with art by JD Faith tells the tale of Virgil, an outed cop who must fight his way across Jamaica (one of the most homophobic countries on the planet) to save the man he loves and get his revenge on those who ruined his life and left him for dead.
EastSiders, Season 2
EastSiders, an acclaimed dark comedy about gay life in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, returns for its second season this week. The series centers on the relationship between Cal (Mad Men's Kit Williamson) and Thom (As the World Turns' Van Hansis), who have been struggling with the impact of an infidelity. However, this season, affairs heat up when Cal and Thom decide to open their relationship to other sexual partners, an act that, defying conventions and weathering STI tests at the clinic, allows them to become closer. The ensemble cast is made up of Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat), Matthew McKelligon (You're Killing Me), John Halbach (Wallflowers), and Stephen Guarino (Endings). Guest stars include Jonathan Lisecki (Gayby), Drew Droege (Chloe), Willam Belli (RuPaul's Drag Race), and Jai Rodriguez (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy). Watch the trailer for the second season of EastSiders, which premieres Tuesday on Vimeo On Demand, below.
Madonna Rebel Heart Tour
Are you living for love? Then vogue on down to Madonna's Rebel Heart Tour, which kicks off this this week in North America. Fans in New York, Los Angeles, Quebec City, Miami, and more can dance along with the Queen of Pop as she sings her greatest hits. Just don't trip on your cape on the way there! Visit Madonna.com for more details.
Star Wars: Aftermath
The latest Star Wars novel, set in the period after Return of the Jedi, introduces gay character Sinjir Rath Velus, a former officer of the Empire now working with the Rebel Alliance. His gayness is handled rather offhandedly, coming up only when he turns down a proposition from a female character. That hasn't stopped some homophobic fans from objecting, but author Chuck Wendig responded to them by saying, "You're not the Rebel Alliance. You're not the good guys. You're the fucking Empire, man. You're the shitty, oppressive, totalitarian Empire." This is the second LGBT character in the official Star Wars universe; the first, lesbian imperial official Moff Mors, was introduced in the novel Lords of the Sith earlier this year. (Some other gay characters in various Star Wars books and video games are not considered "canon.") At any rate, Aftermath promises plenty of exciting action in that galaxy far, far away, and a gay guy is in on it. Order here or visit your local bookstore.
Dancing With the Stars, Season 21
The 21st season of Dancing With the Stars features a diverse cast likely to provide a lot of entertaining moments, including bisexual Real Housewife Kim Zolciak Biermann, music icon Chaka Khan, eccentric actor Gary Busey, former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, celebrity chef Paula Deen, terrorist-foiling soldier Alek Skarlatos, and the show's first married couple, actors Alexa and Carlos PenaVega. Several of the DWTS's most popular pro dancers are back, including Derek Hough, Mark Ballas, and outspoken LGBT rights supporter Sharna Burgess (above). The competition starts Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern on ABC. Get a preview below.
John Grant, "Disappointing"
In the video for "Disappointing," Grant wanders through a hot and sweaty gay sauna serenading his love, under the direction of David Wilson (Metronomy, Arcade Fire, Tame Impala). Is it the weirdest video from him? Maybe not? But it's certainly strange and sexy -- perfect for this track -- and we're loving the guest vocals from Everything But The Girl's Tracey Thorn.
The Bastard Executioner
The new medieval epic from FX, debuting Tuesday at 10 p.m., has enough queer subtext for the ages. The series follows the story of Wilkin Brattle (Lee Jones), a 14th-century warrior whose life is turned upside down after a divine messenger implores him to lay down his sword and live the life of another man -- a journeyman executioner. Brattle soon finds himself trying to balance protecting his true identity with serving a mysterious destiny.