J. Bone is an out cartoonist with a clear love for superheroes, iconic women, and gorgeous guys. His colorful pencils have appeared in numerous comic books, as he's deftly able to balance both the cute and the steamy in his work.
The Advocate sat down for a chat with this talented artist about his inspirations, his love for Spider-Man, and how being queer influences his work.
The Advocate: What inspires you to create? Bone: Various things inspire me to create. Reading a good story or a fun idea can inspire a joke panel, an illustration, or an entire comic book. I love making up worlds and telling stories through my drawings. Wanting to entertain people, and entertain myself, inspires me to create. It's still really satisfying to have a book on the shelves at a comic book shop. Also satisfying, but in a slightly different way, is getting likes and retweets when I post drawings on various social media.
Does being queer influence your artwork? I think it must, though it's difficult to say in exactly what way being queer influences my work. It's a part of who I am. When I'm drawing men I definitely try to make them attractive and appealing. To me, at least. But I also draw pin-up women and I approach drawing them in the same way. I love the curves and shapes in the human body, male and female. I suppose it's possible I have a queer aesthetic in my drawing in that I love what are traditionally gay icons. The physique pictorial and 50s ideal male and cheesecake/burlesque is my ideal female. There's such a wide variety of queer art now that it's limiting for me to suggest the 50s is the ideal queer aesthetic. But it's what I'm drawn to and inspired by.
What was your gateway art drug into the world of geek culture? I don't know if I ever had a gateway into the world of geek culture. Except for when I was a baby, I was never not into geek culture. As a kid I gravitated toward sci-fi and superhero movies, which my dad was also a fan of. From an early age I remember drawing scenes from Clash of the Titans on the chalkboard in my room. I had Archie and Hot Stuff (The Little Devil) comics. My dad had a stack of comic books and I remember a Superman story where Superman was shirtless with a metal plate on his chest. I didn't understand the story but I know that I thought the metal plate was what made Superman bullet proof. Since then shirtless superheroes have always been a visual I find hot. There was also a Batman comic with Manbat. That could very well have been my introduction to hairy chests.
What geeky things are you currently obsessed with? Right now I'm really into the Disney Infinity figures. I have no way to play them (having no gaming console) but I've been collecting the figurines. They're so cool looking. I'm also gearing up for a whole new set of dinosaur toys when Jurassic World comes out. So, clearly, toys are my current geek obsession.
What's next for you, what project(s) do you have coming out in the near future? You might still be able to find issues of Saviors, a book I worked on with James Robinson. That was a five issue storyline we did in 2014. I'm currently working on a Thrilling Adventure Hour: Sparks Nevada comic book which will be out through Image.
Wonder Woman is clearly a favorite superhero character of yours, right? Which character might be a close runner up? Wonder Woman is always neck-and-neck with Spider-Man for favorite superhero. I go through phases of drawing where I'm all about one or the other when doodling. Even though I'm not currently reading either of their books, they are the two characters I tend to keep tabs on.