Out French cartoonist Yannick Tallarida loves to take popular heterosexual male characters and cast them in eye-popping gay scenes and poses. His keen artist's eye not only brings the sexy to some of our favorite cartoons, but also plenty of humor and camp.
The Advocate sat down for a chat with Yannick to talk about his inspirations, his love for Disney princes and his favorite redheaded member of the X-Men.
The Advocate: What inspires you to create?
Yannick Tallarida: Many things inspire me. The news, a picture, a film, an actor, a model, I'm always in the mood to create. I'll wake up and want to attack a cheeky look or an attitude. All the things I do are always done in a hurry with me; I need to do it and do it now. I love the challenge of getting down on paper what I see in my mind!
Does being queer influence your artwork?
Of course! I'm very proud to be gay and French. I like to bring my grain de sable on heterosexual characters. Add my queer sensibility to popular culture. When I was a child I wondered why I never read stories of a male hero who loved other male heroes. I wondered why a gay Prince Charming or a gay superhero wasn’t possible? This explains why as an adult I enjoy taking my favorite childhood cartoons and giving them a gay twist.
What was your gateway art drug into the world of geek culture?
Disney animated movies first and foremost. As a boy I had crushes on Snow White’s Prince Charming — when I saw him dressed all in white with his horse, I was breathless — and Prince Philip from Sleeping Beauty. I'm in love and addicted to all the Disney princes, which you can tell based on my artwork. I love science fiction movies too, anything from Spielberg, Dante, Romero, Carpenter.
What geeky things are you currently obsessed with?
The X-Men! I have collected X-Men comics and action figures since my youth. I have walls full of X-Men artwork. X-Men comics are my drug, my monthly bubble of happiness. I cannot conceive of not reading their stories.
You do a lot of superhero art as well. Do you have a favorite superhero character?
My absolute favorite superhero goddess is Phoenix of the X-Men. I never recovered, as a teenager, when she died. I discovered that you could give a comic book character a soul, a duality to their personality and then have them make the absolute sacrifice. Her death impacted me as a reader. It was a total shock! Otherwise, I don't know why this guy makes me feel happy things but ... Nightwing, Nightwing, all day any day (Di-i-ick!!!).
See more of Tallarida's work, check out the collection below or on his website and Facebook.