Tom of Finland Bikers
Tom’s bikers first appeared as two “Motorcycle Boys” in Physique Pictorial, Winter 1958. Another made the cover of the April 1960 issue. Bikers dominated his PP content from then on, as a nod to its American readership as much as his growing obsession. When he sought an ongoing character, a personal avatar, in 1968, he created Kake as the ultimate biker leatherman, and elaborated on his riding adventures – of every kind - through 26-panel stories. Tom adopted Kake’s gear as his own, presenting in black leather jacket, white t-shirt, jeans, and high boots to the end of his life.
The Little Book of Tom: Bikers includes Tom’s earliest images for Physique Pictorial, Kake in motorcycle gear, biker panel stories, and sizzling single drawings, all packed into 192 pages of sexy, masculine men enjoying other masculine men in black leather, blue jeans, and high black boots. On bikes.
Touko Laaksonen, the boy who would become Tom of Finland (1920-1991), began drawing cartoons at age five. His favorite subjects were the rough manly men of his native Finland. He found success in the Finnish advertising industry but secretly continued creating his increasingly erotic drawings of hyper-masculine men. In 1957 he submitted some drawings to the American magazine Physique Pictorial and the “Tom of Finland” legend was born. By the late 60s Tom’s “dirty drawings” became the standard for gay art, and Tom’s Men a template for a new gay masculinity.
The Little Book of Tom. Bikers
Hardcover, 192 pages