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Tom of Finland: Bikers v. II: 2 (25) [Hardcover]

Dian Hanson , of Finland Tom
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

20 May 2012 25 (Book 25)
Tom's Brando-inspired bikers and leathermen. This is a mixture of multi-panel comics and single panel drawings and paintings, starting in the 1940s through the '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s. In 1953 "The Wild One", starring Marlon Brando as Johnny, leader of the Black Rebels Motorcycle Club, was released worldwide. In 1954 Tom of Finland, previously known for his military and blue-collar subjects, drew his first civilian motorcyclist dressed in black leather. Coincidence? Hardly. "The Wild One", originally marketed to a female audience with a poster featuring a close-up of Brando's face sans leather cap, hair tousled, cheeks and pout tinted pink with the tagline "That 'Streetcar' Man has a new Desire!", resonated far more with gay audiences, who took Brando's character as a template for the first leatherman. After seeing "The Wild One" Tom never drew men in brown leather again; black leather now dominated his fantasies, and his art. Tom adopted Brando's leather Perfecto jacket, white t-shirt, Levi's, and high boots as his signature look. It was this same look that Tom selected for Kake, his confident, ever-horny hero of 26 panel stories. Kake became Tom's fearless, outgoing alter ego, and bikers supplanted military men as his favorite subject. In "Tom of Finland Volume II - Bikers" we explore Tom's fascination with bikers through a mixture of multi-panel comics and single panel drawings and paintings, starting in the 1940s, before "The Wild One" fixed his taste on black leather, through the '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s. Historic film stills and posters, personal photos of Tom, sketches, and Tom's own reference photos make this far more than another Tom's Comics retread.

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Tom of Finland: Bikers v. II: 2 (25) + The Little Book of Big Penis (Taschen Pocket Series)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen GmbH; 25 Anv Mul edition (20 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3836534851
  • ISBN-13: 978-3836534857
  • Product Dimensions: 22.5 x 16 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dian Hanson was born in Seattle, Washington, November 2, 1951. A hippie and high school drop out, she moved east at age 20, first to Oxford, Mississippi, then Allentown, Pennsylvania, finally settling in New York City in 1976 to work on the sex magazine Puritan. Over the next 25 years she edited magazines including Partner, Oui, Adult Cinema Review, Harvey, Hooker, Juggs and Leg Show. She founded the magazines Outlaw Biker, Hawgs, Big Butt, Bust Out and Tight. In 1993 Hanson became friends with Benedikt Taschen, and in 2001 she finally agreed to leave sex magazines and take over the Sexy Book division of TASCHEN Publishing. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the novelist Geoff Nicholson.

Product Description

About the Author

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, as Touko knew from an early age that men interested him more than women. His talents were further honed by art study in Helsinki. 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. Tom's art continues to play an important role in promoting self-confidence, positive self-image and openness in the gay community. Dian Hanson was born in Seattle in 1951. For 25 years she produced various men's magazines, including Puritan, Juggs and Leg Show, before becoming TASCHEN's sexy book editor in 2001. Her many books for TASCHEN include Vanessa del Rio: Fifty Years of Slightly Slutty Behavior, Tom of Finland XXL, and The Big Butt Book. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars tom's usual high standard artwork 10 Mar 2013
By Jez
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A good selection of biker/leather images to fire the imagination. Some of his classic plates included. Been a fan of Tom's for quite a while and not easy to be disappointed and this book is v pleasing and good value at the same time, in a nice sized format that is easy to handle without compromising the image quality. Happy to recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tom's Men 17 Feb 2013
By mack d
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Nice hardback book with great pictures. Quality at an affordable price. If this does not get your attention nothing will.
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By Steve
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
You can read for yourself what it says on the "panic jacket" of this book. And 'amen' to that. If you are a fan of Tom of Finland (and it was my response to his drawings that first made me realise I was gay)then you will love this book. The massive coffee-table compendium a few years ago was brilliant but unwieldy. These small volumes are to keep on the bedside table and enjoy whenever the mood takes you. Frequently in my case.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does its job, but room for improvement 21 Jun 2012
By leatheredbikerlover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Like many, I was extremely excited (and aroused) to learn about this volume of Tom of Finland's art edited by Dian Hanson and published by Taschen. I thought it was about time that someone came up with the brilliant idea of putting Tom's leatherclad bikers into one volume. I preordered a copy and waited impatiently for the book to arrive.

For someone who is new to Tom of Finland, this volume provides an excellent way to be introduced to his biker genre. For those of us who are more familiar with most of Tom's oeuvre, this book most likely prompts the following thoughts.

The book does a good job at incorporating much of Tom's most famous art depicting horny bikers. The most exemplary choice is the seven panel story of the leatherclad biker who forces a nude hunk onto his motorcycle to try out a few skill testing positions. It is also interesting to see the biker as he evolves in Tom's art, from the brown leather, shoulder padded jackets that his slim, delicate men wore in the late 1940s to his mustachioed uberman in shining black leather astride his gleaming motorcycle in the 70s. I also appreciated the editor's choice of the reference photographs Tom used to draw his bikers - best of all, there are several new photos, particularly of bikers in sex scenes. The price is also excellent: anywhere between $10-$20. However, it is likely that this amazing low price for this collection of fantastic homoerotica accounts for some of the issues I had with the volume.

The quality of some of the images (certainly not all), particularly from the comic, The Rope, was not clean. The first few images appear messy. Some pictures also seem faded, the leather not as glossy. I realize the tools Tom used influenced the look, but he could make leather gleam in any medium! Evidence of carelessness is also apparent: images from panel stories are omitted, or out of order and context. There's even one image which is duplicated in the collection. I won't gripe about the repetition of these images - you can find the vast majority of them in the most recent volumes of Tom's art by Taschen (XXL, The Complete Kake Comics, The Complete Comics Collection) - because the point of this volume, in part, is that Hanson is categorizing Tom's art so that those of us who are fascinated more by his bikers can refer to them easily in one central source. This goal the volume achieves to a good extent. At the same time, however, I was hoping this volume might have included a rare panel story, or other single images which are less frequently reproduced. I know there is one panel story out there in the archives that involves a leather jacket-wearing biker who picks up a leather vest-wearing hitchhiker; the couple carry on to have some great fun while being watched by a group of other men. You can see a couple of tiny images from this series towards the end of the magnificent XXL book.

This leads me to my biggest criticism: the choice of some of the images presented within. The book does not profess to be the definitive collection of Tom's leather bikers, but there is certainly room for improvement here. First, on a minor note, while Kake clearly has a role in this volume, I wonder if his story, Highway Patrol, would have been the obvious choice of all the superstud's exploits to include in this volume? Not only is Kake on his motorcycle, but he attracts the attention of two horny motorcycle cops (or is this being saved for Tom of Finland - Cops?). The only other times Kake appears straddling his hog is in Kake in Canada and Kake and the Wild West. Don't get me wrong - I have no problem with the inclusion of Kake #2, in which our leatherclad hero seduces and has his way with a hunky sunbather (I'm a BIG fan of leatherman on nude man action), but the presence of motorcycles is also a critical erotic element. Yes, Kake is a biker, but he always struck me as more leatherman than biker ... which raises the question: does leather a biker make? The inclusion on page 169 of the image of a leather master in his S&M dungeon emphasizes this issue. Not that the two are mutually exclusive, but shouldn't the biker image be the focus in this volume? Why include the leather master, but not the iconic image of the leathered biker - in his chaps, and with his gauntlet gloves tucked under the epaulet of his leather jacket - astride his motorcycle outside the leather bar, The Pits? It strikes me that Hanson can easily produce another volume devoted to leathermen (vs. bikers), but Dian Hanson assures us that this volume is "all about the leather". So some of the choices are confusing or at least deserve more explanation than her essay provides. A few images do not even suggest a biker - just random bare-chested studs.

The other comics are appropriate - Sex in the Shed, The Rope, and, most fitting of all, Ringo and the Renegades - two bikers who whisk a rock singer away to safety - and sexual fulfillment - on their motorcycle. Yet once again, the choices of images to include or omit raise eyebrows: the first few panels of Sex in the Shed are missing. These show the leather clad biker picking up a blonde hitchhiker on his motorcycle. Two of the most erotically charged images of this comic, in my opinion, are the first two: the biker looking up at the hitchhiking stud from his hog, smirking at him from behind his mirrored shades; and the hitchhiker, as pillion, wrapping his arms around the biker from behind, slipping one hand under his leather jacket while the other explores the biker's prominent bulge through his leather breeches, while riding on the motorcycle. Why omit the two scenes most relevant to this volume? Is it more necessary for the viewer to see other images from the comic, such as the farmhand taking a piss outside the shed? Or two men sleeping nude in the hay? Not that those images don't have their place in Tom's oeuvre, but perhaps they would be more appropriately showcased in Tom of Finland - Vol. III: Watersports; or Tom of Finland - Volume IV: The Nude Male.

Throughout the volume, Hanson chose to include quotes from Tom of Finland himself to help the reader understand his motivations for what he drew; yet, there is only one reference to leather. The quotes are otherwise very general and could be used in any volume of Tom of Finland's art. Why not choose quotes that reflected Tom's interest in the biker and his leather gear? Surely there are plenty?

Don't get me wrong - I'm NOT returning this book. My partner and I looked at the book together and quickly became inspired ... but this is Tom's magic. You can't go wrong with his art. There are many excellent choices showing off Tom's bikers and the fun they have. The issue is adhering faithfully to the theme of this volume which ought to have been more thoughtfully considered.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars + 1/2 star: "Knights In Black Leather" 25 April 2013
By Matthew G. Sherwin - Published on Amazon.com
After that very thorough review by "leatheredbikerlover," there's little extra information I can add about this awesome book. I'm new to Tom of Finland; this is my first book of his drawings but this stuff is so hot and inspirational it won't be the last I get for my new collection! This guy could really draw hunky biker dudes; and I agree with people who say that it's good to see how Touko Laaksonen's drawings developed over time (no pun intended). There are even some older black and white photos thrown in! The gag "panic" cover that makes it look like you're "reading" anything but a Tom of Finland book is hysterical--it really made me laugh when I saw it!

True, maybe the quality of some images wasn't the best or the book could have been prepared with a little more care. On the other hand, however, nothing's ever perfect; I still think this is a pretty good book.

This is an excellent book for newcomers to Tom of Finland. Anyone who wants a book of his drawings of bikers with lots of all-male action will love this, too!
5.0 out of 5 stars TOF Collectors and Fans Must Have 28 Oct 2013
By John Henry Haggard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Any man who is a fan of Tom of Finland must buy this book. The price is a pittance for the quality of this book. Buy it used, buy it new, but buy it, even if you already own "The Art of Pleasure" and XXL. Make sue to also check out the other companion edition of this book of comics. Simply more TOF at his very best.
4.0 out of 5 stars Taschen did it again¡¡¡ 10 Aug 2013
By omar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Amazing recopilation of the work of this Finnish artist. One book more for my collection. Diane Hansons work as chief editor for sexy books is amazing. I am very happy with this purchase.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Buy 5 Jan 2013
By Andrew Stamper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A great artistic book of beautifully created men with a mix of some good old homoeroticism. Great story lines/scenes also.
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