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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 7 April 2011
Once again Taschen have excelled themselves with this fantastic volume featuring the comics of Tom of Finland. The hardback cover includes gold lettering and two wonderful Tom of Finland illustrations on the front and back covers. But here's the amazing part - the cover jacket is reversible and so if you don't want anyone knowing the identity of the book on your shelf, just reverse the cover and it will show Smiths Wealth of Nations Volume 1. And what a wealth of Tom's artwork can be found inside the book. Each page features a plate taken from Tom's comics and beautifully reproduced on heavy stock gloss paper with the black and white artwork coloured with sepia. The book includes an introduction to Touko Laaksonen, otherwise known as Tom of Finland, and reproduces an unpublished 1946 comic beautifully coloured along with Kake 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, Beach Boys 1 and 2 and Jack 1 to 3.
Anyone who knows the artwork of Tom of Finland will want to include this first volume in their collection. Alternatively, it is a great first look at the homo-erotic art of Tom which has given untold people joy over the decades.
A warning - if you are offended by gay artwork then maybe this book is not for you. Alternatively, it would make a great gift for a gay friend and it is at a very acceptable price on Amazon
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book primarily because I loved the book design element of the reversible cover (I was also aware of Tom Of Finland's paintings).

The hilarious thing about the reversible cover is that the content is so graphic in it's depiction of relentless sex scenes that the subterfuge of the cover would never last a second, it remains a very cool design element though because of it's playing with the sentiment.

The first five seconds of reading the book are shocking because the action is so sexually graphic. It takes a while, however, to acclimatise and realise that Tom of Finland's strips work in exactly the same way that all other entertaining comic strips work. Popeye is a sailor therefore he has big arms, nautical tattoos and travels the world fighting people and in Tom of Finland's world the characters are blue collar men who live in a sexual utopia of equality, affection and mutual willingness to engage in hard sex all of the time, a utopia that even as a straight man, seems perfect. Everyone is in perfect shape because they have sex all of the time. There are no power imbalances unless they are there for comedic reasons, everyone is happy and engaging in mutual pleasure and the action often has elements of affection and tenderness rather than being mechanical. Everyone in Tom of Finland's world is, sexually, having a great time.

From then on there are set-ups and punchlines like there are in other comic strips, often with an ironic or comedic twist to the story and in the same way that all comedic comic strips are a product of the world of the characters and the set up of the specific strip, these are no exception. It is funny that the next thing that happens is the inevitable engagement in sexual acts, the specific digressions from a master of anatomy's sense of proportion is hilarious and the punchlines are often up there with the best of the newspaper strip masters.

I always think that one of John Water's jobs is to make us feel affectionate towards groups of people that we wouldn't intuitively warm to and each time it makes us better people. The Tom of Finland comics disarm us from their sexual explicitness , by on one level entertaining us and on a loftier level pointing to a potential pornography that isn't about power imbalances and the titillation of transgression.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 25 August 2014
This volume reprints twelve of Tom of Finland’s comic-book stories (as opposed to pin-ups, etc.), including one previously unpublished colour comic, along with an Introduction by the editor giving Tom’s biographical details.

The Contents are –
P006: Introduction
P020: Unpublished (colour comic from 1946)
P038: Kake #1 –The Intruder (1968)
P058: Kake #3 – C*ck-Hungry Cops (1968)
P078: Kake #5 – Punishment (1970)
P100: Kake #7 – Tea Room Odyssey [though ‘cottaging’ would be the appropriate British title] (1970)
P122: Kake #8 – Hi-Jacked (1971)
P142: Kake #10 – Raunchy Truckers (1971)
P162: Beach Boys #1 (1971)
P184: Beach Boys #2 (1971)
P206: Jack of the Jungle #1 – The White Hunter (1971)
P226: Jack of the Jungle #2 – R*pe of the Jungle Giant (1972)
P248: Jack of the Jungle #3 – Jungle Seafood (1972)

Note that I have added a few asterisks to spare Amazon’s blushes... Note also that the Introduction is only four pages in English as there are German and French-language versions also. Each story is 20 pages, plus cover, except the unpublished one, which is only 16 pages. For those of you unfamiliar with Tom’s comics, each page is a single panel, reproduced here at half-size – at least my copies of the individual Jack of the Jungle comics are printed as A4; other editions may have differed. As to the content of the stories, the titles listed above tell you exactly what to expect - they depict various numbers of men happily and graphically engaging in what nowadays would be called unsafe sex, so enter at your peril.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This volume reprints twelve of Tom of Finland's comic-book stories (as opposed to pin-ups, etc.), including one previously unpublished colour comic, along with an Introduction by the editor giving Tom's biographical details.

The Contents are -
P006: Introduction
P020: Unpublished (colour comic from 1946)
P038: Kake #1 -The Intruder (1968)
P058: Kake #3 - C*ck-Hungry Cops (1968)
P078: Kake #5 - Punishment (1970)
P100: Kake #7 - Tea Room Odyssey [though `cottaging' would be the appropriate British title] (1970)
P122: Kake #8 - Hi-Jacked (1971)
P142: Kake #10 - Raunchy Truckers (1971)
P162: Beach Boys #1 (1971)
P184: Beach Boys #2 (1971)
P206: Jack of the Jungle #1 - The White Hunter (1971)
P226: Jack of the Jungle #2 - R*pe of the Jungle Giant (1972)
P248: Jack of the Jungle #3 - Jungle Seafood (1972)

Note that I have added a few asterisks to spare Amazon's blushes... Note also that the Introduction is only four pages in English as there are German and French-language versions also. Each story is 20 pages, plus cover, except the unpublished one, which is only 16 pages. For those of you unfamiliar with Tom's comics, each page is a single panel, reproduced here at half-size - at least my copies of the individual Jack of the Jungle comics are printed as A4; other editions may have differed. As to the content of the stories, the titles listed above tell you exactly what to expect - they depict various numbers of men happily and graphically engaging in what nowadays would be called unsafe sex, so enter at your peril.
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on 20 July 2015
Sexy
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