Tom of Finland liked his men stacked – big boobs, big dicks, bulging muscles, engorged nipples, tight asses. When he contributed his first series of drawings to Bob Mizer’s Physique Pictorial in 1956, gay art changed forever, and for the better. Unlike his predecessors, artist like George Quaintance and Etienne, Tom wasn’t interested in the reality of what must have been a bleak sexual landscape – it was the 50s after all, and male nudity was all but illegal.
He took his drawings to the extreme, abandoning reality for a lush and lusty fantasy world almost completely devoid of the fairer sex. With his pencil drawings of extravagantly inflated muscle men, Tom, whose name was coined by Mizer in the Spring 1957 issue of Physique Pictorial, created a new, more explicit and unapologetic language for gay artists to follow. He’s been referred to as the “most influential creator of gay pornographic images,” and with good reason - no single artist dealing exclusively in explicit images of gay sex has reached his level of recognition. His work has inspired everything from sheets to cologne and his influence can be seen not only in porn but in art and fashion as well. And while his work may be accessible in an unprecedented way, it’s our belief that you can never have enough of a good thing. So, in honor of our favorite illustrator, we bring you absolutely every cover he ever made for everyone’s favorite beefcake rag.
The Complete Tom of Finland Covers Gallery: