Joe Phillips’ "Beefcake Heroes" gallery showing at Alexander Salazar Fine Art during SDCC 2011 made quite a splash both with the attending fanboys and with the internet media. Soon after his supersexy shots of well-known superheroes in various states of undress were burning up the web. At the time I saved them for a rainy day, meaning to significantly expand my original Joe Phillips post and split it into two galleries. Luckily, it rained over the weekend. I left his Joeboys in the first post and have combined the "Beefcake Heroes" images with his superhero work and convention sketches.
Joe Phillips began his career as a traditional comic book artist. His first professional job was cover artist for Mister Miracle #7 in 1989 and he continued on the title until its end in 1991. He then went on to create visuals for such popular titles as “Justice League of America”, “Silver Surfer”, “X-Men”, “Legion of Super-Heroes”, “The Incredible Hulk”, “Lobo”, Captain America”, “Wolverine”, “Green Lantern” and “Superboy.” He was also a regular contributor to the Marvel Illustrated Swimsuit Specials, so these kinds of Beefcake Heroes are right up his alley.
It wasn’t until his work on "Superboy & Risk: Double Shot" (Feb 1998) that Joe sexualized his hero a bit more than was the norm and dropped "a few gay hints in the background." These "hints" were picked up by a number of gay fanboys at the time and actually led to Joe creating a regular homoerotic cartoon strip for XY magazine called… Joeboys. The wild succcess of his Joeboys led him to mainly leave his traditional comics background and focus on creating art for the gay community.
In 1999 Joe Phillips co-founded Xodus USA which sold clothing and gay-themed accessories. Joe released his first annual Boys Will Be Boys calendar in 2001 and by 2003 Bruno Gmunder had published a collection of the calendar images that was so popular the publisher re-released it in 2007 with double the content.
Joe Phillips has also created a number of homoerotic animated films. His first, Cumquest was a Star Trek spoof. His second film, The House of Morecock was released in 2001 and nominated for a GayVN award in 2002. He released his first CGI film, Stonewall and Riot in 2006.
He launched Xodus magazine in 2003 and has since created artwork for ID Lube, Elbow Grease, Inside Pride, Jocko Underwear, Odyssey Magazine, Gloss Magazine, Gay and Lesbian Times San Diego, Freshmen, All Boy, Cyber Socket, and Prism Comics plus singers Ari Gold, Justus Boys, Alan Gnuo and Levi Kreis. He also created the art for the comic book character “Rage”, which featured in the second season of the Showtime series Queer as Folk.
Joe Phillips "Beefcake Heroes" series does nothing more than put iconic male heroes in the provocative poses traditionally found more in erotic pin ups than comic strips.
"Comic art is finally coming out of the closet," he said. "The heroes and their fans can’t ignore they are sexy."
Comic artists have been doing that to female heroes (and villainesses) for years and Joe Phillips is a firm believer that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. THANKS JOE! In the Huffington Post interview Phillips mentions a possible follow up to the series with Beefcake Villains!!!
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