SISSYDUDE LOVES: THE AWESOME GRAPHIC GRAPHICS of vintage DRUMMER MAGAZINE!
So I’m home with a flu/ cold that just lingers and won’t go away… and for some reason DRUMMER Magazine popped up in my head. Lately, I’ve been seeing images of vintage covers popping up on Instagram, Tumblr and such. The graphics and photos really look amazing to me. So here are some mind-blowing images that I found, mostly via some lovely soul named Vince who scanned a full 20 issues! LOVE… probably one of my fave Sissydude posts. Enjoy!
WIKIPEDIA: Drummer was an American magazine targeted at gay men with an interest in the leather subculture founded by John H. Embry and Jeanne Barney in Los Angeles, 1975. Because of police harassment, the magazine moved to San Francisco in 1977, with Jack Fritscher as new editor-in-chief (1977–1999). The last number of the magazine, issue 214, was published in April 1999.
Drummer was the most successful of the American leather magazines and was also sold overseas. The publication had a major impact of spreading gay leather as a lifestyle and masculinity as a gay ideal. The magazine was originally focused on quality writings about leather but gradually changed into more of a photo magazine. Among the published writers and artists were Phil Andros, Tim Barrus, Scott Masters, Tom of Finland, Robert Opel, Fred Halsted, David Hurles, Rex (artist), British artist Bill Ward and Larry Townsend. It featured comic strips starring buff gay secret agent Harry Chess by Al Shapiro (under the name “A. Jay”). The photographer Robert Mapplethorpe contributed a photograph for the cover of issue 24, September 1978.
The magazine arranged yearly International Mr. Drummer contests in San Francisco, 1981–1999 (ca).
(watch a bit of the 1985 contest at the end of this post)
Manga artist Gengoroh Tagame has pointed to the magazines illustrated strips as a major influence on his own work.
Also check out the 3 part interview with GLBT Historian Jack Fritscher (the founding San Francisco editor in chief of the legendary leather magazine Drummer
(1975-1999) at the end of this long obsessive post.
Fritser is interviewed by Loren Berthlesen, Leatherati.com, regarding how the reader-reflexive Drummer reported on, and created, leather culture. Drummer was San Francisco’s longest-running gay magazine and was read by millions internationally. Fritscher was the bicoastal lover of Robert Mapplethorpe and the first gay magazine editor to publish Mapplethorpe photographs.
cover photo above by Robert Mapplethorpe