This is the first Tale illustrated by Marvin Mann, whom I’ve known online for several years. He’s illustrated several graphic novels and other short comics of note, including the multi-award-winning The Lone and Level Sands, Some New Kind of Slaughter: or Lost in the Flood, Inanna’s Tears, The Grave Doug Freshley, and currently drawing Love is in the Blood. Readers of JAQrabbit Tales might remember his contributions to the original Smut Peddler comix (before the current “graphic novel” format).

Several of the books he’s illustrated have been done with his and my mutual comics-making friends, and when he asked about doing a Tale, I was more than happy to send him some scripts to look at it. He’s doing another Tale, which I’ll be running later this year, and he’s also working on a longer collaboration with Dale Lazarov (one of the few writers that I’ve drawn for), which I’m sure readers of the Tales will want to keep their eyes open for. He’s also doing art for Charlton Neo, a resurrection of sorts of the old comics publisher (original home to Blue Beetle, the Question, etc).

Not counting the “Modern Family” pin-up I posted a couple months ago, this is the most recent Tale so far. That is, this one is set just a few years ago: in 2011, and was written well after I’d started working on this project. If you’ve been reading the series, you’ve seen Trevor briefly in “Bully” (dated 1991), which should give you some idea of just how long he and Jason have known each other.

The title of this Tale has a dual meaning, of course: it was the day for Trevor and his wife Kim to move house, and it was an emotionally moving day.

To some gay guys, having sex with a straight guy is a serious thing.

I think I get it. It’s a challenge: if you can get into a straight guy’s undies, that must mean you’re either super-persuasive, or you’re so hot that even straight guys find you sexy. It can be fun to be the experienced one, introducing your partner to something they’ve never dared try before. You get to be his memorable first (and maybe only) man, and you can do that without having to troll gay youth groups looking for actual virgins.

There are also some gay guys who are only into straight guys, which smells to me of self-loathing. It’s as if they think other gay guys aren’t “real men” enough. I don’t have much respect for those guys either.

As a bisexual, I don’t see it as quite so much of a big deal. I mean, anybody who thinks there’s something special about my dick because it’s gone where theirs never has … doesn’t know dick.

This isn’t a story about seducing a straight guy. It’s about Jason seducing this guy who is straight. High school and college friendships can drift apart, and even when you don’t lose touch, the present gets in the way of the past, you know? But a teenage crush never goes away completely, and sometimes you just want one last shot at something you know was never meant to be.

Shortly after I started working on this series, and decided to go beyond simple anecdotes into a kind of biographical something-or-other, I took pains to put everyone in it thru my own version of the FBI’s witness protection program. I’d already hacked my name sufficiently to prevent someone who knows me In Real Life finding my comics work thru casual search-engine and social-networking surfing, because you can’t live where I do and keep a day job while openly publishing religious satire and queer porn on the side. So I extended that everyone who appears in the Tales.

I didn’t really like anonymizing and pseudonymizing and fictionalizing like that … but it’s what makes the whole thing possible. And it gives me the added freedom of being able to go farther with it, take bigger risks, and do wilder things than if I had to worry about it getting back to my family, neighbors, casual friends, or co-workers.