The artist on this tale, which will be running for three more weeks, is Tom Bouden. He’s a Belgian (Flemish) cartoonist, best known in the English-speaking world for his albums (medium-length, large-format, hardcover graphic novels) Max and Sven, In Bed with David & Jonathan, Queerville, and Positive. At home he’s also known for “mainstream” comics, including the comics tie-in of the long-running sitcom Football Club “The Champions” and The Joyful Rascals series.

“The Dunes” in the title of this story refers to two landmarks of the west Michigan gay community (both in the twin towns of Saugatuck-Douglas): It’s the name of a world-famous gay resort hotel (which doesn’t figure into this tale) and it’s the private property just north of family-friendly Oval Beach (which does).

The existence of both comes as a surprise to many people, because the surrounding area is deep-red-Republican and rather puritanical. But these “artsy” conjoined towns have been a not-so-secret haven of gay acceptance for as long as I can remember. Nudity isn’t tolerated on the famed beaches of West Michigan… but away from the prying eyes of the local police on this private land, the rules are very different.