David Talaski-Brown is a Portland, Oregon-based artist, husband and chihuahua dad. He’s been drawing, sculpting, and clicking his way around MS Paint for as long as he can remember. Eventually, David ended up in the animation program at the now deceased Art Institute of Portland, mostly focusing on 2D animation. He didn’t end up in animation but instead landed in a studio making art for video games.
Talaski-Brown is also working on his personal projects, one of which is a quirky illustration series where he turns male superheroes into classic pinup models.
To those who know him, this shouldn’t have come as a surprise. “Comics and superhero movies were both activities my husband and I did together when we first started dating, so they’ve become a significant part of our relationship. Even when they aren’t good, they’re an event that we always look forward to,” David told Bored Panda.
The artist started developing the series about 2 years ago, when he started dipping his toes in local conventions and online sales for his personal work. “I was going to table at my first convention and I felt like I had nothing to sell that people would want to buy,” David recalled. “I had an idea of illustrating popular male superheroes in the pinup classic style akin to Elvgren and Vargas.”#2
“What I love about vintage pinup, and what I think makes it appealing is that it walks the line between erotica and comedy. It’s sexy enough to make you blush and ridiculous enough to not take it seriously. Basically, erotica you can hang on your walls and still have mom over.”
David said he also saw it as a good opportunity to make art for nerds who are attracted to men. “There are a lot of us. There’s always a plethora of art depicting scantily clad women at every other convention booth, so why not give some of the MCU’s hottest hunks the same treatment? It only seems fair, right?”
So, he began the series depicting some of the most popular guys from the MCU like Thor, Captain American, Dr.Strange, etc. “After that, I started making ones I would get frequent requests for like Loki and Bucky,” David said. “I most recently stepped out of the MCU and took on Momoa’s Aquaman because how couldn’t I? I mean, look at him. I’m not sure which one I’ll do next. I have ideas for a few from both Marvel and DC. Maybe some from other media as well.”
Talaski-Brown’s take on the genre really does honor its early creators. With origins in the 1890s, the erotic but always safe for work pin-up girls took off in the mid-20th century, when American men were hanging up their calendars on their walls.