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Glen Hanson: The Party Boys of ‘Toon Town

by John Calendo

The wonderful bicycle messenger above with his top-to-bottom tire-track tattoo is part Disney, part Tom of Finland and all Glen Hanson.

In fact, the 39-year-old illustrator has worked for both Disney and Hanna-Barbera, as well as for Torso, Inches and Honcho magazines!

You might think that a guy who was busy designing characters for Saturday Morning cartoon shows like Beetlejuice and Daria wouldn’t have a moment to spare to launch a second, equally full-time career. But the way Hanson tells it, his mainstream career was what he did to pay the rent, while his homo-hot fantasy studs (such as the high-fashion hunkeroo at right — Hanson’s witty homage to a very famous Dior ad by Rene Gruau) is what he needs to do for his art.

"I came up with the name G-Man," he says, "to separate my career as Glen Hanson — who was doing work for Ladies Home Journal and Good Housekeeping — from the fantasy studs that I started drawing in my teen years. I had developed a whole Flash Gordon world populated by incredibly muscular, incredibly hung space hunks. Unfortunately, I threw those drawings out in a misguided religious fervor. I was afraid my family would find them. My father — if you can believe it! — was cataloguing all my childhood drawings by month and year! When I look back at those early drawings I’m always amazed by how fabulously sexy and well accessorized all the women were!"

Raised in Toronto, Hanson had no idea how lucrative his private stash of ‘toon boys would be until he moved to New York. "Everywhere I looked I was getting inspired by either a chiseled, gorgeous face in a fashion magazine or a cool haircut or a hot tattoo. A friend said a quick way to make money was to draw for the porn magazines."

Soon his stable of party studs were sexing up a line of greeting cards, calendars, and even a G-Man Ball at a chichi dance club. "I was in the right place at the right time." reasons Hanson. "My gay work proliferated throughout gay New York, where most American advertising and editorial art directors are."

Work began to pour in. For MTV, he created the spoofy hunks-and-babes cartoon show Spy Groove (above); for Sex and the City, a hilarious set of online paper dolls and for new products trying to crack the gay market, G-Man became the go-to guy for fun, catchy beefcake with an explicit homo twist, as in his Grand Marnier ad, at left.

Hanson now lives in Los Angeles, where he’s developing an animated version of his syndicated comic strip Chelsea Boys for possible inclusion on a new gay cable channel, Logo. Begun over six years ago as the carefree adventures of three kooky roomates (our blond friend at right is one of them), Chelsea Boys soon took on more serious issues like the prevalence of crystal meth, barebacking –even the war in Iraq.

"I wanted a balance," confides Hanson. "Some of the G-Man stuff can come off as shallow — the whole notion of running after a great body and designer clothes and hot cars. Right now, after the last election, we have to take care of business. We can’t be complacent because we face the real danger that the little we have will be taken away from us."

Taking care of business, actually, is all Glen Hanson has time to do these days. He just signed on as the official poster illustrator for Milanese fashion designer, Andrew Mackenzie (detail of poster below.)

As a man who’s been there and back, Glen Hanson would like to encourage young illustrators,who may wonder how commercial gay work might be, to stay true to the things that excite them.

"I think it all goes back to childhood," says Hanson (left). " The cartoons I saw – the early 60’s Hanna-Barbera, the classic Disney features — as well as reruns of campy 60’s sitcoms like Bewitched and Batman had a huge impact on me. I lived in my own cartoon land as a young gay child. I’d be inside drawing while the other boys were playing hockey — yuck!.

"From the age of 10, I was totally obsessed with Wonder Woman. Not only was I drawing my own Wonder Woman comics, I painted a mural of her on my bedroom wall!

“And you better believe I can still do that spin,” he says, referring to the way Wonder Woman would turbo-twirl out of her sedate street clothes and into full, flashing Amazon regalia. “I practiced it over and over behind closed doors! Ironically, the Wonder Woman spin helped me develop my abilities as a track & field athlete in junior high. So take that hockey boys!"

To learn more about Glen Hanson, you can start by visiting his fun website. You can also purchase an anthology of his Chelsea Boys strips, as well as G-Man, a book of his beefcake pinups.

©2006 Nightcharm

  • http://www.drubskin.com Drub

    Glen does great work and gives great advice!

    I often find myself up late at night drawing while laughing my head off with Daria in the background.

  • Cyberpanda

    I love his work and was an avid admirer of “Spy Groove.” I hope MTV changes its mind and releases the series on DVD. Keep up the great work…G-Man!

  • Young Judged

    Wow these are righteous, i thought “spy groove” rocked.
    Do you do requests?

  • scotschris

    Turned me from straight to bi. if i see any more, i’ll surely become gay!

  • http://www.jazzo.deviantart.com jason

    i always loved glen hansons work even from the chelsea boys comic…it was playful simple and hot! he is an idol to me atleast :)

  • http://www.redcapboy.com LeeAndrew

    Greetings from an American in France/Italy.
    Just completed reading an article about Glen, good stuff. Felicitaions, LeeAndrew

  • joao


  • Jaqua

    Have you ever been approached or thought about producing sketches for fashion dolls based on the g-man sketches, I posed the same question to the Joe Phillips, and he said that he had been trying to find a backer for his art and that he had in fact created facemolds or sculptures of 12 inch dolls of his illustrations, I figure if he could try with his make fashion dolls based on his art as did Tom of Finland and their lot of dolls, why can’t you, you obviously have the sell potential and plenty of gay men play with barbie and Billy dolls, why not add your contribution to the mix, I think it could be great with the variety and the artistic addition of your male sketches, what do you think?

  • Dennis

    I used to LOVE the Beetlejuice animated series as a kid- and wish they would put them on DVD, I also LOVE Daria- I just got both of the DVD’s available (Is it Fall Yet? and Is It College Yet?)- and I would LOVE for the entire series to come to DVD as well- then, a few years ago, I was serously turned on by the guys in Spy Groove- who’dve guessed that Glen Hanson was a big part of my life since I was 10- and there’s still the Bod Man ads (which scare me because no cartoon should be THAT hot)- and now there’s G-Man- Gotta get my hands on that- Glen’s work has help respark my interest in drawing, and to think- he’s been there for the last 15 years!

  • june guzman

    i love your pics!!! you certainly have a talent for this! where can i buy your book here in the philippines? just e-mail that to me and i’ll defenitely grab a copy. i’ll tell this to my friends.

  • Jack Sharney

    It’s amazing that even in cartoons, only the gorgeous, beautiful hunks are the ones to have some fun. It is a shame that regular
    guys just don’t cut it in our world. Too bad I am not one of the
    gorgeous, beautiful hunks. His drawings are beautiful.

  • AAJJ from Italy

    i love glen! ;-)

  • hrny


  • http://outthere.com.au Pauly

    Dear Daria,

    I love boys as much as I love you, you beautiful little lesbian – all the girls in my life have been gay – so now as a more mature boy, I quietly wank while looking at web nude boys, and dreaming of filling my girl loves with cum. Besides, who could not look at Daria and fall hopelessly in love with her. She is SO beautiful I could give her babies. Being somewhat intoxicated with booze now, I will stop raving on, and advise that Daria has a long way to go.

    Love Pauly

  • meg

    just wanted to say that my brother is gay and i love him for who is and like the fact that gays can have a porn site too. be proud of who you are if you strait, gay, or bi sexual. ps i like the art work