Tuesday, December 28, 2004

In Praise of "Other"

Over at one of the Yahoo Groups (WGBTB 4 - one of the first groups to link to this blog), they've been running a poll asking members who they consider the sexiest BBW on the web. The poll consisted of four names (Kerry Marie, Audra Mitchell, Brooke and Sexy Mic) with a choice of "Other." I selected "Other," which prompted one group member to wonder who I'd select.

Hard to say. Of the foursome offered, the only one who genuinely seems to fulfill the "big" component of BBW is Mic; checking out Kerry Marie, for instance, I see a slightly zaftig, top-heavy beauty who wouldn't be out of place in your average boobmag. She's hot, and would probably come across even hotter if she'd walked up to me in person, but just looking at a bunch of jpg.s on the Internet, she seems slight compared to the fat women I find mind-bogglingly attractive. Could be the diminishing effect of my monitor screen, but fact remains all of these women look like the "before" stage in a good weight gain fantasy to me.

Too, as with so many models, plus-sized or otherwise, there's no sense of a full-grown woman behind the pictures. The BBWs who make the biggest impression are the ones who speak or write on the web in addition to posing for sexy photos. Like the women who've been slowly slipping onto my blogroll (just added Miz T'Rina today) or who maintain their own "this is what my life is like as a BBW" web pages. I know as a writer of fanta-sizer fiction, I can be guilty of emphasizing the physical at the expense of everything else. But, though I may only be sporadically successful at it in my own work, I've found that the most successful fantasies feature heroines with at least a smidgeon's worth of identifiable humanity in 'em.

Yeah, I know the inverse can be true. Consider the sad case of Anna Nicole Smith – whose packaged sexiness has steadily diminished with every public utterance to slur from her lips. Sometimes, admittedly, you don't wannna know too much about a model because, once you get beneath the surface, there's no there there. But I still think if Brooke started her own weblog, I'd look at her more seriously as my personal sex symbol. . .

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

“Look Out for That Pin!”

Lovers of great comix (of which, I'm one) and of sexily neurotic chubettes (of which, ditto), owe it to themselves to rush to their local book or comics shoppe and dole out $49.95 for the recently released hardback of Jaime Hernandez's primo collection, Locos (Fantagraphics). Subtitled "The Maggie And Hopey Stories," the book collects the relevant tales from the first volume run of the ace alt comics title, Love And Rockets. For those not in the know, the titular heroines are a pair of So. Cal punkettes who have an on-again/off-again relationship. Maggie, a.k.a. Perla, is a daydreaming Hispanic with mechanical ability and a predilection for messing up her relationships big time. Initially rendered as ripely shapely, Mag gains weight over the course of the series – and, in one of her self-deflating fantasies ("Maggie the Mechanic or Perla the Prostitute") even imagines herself ballooning cartoonishly and exploding. (Think the girl has seen that "Pigs Is Pigs" cartoon too many times?)

There's more in the 700-page volume for FA readers; one of the ongoing characters, Maggie's Aunt Vicki, is a professional wrestler, and several extended plotlines ("House of Raging Women" most notably) take place in that world: lotsa full-bodied lady wrestlers rendered in Hernandez's wonderfully expressive style. The man has a wholehearted appreciation of BBW body types that even comes across in his background images of matronly Hispanic housewives. (He does not, for instance, shy away from including flashes of cellulite on Maggie's fulsome thighs.) Forget that whiney Bridget Jones – Maggie Chascarrillo is the real deal. . .

Monday, December 20, 2004

Miss Plump Regrets

Per The Beat, a new series of graphic novels featuring Harvey Comics' classic characters – Casper, the Friendly Ghost; Richie Rich; and Hot Stuff – is in the works. Not listed in the press release, unfortunately, is the comic line's memorable girl glutton, Little Lotta Plump. It's probably no surprise to read that the character is getting the short end of the stick (though I should also note that none of the line's other girl leads - Little Dot or Wendy, the Good Little Witch - appear in the list of to-be-revived characters). In this era of hyper-diligent food policing, the idea of a comic devoted to a fat girl who grows stronger every time she binges probably wouldn't get past a lot of diet-conscious parents. Even if a comic devoted to a dead child or a young boy minion of Satan is a-okay, the very concept of a happy fat kid is a whole other matter.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Accidental Subversion

In an effort to avoid doing work this afternoon, I wasted some time looking up "Wilson Barbers" entries on Google. Found a goodly number of entries – some unfamiliar to me (I had no idea, for instance, that the folks at Expandemonium had appropriated a Writers' Advice piece that I wrote for the Dimensions story archives – I'm not bothered by the fact that they did this, just irked that nobody told me about it!) But by the fifth page of entries, some odd googlizings started to crop up.

Most of 'em were connected to my serialized erotic fat admirer novel, "The Weight Loss Camp." Because that erotic work has the words "weight loss" in its title, a bunch of health and diet listers have apparently added it robotically to their relevant link pages. Which makes me wonder if some unsuspecting would-be lady dieter – not knowing that this serial depicts a series of sexual encounters with a series of progressively larger and larger women – might not inadvertently click onto this earnest little piece of smut . . .

. . .and be forever changed by the experience.

Hey, this is my blog - I can fantasize all I want, okay?

“Okay by Me in Amairrrica!”

In among the seasonal anti-fat scare stories comes one from JAMA that recently piqued my interest: it's from a study of approximately 4,500 immigrants who were surveyed in a 2000 national health survey. Prior to their immigration, some 8% of this group were considered "obese" (as defined by the jiggered standards of BMI), while the number jumped to 19% among those who had been here at least fifteen. This is still lower than the average for U.S.-born residents (about 22%) but still enough to generate "Coming to America Makes You Fat" scarelines in the press.

The report's authors not unsurprisingly say that this data sends a "sobering message." But since previous reports have also shown that immigrants "tend to have healthier habits, including less smoking and drug use" and longer life spans than U.S.-born citizens, I can't help wondering if this data doesn't present an opportunity to truly examine if obesity really is the culprit in so many health issues. By more closely examining if these fatter immigrants had the same amount of so-called "obesity related" illnesses as their U.S.-bred cousins suffer, it strikes me that researchers have an opportunity to – on a limited scale, at least – get a better sense of fatness' real place as an indicator of possible future ill health. (Could it just possibly be that habits like smoking and drug usage are more reliable predictors than fatness?) Perhaps the message isn't as "sobering" as the medical community and media have so reflexively assumed?

Friday, December 10, 2004

Gale Force

There are sites out there that you just wish were updated more regularly: for me, Fantasy Feeder is one of these. A UK (I think) fat admirer website devoted to fantasies of feeding and weight gain (for both sexes, actually, though I tend to steer away from the fotos of bulging guy guts), FanFeeder is definitely an online respite for those of us who like to dream of food and fat. Among the treats offered on the site: an fDiets Plan page where you can figure out how many calories you theoretically would require to reach the weight you wanna hit (not sure I fully accept its basic foundations, but it's still a fun tool to play with), a pair of stories and some photo e-cards that you can send someone by way of encouragement, members' pics and a web board, a Flash cartoon about a gluttonous super-sized femme named Helen that I've been waiting for ages to see continued, plus the ever-popular "Fatten Your Feedee," a JavaScript game I remember playing when it was on an earlier site.

I recnetly tried playing it again. The basic idea of the game is to feed your cartoon girlfriend Gale, a modest plumper who we first see wearing tidy businesswear, 'til she either becomes grandly fat or ditches you for either mismanaging your money and/or not paying attention to her health and happiness. The game works on a week-by-week schedule: with a regularly replenished salary, you're required to buy food, clothes and pay for activities that'll both give our gal exercise and keep her happy. We have no idea what Gale does when you're not around: basically, the only comments she makes are about the quality and quantity of the food you’re offering on a weekly basis. Per the game's hints page, you don't wanna overdo it on the caloric intake – or Gale's health'll plummet. As a fantasy feeder, you need to keep track of four basic elements: money, health and happiness scales, and, of course, Gale's weight.

When I tried playing the game most recently, I found that I was generally able to get Gale to gain about four pounds a week. I mainly kept to inexpensive activities (as tempting and caloric as it is to take Gale out to dinner and a movie every night, doing so only trashes your bank account) and was able to get my heroine from 150 up to 227 pounds. At that point, the ingrate ditched me for busting my budget.

Every twenty pounds or so, two images of Gale are replaced by graphics reflecting our heroine’s new weight. (The illos are your prime reward for keeping the game going, and they're decently cartoonish.) Occasionally, too, our gal needs to buy clothing that's a notch larger than her old size (from "L" to "XL" to "XXL" and so forth); if you don't get fresh clothes, the activities available for you become much more limited. At times, special windows open that give you the opportunity to increase Gale's health or happiness, though when I played this time, I didn't get any. Perhaps it was my inept playing, but it seemed like some of the game's elements weren't working as well as they once did.

Still, you've gotta admire the mind that went to the effort of concocting this silly divertisement (just the act of doing all the growing Gale graphics is plenty time-consuming, let alone calculating the rest of the elements that you need to keep things movin'). I'd love to see the proprietors of Fantasy Feeder spruce this game up. There've been other weight gain games on the Internet – some, like "Feed the Model," are done more out of contempt for bulimia culture than from love of size – but Gale remains my personal favorite. Even if she is inclined to dump me every time I bounce a personal check. . .

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Dem Bones

As an FA comics reader, I've long wondered what Little Lotta would look like as an adult - would she be as hot as her mother? Per fanta-sizer artist Biggie (as displayed in his Yahoo group - ya gotta register and all that rigamarole, but if you liked Biggie, it's worth it), this Harvey Comics heroine would be even sexier than her occasionally glimpsed matronly Ma. Now, thanks to a new site, we can see that everybody's favorite girl glutton definitely has the physiological backbone to become a mega-sized beauty. Artist Michael Paulus has developed a series of character studies imagining the skeletal structures of a variety of cartoon and comics characters; among these is a study of Lotta, which shows just how big boned our gal must be. . .

UPDATE: Paulus' site appears to have troubles staying up [insert obvious erection joke here], so you may need to try more than once to access it.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Jingle Belle Update

For those of you who follow Yahoo Groups, the recently opened WGBTB4 (one of a series of weight gain themed groups run by the mysterious "BTB") contains several jpgs. from the Jingle Belle comic described below. Tried checking 'em out after signing up for membership, but – as often happens with these groups when they’re just starting out – I kept getting "HTTP 4003 (Forbidden)" messages, a sign that the joint's too crowded at the moment and you should probably come back later. Still, if you're curious about the story, you might consider checking out BTB's group.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Manga Madness

Picking up the most recent issue of The Comics Journal (#264), I noticed an ad that piqued my interest: for a collection of erotic manga entitled Chubby. "Overflowing with erotic energy and imagery!" the ad notes. "Women with abundant, full-figured bodies!" The cover of the first ish shows a trio of plus-sized big-eyed femmes, the fullest figured of which appears to be a mid-sized housewife. The ad took me to the publisher's web page, where some very explicit images from the first issue awaited me: several shots of fulsome erections and sweaty nekkid BBWs with their naughty bits fully exposed. "Three erotic manga that describe the desires of three nymphomaniac women!" the ad promises me. Funny that I haven't seen this title at my local comics shoppe. . .

Anyone out there familiar with this book?

Measuring Up

I'm really bereft in not flogging the fact that Bill Sherman & Becky Fox's ongoing Dimensions serial, "Measure By Measure" posted its 99th chapter in November. A seriocomic romantic serial set among the members of a mythical midwestern size acceptance chapter, it follows the romantic plights of a group of fat women & men as well as their admirers. Two couples in particular have stood out in the first 99 chapters: plus-sized paralegal Jenny and her boyfriend Paul, plus super-sized New Age storeowner Misty and her sous chef lover Joe. In the first, we've seen the new-to-size-acceptance Jenny struggle with years of family-taught self-doubt to accept her FA paramour; in the second, the more experienced Misty is occasionally forced to rein in her more enthusiastic fanta-sizer lover.

Throughout the series, we're privy to the occasional differences and misunderstandings that can arise between fat admirer and admired, especially as it relates to male fantasies. The men in "Measure" may occasionally be seen indulging in WG daydreams, and while the women in their life sometimes wonder about this practice, the fact is that none of 'em actively engage in it. At one point in the serial, in fact, a character is falsely accused of being a feeder on a daytime talk show, but it's obvious that his accuser has her own agenda is doing this.

"Measure By Measure" has been running as a serial for several years on the Dimensions site. In its early days, it ran on a near weekly basis, but over time the serial developed a more sporadic schedule. Its writers are committed to reaching the 100th Chapter mark with a wedding (the serial has already seen a funeral) and several other semi-tidy conclusions. Then they plan to work on honing and correcting the material into novel form with a (doubtless quixotic) eye toward print publication. Whether they continue the serial on Dimensions is up in the air at the moment, so you might wanna get in the action while it's still a-happening. That way, when Renee Zellwegger really gains weight to play full-bottomed Misty in the movie, you can tell yer friends, "I read this when it was just a scruffy web serial!"