Publisher: Taschen America Llc Published: Jun 14 2012 Pages: 266 Weight: 1.84lbs. Height: 8.75" Width: 6.75" Depth: 1.25" Language: English
n 1953 The Wild One, starring Marlon Brando as Johnny, leader of the Black Rebels Motorcycle Club, was released worldwide. In 1954 Tom of Finland, previously known for his military and blue-collar subjects, drew his first civilian motorcyclist dressed in black leather. Coincidence? Hardly. The Wild One, originally marketed to a female audience with a poster featuring a close-up of Brando's face sans leather cap, hair tousled, cheeks and pout tinted pink with the tagline “That 'Streetcar' Man has a new Desire!”, resonated far more with gay audiences, who took Brando's character as a template for the first leatherman. After seeing The Wild One Tom never drew men in brown leather again; black leather now dominated his fantasies, and his art.
Tom adopted Brando's leather Perfecto jacket, white t-shirt, Levi's, and high boots as his signature look. It was this same look that Tom selected for Kake, his confident, ever-horny hero of 26 panel stories. Kake became Tom's fearless, outgoing alter ego, and bikers supplanted military men as his favorite subject.