Yaoi Art: “Junkyard” Pin-up by Ponderosa

Thumbnail of "Junkyard" wallpaper by Ponderosa

One thing about making independent comics is that it can take a long time to finish. When you’re DC or Marvel, if you want great work done quickly, you can just throw money at it, but when you’re just a guy with a desire to tell cool stories, that’s not an option. And as I’ve said before on this blog, I’d rather have to wait a little bit to get great art and tell my story the right way than cut corners and wind up with a comic that’s just so-so.

The challenge, of course, is staying connected with your readers. I mean, I’m never going to get rich making yaoi comics. (On some days, breaking even seems like a lot to hope for…) So the only realistic reward I can reasonably expect is to have my work connect with people and to hear back from them. And I have to tell you, the kind words you all have put in the comments of this blog and on my Facebook page more than make all the hard work worthwhile. 😀

But I’m still presented with the challenge of how to stay in my readers minds if it takes several months to finish a chapter. This is a particular problem for new folks who sign up for our mailing list and then don’t hear from me for a long time. They get that first Welcome Email with the links to our free comics, don’t hear anything for weeks and weeks, and by the time they get sent an email with the next comic, they often have no memory of signing up. Some even hit the dreaded Junk/Spam button, which among other things, actually sends me a direct message calling me a spammer” even though they themselves asked to get my emails!

My Evil Plan

The solution, of course, is to send out more emails to my subscribers. But, the truth is, I myself don’t like to get a ton of email even if I do sign up for something. And I’m not just going to send out random, content-free updates, if I’m going to send an email to thousands of people (close to 14,000 subscribers right now!), then it has to be something that I myself would be delighted to get. So I got to thinking: comics take a long time to finish; but a full-color pin-up, that’s a much different matter. And getting sexy art with the boys kissing and stuff, well, that’s something I’d be delighted to get in my Inbox.

So… I’ve decided to work with some of my favorite yaoi artists to create pin-ups of our characters that I can send out as exclusive downloads for my subscribers to use as computer desktop wallpaper/screensavers. I’ve commissioned four of them and the first one, by yaoi artist Ponderosa, is now ready for subscribers to download!

Here’s what it looks like:

Thumbnails of "Junkyard" wallpaper by Ponderosa
Art by Kimi Owens. © 2011 Alex Woolfson.

(Click image to enlarge)

People who are currently subscribed to the Yaoi 911 News & Downloads mailing list have already been sent the links for high-res wallpapers of this image that work on all the standard computer monitor sizes as well as the iPhone. But for new subscribers, I’m trying something different. When new members sign up for the list, they will be sent a link to these wallpapers (and all the others as I create them), but those particular links won’t be in that first Welcome Email. Instead, I’ll send this first wallpaper out a couple days after they sign up. Other pin-ups (when they’re done) I’ll send out maybe every week after that first one. That way, new subscribers will get more than just one email from me, and so hopefully they will be more likely to remember who the heck Yaoi 911 is in the future and feel a bit more connected to our work right now. And they’ll get a nice treat in their Inbox every week or so which makes me smile when I think about it. 🙂

That’s my evil plan, anyway.

An Experiment

As with pretty much everything I do in this wacky new world of publishing independent comics through the Internet, this is an experiment. I had this art created in the hope that you might like it and, over the next few months, I’ll be sending out 3 more new wallpapers. But what do you think? As a subscriber, would you want me to send you free, yaoi wallpapers? Do you like seeing Mike and Rob like this? And what do you think of the art? Sweet, sexy, cool, not cool?

Please let me know in the comments section of this blog post! If it turns out you all like these, then I’ll commission more of them and subscribers will hear from me a bit more often, like once a month or so. (And if you really like the art, then I’ll also make them available as posters you can get at our store.)

So to sum up: This is the first of four wallpapers. I plan to release them once a month for the time being. And by that time, hopefully I’ll have another comic ready to share with you all. 🙂

Please let me know what you think!

Want to download the high-res versions of this wallpaper? Well, it’s easy! Just fill out the form on the Free Comics page and the link will be sent to you within 48 hours of your sign up! (And you get download links for the first two completed chapters of Tough sent to you immediately in the Welcome Email. That’s 70 full-color pages of yaoi goodness. For free. Score!)

Enjoy reading articles like these? Don’t miss out! Get Yaoi 911 blog posts emailed right to you — for free!

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203 comments

  1. The day job eats your soul. If you’re an indie artist, even more so. *petpet* Your experiment sounds good, and I honestly have no preference in terms of art style. If anything, the more varied the interpretation of the characters, the more interesting, but that’s just me. 🙂

    Good to see that Ponderosa’s still active! I remember her from the Gundam Wing (and later, Harry Potter) fandom.

    1. Not bad at all, I say. In fact, I actually think that’s a sign of a successful piece.

      My intention is to create erotic, not pornographic content and for me, one of the differences between erotica and pornography is that while pornography shows you everything , erotic work leaves some details to the imagination. It’s designed to make you think a little bit. To engage the most powerful sexual organ in your body: the one between your ears.

      For me, this actually makes a work hotter and more appealing. And it lets me tell stories that deal with themes that I think are important, like bravery, loyalty and coming of age. I’m certainly under no illusions that I’m writing War and Peace here. But my primary goal as a writer is to enrich my readers’ lives. And engaging your imagination to think happy thoughts definitely counts for that. 😉

      Thank you very much for commenting!

  2. I love the idea of free wallpapers! And this one is very hot. But can you consider making one or two work-friendly and public-friendly ones? (For example, a logo/title with a picture of the characters not taking each other’s clothes off?)

    My laptop goes with me everywhere, and it would be great to have a way to support and share your work without having erotica prominently displayed on my computer.

    1. Absolutely, I can do that! In fact, while the next pin-up again shows our heroes in a stage of undress, another one I’ve commissioned has our guys enjoying some nice, fully-clothed cuddle-time at a picnic, so that’s coming up. And if these are popular enough for me to commission more of these wallpapers, I’ll definitely make sure that at least some of them will be work-safe.

      Thank you very much for the suggestion! 🙂

  3. Wow, this is so cool! I absolutely adore the comics so far and nothing could be better than free yaoi pictures! I think your evil plan is fantastic and I definitely look forward to more pictures. I’m completely in love with this site and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the hard work you and everyone else has put into it. So, thank you so much for the comics and even more so for the art work!
    Also, this picture is fantastic. It’s sexy-cool (scool?…uh, no…cexy?) and I’m so saving it onto my computer. It’s sweet too! 🙂 So, thank you again! Now, I’m gonna go invent a new word that encompasses sweet, sexy, & cool. Yes, I could just look in a dictionary or my Thesaurus Rex, but I’m exercising my creativity. It could stand to lose some weight.

  4. Thanks for the great print. I love the gentle but definite eroticism, and the fact that you and your artists are creating your own take on yaoi (if you can even call it that). Mike is no Japanese uke. He is tough and independent, and he has a delicious little treasure trail!

    That being said, I miss Vitto’s art. I am assuming he has left the project? Mike had a bit less softness and a bit more edge in Vitto’s pencils. That artist also has a great gift for “acting” in his comic art. Not that I’m complaining too much; Kimi seems a very competent replacement, though something about the art seems a little lacking in the testosterone that Vitto infused, that gave the art a more gay bite. Again, that seemed different from the more feminine energy of some yaoi.

    Thank you for Yaoi911 and for the high quality of the art and writing, and the love you are putting into the whole enterprise.

    1. Howdy!

      Yes, you’re right—Vitto has left the project. He had an opportunity to work on a high-profile historical graphic novel in his home country which required a lot of work and he couldn’t turn it down (and really shouldn’t have turned it down). I’m happy to report that he’s been having great success with it—excellent sales and good reviews—which is exactly what I would expect for someone of his artistic caliber. (When it comes to art, depicting the acting well is the most important factor for me. And you’re right—he totally nailed that.) All of us involved with Yaoi 911 are wishing him great luck. 😀

      But while Kimi has given us a wonderful take of Mike and Rob, she has not actually taken over penciling duties from Vitto. That honor goes to Randall Whiteis who is currently finished up the pencils for Chapter 3 “Brother’s Keeper”. (You’ll have to let me know what you think of his testosterone level—I’d be delighted to pass that information on to him. 😉 ) While Vitto certainly can never be replaced, I hope you find Randall’s work a worthy successor.

      And on’t worry, I’m still committed to having us carve our own path; creating guy-on-guy romance for women and gay men that has a little of that “gay bite”. It’s important to me too. If for no other reason than it gets my motor running.

      Thank you very much for sharing your honest thoughts. I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying our work, including this new piece. (And on a personal note, I’m also delighted to hear you like the treasure trail. I like it too and I actually think my most significant contribution as the art director of these new pin-ups was to insist on including it… 😉 )

      Please keep letting me know what you think of our work!

      Alex

  5. Oh, your idea is wonderful. 😀
    To be honest, when I received the email, I thought it was the second chapter of the comic. But to my surprise it was a wonderful and super sexy wallpaper. I loved your idea of sharing different artists and their artistic vision of the couple’s main comic. This allows us to meet new graphic artists.
    I loved the way this scene was shown, it makes us think of mannnny things. I found it erotic and sweet at the same time. I hope the next chapters of the two really get together. 😀
    I loved the gift, thank you very much. 🙂
    I´m anxious to see the next. 😀

    Huh!? You said 14,000 subscribers!? Wow, so many!! Congrats 🙂

    1. Cool—I’m delighted to hear you like the idea! And yes, being able to introduce my readers to the work of other artists I admire is also part of the fun. 🙂 So, you’re very welcome!

      (And as to whether we see Mike and Rob go further in future chapters, well, you’ll just have to see.. But there might be a little something coming up in a chapter or two… Maybe… ;p )

      As for what comes next, in about a month I should have another wallpaper ready to send out. And then hopefully, not long after that, I’ll have something extra special to share with you all. (But it’s top secret, so shhhhh…)

      And thanks for the congrats re: the subscribers! I feel very lucky myself to have so many cool people following our work! 😀

  6. very nice wallpaper you got there. being filipino with the same name as your character, i can really relate haha that was a great age, and it wasn’t even long ago 😀 anyway, more power and can’t wait for the continuation of the story

  7. (I deeply apologize for my bad english, my first language is spanish.)

    I loved “Tough” and “No Kissing” so much! xD xD xD Thanks so much for your hard work! And, for the posters, SURE I WANT MORE!!!

    I would like to see significant or poignant moments of the story, but, since the story hasn’t gone so far (and I’m not complaining, I understand every excellent work needs time to develop, and I really love the rhythm of the story), well, there isn’t much to choose from (maybe when Mike choosed help Rob instead the delinquents, or when they are in Rob’s bedroom… wait a minute, that’s the poster you sent us! hahaha! So, you see my point, right?)

    So, I humbly to suggest a theme for a normal poster (“normal” as opposed to “erotica”, that’s what I meant):
    a moment when Rob and Mike had crossed paths before they know each other. Something really trivial, like buying things at the supermarket, or taking the same bus, or even just crossing the street (like the beatles, hahahahaha!). They don’t even need to look to each other. I DO LOVE scenes that looks banal, but have a deep meaning (because those two are meant to be together!! xD xD)

    And, for another erotica poster… aarrghh, I need more scenarios… well, lets say… how about when they’re exhausted after all that exercise? xD xD xD the afterglow is always erotic…

    And alternative universe posters!! (wahahaha, the story just has started, and I already want to put them in new universes). I think Kimi Owens (wonderful artist!) and you should have fun with the posters, so, why don’t dress them as a pirate Mike and an almirant Rob? or making goofy faces at the camera? xD xD

    Well, I hope I don’t bother you, hahaha, and I’ll be waiting for the next chapters!! Congratulations for your hard work, Alex!!

    1. Wow! These are all GREAT suggestions! I especially like the idea of showing them meeting in the past, but not actually meeting. And dressed as pirates. Can’t go wrong with pirates!

      What a fun comment this is! 😀 I’m really glad that you’ve liked what you’ve seen so far—and I hope you’ll keep coming back to tell me what you think. You’ve made my day. 😀

      Alex

      P.S. I find alternative universes fun too. Mike and Rob on the open seas! Rob as an admiral pursuing the world’s most dangerous pirate—Mike!

      Because one of my favorite movies is Master & Commander, it makes me smile just thinking about it…

  8. 😀 😀 Master & Commander is one of my favorites too!! A movie so underated, but so wonderful too! Excellent direction, a compelling story, amazing actors… (and you can slash them to your hearts content! xD xD xD) And exactly!! you can’t go wrong with pirates!! xD xD (or science-fiction!! or horror!!)

    And another suggestion: A film noir poster!!!! xD xD xD asdfñlkjasdñflk, I can’t even write properly… Mike as the hard-boiled detective, tired of life but still with hope in the humanity, and Rob as the “homme fatale” hahahahahaha! who hires him to find his mate’s assassin… you can even made them older!! xD xD xD xD (I hope the users don’t want to kill me for that :S, sorry)
    And yeah, I do support the age gap in this story, the reasons you told us, Alex, in the end of “No kissing” are

    Alex, I think you and the artists had made an excellent work!! Even when we have two “slice of life” chapters so far, with a narrow time (comic-wise) in between, you give us so much information about those two, that we can made them ours. How can I say it.. we fell in love! We know they’re playful, so we want to play with them!

    I think all we are waiting impatiently for the next chapters! 😀 😀

    PD: They weren’t in Rob’s bedroom, they’re in a junkyard, hahaha, HENCE THE NAME, duuhh, but I’m always so absentminded…

  9. Alex sorry for bothering but can i have another set of download links for the poster again if its not too much trouble? i deleted mine by accident and before i did try to save the download link…but when it would come up as HTML and when i clicked on it was all scrambleed letters and symbols. i have it set as my desktop but just in case i want to change it to something else in the mean time but i have it in store for later

  10. Thanks for the wallpaper! Really love the art! 🙂 Been having a good morning and this added to it. Always good if you can spread a smile, right?

    So just an idea… the image is great, but if your planning on doing more of these any chance there’s going to be one that doesn’t consist of guys getting lucky in some abandoned hidden place? Weird comment? Sorry don’t mean to be! Just thought it would be nice to have an image of a cute and public kiss, with onlookers embarrassed at the expression of public love. I think its kind of my dream to see things like this in real life, just a full on public expression of love and happiness being spread out to everyone!

    Thanks for all your hard work! Keep it up! I’ll keep following and reading 😉

    1. Thank you for the props, Biz! Glad you’re sticking around!

      And it’s not a weird comment to ask for an image of our characters kissing in public—it’s an intriguing idea and I can see why you’d want to see that. Maybe not Rob and Mike in public at this stage (I don’t think Mike’s ready for that), but let me think about it and see what I can come up with.

      I hope your morning continued to be awesome. 😉

      1. oooh oops, didn’t really think that through completely sorry! Definitely cannot see Mike doing that at this stage, well i’ll be waiting patiently for the day he becomes public, with whoever he is at that time…
        Though I hope that him and Rob stick together, we’ll see which path you take them on 18 year old or older version of Rob; guess that’s fundamental for whether or not they can be seen in public.

        1. Nothing at all to be sorry about. 🙂 I do think it’s a good idea! I share you desire for not having guy-on-guy kisses always in the shadows. And if not with Mike and Rob, perhaps some of my other characters, like Ethan and Ben. I will have to think about it…

          Thank you again! 🙂

  11. This wallpaper just made my day. Thanks a lot!
    I love the idea of sharing artwork with people who knows how to appreciate brilliant work of art.
    This picture is sexy, sweet and sensual. Now that’s what I call ART!

  12. Ooooh, what a lovely surprise I got in my inbox today! Very nice, indeed. 🙂 The artwork is great and I agree with what other commentors have said in that it has a great balance of being romantic, but also very hot. I look forward to reading more about Mike and Rob’s adventures, as well as any other works in the future. I’m so glad I stumbled onto this site! Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you so much, Crafty Cat! (Cool name, BTW.) I’m really happy that you liked the balance between the romance and the hot and that you’re interested in reading more of our work. It was great to find your sweet comment before stumbling off to bed. 😀

      (And in fact, about more of our work, stay tuned—I think I might just have something new to announce this weekend… Maybe… Just maybe… 😉 )

      Anyway, I hope to see you again on here soon!

  13. Alex, okay, I’ll confess: I signed up for the comics. Then I discovered that I really like the panes, the pictures and everything else. Now you tell me that I can get wallpapers! This must be heaven. Many thanks and keep them coming.

  14. Oh, I’m liking this Evil Plan of yours:) I’ve no problem at all getting this kind of emails, please keep sending them.

    Ponderosa is an excellent choice of artist (I know her Harry Potter fanart); I like the way she captured Rob and Mike, totally sexy and cool but with a sweetness to them that I appeals to me. Can’t wait to see the other ones.

    1. Thank you! Glad you like it!

      (And, well, I’m actually likely to get more personal in my posts as time goes on. I always want to make sure that everyone knows that these comics are a special collaboration with my brilliant and wonderful artists—so I like using the “we” word—but the truth is, telling these stories and interacting with cool readers like yourself is very personal for me. And I guess I’m feeling more comfortable with showing that on the big, wide, wild Internet. 😉 )

  15. Thanks a lot for the pin up! Its super sweet. And I’ve got to say I’m loving your tough series so far. I can’t wait to see more. The art is fantastic and the story is great 🙂

    1. Hey, thank you—I’m really glad you liked it and the Tough comics.

      I’ve actually got another Tough pin-up almost ready which I’m planning on sending out soon. Keep on the look out for it.

      And please keep coming back here to let me know what you think! 😀

  16. Definitely a good way to start off my time back at school(college). My school blocks a lot of the sites that I read my stuff on. So this is definitely nice. And the artwork is so good. I can’t even draw a stick figure so this is awesome to me.

  17. I love the pic and I’m willing to wait however long it takes for the next chapter to come out. Just a few chapters and I’m addicted to the series already! Wonderful work 😉

  18. Thank you for the awesome art! I’m new here and although I certainly would not have forgotten your website, it’s still cool to receive more news and content ^^
    As of yet, I still didn’t read “Tough”, but this art sure make me want to start right away!
    I’m really jealous of the artist’s talent, I hope one day I’ll able to create things like that ;p
    I’m eager to see the rest of the wallpaper.
    Until next time then !

  19. Pwahaha. This page is unstoppable! It made me smile instantly. And i just realized I did not comment on it! ~is in shock of self~

    But I just wanted to say, that i appreciate the difference in their builds! Its not overly stereotypical (as you have knack for being different in your story telling!) of which both males are toned. hunky beasts, and are obsessed with their appearance and other mens’ appearance. Mike stands out with it ever so slightly chubby cheeks and lithe frame. There are sparks flying everywhere from Mike and Rob, pure fatal attraction and perhaps… Something… More?????????!

    Lastly,I like seeing Mike and Job, and their glowing smiles in any shape and form. In a chicken suit, in dresses,hanging upside down on monkey bars, and maybe even riding a merry go round/unicycle. Hmmm. Any which way, except if they are harmed! In this instance i’d have to leap form my seat and shout a horribly loud “Nooooooo!” and shake my hands in vain. But it would still end up being saved to my computer ;D

    Now i can’t stop imagining them in different situations! which makes me thrilled to know you’re coming out with more! Egads! Such excitement!

    ~cheers you on!~

    ~A.S

    1. Really glad you’re liking it—and the different body types (that’s something that for me adds to the appeal as well. Not everyone on this planet looks the same and that’s a good thing! 😀 )

      And yes, in the next couple weeks, I’ll be sending out another wallpaper with these two. This time a bit tamer, but hopefully just as much fun!

  20. Wonderful artwork in my inbox! Arrived here via a link from somewhere, and … what a treat. I really enjoy stories with strong men finding their way in life, relationships, right/wrong.

    I think your evil plan is succeeding – you will have minions!

    ja mata,
    Risu-san

    1. Yay! Minions! 😀

      Glad that you found your way here and that you’re liking what I’m sending you. Please keep coming back to let me know what you think. (And please tell your friends! I’m really trying to get the word out!)

      Thank you for your kind words! 😀

  21. While I’m a big fan of Ponderosa’s art, I tend to choose very simplistic backgrounds for my desktop, so I’m not big on desktop downloads. I know there are lots of people out there though who love stuff like this, so I probably won’t be in the majority, and it’s not gonna stop me from subscribing ^_^

  22. This is not cool…it is awwwwesome, I love it!!! This wallpapper is so bomb. I have so many Yaoi comics that I bought and I have no idea which one to start off with. But the wallpapper helps. If i really have to say it’s swwwweeet!!! So I think I know which one to st

  23. LOVE the pin-up, and I’m super pleased I signed up for your mailing list. I just found this website, and all I’ve read so far are the free pdf’s I got sent, and the beginning of Artifice. Any suggestions of what I should read/where I should start? Everyone on these projects is flipping beyond genius, I must add.

    1. Howdy!

      Well, heck, I’m delighted to hear that you love the pin-up and that you are enjoying the other comics. That’s great to hear! 😀

      But if you’ve read the free PDFs and are reading the Artifice webcomic, I’m not sure how to answer your question about “Where to start?” It seems to me like you’ve already started! 🙂 And not only that, that you have read everything that I have put out there so far. (“A Shot in the Dark” and Chapters 1 and 2 of Tough) Were you looking for other creator’s comics to try?

      If so, then I would recommend “The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal” by E. K. Weaver. It’s excellent!

  24. I think this is a wonderful idea! I don’t think I needed any help remembering this fantastic site, but this will definitely keep me excited about it, and who doesn’t like free goodies?

    As for the art, it’s beautiful. Even though it’s obviously sexual, I think it still manages to remain tasteful, which is nice. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of these in the future. 🙂

  25. i love the idea of getting a ‘present’ for subscribing. especially one containing some awsome yaoi!
    yaoi seems to brighten any day doesnt it.
    i love that you are offering good yaoi for download and make it easy to access. i love it!!!
    thank you so much Alex

  26. Nice, it was a very nice surprise after signing up.

    Just so you know (and it could be my computer) when you “save as” the pin-up it saves it as a html file and when you go to open it, it will only show code. So I ended up going to the original link in the e-mail copying the pin-up and pasting it in paint and then saving it.

    Everyone involved in making this art, good job!

    1. Thank you for the heads up, draechaeli. I’ve been sending out this wallpaper for a little while now and I haven’t heard of anyone else who has had this issue, but if I hear from others who have had difficulty, I’ll definitely look into it. Just so I know, what browser, browser version and operating system are you using? Do you have the same difficulty when you try it in another browser like Firefox or Chrome?

      And thank you very much for the props! I’m glad you liked it!

      1. yeah i had that problem when i first got it too…tho i just dont say anything XP but yeah as long as i still have link from the email im good…btw Alex….WHEN IS THE NEXT CHAPTER COMING??!?!?!!? TT______TT *cries like a little girl*

        1. Hmm. So you’ve encountered this too? Would you be able to tell me what browser, browser version and operating system are you using? Do you have the same difficulty when you try it in another browser like Firefox or Chrome?

          And, alas, there have been more delays with the art for Chapter 3, but my fingers are crossed for the end of the year…

          1. i been using firefox all the time…i hate google chrome so im not even gonna try it there. as for the fire fox version…no idea XP it goes through so many versions that APPARENTLY Divx doesnt even work for it anymore

            Oh yeah it doesnt do that anymore now i can save it normally XD

  27. I must say that after reading the 2 chapters of Tough, I really am gobsmacked at the Art, and the simple and easy to understand yet promising story line.
    I agree with your “evil” plan.
    although i am unable to donate, I would love to if I had the means.
    But instead i will support with comments and checking up on this site, as you have said you like.
    I look forward to more :3
    -Antonimos

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