Joe Phillips

Joe Phillips (born February 13, 1969) is a gay American artist, known for his mainstream comic book art and for his work depicting gay life. He currently lives in San Diego.


Early Years and Comic Work

Phillips was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1969. His interest in art began at a very early age when his mother bought him his first pad of paper and pens. He attended Northside School of the Arts where he learnt skills such as set design and designing costumes.

Originally interested in theater, Phillips worked hard and studied to be a costumer. Winning several best of show and judges choice awards he quickly made a name for himself for the elaborate costumes and puppets he designed. Phillips won for 3 entries at the World Science Fiction Convention going from Novice to Master costumer in one show.

Upon graduation Phillips travelled to Europe where he furthered his artistic skills, taking part in various projects such as private drawing classes and guerrilla street art . Upon his return to the United States, Phillips was introduced to comic books by his brother Lex. Phillips decided to pursue comic art and after taking his portfolio of work to various comic conventions he got a job working in Georgia on the title Southern Knights.

From there Phillips went into mainstream comic work, at age 18 he landed a job working on "Speed Racer" for seven issues. His first cover art was in August 1989 for "Mister Miracle" number 7, Phillips worked on Miracle until its end in 1991. From then onwards, Phillips had a steady workflow of comic art including titles such as "Justice League of America", "Silver Surfer", "X-Men", "Legion of Super-Heroes", "The Incredible Hulk" and "Lobo". In 1991 Phillips worked under George Pérez' Wonder Woman as a penciller for two issues .

Also in 1991, Phillips was one of the founding members of Gai-Jin Studios, an influential comic book studio whose past members include well known artists such as Adam Hughes and Brian Stelfreeze. In late 1992 Phillips began work on the revival of "Timber Wolf" where he worked as both a penciller and as the cover artist, this run lasted for an entire story arc. As comic book work continued to come in, Phillips launched his own comic "The Heretic" of which he was both a writer and artist . The title was released by Dark Horse Comics. Other later work included "Captain America", "Wolverine", "Green Lantern" and "Superboy".

Phillips has worked for nearly every comic book and game card company of note including clients like Marvel, DC and Dark Horse comics . He has also painted game cards for companies such as Fleer, Wildstorm, Topps and Wizards of the Coast.

Gay Work

It was while Phillips was working on a Superboy issue entitled "Superboy & Risk: Double Shot" that he got the idea to sexualise the character and drop a few subtle hints about homosexuality . Some gay fans picked up on this, one such fan was art director of XY Magazine, Eriq Chang. Chang quickly offered Phillips a slot in the gay publication drawing a comic strip that would later become known as "Joe Boy".

Following the success of the Joe Boy comic strip, Phillips and Nicholas Reedy set up Xodus USA, which sold "Dress-Me Magnets" - a twist on the classic paper doll catering to the gay market. As with many young companies personalities flared and Phillips parted company with Xodus USA due to personal differences . He was quickly approached by 10% Productions who were interested in releasing gay artwork in the form of a yearly calendar and greetings cards.

A friend of Phillips' was working as a webmaster for the hardcore porn website Karas Adult Playground through which Phillips got a job producing his first adult animation - Cumquest - a spoof on the popular sci-fi series Star Trek. Another animation job that was secured was for the gay porn website Absolutley Male for which Phillips first created the animation "The House of Morecock", a story about a gay paranormal investigator.

Morecock proved to be a very popular animation and it was not long before a set of 10 episodes was released on DVD, the first of its kind in the United States. In 2002 The House of Morecock: The Animated Misadventures of Jonas Morecock was nominated for a GayVN award in the category "Best Alternative Release", it subsequently won in its category. A series of comic strip books featuring the lead character Jonas Morecock followed alongside sets of postcard books. TLA Video lists the DVD of The House of Morecock as one of their all-time bestselling titles .

In 2001 the first yearly calendar featuring original gay themed art was released. "Boys Will Be Boys" was released alongside its lesbian themed counterpart "Girls Will Be Girls". The "Boys" calendar has been released annually ever since. A result of the popular calendar series was the 2003 book “Boys Will Be Boys" which featured the art from the 2002 and 2003 calendars some new pieces. "Boys" was the first gay themed book that German publisher Bruno Gmunder released . Due to its success, in 2007 “Boys Will Be Boys” was re-released as an “Extended Edition” containing nearly double the amount of art.

In 2003 Phillips healed his friendship with former Xodus USA co-founder Nick Reedy and agreed to help launch a new publication called Xodus Magazine, a magazine for the gay community. It featured covers, a cartoon series and spot illustration by Phillips as well as a wrap up column at the end of each issue. The magazine tackled issues of body image, self-esteem and featured advice from Moms to help the readers make better choices for themselves. The magazine was released at a time when other publications focused on trivial matters. Sadly, after three years and incredible success, the magazine was forced to close up shop after two investors began a legal spat with one another that eventually drained the magazine of its financial means to continue.

Other clients include ID Lube, Elbow Grease, Inside Pride, Jocko Underwear, Odyssey Magazine, Gloss Magazine, Gay and Lesbian Times San Diego, Freshmen, All Boy, Cyber Socket, Prism Comics plus singers Ari Gold, Justus Boys, Alan Gnuo and Levi Kreis. Phillips also created the art for the comic book character "Rage" which featured in the second season of the Showtime series "Queer as Folk" .

In 2006 with Adult Visual Animation, Phillips released his second adult themed animated movie entitled "Stonewall & Riot: The Ultimate Orgasm". The movie was a cross-over of the two genres Phillips was known for - Superhero and work for the gay community. The movie was created entirely in 3D (CGI) by Phillips, his brother Lex and a handful of others. As with his previous movie, "Stonewall & Riot" was nominated for a GayVN award.

Other Work and Recently

A mainstream company Phillips worked for was Bud Light, for which he created unique art for a nation wide 12 month ad campaign featuring his signature "Joe Boys". He also created the artwork for the front cover of multiple Masterbeat compilation CD's by DJ Brett Hendricson. Phillips was one of four finalists for a MySpace competition in which Dashboard Confessional searched for their next music video and he was also a finalist in a nationwide advertising campaign by Kraft Foods. A music video for singer Ari Gold which Phillips directed and animated recently won LOGOs "Music Video of The Year 2007. Other projects underway include a new animated feature, a music video for Levi Kreis and several new books, including comics for Dark Horse and TokyoPop. On his eBay auctions Phillips officially announed that the title of his next book with be entitled "Naughty" and the artwork will feature male mythical creatures.

Work Timeline



  • Naughty (No release date confirmed)
  • Joe Boy University (JBU) (project abandoned)
  • Boys Will Be Boys – Extended Edition (April 2007)
  • Chasing Adonis: Gay Men And the Pursuit of Perfection (Illustration Only) (January 2007)
  • Cali Boys (April 2006)
  • Ari Gold (Illustrations only) (October 2005)
  • Tales From The House Of Morecock, Vol 2 (September 2005)
  • The House Of Morecock (Postcard Book) (August 2005)
  • Tales From The House Of Morecock (June 2005)
  • The Joy Of Gay Sex (Illustrations Only) (May 2004)
  • For The Boys (Postcard Book) (April 2004)
  • For The Boys (April 2004)
  • The Adventures Of A Joe Boy! Volume One (March 2004)
  • Reeling in the Years: Gay Men's Perspectives on Age and Ageism (Illustrations only) (January 2004)
  • Boys Will Be Boys (Postcard Book) (March 2003)
  • Boys Will Be Boys (March 2003)
  • Sissyphobia: Gay Men and Effeminate Behaviour (Illustrations Only) (June 2001)

Notable Comic Book Work


  • Boys Will Be Boys 2009 (September 2008)
  • Boys Will Be Boys 2008 (September 2007)
  • Zodiac Calendar 2008 (September 2007)
  • Boys Will Be Boys 2007 (September 2006)
  • Boys Will Be Boys 2006 (September 2005)
  • For The Boys 2006 (September 2005)
  • Boys Will Be Boys 2005 (September 2004)
  • For The Boys 2005 (September 2004)
  • Boys Will Be Boys 2004 (September 2003)
  • Boys Will Be Boys 2003 (September 2002)
  • Girls Will Be Girls 2002 (September 2001)
  • Boys Will Be Boys 2002 (September 2001)


External links

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