Who doesn’t want to get down with a bear? I remember in early college discovering what bears were before discovering my sexuality and being down with them but I distinctly remember friends seeing bear pride shit and going “Ewwww. Bears.” as if they had just watched someone unwrap a dirty diaper and then microwave it. Bears are great! They’re big, furry, cuddly gay men with all the feelings in the world.
I assume that artist Ren is either a bear himself or a lover of them. Ren is a British designer and illustrator whose new zine BEARS is a lovely step into the world of these mega-men. Ren explains that the project is a personal way to explore the lifestyle of these dues, which he does in such a fun, colorful, and—frankly—adorable way. Illustrations don’t usually tickle my parts but these are so sillily erotic.
Ren’s bears are all bearded men of all colors and varying sizes of big who love nothing more than wearing black small drawers that can barely contain their giant dicks. These men who are “free to roam” like wrestling and partying and being naked. They also don’t give a shit about showing off their bodies. What Ren gets to is what bear truly represent: an extreme version of gay body positivity that is anti-mainstream and cool with your or his (or her) being a different size. It’s okay to be that way and it’s okay to love those who are that way.
I love that he chose to make them in baby pinks and neon blues, bright green and sunny yellows. They’re adorable. Their being so squiggly and blobby is not only a cool stylistic choice but also something very bearish. I love these dudes. You can buy the zine and accompanying postcards if you love them as much as I do. (I bought them and emailed Ren about potentially buying a print.) See more bear art here.