ArtReplicant is genuinely low-key genius when it comes to his eye for homoerotic wrestling. One of the unexpectedly fun aspects of my recent collaboration with him, co-creating with me my first illustrated homoerotic wrestling fiction, was the particular give and take of the creative process. At times, I’d take the lead with some text, describing the scene, detailing a hold, scripting the dialogue. Then, like half a day later, ArtReplicant would have created a 3D image in astonishing detail of that moment that had, just hours earlier, only existed in my mind’s eye. At other times, he would craft an image of a hold or a plot point, and then I’d write the text through the middle of the lane markers that he so skillfully generated for the story. It was a very cool creative process that we’re already investing in replicating.
One of the coolest moments in the creative process of putting together the Focus Group homoerotic wrestling match, featuring Ryan Gosling and Timothée Chalamet, was near the end of our work, when ArtReplicant asked if we were missing a beat in the narrative. We built this moment in the plot when one hot, hard hunk is at the brink of despair, and ArtReplicant asked the perfect question, of whether the action we’d constructed sufficiently and convincingly shoved the poor, gorgeous fucker over that edge. It was ArtReplicant’s idea to add one more hold to fully justify the way the story unfolds, and he was the one who suggested that we use the Will Breaker.
I know this hold from Charming Chase Addams’ matches, and from having enjoyed the opportunity in the past to hear Chase talk about the development of the hold, and his creative process in coming up with the name for it. Chase is an innovator, and a passionately devoted student of the science and art of pro wrestling. The range of holds in his arsenal is pretty fucking incredible, particularly when I think about how ridiculously young and pretty he is. (Not that being pretty has anything to do with it. I just wanted to mention how pretty Chase is.)
I don’t think I really fully appreciated the complexity and beauty of the Will Breaker until it came time for me to try to describe, in words, one homoerotic wrestler applying the hold to another. Like, fuck, the words fail me! I watch him do it, mind you. It’s not like some mystery that happens behind a curtain somewhere. The spotlight over the ring allows no slight of hand or smoke and mirrors. I watch him do it, and even still, it’s fucking complex and nuanced and mysterious!
ArtReplicant suggested something similar in his creative process of constructing a 3D render of the hold. He mentioned needing to painstakingly place each limb and joint, because there are no software shortcuts to create something like that. It’s not a position the human body was meant to easily slip into, or to endure for very long, so shaping a 3D rendering was, as I understand it, a significant challenge. And, thus, I repeat myself when I say that ArtReplicant is a low-key genius. As soon as I publish this post, I’m going to get an email from him, humbly insisting on a disclaimer from my praise, but don’t believe him. He’s fucking brilliant.
Chase is, obviously, brilliant at what he does, as well. He’s not low-key about it, though. Chase knows his own genius, and he strips down to nearly nothing, climbs into a wrestling ring in front of a room full of cameras and microphones, and does magic like this that makes me gasp.
Anyway, I’m appreciating today these two young geniuses with such a passion for the science and art of homoerotic wrestling, of one fierce hunk taking possession of another, crushing one man’s hopes and dignity, and handing his body entirely over to his opponent. In their own ways, ArtReplicant and Chase both get it, so deeply and fully!