African-American R&B singer Eugene “Gene” Bilbrew may be more famous for his illustrations and cartoons than for his vocal prowess. In the 1950s he failed to score more than a hit with the ‘Basin Street Boys’. He got more furore as the creator of the first black superhero: ‘The Bronze Bomber’.
Then he got in touch with Eric Stanton, who introduced him to fetish illustrations. After that, he stopped singing and started making illustrations for the BDSM novels and pulp fetish magazines of Satan Press and Exotique magazine. They were often somewhat wacky, claustrophobic portraits of transvestism, femdom and ‘forced feminization’. Given the nature of his art, the circumstances of his death are a bit too aptly noir: he is said to have died of heroin overdoses at an adult bookstore which was a cover for mobsters, although it is rumored that his body has been moved there.
Below you will find some examples of his work.
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