I saw Aedan Roberts long before I met him—he was one of the many dudes (it's not just for chicks anymore!) done up in sexy fantasy gear at last year's New York Comic Con, although he did do it better than just about anyone else. I didn't expect I'd lay eyes on him again this year, but I recognized him working a booth in his skimpy Mario Bros. outfit and got a second picture for my crazy-extensive guy galleries. (Galleries from both years are listed at the end of this post.)
After the show, I started seeing images from Comic Con of Aedan being groped from behind by Torchwood star (and out celeb) John Barrowman popping up all over Instagram. It wasn't long before friends were forwarding me his name and urging me to talk to him. Turned out he was more than just sci fi candy—Aedan is actually an accomplished fine artist and illustrator with a growing following.
I contacted Aedan and secured an invite to his Brooklyn home studio, where I was able to view his coolly sensual, wildly imaginative "Inner Demons" series as well as his iconoclastic "Nüdtendo" series (naked Nintendo characters). His work is crisp, intense and rapidly disappearing—while some of it is priced to not sell, the trick isn't working very well. Though he sells high-quality prints, the demand for originals is catching up to his inventory...which is a good problem to have.
I spent the afternoon chatting with Aedan about what led him to become a professional artist, his roots in the fantasy world, his thoughts on just how gay that world is these days and his impressions of Comic Con.
And yes, when it comes to that scandalous John Barrowman snap, I definitely got to the bottom of things...