Not into bondage my butt. Just like Timmy in the corner there isn’t into watching.
oh god i didn’t even notice timmy at first
More for Jill: the naked fight from Batman 356, aka the most relevant scene of the whole Bronze Age.
Tula. She chose my best friend over me - and my best friend in the surface world points an arrow at my chest.
—Do you think Dick Grayson is gay? And, was that what the higher ups nixed?
That was not what was nixed, no, I’ve never actually tried to push for that in any serious way. Personally, I think he’s bisexual. I mean, look at his history — there’s no denying that he likes women. The way I think about him, he likes everyone, he’s sort of a contact junkie — just this incredibly physical (and attractive) person who lives wholly in the corporeal plane and responds with — processes things in — his body before his head or heart. I imagine that he can be hypnotized by a touch the way other people can be stopped dead in their tracks by the sight of money or the promise of true love. I think he likes kicking and kissing in almost equal measure — except kissing edges out ahead because you can do it for longer and it leads to nicer things. It’s difficult to communicate in a comic, but he’s the guy who never stops moving, who touches you a lot when he’s trying to get something across to you, who withholds himself — becoming physically very rigid and distant — when he’s unhappy about something. I’m writing a novel for WB right now that he’s in and I have one scene where Batman has to stop a fight before it gets out of control, and most of the people he can just yell or glare at, but with Dick, he just stands really close behind him and Dick freezes. That’s not supposed to be a sexual thing (though it is kinda hot! ::laughs::), it’s an understanding on Bruce’s part that his physical proximity will speak just as quickly and loudly to Dick as his voice, maybe even be processed faster. And I think a large part of Dick’s rather complicated romantic history has to do with the fact that he can be incredibly focused and intense and intimate in a way most people can’t — when he’s with you, he’s 100% with you — and then he can also get up and just go to the next thing and be 100% there, whether it’s work or, god help you if you’re in love with him, someone else. And he doesn’t mean this at all in the typical “notches in the belt” way, it’s a hunger inside of him, a way of communicating. Think, for a minute, about being an aerialist. Your life depends on latching on to that other person’s wrists — the human touch is literally what saves you.
And now think about being a very physical and naturally gregarious and loving person and growing up with someone like Bruce. Then add in the confusion about his status — a “ward” is something you stop being the minute you turn eighteen. Having already lost his parents and then hurling into adolescence at the speed he did…in my personal version of the story, he develops sexual desire and social anxiety about the future at the same time, and this leads to tremendous confusion, on his part, about his role in Bruce’s life. He can’t be a ward forever, in the back of his head he knows he won’t be Robin forever…what is he to this man who is at once his best friend and personal savior, personal god? “Son” is what they eventually settle on, but I think when Dick was in his late teens, the idea of “lover” must have run through his mind (which means, really, as we’ve already discussed, it ran through his body)…and if in any way Bruce retreated from that advance — which is what I’d expect him to do (he does love the kid, rather wildly really, but that scares him, and it’s not a sexual love, and that would be a perversion of the relationship anyway, and what the hell does he expect me to do!? “Dick, maybe you’d better leave now,”) — then Dick is going to pursue that retreat with the energy of a demon, because that’s what Bruce has taught him to do — pursue what flees. Eventually, much later, Dick gets distracted by other relationships and is able to ease up enough on Bruce for Bruce to relax into his own comfort-level of kindness and affection again (once the threat of sexuality has been removed) and they carry on more or less unharmed. But the relationship remains incredibly powerful and intense for Dick, who ends up feeling apologetic, rejected, and confused on top of all the other issues we already know exist between the two of them. Dick responds to Bruce — or really I should say Batman, since that’s who his relationship is with — on every single level.
But I don’t push that on DCU proper, because I know that it’s more than a lot of people can handle and I want these characters to remain accessible to everyone who loves them. And I’m comfortable with sort of having one version of the character I write for the company and one I keep for myself. The gay community has, so far, done a terrific job of reading what they want to into the Bat-relationships regardless of what we publish. I suspect the straight audience would not be so flexible.
—Further to that, if Dick is gay, what kind of guy is his type?
I actually love this question, it’s very much the kind of thing I enjoy speculating about and playing with. However, in the case of sexuality, I’ve always found attraction way more complex than “types.” If you add Kory and Babs together, you can say that he likes red hair, and I think that’s a fair assumption (who doesn’t?), but other than that, what the hell do those two women have in common? With men, his romantic prototype is Bruce, but there aren’t a lot of men like that out there (hence his wild attraction to women like Helena, who manage to embody some of those qualities anyway). I don’t think, even in my own private writings, that he’s quite comfortable enough with this aspect of his sexuality to have a type — I mean, the guy who would stop him in his tracks would be a little older, very strong, very dominant, and in some kind of horrific emotional pain, but Dick’s not conscious of any of that. He’s more likely, probably, to have time to develop an intimate relationship with another hero (or civil servant — someone whose work might parallel his own and someone who might be able to understand what he does in the world enough to feel comfortable with him doing it), and, for him with his intense loyalty issues, the best case scenario would be someone he already knows and trusts and feels comfortable with — but ultimately it goes back to that sexual “on” switch for him. Type isn’t as important as passion and opportunity. Because of his psycho-sexual makeup, the other key factor would be a sense that he means something to that other man, that his “surrender” is making that man happy, allowing him to bring pleasure to someone (as he was never allowed to do for Bruce). There’s also a sense, if I may be so bold, of needing to be “caught” and “held down” — this going back to the trauma of losing his parents…being strong and passionate and heroic and virile and loving with a woman is fantastic, he lives for that. But he lost both parents. There is also a part of him that longs to be pinned down and loved a little bit savagely and hurt just enough to reassure him that he’s alive.
Man, I’m totally gonna get fired when this comes out….
Here’s the whole part where Devin discusses Dick’s sexuality and her OTP.