TOM’s buddies: Excerpt from Tom of Finland’s war journal published

An excerpt from Tom of Finland’s war journal has appeared in a new book that literally lays bare intimate moments shared by servicemen during World War II.

During the war, soldiers were encouraged to establish close “buddy” relationships for emotional support. Recently released by art book publisher TASCHEN, My Buddy: World War II Laid Bare features photos of these intimate buddy relationships from an archive collected by Los Angeles photographer Michael Stokes, along with texts by writers such as Gore Vidal.


Front cover of My Buddy: World War II Laid Bare


Featured on pages 26 and 27 of the book are excerpts from Tom of Finland’s journal of his 1940-1944 military service, which is held by Tom of Finland Foundation. Tom’s contribution to My Buddy is from page 10 of his journal and it includes a photo (c. 1942) that Tom took of Finnish soldiers bathing. Tom captioned this photo “Mainiolla uimarannalla“, which translates into English as “Ideally the Beach”.


Page from Tom of Finland's war journal


Photo from Tom of Finland's war journal


Tom’s inclusion in My Buddy is fitting: the intimacy and rapport of the men in My Buddy readily reminds us of the buddy bonds formed among “TOM’s Men”. In viewing the book’s images of  homosocial bonding (much of it involving naked horseplay), we are reminded not only of Tom’s iconic homoerotic drawings of men in uniform, but the naked “tomfoolery” among all of Tom’s men.

My Buddy is edited by Dian Hanson, who has also edited various Taschen publications of Tom’s work (including the 666-page, extra large format collection Tom of Finland XXL).

NEW EDITION! “The Complete Kake Comics”


TOM OF FINLAND (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Untitled (Detail from Kake vol. 02 – The Sexy Sunbather), 1968, Pen & ink on paper, Tom of Finland Foundation Permanent Collection #68.61, © 1968 Tom of Finland Foundation

Kake, a dark-haired, mustached Leatherman often wore a tight white T-shirt bearing the motto “Fucker.” Between 1968 and 1986, Tom published 26 episodes of Kake adventures, most as 20-page booklets. This edition collects all of these stories in one volume!

Tom of Finland – The Complete Kake Comics
Dian Hanson, editor | Hardcover, 703 pages