The tattooed men in Rhys’ life: January


January: Trever Dias, calendar editor, Banana Club member, almond milk aficionado

So we cheated. Trever does not have a tattoo of the words “Banana Club” across his torso—more’s the pity. In fact, Trever doesn’t have any tattoos at all and yes, the basic premise behind the calendar was that it would be a playful and erotic display of the tattooed men in Rhys’ life. But we’d already broken our rule about all of the models being men, so where was the harm in stretching the rules just this once more?

Trever is a member of the New Times editorial Banana Club which was started when both Rhys and Trever happened to bring a banana to work one day and Rhys told Trever, “I guess you’re in the Banana Club too.” Thus far, no one else has voluntarily joined the Banana Club but Rhys and Trever both insist that anyone they catch eating a banana is automatically a member of the club, despite heated and repeated refusals.

Trever wanted to do a shoot inspired by a photo of Tupac shirtless flipping off the camera with a gun in his waistband. Except, we decided to substitute a banana for the gun. (I really wanted to dress him as a country bumpkin with a plaid shirt tied in a knot at his waist pulling a red wagon filled with bananas down a country road. But it seemed more important that the models felt confident about the concept so Trever got to be Tupac.)

The photo shoot went down in my backyard with light that was fading just a little bit too quickly. We’ve spent the last couple of months navigating the shifting light and it’s only as we finished up the last of the shoots that I realized how quickly it was growing dark outside. I was stationed downwind of Trever holding a giant reflector, trying to hit his chest with the light. Trever was shirtless and smoking a cigar which stank and, unfortunately, the smoke blew directly toward me so that I was hacking away by the time the shoot was over.

I had pegged Trever as the most likely to be difficult on set. It took us a long time to convince him to commit to a date for the shoot and he seemed so squeamish about all of the concepts that I was worried he would either back out at the last minute or raise such a fuss during the shoot that it was impossible. But, to his credit, he tossed off his shirt, started puffing away at the cigar, and leering at the camera. It was sort of perfect, though I found myself hoping the entire time that my landlord wouldn’t come wandering into the yard and find us in the middle of what probably looked like a very strange shoot.

Once we’d finished, Colin retired to his computer to begin the task of Photoshopping in the Banana Club tattoo. I always enjoy when Colin is editing the photos from one of these shoots because I’ll walk by the couch and catch a glimpse of chest or thigh and want to giggle. Colin gets a little embarrassed about it but mostly it’s just funny to look at a picture and think “that’s my boss” or “hey, that’s the surly guy that sells me my comics.”


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