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FBOTU Spotlight: Jon Macy

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I just love this page. When I started this project, I made a laundry list of all the things I wanted to draw. In fact, I was only going to draw things I wanted to draw, so that meant trees, old pickup trucks and motorcycles, naked dudes, werewolves, punk bands and magic. I wasn't sure how I was going to put all these things together in a story, but I was going to have fun trying. I hope that makes Fearful Hunter fun to read as well.

-Jon Macy

Learn more about Jon Macy and his work at jonmacy.com
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Okay, so, while the writing of Fearful Hunter has not been for therapy, necessarily, it does have a very personal message. My ex suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder, and I have used much of our romance to fuel the plot, although heavily fictionalized. The mentally ill do not have any emotions that anyone else doesn't have, they just feel them stronger, or only one at a time. It was a harrowing experience, but also the most intense love affair of my life. I set the story in a fantasy world, because I thought that, if I told the whole truth, no one would believe me. I also wanted the freedom to change history and have a happy ending. This book is, in part, a memorial to him, and a re-imagining of how his life could have ended.

-Jon Macy

Learn more about Jon Macy and his work at jonmacy.com
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Most of my work has been sexual in nature, or has featured sex in some way. Living in San Francisco is like getting an education in sexuality as well as gender and body politics. It's a place where people are interested in all its forms, because they came here to explore their own. For me, in my comics, I'm searching for a way to visually explore what orgasm looks like. That brief moment when you touch god, or you become god, or your consciousness expands, or however you want to describe it. Mix that with a childlike curiosity about the internal parts of the body, and you have a seriously disturbing comic at times.

My work has always been high on the "ewww!" factor, but I think a story, even a sweet romance between a Druid and a werewolf, needs some claws to keep the reader wondering. If you don't know when the next tentacle rape is going to occur, you might stay interested, but I also hope these scenes have a cosmic feeling of awe and the divine. The power of the Druids is nature, and sex is part of nature. In a way, I am saying that sex is sacred and that sex between two men can be sacred as well. If I take the sex out of my romance comic, I risk intimating that sex is somehow bad, or that we can't embrace that part of our lives because it might offend someone. Fuck that.

-Jon Macy

Learn more about Jon Macy and his work at jonmacy.com
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I love the craft of comics. In this page, you can see me trying to create mood and establish setting with the art, as well as use the text to add to the feeling of deep thought, as well as being shaken out of it. Narration has changed from what it was in the past, and now it really isn't narration at all, but thoughts without the thought balloons. The thought balloon is underrated, and I myself have fallen into the trend of not using them.

-Jon Macy

Learn more about Jon Macy and his work at jonmacy.com
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Silent pages can be really powerful, so I try to save them for the right moments. An entirely silent comic can be rewarding, but the reading of text really helps to control time, and I tend to flip through a silent comic too fast for it to be satisfying for me. A silent page after text-heavy pages is like taking in a deep breath. It can energize the reading experience and punctuate the events in the story. I think of silent pages and panels as silent beats in the overall narrative. A good tool to say something by not saying anything. In this page, I was hoping to imply some feelings that were unspoken, as if the characters weren't even aware of what they were feeling, because their hearts were beating so hard.

-Jon Macy

Learn more about Jon Macy and his work at jonmacy.com
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In my new series, Fearful Hunter, I had a lot of things I wanted to experiment with. This page from "Chapter One" is important to me in that I wanted to show where the characters first fall in love. Really show it somehow instead of just saying it. The whole series is really a big experiment in trying to see just how far I could push myself in showing real loving emotions. My last series Nefarismo was the opposite in that I wanted to be as provocative and disturbing as possible, while still being publishable.

I really feel that unless I'm feeling uncomfortable when drawing that I'm not pushing myself to my limits. So far, I've found tender sweet emotions to be far harder to express without them coming off as a joke. It's easier to frighten or anger a reader; it is much harder to make them laugh or cry.

-Jon Macy

Learn more about Jon Macy and his work at jonmacy.com
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In "Chapter One" of Fearful Hunter, I had a lot of world building to do. In fact, most of the issue is set-up. That would be fine in a larger work, but as a reader, I have always been more in love with the beginnings of stories and almost skim over the action scenes. To me this perpetual beginning state was where everything was new, and the world felt like it was meant to be explored. In a way I set out to write this story for the ten-year-old gay boy I was. The kid who escaped into comics and fantasy novels and desperately wanted to get bit by a werewolf and run off into the forbidden forest.

This page is one of my favorites in that it has a heavy, unintentional, dose of Arthur Rackham in the art, an artist who inspired me so much as a child. I was certainly trying to let old memories and desires freely surface, but this surprised me, and let me know that I was succeeding.

-Jon Macy

Learn more about Jon Macy and his work at jonmacy.com