What is FEARFUL HUNTER?
Jon Macy is the creator of the Lambda Literary Award winning Teleny and Camille, for which he adapted a classic anonymous erotic novel to graphic novel form. In 2010, after taking eight years to complete that momentous project, Macy turned his eye to the modern world. He wanted to create something to respond to Proposition 8, which had recently passed in his home state of California, and to use his work to speak about gay love and commitment. The story he created is called FEARFUL HUNTER.
Oisin and Byron are young lovers inhabiting a queer Celtic fantasy world which overlaps our own. Oisin, a druid on the eve of his initiation, meets Byron, a troubled werewolf, and the two fall in love. The complicating factor is that werewolves, by nature, mate for life and will never love another once they commit. Druids, however, live in a culture is suffused with sexual power and lifelong pairings are not common. When the powerful elders hear of their relationship, they conspire to drive them apart, for their own good.
FEARFUL HUNTER has been released in chapters, starting in 2010, and has gotten widespread praise from readers and critics. Printing of the individual issues of the series was partially funded by the 2010 Prism Comics Queer Press Grant that funds independent LGBT artists. The fourth and final chapter of the series is being released this Spring.
Jon has been self-publishing the series, while Northwest Press has been making it available through a series of digital releases with bonus material. (The first chapter of the book is available as a free digital download.) We have been planning on doing a collected edition once the series was completed, and that day will finally arrive this May!
What are they saying about Jon Macy and FEARFUL HUNTER?
“Let’s get the basics out of the way first: Jon Macy’s art in FEARFUL HUNTER is superlative. His Teleny and Camille was great, but he has (as he should) gotten stronger, more Macyesque imagery on the page. Boffo. And basic number two: the erotic charge of the story is part of the story and not the only story or, worse, filler to bring the book to an even number of pages. I read comics for the stories; I read nifty.org to get off. Macy has kindly brought two of my hobbies together.” — Sean McGrath, News of the Right
“Like Teleny and Camille, we once again see his beautiful black-and-white art, but now he has proven his talent as an original writer, as well. It’s a rare gift that a natural storyteller has skill with both words and images, but Macy does. He’d have to; else a comic book this ambitious could have teetered off the cliff of originality into the chasm of the clichéd with but the faintest breath. Macy’s FEARFUL HUNTER is a treasure worth every penny.” —Steven Surman, Broken Frontier
“[Teleny and Camille] is a beautifully illustrated story of the love of one man for another, ripe with all the barriers to such love in a strict unforgiving society. The artwork alone conveys the intensity and beauty of the men’s feelings as the clear, simple language conveys their thoughts.” — Chuck Forester, Lambda Literary
“There is an agenda here, and it is not simply the visual re-telling of a well-known novel. It is a celebration of that novel and a celebration of what that novel deeply wants to assert. [Teleny and Camille] is an artistic and aesthetic triumph.” John McCrae, Oscholars
What have you got planned for the FEARFUL HUNTER collection?
The collected edition will arrive as a deluxe hardcover and digital edition (in May) and a paperback edition (in August) containing the entire epic story, plus additional tales from Oisin and Byron's world told by such talents as Steve MacIsaac, Justin Hall, Dylan Edwards, William O. Tyler, Agnes Czaja, Rene Capone, Dave Davenport, Sean-Z, and Sina Sparrow. With the main story—refined and remastered for the collection—and the additional content, plus bonus content like sketches and original cover art, this will be a mighty collection clocking in at nearly 320 pages.
Why do we need your help?
Northwest Press is a small press, though we try hard to look more polished and professional in the caliber of books we produce. I've been doing this full time for a little over a year, and it looks like I'm going to be able to do this and make a living at it. It's a dream come true!
The drawback to no longer having a well-paid day job, though: I no longer have much income to spend upfront on book printing. (Now all my money has to be put aside for things like food, shelter, and paying artists' royalties!) After releasing four books last year, and stretching my credit to its limits, I'm finding that I don't have the ability to release big projects without doing a major presale campaign beforehand.
The good news is that now that Northwest Press has been around a few years, our sales are much stronger after our books are released, so we're able to finally lower our prices. (They have been "niche priced" since the beginning.) The cover price for FEARFUL HUNTER—even though it's almost 80 pages longer than Jon's first book, Teleny and Camille—will be cheaper, at $24.99 (softcover) and $34.99 (hardcover). We're able to bring an even deeper price cut to our Kickstarter campaign as well; you'll get an even lower price than retail or internet customers will get when the book comes out.
What will you do with the money?
The funds will primarily be put toward the printing of the FEARFUL HUNTER hardcover and paperback collections, which together will cost somewhere around $10,000. We will have some advance sales through distributors, but nowhere near enough to cover the printing bill in advance.
Also, we believe in a rising tide lifting all boats, so we always build in ways for artists to share in the bounty if we have a successful Kickstarter campaign. This time around, not only will the creators be paid standard royalties for all books included in rewards packages (as we've done in the past) but Jon Macy will be getting the majority of the proceeds from every ORIGINAL ART PACKAGE reward.
Please pitch in!
We've got a lot of great rewards, centered around the digital, hardcover and paperback editions of FEARFUL HUNTER, and including signed art prints, original artwork, and other Northwest Press titles. Plus, we'll personally thank every backer at the $50 level and above in the pages of the book itself.
With your help, we can keep producing excellent books, filling the world with more quality LGBT comics, and giving artists a fair deal.
Risks and challenges
Jon is currently finishing the artwork for the final chapter in the series and also refining and polishing the earlier chapters; we are on track to have the entire series collected and sent to the printer by the beginning of April for May delivery. Some buffer time is built in to the schedule so we won't slip and miss deadlines. This is our eleventh full-length book project for Northwest Press, and we've got a good handle on things by this point! :-)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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