The internet is responsible for many great and horrible things simultaneously, but one of its gifts has been the ability to give comic creators a platform for their work with a low financial bar of entry. Webcomics started as early as the mid-80s, but when internet speeds picked up, and graphic tablets became more affordable, the medium exploded.
With that said, the breadth and variety of webcomics allows almost anyone to find something that strikes their interest or captivates them. One such webcomic for me was Hotblood! by Toril Orlesky.
I heard about Hotblood! during a queer comics discussion at my LCS (local comic shop) and was intrigued. Most of my intrigue came from the way the person promoting it put out the core concept so plainly: gay centaurs in the old west.
Yes, Hotblood! is a webcomics about centaurs, and there are certainly elements of homosexuality in it, but it is so much more than that. The story focuses on the relationship between James Rook, a washed out Civil War vet who happens to be a centaur, and his employer Asa Langley, possibly America's most irreverent steel tycoon. Asking readers to suspend disbelief and just go with the idea that “centaurs are a naturally occurring, non-magical, non-mutant species and that no one finds it unusual at all,” this historical fiction comic adds just enough whimsy that the presence of centaurs entertains, without crossing the border into fantasy.
Toril’s world building skills, combined with her gift at backdrop and landscape, guides readers through the Reconstruction Era western United States where steel and railroads become king, and the individuals in these businesses become unsavory characters in the art of the deal.
Toril has been drawing and updating twice a week since September 15, 2013, and has finally concluded her story. Her Kickstarter is a way to give fans a chance to get the completed work and a chance to see her process.
Not only does the Kickstarter aim to print the entire comic in one volume, Toril is creating an art book of development material to go along with it. This item is unique because it would allow readers, many who are creators to see the wealth of art and information Toril has created about the world in the last two and a half years, as well as her insight on the process of running a webcomic.
We hope you are as intrigued by this comic as we are, and trot over to Kickstarter to check it out!