Interview with Toril Orlesky, author of gay centaur Western “Hotblood!”
Hotblood! hasn’t been around for long, but it’s already capturing hearts and minds on Tumblr thanks to its combination of snappy dialogue, classic gritty Western tropes, and foreshadowing toward queer romance.
Written and drawn by webcomic artist Toril Orlesky, it tells the story of a pair of 19th century adventurers, James Rook and Asa Langley. Asa is an obnoxious, money-obsessed steel magnate, while Rook is the curmudgeonly Civil War veteran he accidentally hired to be his secretary. Oh, and Rook’s a centaur.
Speaking to the Daily Dot, Orlesky explained a few of her philosophies on fandom, Asa/Rook shipping, and her storytelling process.
Q: Could you extrapolate a bit on what you mean by “sticking it to the bromance genre”?
A: There are a lot of people who can say this better than I can, but I’m sick and tired of seeing the term “bromance” slapped onto a relationship between two men—usually the two lead characters of a show—as a “no homo” disclaimer. It’s a simple way to erase the possibility of a queer relationship while also implying that the word “friendship” would be too tender and wimpy for these particular leading men. Asa and Rook do some fairly despicable things over the course of the story, but investing in a relationship with each other is not one of them, and I don’t want to understate that.