I had arranged an interview with Hamlet Machine for the next day, but had very little to go on. Sophie is a fan of the Starfighter web comic, but we didn’t know if Hamlet was boy, girl, or alien. We passed the table, but Hamlet wasn’t there. She wasn’t there. Hamlet Machine is a she. See? I told you I’d do a good job with this.

Hm. Three days later I realize I didn’t take any pictures of her. Oh well.

Instead you’re going to get Team Fortress 2 cosplay. Bonk!

I had however, done my homework and read through Starfighter before the interview, and I suggest you do yours from home, it’s NSFW. And it’s the “really don’t want to get busted at work for this” type too. It’s a science-fiction yaoi story, but hard core. I can imagine it:

“Why’d you get fired?”
“Uh, I got busted surfing hard core gay cartoon porn.”
“…It’s very artistic.”

I confirmed that he practiced this pose.

I arrived a little early on Sunday for the interview and got to sit in the fancy media room while I waited. I talked a little with some of the event organizers, and while some of the badge checkers were pretty surly by day 3, the press-facing side was all smiles. I went over the questions Sophie had prepped for me in an effort to look somewhat professional.

I met Hamlet Machine. It’s always hard to imagine what someone will look like from the internet. Especially when the subject is so otaku. I wondered how much of an outsider would she be? Would she stare off into the plastic plants during interview questions? Would she be gaspingly enthusiastic? Would she ask me the flavour of blue?

You are like little baby!

Cry some more

Hamlet Machine was none of those. Otakuthon reminded me once again not to judge a manga by its otaku. Charming and lovely, Hamlet is a delicate and disarming slip of a woman from New York. We hadn’t sat down and spoken more than 2 minutes before she was asking me about my D&D character and telling me about her love of classic movies like Aliens, Star Wars, Star Trek and T2. It’s a good thing Sophie wrote me those questions or I would have sat there talking about the book I was reading. Pay special attention to Aliens, we’ll come back to that.

Pictured: Relevant stuff

Aside from the more mainstream side of the media style, such as Akira, Blame!, and the epic Homestuck; yaoi artists like Onorobo and Teahouse and the ribald Olgaf have all been an inspirations to Hamlet. It’s pretty darn fancy stuff. Some with dongs, others with fancy dongs.

Sniper’s a good job, mate

So, these questions, I’m getting to them, and I paraphrase liberally.

T: You’ve been creating art online for years, how has your artwork changed?

HM: I find my lines get cleaner and I’ve gone from messy to toned.

T: What are your favorite things to draw?

HM: I like the bionic and the organic… And the sexy.

T: And your least?

HM: Crowds. I like to detail each character, and it’s really hard to do that with large crowds.

T: How do you feel about writing and illustration? How do you get a good flow?

HM: I definitely prefer illustration. I wanted a good simple story with a clearly defined goal with Starfighter, my boyfriend lends a hand with the writing.

T: What can you tell us about Machine Story? Will you publish it?

HM: I have plans to, yes. I’m aiming to publish at fifty pages.

T: What does your mom think of your work?

HM: I think she’s mostly disinterested in the sci-fi aspect. I asked her what she thought and she said “Oh! That boy bit that girl’s lip!”

And then we laughed. It was awesome. A few weeks after the interview I followed up with Hamlet to further discuss her influences, and she sent me this if you missed it further up in the post, its a frame from Machine Story juxtaposed Ripley from Aliens, my favorite feminist hero.

Hamlet Machine was the cherry on top of an already awesome weekend. I was all smiles for days, and even my close friends wondered why I was so obsessed with gay erotica all of a sudden.



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