Jon Macy was interviewed for Outlook Columbus recently and told interviewer Mackenzie Worrall all about the process he undertook to create Teleny and Camille.
I love the history lesson at the beginning, explaining both how you came to write it, and how Wilde came to write the original. I had no idea that this was based on a Victorian novel when I first picked it up. Do you think your work would stand on its own without the opening vignettes?
The graphic novel would be fine on its own, and that was my intention when I started it, but after working on the project for almost eight years I discovered a lot about Gay history and wanted to share that journey. It also makes it clear that I’m continuing the tradition of collaboration this novel has, which, in hindsight, I realized makes it more relevant for modern readers.
Did you leave anything out from the original that you had really wanted to put in?
Well, there is one scene where Camille fights his homosexuality by raping the maid, which is pretty horrific. I felt it was too misogynistic to include, but after reading the papers published by the Oscholars, an online group of Wilde academics, I’ve come to the conclusion that the writers were not against women, but giving a Gay male commentary on straight men of the time. This scene would come right before Camille’s suicide attempt and would better show how he had been tested greatly by trying to be something he is not. It’s still a very volatile scene and it would be tricky to pull off, but maybe I would add it to a future edition.