The Three Jaguars: A Comic About Business, Art, and Life, by M.C.A. Hogarth – Review by Fred Patten.
by Patch O'Furr
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
The Three Jaguars: A Comic About Business, Art, and Life, by M. C. A. Hogarth. Foreword by Ursula Vernon.
Tampa, FL, mcahogarth.org, August 2015, trade paperback $15.99 (vi + 136 [+ 1] pages).
M.C. A. Hogarth was one of the first creators in furry fandom. She had art as a young teenager in Yarf! #1, January 1990, as Maggie de Alarcon. Her first novel, a fixup of furry short stories, was Alysha’s Fall (Cornwuff Press, September 2000). Since then she has had over twenty books published, as trade paperbacks and electronic books, by furry specialty publishers and through CreateSpace, often under her own imprint as Studio MCAH. She has won an Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction of the year, and been nominated for a Gaylactic Spectrum Award for a fantasy novel with a LGBT theme. In May 2015 Hogarth was elected Vice President of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).
She has also had an active online presence since the 1990s, often raising funds for publishing her books through Kickstarter and similar campaigns. She has regularly answered questions about how to become a successful creative artist or writer. In January 2013 she began presenting this advice/her experiences in the form of a Monday-Wednesday and sometimes Friday web comic strip, The Three Jaguars, which ran through that August. It took the form of conversations, and sometimes arguments, between three facets of her creativity personified as three anthropomorphic jaguars; Business Manager, Marketer, and Artist. Business Manager is the most practical of the three, trying to limit the creativity to what will sell. Artist is the most imaginative, wanting to create what she wants to create when she wants to create it. And Marketer tries to figure out how to make what Artist wants to create saleable.
The Three Jaguars: A Comic About Business, Art, and Life presents the totality of that comic, plus a four-page epilogue drawn for this edition. In an Afterword, Hogarth analyzes why The Three Jaguars did not work as a comic strip. Readers don’t read a comic strip for objective business advice, and the format of three separate characters kept segueing into dramatic storylines, which was fine for evolving the comic into an adventure serial but was not its original purpose.
Yet even unsuccessful experiments can be worthwhile, especially since Hogarth’s fans have been calling for the last two years for The Three Jaguars to be made available in permanent form. Here it is. Check it out, and read one of Hogarth’s commercial s-f or fantasy novels to see what she can do besides talk about how to sell a project.