What can I say I am a HUGE fan of Circles and have been since I found Circles Zero on the Rabbit Valley site. I consider it was a HUGE honor I was given the chance to conduct this interview.
Ahmar Wolf: So how did you get your start?
Andrew French: So…getting into writing…I’ve been writing since I was very young. I’m very much a storyteller. A quick talk turns into a million anecdotes, and I run D&D games regularly, just to have the outlet for stories. I originally went to college for theater arts, but I switched to creative writing pretty quickly, as I realized it was much more my natural calling.
Steve and I were already in a relationship, having met through the furry fandom. Scott was a relative newcomer to furry when we were introduced to him by a close friend of ours. Later, he became our housemate, and we sometimes talked about working on a project together.
After Associated Student Bodies ended, I couldn’t believe that no one else was jumping in to fill the desire for a gay furry comic. We were good friend with Sean & Andy Rabbitt of Rabbit Valley, because we all lived in Waltham, MA. One day, when we were headed to the movies together, I was ranting about how ridiculous it was that there were no gay furry comics with ASB gone, since it was obvious there was a strong streak of gay and bi furries in the fandom. Finally, possibly to shut me up, Sean said, “Well, you can write, and Steve and Scott are great artists. Make a comic. If it doesn’t suck, I’ll publish it.”
I still think we missed out by not using the slogan “Circles – It Doesn’t Suck!”
AW: Never did for me.
We’re you surprised at all the reaction Circles have gotten over the years?
AF: Not exactly? I thought people would like it, but I didn’t expect the emotional reactions people have had to it. People have written to me to tell me that it got them through hard times, that it helped them to come out to their family, that it got them talking with their family, that it inspired them to be better people…even saved their lives! I definitely didn’t expect to hear those kinds of sentiments from people, and it’s definitely humbling to know that its come to mean so much to so many folks.
AW: It helped this straight guy understand the gay lifestyle.
AF: Well, I hope that it shows that the gay lifestyle is just…life. You could pretty much substitute any relationships for the ones in the books. Everyone has family troubles. Everyone makes bad relationship choices. Everyone wants love. Everyone says things they wish they hadn’t. Gay or straight doesn’t really matter.
AW: That is how I first heard about Circles. From a gay friend who told me it gave a true description none of that crap we see in the media.
I own all 3 volumes and reread them every chance I get. We know why sadly Circles ended. I say sadly because I wish there was more.
AF: I don’t think of it as sadly. We started out with a specific story to tell, and we told it, even if it didn’t end as a comic book.
My career? Yes. I’m still working for the same travel company I was working for when we started this journey. I really like my job, and I’m glad to say they still seem to really like me doing it.
AW: If you and your original Circles crew had a chance to do one last Circles comic would you?
AF: I would never say never, but I would say that we told the story we intended to do. We would need a really compelling idea for a follow-up story that felt like it really *needed* telling.
AW: Thanks for allowing me to interview you.