Head to snowy, dystopian Boise with a group of hep misfits and a chipper, totally-not-going-to-kill-you A.I. assistant in the series: Hep Cats of Boise.
Mazarin Blues was a '21 SPSFC semifinalist and a winner in the '22 Indie Ink Awards for best Gay Representation!
From Mazarin Blues:
An anxious recluse with an annoyingly chipper AI in his head. A corporation that wants them both dead. And a 1930s subculture fighting back…
Introvert Reed Rothwell is part of a subculture of art deco enthusiasts, pushing back against bland mainstream society and its mandated technology. Stuck with an AI assistant in his head is bad enough, but when he's inflicted with a forced upgrade to a new beta version, named Mazarin, the navigator starts to take on feelings and opinions of his own.
When rumors spread of beta navs turning on their pilots, Reed is determined not to become a victim. Mazarin hasn't become violent yet - the AI is sympathetic and understanding - but with beta participants coerced into slitting their own throats, it's only a matter of time before Reed is next. The AI megacorporation already has an unhealthy interest in Reed, and all the beta testers who have sought help for their navigators have disappeared.
Desperation drives Reed further into the art deco subculture, where he meets a handsome bad boy named Jax, who is not only the exact kind of romantic support Reed needs right now, but he has connections to illegally terminate Reed's AI. But Mazarin has never tried to harm Reed - he loves Reed.
Grappling with ridding himself of intrusive technology, the morality of hurting his self-aware AI, and avoiding the attention of a company that wants to sweep Reed's existence under the rug might be too much for one hep cat to handle.
blood, death, brief biphobia, hospitalization, stalking, profanity, M/M and NBi/NBi open door sex and sexual elements, anxiety/panic disorder, depression, alcohol use, house fire, brief description of a corpse (protagonist works in a morgue), mentions of people (offpage) being coerced into suicide, electrocution, several brief violent scenes including a fist fight and stabbing
Rep: gay, bi/pansexual, gray ace, and non-binary characters; M/M and NBi/NBi romance
Autistic main character with anxiety/panic disorder
A graphite drawing of a white man with curly hair, freckles, and 1930s tortoiseshell glasses, wearing a suit and staring at the viewer with a serious look.
A graphite drawing of a masculine white person with light hair and a Clark Gable mustache, with his cheek pressed to a glass table. His reflection is a feminine woman with finger waves and a sweet smile.
A graphite drawing of a Latino man with greased black hair, tattoos and piercings, and eyeliner, wearing a collared shirt and suit jacket.
A graphite drawing of an androgynous white person with slicked dark hair, wearing a wool coat and a disgruntled expression. Their face droops on one side, and there are cables running beneath their skin on one side of their neck and jaw.
CW: This trailer contains some film splice flickers similar to flashes.