As a Fudanshi for all things BL and gay art, we all have our favorite artists to follow on social media and Patreon. One of these artists is the master of Bara, Mazjojo. Over the last two years, he has been sharing artwork of his own tarot cards on his Instagram.
After a long process, Mazjojo has launched a new Kickstarter campaign back in December 2023. At the time of this writing, the campaign has been backed by over 2400 people who have pledged a grand total of over $184,000 (its initial goal was $50,000). The campaign has unlocked most of its stretch goals. And there’s still 6 days left to make a pledge! In honor of Mazjojo and the success of his Kickstarter, I want to explain to you beautiful readers why you should back Archania Tarot.
The first reason, and arguably the most important reason, to back the Kickstarter is because of the artist himself. Mazjojo is an incredible artist based in Indonesia who has mastered the art of Bara. For a time, he and a group of other likeminded artists were part of Black Monkey Pro, who have created 18+ comics, art galleries, and visual novel games. The group disbanded at around 2015-2016 so the artists can focus on their own personal projects. Mazjojo formed his own company, Mazjojo Productions and Herculion Games. His first project under his own banner was the hit BL visual novel, Full Service (which yours truly backed on Kickstarter many years ago). Over the years, Mazjojo juggled between Full Service, Patreon art galleries, comics, and is a contributing artist for the popular LGBTQ+ mobile game GYEE.
Mazjojo’s art style is beautiful! The way he draws the male body takes inspiration from Bara artists of the past and blending the modern character designs of anime into his subjects.
A good example that highlights his art style is this image of sexy Thai masseur, Kovit Chaiyarit from Full Service. His figure is lean and muscular, the ideal male form. There’s plenty of detail to capture the gay male gaze (male gayze?). The lighting highlights his muscular build on his arms, shoulders, and torso. The details of his six pack looks delicious! And his chest looks so inviting because of the muscles and the way his nipples are rendered.
While the body takes inspiration from Bara comics, the face resembles how an anime character is normally drawn, especially with his eyes (which match his hair color) and the smoothness of his mouth line. Blending in with the masculinity of Bara art, Mazjojo’s characters are very attractive to the eyes.
If you’re drooling over this fictional muscle man, you have to pay attention to how he’s posing. A lot of Mazjojo’s art resembles a pin-up. When he draws one man by himself, they pose in a way that’s so alluring that you are begging for more. It’s like the guy is flirting and teasing you. You feel the urge to touch his flesh. You want to do a lot of naughty things with him!
And yes, Mazjojo draws his men in the nude, and then some. But why post an example of that here when you can purchase some of his art on Gumroad! You won’t regret it! 😉
And the second reason you should consider backing this campaign is to show your support for artists like Mazjojo, who want to show the beauty of homoeroticism and the male form in a variety of different mediums. The Archania Tarot deck is safe for work, though any form of nudity is artistic without showing full frontal or naked butts (except for the side of the hip). Here are some examples (and some of my personal favorites) that you can find in the deck. These images are shown with permission by Mazjojo.
No matter if the projects are safe for work or not, it’s still difficult for gay artists to share their work with the world, even as the acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community is growing. The internet is also a hard battleground, especially when social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and especially Twitter make it hard for gay artists to show their art without the risk of being taken down or suspended.
Crowd funding platforms like Kickstarter and communities like Patreon have allowed LGBTQ+ artists to present their ideas to their audiences and they respond in kind. It warms my heart to see LGBTQ+ projects achieving their funding goals, and even exceeding them. This happened last year with BLits Games’ successful (maybe record-breaking) Kickstarter for Jock Studio and it will happen again with Mazjojo’s Archania Tarot.
What do you get when you back the campaign? It depends on what level you back. The lowest tier is $10, which only gives you digital wallpapers for your phone and computer. Every tier afterwards gets you the tarot card deck. $25 gives you the deck, but the box is small, as well as the book that details the meaning of the cards. The ideal selection, and main reward, is the $40 set that has all the mentioned rewards, but the box and book are larger. The expensive $200 tier also gives you two exclusive cards that won’t be available anywhere else.
No matter what tier you choose, Mazjojo includes a nice variety of add-ons: an A5 art print of The Emperor card, a pouch, a tarot reading cloth, three tapestries (The Sun, The Moon, The Star), extra decks if you want to get one for a friend, and an art book that highlights some of Mazjojo’s portfolio.
Do you need to be into to tarot card reading to enjoy this deck? No, that’s not necessary. I backed it because I love the artwork! If you love homoerotic artwork of hot muscle men, then this deck will be worth getting. It was Mazjojo’s passion project, and he deserves all the praise for the art he has made.
The campaign ends on Sunday, February 11th, 2024 at 10:01 pm Pacific Standard Time. Be sure to be among the first to grab this beautiful tarot deck!
SUPPORT THE PROJECT!
And here are his personal pages: