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The Compulsive Reader: Man Made Boy Blog Tour: Guest Post from Jon Skovron

Monday, December 2, 2013

Man Made Boy Blog Tour: Guest Post from Jon Skovron

Welcome to the MAN MADE BOY blog tour! The son of Frankenstein’s Monster and his Bride, 16-year-old Boy has lived his whole life in a secret enclave of monsters hidden beneath a Broadway theater, until he runs away from home after he unwittingly unleashes a sentient computer virus on the world. Together with the granddaughter(s) of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Boy embarks on a journey across the country to L.A. But Boy can only hide from his demons for so long…

Here's Jon!

Creature Feature: Kitsune

One of the things I tried to do with Man Made Boy was write about some lesser known monsters, particularly those outside of white European culture. There are so many great monsters who deserve some time in the spotlight. Today I’d like to talk about Kitsune from Japanese folklore.

Some might argue that kitsune are not really monsters. They’re actually just foxes. The word kitsune in Japanese literally means “fox”. But like a lot of folklore all over the world, the line between animal and magical creature was pretty blurry in medieval Japan. Kitsune were foxes who had lived for a long time. As they got older, anywhere from about 50 to a 100 years, they began to gain magical abilities. With each new ability, they also gained another tail. You could tell how old and powerful a kitsune was by the number of tails they had gained. The maximum number was nine, at which point, it was said that their fur turned white and they became omniscient, or else could bend space and time to suit their will. Either or.

Much like tricksters in other cultures, it varies from story to story whether kitsunes were ultimately good, evil, or somewhere in between. Sometimes they were depicted as faithful guardians, sometimes as harmless mischief makers, and occasionally as cruel succubi. What the stories all seem to agree on is that kitsune possessed superior intellect, great power, and a predilection for taking the form of a beautiful young woman. Although it was said that they weren’t always able to hide their tails, particularly when they drank too much sake.

The stories I found most heartbreaking where the ones in which a man meets a beautiful and kind woman. The quickly fall in love, and everything seems to be going great. Then the man pries too deeply or pushes too hard and discovers that the woman he loves is actually a kitsune. Kitsune then disappears. To punish him? Or perhaps out of shame? It rarely says. All that is left is the man, alone with his regrets.

In Man Made Boy, Kitsune comes in toward the end. She is part of an enclave of monsters in Hollywood who pose as a TV production company, secretly using their magical abilities so that they can offer movie-caliber special effects at a television budget. Kitsune is their Emmy award-winning costume designer. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that by the time Boy, who is a patchwork Frankenstein’s Monster, shows up in LA, he is in desperate need of a skilled seamstress. And Kitsune does more than just put him back together physically. In her somewhat terse way, she sets him on the path to putting himself back together emotionally as well.

Maybe I’m just a naive fool, but I like to think that a creature who has lived a long and full life, who has achieved so much wisdom and knowledge, is more likely to be kind and empathetic than not.

About Man Made Boy:
"Sixteen-year-old Boy’s father is Frankenstein’s monster and his mother is the Bride. A hacker and tech geek, Boy has lived his whole life in a secret enclave of monsters hidden beneath a Broadway theater, until he runs away from home. Now, the boy who’s never set foot outside embarks on a madcap road trip with the granddaughters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde that takes him deep into the heart of America. Along the way, Boy falls in love, comes to terms with his unusual family, and learns what it really means to be a monster—and a man."
About Jon Skovron:

Jon Skovron is the author of STRUTS & FRETS and MISFIT. Visit him at jonskovron.com.

1 comment:

LinWash said...

Well, I have to say the premise is very imaginative and daring. I have to read this!!