Confession time: you follow several exhibitionist accounts on social media. In fact, your feed is so thirsty, it’s positively dehydrated.
But who are the sensitive souls beneath all the delicious, beefy fur? That’s the central question of Power Bear, a cuddly yet contemplative comic book by Łukasz Majcher.
“I often see muscled and hairy guys on Instagram who are very eager to post their selfies,” Majcher tells Pink News. “I’ve met a few of them personally and very often they’re people who struggle with their complexes and don’t feel as sexy as they are perceived to be.”
It’s hard to reconcile these concepts of empathy and covetousness. When we see a hunky, hirsute fella strutting his picnic basket for all the world to see, we assume he is dripping with confidence… or at least pre-confidence.
We may even reach out and objectify the subject of our desires. After all, they put their image into cyberspace to get attention, right? So we’re just giving them what they want.
Now let’s consider the macro effect of online flirtation. The star of the show gets an influx of compliments. Yay in the short term, but how about the long term? Perhaps they scroll through their inbox and regard the deluge of empty sentiments, all focused on their looks.
It might trigger feelings of shame or doubt. The only way to rectify the situation is to post more thirst traps, each more scandalous than the one before it. That handsome pin-up guy is suddenly spiraling downward while furiously creating additional assets to propagate the illusion that he is fine and FINE.
Majcher squarely confronts the turmoil between lust and longing in his work.
“Max, the main character of Power Bear, struggles with his own traumas and depression,” explains the author. “Depression lets people feel weak and insufficient and like a failure, a loser. But what if such a person suddenly gained superpowers?”
It is up to our hero to quell his own dueling demons and convince a race of alien onlookers that humanity is worth saving. That’s no small feat when you’re mired in anxiety, but Majcher taps into the universality of uncertainty.
“Each of us can identify with this problem, regardless of sexual orientation.”
Punctuating his flair for inclusiveness, Majcher concludes, “I would like it to be a comic for everyone.”
P.B. is just the bear hug we needed. Thanks, big guy.
Last modified: January 20, 2022