QSaltLake Magazine is proud to present a new comic strip gracing our pages. AJ & Magnus is the creation of Bryan and Simon Steel, a real-life couple raising their nephew and their dog. The cartoon chronicles the everyday adventures of a boy, his dog, and his two dads, which they hope to turn into an animated series.
“A few years ago, Simon and I were reunited with my family,” Bryan Steel explains. “On camping trip years ago, we met our nephew for the first time. He took to Magnus, our English Mastiff, and they were best friends exploring the woods and going on adventures. Simon and I joked about what if he were our son and what kind of parents we’d be. We had a great weekend and left inspired to turn this idea into something. We talked about how growing up gay had been difficult and how it would have been easier to see gay people represented more often. This inspired us to create an inclusive family comic that could have fit in with the newspaper comics we read growing up. It may be too late for us, but for a whole new generation of LGBTQ+ youth, maybe it would make a difference. After months of concepts and planning and we released our first strip on Aug. 8, 2014. Fast forward to today, we’re now raising our nephew and living together as a family.”
“This is one of the reasons why we created AJ & Magnus; we hope to be a part of exposing people to the non-common gay parent family so they see every family is family, no matter who it’s made up of and show LGBT youth that a family of their own is an option for those who want it,” Bryan said. “The other reason is we just want to add some more laughter to the world. There can never be too many smiles!”
The couple wants to expand the strip and turned to Patreon.com to help collect a community of fans.
“We have a life goal to turn AJ & Magnus into our full-time project,” Bryan said. “Currently, we make our living from contract work which has us working long and odd hours. With community support, we’d be able to give ourselves a more standard work schedule and financial stability to allow us more time to spend with our little guy as well as create more AJ & Magnus content.”
Supporters can give as little as $1 a month, and different levels have incentives. More info at patreon.com/ajandmagnus