“I wanted to make the ‘one-eyed monsters’ a subtle nod to the region that is the main focal point for guys, the ‘woo-woos’ for girls,” Marshall says. “I’ve always been a cartoon and comic book nerd, so I just doodled a few designs and ultimately ended up with what you see in the comics, video and website today.”
“Protect Your Monster” was started five years ago with a few sketches and now has its own website, Facebook page and is working on building a YouTube page.
“My intent with Protect Your Monster was to bring up the subject of sex in a way that would be a little more comfortable for everyone — talking about testing, status and precautions … and really … sex in general, can be a little difficult to bring up. I also wanted to keep a sense of fun in the message, so it wouldn’t turn people off to the message because of a ‘serious’ overtone,” he explains.
Marshall, who bartends at Jungle and also works at Banana Republic, gives props to AID Atlanta’s Steven Igarashi and Positive Impact’s Chandler Bearden for helping him hone his messaging for his monster. He also said he has to give thanks David Atlanta magazine and its publisher David Thompson for funding his first animated short. You can also buy a copy of a “Protect Your Monster” book made up of cartoons that have been included in David magazine at Brushstrokes.
But Marshall has plans for more.
“I’ve already allotted part of the donations to the next short ‘Put on a Helmet before you Ride the Rocket,’ but hope this [campaign] can get me a little jumpstart for a few other shorts, two really focusing on the woo-woo-female character,” he says.
“After this, I’ll still be funding some on my own if necessary, but also looking at attracting corporate sponsors to really project the message of safer sex practices and personal responsibility. This doesn’t just focus on HIV/AIDs, or even just STDs, but sexual health and relationships as well,” Marshall explains.
“I’m gay and Protect Your Monster has roots in the gay community, but I also wanted to fashion a message that would be receptive to all individuals across all personal identifications, too.”
Marshall said he spends anywhere from a few minutes to days drawing the cartoon.
“The right wording and conveyance of the message takes the longest time,” he says.
Creating the videos with Jerry Fuchs of Fooksie LLC takes about two to three weeks, but is very, er, satisfying, Marshall adds.
“Jerry is like a mindreader, he’s really been able to capture what I need and want for the video and delivers,” Marshall says.
Take a look at the latest “Protect Your Monster” video: