The Harding Files 

Martin Xing


Thesis Mentor: Rob Guillory
Collaborator: Flatter; Don Tang
Format: Full Color Comic

In this “camp noir” graphic novella, a series of bizarre crimes turns a New York sex crime detective’s life upside down. Each crime presents different M.O., victims, and even perpetrators, but Det. Richard Harding is convinced that they are somehow connected. However, no one besides his partner at work believes him. His hunch is backed by a conspicuous clue: evidence at each of the crime scenes includes sex toys that appear to inexplicably possess supernatural powers. As the detective becomes obsessed with these cases, he begins to jeopardize both his job and his family life, as his husband suffers and a therapist is needed to save their relationship. But, even in their therapy sessions, Richard seems to be more focused on solving these cases than resolving his marital problems. During one of the sessions, Richard starts to piece together parts of the puzzle and comes to realize that the true mastermind behind these crimes is closer than he thinks. In this story of obsession, desire, and power, the knowledge of kink and sex—just like love— conquers all.

Martin Xing

Martin Xing is a digital illustrator, translator of creative works, and storyteller in both visual and written forms.Through a combination of illustration and collage, he brings his comedic and emotional comics to life.

Gay romance and supernatural occurrences are often prominently featured in his stories and are equally important to him as a gay man and a horror lover. Stephen King once said in an interview that “there can be no horror if there isn’t caring and love as well.” So, even with their horror elements, love has always been a theme in Martin’s stories.

A sucker for happy endings, Martin gives even his more tragic stories a positive conclusion. He wants to evoke a positive response from his audience, or at least have some hope.

In the future, he has plans to expand his passion for storytelling to more media outside of comics—including TV, movies, and games.



Community Project

The Full Monty is a relationship Instagram account and a column site run by the supporting character of my thesis story, Montgomery Hartgrave.

The Instagram account will consist of several different segments, including: Story Sharing, Toy/Kink Review, Sex/Relationship Advice, Techinical Support, and Viewer’s Poll.

The column site will have a writing piece every couple weeks focusing on viewers’ questions and interacting with characters or stories from the main series.

Each group of posts will be revolving around the column piece and the Q&A post as the centerpiece.

As the segment’s name suggested, this segment will be focusing on answering viewers questions regarding relationship, sex, kink, BDSM, or even question about characters in the main series (but treat them as real people for immersiveness).

Montgomery will be rating sex act, toys, kinks and everything related the center topic with his own rating system - The Hartgrave Scale.

In this segment, Montgomery will be sharing stories related to the center topic. The stories varies from funny encounters, heartwarming moments, or even sex horror stories and cautionary tales.

In the segment, Montgomery will be discussing technical knowledge in certain practices concerning kink/BDSM with graphs and illustrations.