Welcome back to our Meet the Yetee series here on the blog! This week Jacob caught up with The Yetee’s resident spell wielder and production manager Connor MacDonald to let you all ponder the orb and get a little behind the scenes scoop into his life here at The Yetee and beyond! If you’ve been around awhile, you may be familiar with Connor's presence over on our social media pages, namely Twitter, or from some of his tee and sticker designs throughout the years! As a veteran of The Yetee Squad, I thought it would be cool to invite Connor over here for a little Q&A sesh to see if we can maybe learn a few spells or catch a little bit of wit along the way! Without further ado, let's Meet Connor, shall we?
Jacob: What’s your job title at The Yetee and what do you do here?
Connor: I think my official job title(s) are Production Manager and Social Media Manager, but I also call myself the Yetee’s Arcane Specialist because of my wizardly abilities.
Jacob: How long have you been working at The Yetee?
Connor: It’ll be five years this coming March!
Jacob: What is a day in the life of Yetee Connor?
Connor: Oh man, kinda boring? Haha, mostly just emails, meetings, more emails, and a lot of writing. And then AFTER WORK… I mostly just read, play games, and watch cooking shows with my partner and cats… My life is far more exciting in the tabloids.
Jacob: OH! Cats?! Do tell!
Connor: My partner and I have two cats named Remy and Maze. We got pretty lucky in that each cat super bonded to one of us, so we each have one that prefers to sit in our respective laps. Remy loves me, Maze loves my partner. They have definitely made the last couple of years a little more tolerable! And they’ve increased my daily picture taking amounts tenfold haha.
Jacob: Are there any artists or authors who have influenced your work over the years?
Connor: Tons! I think I pull a little something from everything I’ve ever read or watched, honestly. I actually keep a drawer of index cards on my desk that I routinely add to with scraps of ideas I get from my day-to-day. I also primarily use my Instagram just for following artists, and I follow a ton on Twitter. I’m continuously fascinated by seeing new art, and finding a new artist whose style I dig is always a treat.
Jacob: What's your favorite anime series?
Connor: Probably some boring answer like DBZ haha growing up I didn’t have cable for the better part of my childhood, so I took what I could get. In my adult life I’ve been able to branch out and watch classics I’ve never seen, like for instance I only just watched all of Cowboy Bebop in early 2020. But the formative stuff like Dragon Ball Z will always be a favorite, especially because of how it jump started my love of martial arts films. A show where people use martial arts AND can throw giant energy blasts at each other? Forget compelling plot lines and interesting characters that other anime has, I want to see an edgy teen from the future cut a space tyrant in half with a SWORD!
Jacob: Speaking of anime, over the last year we recently started working with a franchise that’s near and dear to your heart, Yu-Gi-Oh! As a childhood fan myself, I gotta ask, what’s your favorite Yu-Gi-Oh! pack to crack and why is it Legend of Blue Eyes?
Connor: I mean, it definitely is LOB and mostly because of the nostalgia. The vast majority of those cards are utter garbage for deck building (imo), but I’ll never forget going to the gas station as a kid to buy new packs with my allowance and hoping and praying for a piece of Exodia (I never pulled one). I actually have about 25 unopened LOB packs in my collection that I can’t bring myself to open haha one of these days I might!
Jacob: Obelisk, Slifer, or Ra?
Connor: A true duelist does not put stock into one single card, but rather believes that the heart of the cards will guide them to victory.
Jacob: I hear you are big into tabletop RPGs, which seems like a classic next step from TCGs! What’s your favorite one to play?
Connor: The easy answer is Dungeons & Dragons, but that’s also mostly because I’ve only played a small handful of other ones! I’ve had my eye on stuff like Pathfinder and Fate that I’d love to dive into, but at the moment I’m content with the multitude of characters I burn through in D&D haha
Jacob: Do you have any crazy tabletop stories?
Connor: Okay, I’ll try to keep this as short as possible.
We had just started a new campaign, and were maybe 2-5 sessions in. We fought a Medusa, and it did NOT go well for us. My character’s partner (played by my irl partner) was turned to stone. In a panic, my character used a devil contract he’d secretly had (for reasons), and traded his soul for the power to save her. With my new dark power boost, we were able to kill the Medusa, and my partner returned from her stone form. Later that night, while camping around the fire, my character started to feel faint, and saw devilish symbols begin to appear on his body. Knowing he was dying, he took his partner by the hands, whispered, “It was worth it,” and died right then and there. I was on the verge of tears, my partner was crying, it was easily one of the most powerful series of events I’ve ever played through.
THEN I met one of the most powerful Arch Devils of the Nine Hells, and he offered me my soul back in exchange for completing a task for him, which I accepted, and was promptly returned to my body. And in the end, we completed his task, and I won my soul back, no strings attached! It was incredibly badass, and nerve-racking, especially because I did not think it was going to end well for me at all hahaha
Jacob: Oh my god that is actually incredible! Okay, so when it comes to digging into a session which do you prefer the role of, DM or player?
Connor: Oooh, tough question! I’ve definitely been a player far more than I’ve been a DM, but I’m really torn! Being a player is great for experiencing a story firsthand, and really diving into character motivations and thought processes for me is a total blast, but I also really, really enjoy crafting a story for people to experience and contribute to. I don’t think I could pick one over the other, really!
Jacob: What are some of your hobbies outside of your work at The Yetee?
Connor: Ooh, two big things come to mind! I’ve been collecting various things my whole life, but book collecting is a passion of mine. I’m really proud of some of the stuff I’ve got, including some original D&D books from as far back as 1977, to some collector’s editions of video game strategy guides, and rare editions of some dope fantasy books.
My other hobby I’d have to say is completing games! Ever since I was a kid I’ve been obsessed with checking off every box a video game has to offer, so when I play a game, I just have to do everything in it. It can be very time-consuming (especially with my love of JRPGs), but ultimately so rewarding to finish a game and confidently say I’ve done everything possible within. Achievement/Trophy hunting can be very frustrating at times, but it can also be very zen, and it’s really the only way I play through most games.
Jacob: Clearing the backlog can be so satisfying! What is one of your favorite video games and why? Anything that keeps pulling you back in?
Connor: Oh MAN I’m not even sure. This is such a tough question. I’m not good at picking favorites, if my other answers haven’t given that away. I’ll do some quick short ones because I don’t think I could say just one definitively.
Boring answer: Skyrim. Do I need to say more?
On PConnor: FTL! Gosh dang, I love that game. I come back and play through it every few months. I’ve clocked so many hours into it and I still don’t have everything unlocked.
Handheld: Pokemon Fire Red. I Love Pokemon, love Gen 1, and in my opinion it’s the cleanest remake we’ve had so far. Super fun to play, and I’m a sucker for those graphics!
Console: I’m gonna do a deep pull here and say original Fable! Medieval fantasy superhero story? Yes, please! I have played that game every which way you can, and I think I still have an old gaming journal where I wrote tips and strategies for myself to use on subsequent playthroughs hahaha I was dedicated
Jacob: I see in our meetings sometimes that you’ve got like a literal library behind your desk. Spined out shelves, some on display, some ready to read— So just how many books do you own, roughly?
Connor: I have exactly 653 books haha I just added a couple last week! That’s not the highest number I’ve ever had at one time, but over the last few years I’ve culled a lot of chaff from my collection, getting rid of stuff I had to admit I’m probably never going to read, or getting rid of books that I’ve read and just didn’t care for. So everything I have now I’m more or less pretty positive I’m keeping.
I will say, I’m a sucker for cataloging, so last year I started going through my collection and making a large spreadsheet of all my books for keeping track of what I own. And that number (653) is spread between my hardback and paperback collection, but doesn’t count my digital books, manga/graphic novels, my video game strategy guide collection, or my vast D&D collection, which I have cataloged in a different sheet. I have 172 different D&D books by the way haha There are many bookshelves taking up space in my apartment.
Jacob: With so many books, you’ve gotta have a few faves! What's one of your favorite novels and why?
Connor: OOF, the hard questions just keep coming. I’m going to say Eragon, which feels like such a lame answer even as I’m writing it, haha But in all seriousness, I think it was the first book that I read like… a dozen times? I’m not going to sit here and say it’s the absolute best in ANY regard (especially since I re-read it last year and there are some parts I found pretty uncool), but I think the simplest reason I still hold it close to heart is because it was my gateway to young adult novels as a young adult. It showed me that there were fantasy books that weren’t as daunting to read as Tolkien, but still had all the sword and sorcery. I don’t know that I would be as voracious a reader as I am now if I hadn’t gotten hooked on it all those years ago, truthfully!
Jacob: Eragon might be a controversial subject with this next question, but here goes! What's your favorite film adaptation of a novel that you’ve seen?
Connor: Oh man, how to answer this. Do comic books count? If so, Constantine with Keanu Reeves is a personal favorite of mine. Mystery Men, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Men in Black, The Mask just to name a few other based-on-comics favorites. But if we’re talking other than comics, I mean, god, how could I pick? Is there anything better than Lord of the Rings? But then again, there’s dozens of movies every year that are based on books, how could I choose?! Little Women, Blade Runner, The Princess Bride!? What incredible book hasn’t had an incredible film adaptation at this point? I’ll just stick with LotR as my safe bet answer, but there’s probably dozens and dozens that I’m not even thinking of at the moment that are just as incredible.
Jacob: I’d probably kick myself if I didn’t ask you this one. Top three wizards of all time go!
Connor: Ugh, impossible to answer haha I don’t think there’s any one wizard that stands above the rest in my opinion. There’s the classic answers like Gandalf or something, but really I’ve read so many fantasy books that have dope wizards in them that each shine in their own unique ways that I couldn’t possibly choose one over the others. I’ll say that some of my favorites (with no spoilers) are from the Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin, the Gentlemen Bastard books by Scott Lynch, and The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. A wide swath of wizarding types across those books, and each very unique and exciting!
Jacob: In closing, what has been your favorite memory while working at The Yetee?
Connor: Okay, I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I think it’s the first holiday party I was a part of. At that point, I’d been working with the Yetee for about 9 months or so, and knew the majority of everyone who I worked with. But then, much like now, I was a remote worker, so it was the first time I’d been out to see the warehouse and meet most everyone face to face. It was just a great night! I got to chat with people I’d only ever seen icons of in my day-to-day, plenty of food, and plenty of laughs.
Thanks so much Connor for taking the time to answer some of my questions! It’s always awesome to pick your brain and see a little bit about what life is like for some of the other remote employees here at The Yetee!
If you’d like to stay up-to-date with all things Connor is up to, or catch a few jokes, his Twitter is definitely a great place to check out from time to time. Whether he’s live-Tweeting the current Video Game Conference of the Month or sharing his thoughts from the ether itself, there’s always something entertaining for everyone! Another great place you can keep up with Connor is over at his website The Dream Archive, where he posts short stories, poems, comedy, and more!
Also, as of the writing of this blog, Connor recently had a couple of incredibly hilarious Daily Tee designs featured here on the site, and I have on good authority from the wizened high council that he has promised to conjure a few more in the future. So keep an eye out on the front page for some absolutely magical designs coming soon...