Welcome back, minions! Your Indie Huntress is here to save you from the monotony of 'the big two'. Today I am bringing you a three part interview including the creators of the up and coming comic, "Oathbound," with Kevin Cuffe and Paul Gori. I met both Kevin and Paul through social media. They are also participants in my group on Facebook, 'Mayhem and Chaos.' Kevin is the writer of this comic and Paul is the illustrator. The other part of this interview includes none other than my podcast partner in crime, Michelle Gallgher. She is a poet and Paul Gori is working with her to pair illustrations to her poetry. Without further adieu here are the bits you need and crave to know.
Kevin, what exactly is, "Oathbound" about?
The story is about a man, Cole Jamison, who is trying to raise his teenage daughter, Viola and escape his sordid past. It's a story of redemption, but also a story about family and the ties that bind us to our families.
What has been your inspiration for this story?
My inspiration was my son. He asked me a question about my past, It got me wondering, who really knows their parents or who they were before we changed their lives to who we know them as? So I started asking myself
What are your goals for this comic and what do you hope to accomplish in the next year?
The goal for, "Oathbound" is to secure a publisher that will allow us to create monthly issues. In the next year I see myself still writing comics, whether published or not. It's something I really enjoy doing. The collaboration and exchange of ideas, is a unique aspect of comic creation that keeps me coming back to it as a storytelling venue.
I was privy to reading the PDF of the first issue of, "Oathbound" for podcast recording. I felt this story flowed quite well. Tackling the western genre can be a difficult task; however, Kevin made it work as he included fantasy aspects. Right out of the gate, this comic captured my attention. Why, you ask? Raptors. Birds of prey that is. Paul designed them to look similar to that of Chocobos from the final fantasy games. At the beginning we see several struggles and tensions rising between two groups of people..and it just continues to escalate from there. A rich detailed story intertwining enemies, desperation, and of course....goblins. No spoilers here though. We'll continue on with Paul's side of the interview.
Paul, What are your goals for the artwork for Oathbound?
My goal as the artist from Oathbound is to give the reader something unique and fresh. Something simple and yet gratifying while it stays true to the material. YET have it be a totally new take on these genres that both Kevin and I love, and respect. To grow as an artist and to be able to tell the best visual story possible while complimenting Kevin's storytelling.
What do you see for the future of this comic, for the artwork and otherwise?
It's hard to tell you what I see for the future of the book because It isn't even out yet. All we have to go off of is the social media responses. Which are great and I totally appreciate all the support. I hope and pray that OathBound is welcomed with open arms in the community of readers. I would be a liar if I said I didn't mind if it wasn't. I would love to see the comic take off and go in the direction(s) we want to see it head. This would allow us to tell radical sub stories we have lined up. The world is filled with such beauty and at the same time is so dark. It's extremely exciting for me as the artist to read what Kevin has written. I'm in all honesty his biggest fan. I get his pages and I'm always like "Duuuude!!" as for the direction of the art...I'm excited to get other artists involved with covers and possible side stories, which is the ultimate goal for me. I love meeting new people and making new friends. It brings feedback and I learn a lot from that. Truthfully, it helps with the look of the book. It slowly progresses and the art changes because of that. I'm constantly growing and hopefully it doesn't stop, because I want to see what's next just as much as Kevin does. All around it's a fun ride. Never in a million years did I think I would say, "I'm doing this". Where do I insert the excited emojicon?
(Gori on pencils/inks and Hedwin Zaldivar on colors. You want this Goblin don't you? I've been salivating over it for weeks....)
Last, but certainly not least, Michelle Gallagher. She has been creating various works of poetry, nearly her whole life. Currently, she is working with Paul on pairing illustrations to her creations- to bring them further to life. The particular piece discussed for the interview is one of her father. This literally gutted me as I read it. Break out the tissues, because I have no doubts that some of you may need them...
What was your inspiration for this poem?
My father died in the summer of 2004. At his funeral, as he lay in his casket, I kissed his forehead and cut a lock of his hair to keep. Although it has been over 10 years now, the memory of that moment hasn't faded. It might as well have occured yesterday. It keeps me awake at night. The feeling of that last kiss is something that I can still feel. The memory is vivid. It's a reliving more than a remembering. This poem happened as a result of that.
How did you meet Paul?
Paul and I met through Facebook. I believe you tagged me in some art he posted. We chatted and I shared my poetry site with him. I fully expected him never to read it. Most people hear the word poetry and assume you write about either rainbows or razor blades. Im supremely thankful that he took the chance and read some and even more thankful that he liked what he read enough to want to bring some of it to life. He's become a wonderful friend in the process.
What are your hopes for future art pairings to your poems?
I hope that I can see more of my writings through Gori's eyes.
Paul, one final question. What were your thoughts on pairing with Michelle for this project? Can we expect to see more?
I feel that in order to grow continuously as an artist, I have to step out of my comfort zone. I had read her work and was blown away at how violently charming it is. ( I said that) It's very dark and yet its so beautiful at the same time. My art is very light and playful in nature. I don't use a lot of black in my story telling and not for a particular reason. I just don't see things that way. I do have a dark side and sometimes it spills out. When I read her work, blogs, and answers to some questions: I was excited to the possibility of her saying yes to letting me do some pieces. We became fast friends and I can truly say I appreciate her as not only as an artist but as a person. It's very clear that she has personal demons and yet she's such a kind and beautiful soul. I respect her tremendously. To answer the last part of your question...yes you can expect to see plenty more interpretations of her work from me.
Thank you for joining me today. To get an even more detailed look into, "Oathbound", check out the podcast from yours truly, and my partner Michelle from, "The Mistresses of Mayhem and Chaos" here: Oathbound podcast
You can follow "Oathbound" on Facebook here: Oathbound Comic
Follow Michelle's poetry at: MG Poetry
Until next time, keep on reading, and go buy some Indie!!