Welcome back, my faithful companions! Your Indie Huntress is here once again to save you from the painful tedium of mainstream. I suited up, and hit the depths of the internet to bring you back something insanely delightful: Year of the Goat. Written by Tom Spellman, illustrated by Rafael Chrestani, colors by John Rudwall, and lettered by John Rudwall.
Year of the Goat can be described as a rally of goats taking back their rights to be free, but in a deliciously evil manner. Not only do they seek out vengence for being treated as slaves for milk and meat- they do it in a way that is a wonderful display of violence with a lasting impression. You want to see a farmer impaled by a pitchfork? Perhaps another sucked into a commercial rototiller? A snotty teenage boy eviscerated with goat horns? Maybe someone being cooked in an oven is more your speed for gore? Regardless of your pleasure for horror, this comic definitely has what you're looking for.
The illustrations provided by Rafael and color work from John are something of true art form. Where black and white meets the stain of blood, and at times flame- they came together in a masterful way. I have a deep love for black and white, and feel that it is a rare occurence that color can be incorporated appropriately. John's intrepretation of that not only put emphasis on the scenes of mayhem, but amplified them to a whole new level. In addition, the raw emotions of torture and struggle were captured brilliantly at Rafael's hand. These men came together and provided a solid display of teamwork, playing off of one another's abilities to present a work of art. Without further delay, here are the bits you crave.
I imagine the idea for, "Year of the Goat" came from a caffiene induced rage over listening to some Belphegor or some other kind of grindcore metal. Tell me, how does one decide to give goats machine guns?
You guessed it....except there was as much alcohol as there was caffeine! Just kidding.
The idea came to me in a Chinese restaurant. I opened the fortune cookie and then...just kidding again. Actually I was in a Chinese restaurant, waiting for my take out. Bored out of my mind, I was staring at one of those Chinese Zodiac calendars on the wall, the ones that show an animal for each year. It called 2015 the Year of the Goat. I thought, sweet! Goats rock! Then my mind started to wander....what if this is what all the goats in the world have been waiting for....oh shit, we're all fucked!
This was around the same time I had been trying to come up with a new story idea. All I had so far was that I wanted it to be a gore fest. Then the goat thing happened. I had been working with Rafael Chrestani on my other comic Time Stop and we were chatting...I said something to the effect of, "Can you draw an ass kicking goat...he is standing on his hind legs like a human, holding a gun and smoking a cigar?" He emailed a pic of me the artwork the next day. It eventually became the cover art for issue #1.
The progession of this story is interesting. At first it appears we are viewing a standard goat farm, and the the rebellion rises. However, what I noted was the crow flying overhead. Delivering the message across to other locations as well. That it was time to awaken and arise to fight back. Is the crow a manifestation of an evil being bestowing the power upon the goats, or is he simply a messenger?
Once I came up with the concept of how rad upright walking, talking, killer goats would look on paper, I felt there had to be a story behind the madness. In early development, the story took on an Orwellian feel...maybe goats have always been able to walk and talk and after years of abuse, they've had enough. That idea is still present throughout issue #1, when we see goats uprising and taking revenge after getting dehorned, milked and tortured by idiots. It was starting to look like a 2015 version of Animal Farm. However, as the story evolved, the black birds were added. These black birds whisper something in the goats ear, that seems to flip the goats. Their eyes turn red and the destruction begins. So, it could be the crows who are actually sick of the direction the world is heading and decide to use the goats as puppets to carry out their dirty work. Or, as you suggest, they just may simply be messengers who are carrying out a master plan. Stay tuned...same goat time, same goat channel!
How did you come into meeting Rafael Chrestani?
Rafael and I met on an online forum called Zwol which is basically a site for aspiring comic book artists, writers, colorers, etc. to meet and share ideas. I had posted a message looking for an artist to draw some promo pages for Time Stop and Rafael contacted me, along with about 20 other artists. Many of their work was great, but Rafael's style was exactly what I was looking for. I'm so glad I found him...beside a very talented artist, he's a hell of a good guy. We've become good friends.
His work for this comic is exquisite, to me. I have a deep love for black and white art, and sometimes when color is thrown in the mix it doesn't always mesh well. However, Rafael and John not only made it work, but presented it in a beautiful fashion. When you approached him for providing illustrations for your comic, did you have those ideas in mind and let him run with it?
In planning Year of the Goat, I decided early on that I wanted it to be black and white. It was a tough decision to make because I had just finished the first 44 pages of Time Stop which were colored by Fahriza Kamaputra, and his coloring ability is AMAZING!!! When I received early Goat promo art from Rafael, I sent them over the Fahriza to color. They kicked so much ass, I almost decided to go full color. Ultimately, my love for black and white prevailed. However, I will still use Fahriza to provide full color to covers.
Then came the idea of adding red to Year of the Goat, which I can't take credit for...it was my friend John Rudwall's idea. John did the lettering for Time Stop and I wanted him to do the same for Year of the Goat. John has a degree in graphic design and is a photo shop master, so wording pages came easy to him...but he had never colored a comic before. I sent him he first few pages of Goat to letter. When he returned them, he said, "oh, by the way, I wanted to practice coloring, so I colored the blood on this one very bloody page." It Rocked! Right then, we decided to color only blood red in the comic. While coloring, he begin to color the sky and anything else that should be red.
By the way, the final piece to the puzzle is Verry Woong. He is another amazing who does other independent comic work. He did the variant cover for issue #1. The cover with the goat holding a chainsaw in one hand and a human head in the other. He's also doing a variant for issue #2. I've seen early sketches....holy goat shit!
I understand you're running a Kickstarter campaign for issue #2. What are some of the rewards backers can expect to see?
There's some cool stuff including PDF and print copies of issue #2, variant cover print copies, T-Shirts, sketch cards, original art pages, and more!
What will we see in issue #2? Will there be some followup to the man at the end of issue #1? Who is he?
Oh yes! We only see mysterious figure in the last page of issue #1, but he will be in the last 3-4 pages of issue #2. While the last page of issue #1 introduced this guy, the last page of issue #2 has a huge reveal that gives some insight to who this guy is and what the heck he's doing. My plan is to tell a little bit more about him in each issue. I recently finished writing issue 3 and about half of the issue is dedicated to this guy. Keeping with the disturbing tone of Year of the Goat, I wrote an issue entirely dedicated to his back story which looks like it may fit well as issue #4. I'm stoked about that issue! To answer your last question, we will learn soon who he is. :)
How long of a run are you considering on this comic? Will you eventually release a TPB or hardcover? I don't know how you feel, but personally- a ridiculous hardcover with raised bloody goat horns is an image I can't seem to get out of my twisted mind.
Hahaha, I like cover that idea! That would kick ass! Once issues 1-4 are complete, I plan to release those 96 pages as a TPB. I think I would need to get to about 8 or 10 issues before I can explore the hardcover idea. I would love for Year of the Goat to be 100 issues...it all depends on if readers are feeling the story. I know how Year of the Goat begins and I know how it ends. There are a whole bunch of guts in between. It's an amazing story, that I hope I have the opportunity to tell.
Where can we follow you on social media for updates on this project?
I own the domain for SpellBoundComics but the site is not ready yet. It forwards to the Facebook page.
You can follow me on Facebook at:
You can follow Year of the Goat on Facebook at:
You can follow me on Twitter at:
You can follow Rafael Chrestani on Facebook at:
To view more of his art go to: www.RafaelChrestani.com
Support us on kickstarter here:
Where is issue #1 available for purchase?
Currently issue #1 can be purchased on www.indyplanet.com, $1.99 for the digital version, $4.99 for a print copy. (I know $5 bucks is a lot but just think of the great support you are providing an independent creator!)
Bonus question: if this were to ever be made into a film, who would direct it?
Ooooooo, I like this one! When you think bloody movies, who comes to mind?...To me it's Tarantino for sure! How amazing would that be? If Quentin is too busy for me, I'd had to go for either Robert Rodriguez or Guillermo Del Toro.
As always, you can catch me at the following places on social media!
Facebook: The Indie Huntress
Some of my affiliates to check out!
Michelle Gallagher Poetry: https://mjgpoetry.wordpress.com/
Digital Nerdage Podcast Network: http://www.digitalnerdage.com/
Basement Fodder Podcast: