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Spaghetti Western, "Oathbound" a Great Indie Read!

Written by The Indie Huntress on Thursday, September 08 2016 and posted in Features

Spaghetti Western,

A review on Kevin Cuffe's debut book: Oathbound


Source: Kevin Cuffe

I should note that I actually had to look up what spaghetti western meant. I remember back last year Kevin described it to me as such, and I just nodded and went along with it. It wasn't until I got the PDF recently that I figured out what it meant. I am not big on westerns, although I will watch them. I consider Tombstone to be at the top of the films I have seen in the genre. I just barely count Blazing Saddles, and I am imagining many of you scoffing at that, and undoubtedly Kevin is groaning. But, I do know indie comics, and this is a good one. Spoilers ahead...

What begins as a journey to transport a family, a prisoner, and one man's gold- turns quickly into a coup. The men entrusted with the gold and safe travels of this family, are only there to take advantage of the situation. It is pretty clear from the opening scene that it is going to happen. You get to a point where you see enough films, read enough books, and you just know and think to yourself, "well. This isn't going to end well." What I thought was going to be just another heist story, turned into something else. I knew from previous talks with Kevin and seeing art previews from Paul and Hedwin; that there would be these strange goblin creatures and large birds- but I didn't know exactly what role they would play.

Let me stop there a moment and point out these birds:

kev

Pretty crazy, right? Kevin had used the term raptor (birds of prey) to me when describing them. I am sorry but I see these birds and all I can think about is Final Fantasy and riding Chocobos. Which excited me greatly. I always believed that the Chocobos were some of the coolest side characters in the games. I can see where their influence played a hand in the design. Same story with the goblins- I mean any number of references would fit the bill here. I like to think there was a little touch of Gremlins in the sense they had kind of a radical look about them- what with their piercings and mohawks.

The carriage stops- halted by men with guns, and a woman comes out to challenge the thieves. She is bound by handcuffs and seems to recognize one of the men. He frees her, but not with his hands- it seems that it is done mistakenly with his mind. We're taken to the present (or maybe even the future)... the girl is revealed to be an elf. She is with a man that she calls father. He is a drunk...but he is still capable of caring for his daughter. He leaves the home to check on traps for food, but gets into a bit of hot water with the aforementioned goblins...and betrayed by a friend.That is where the story ends, leaving us with unanswered questions. What is a first issue without a major cliffhanger, anyway?

Kevin 2

Overall I felt this was a solid first issue. It was put together beautifully. I love the team line up here, especially with Paul, Hedwin, and Ramon on the illustrative team. These three are symbiotic- they work together well and play off of each other's talent. Especially the color schemes, Hedwin nails down what a blistering sun in a desert wasteland looks like, and a bleak frozen forest. It is strange to read a comic that is not only a western, but also fantasy. It is evident that Kevin is dedicated to this comic and producing a story that proves it. I know that he went through a few years of solid labor bringing this book to life, as do many independent creators. Making comics is hard work. It requires time, energy, and money- things not everyone has. But you have to look ahead, and think to yourself, "what do I want, and what am I willing to do to get it?" I know Kevin once confided to me that he wanted to make comics full-time so he could be home more with his son. To live out his dreams as a writer as well. I find this admirable. I think he can get there too, with a little support from the community and continuing on with the work ethic he has. I believe that a lot of people can 'make it in comics' so to speak. You don't have to work for Marvel or DC to 'break into comics.' I think that notion is what deters many people from even trying. You CAN be successful as an independent creator. I am lucky enough to know some of the most successful people in the industry. With the right amount of work and marketing, anything is possible.

Kevin has told me that there is currently a website under construction for Oathbound and future ordering services. This will be available at the end of September. In the meantime, you can follow the series on Facebook.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Oathboundcomic/?fref=ts

Kevin Cuffe (writer): https://twitter.com/Kevin_Cuffe    

Paul Gori (pencils): https://twitter.com/PaulGori

 https://www.facebook.com/Gorisart/?fref=ts

Hedwin Zaldivar (colors): https://www.facebook.com/Hedwin-Zaldivar-digital-colorist-894674477226624/?fref=ts

Ramon Hitzeroth (inks): https://www.facebook.com/ramon.hitzeroth?fref=ts

Shawn Greenleaf (lettering and edits):

 https://www.facebook.com/shawn.m.greenleaf?fref=pb&hc_location=profile_browser





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About the Author - Crystal O'Rourke


"ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!!!"
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