Year of the Goat Review
01/07/2016 by John from Pencil and Ink Reviews
Year of the Goat Review:
We are trying to do something different here. We usually get a ton of independent comic requests from different artists, writers, and fans. Unfortunately, we don’t have the time to review all of these comics in a podcast format. As those who listen to the show already know, it’s hard enough for all of us to get together and review. So we decided to go down the written route and try to do some reviews by hand. In this first installment, we will be taking a look at issues one and two of, “Year of the Goat” by Tom Spellman. Rafael Chrestani is the penciler and inker and John Rudwall is the letterer and adds the red tones. This series is published by SpellBound Comics.
Let’s start with the covers – these are very cool and done very well. Your first initial reaction may be that these covers have a similarity to the Walking Dead in that they are very gritty and give the reader an idea that things aren’t all sunshine and rainbows once you open the book. At least, that was my initial reaction. I wasn’t sure what to expect in the first issue. Opening the issue, you will immediately take notice that this book is mostly in black and whites with some liberal use of reds. This gives the book its setting. Issues one and two are books with few words but that’s quite alright with the imagery and depictions being drawn. What this book does that others try to accomplish is being able to tell a story without having to use so many words.
We begin in the middle of nowhere, Arkansas. Something happens and we’re not exactly sure why but the goats start to transform into goat-people. They can now talk, walk, and kill. And they do a lot of the last skill. One thing is obvious: the goats want revenge on the humans and we see this in the first few pages when they take revenge on a farmer dehorning a kid (goat, not a child).
What I really liked and noticed about this book is that it carefully chooses when to use color. This isn’t something on accident, it brings attention to important points and I believe this was a smart choice on the creator’s behalf. We explore what some may consider a boring, Midwest town but are greeted with some harsh splashes of color when something big happens. There are some stereotypes in this book that are a little much but it doesn’t deter from the story.
In Issue Two, we see that this is happening all over the world. The book starts off in Russia where once again the goats reign terror on the people. We also begin to find out that these creatures are somewhat immortal, as a man tries to gun them down but their wounds heal at a Wolverine’s pace. As the world continues in chaos, we begin to take notice in one man who may have the answers to the questions we’re seeking. We find him back in the States, close to the Mexican border. We see him talking to some bar owners and we are brought to the end of the issue.
This series is not for the faint of heart. If you are easily offended, do not read this book. There are deaths of humans in some very detailed form but I would rather have you see it than me explain it for fear of spoilers. I will say this – death does not discriminate. One of the positives about this book is that Tom warns you on the cover of the first issue that this is for a mature audience. And this warning is spot on. In a world where we value our time, this book fits in nicely. The pictures do most of the telling and I found this to be a very fast read. While some may not be happy about this, I personally feel that if the art can tell the story then the book has succeeded.
Tom recently had success with his third Kickstarter campaign for Issue three of the same series and I’m now curious to see how the series will pan out. Each issue has a five dollar cover price and you get twenty eight pages for your money. You can find out more about the book at spellboundcomics.com.
Please, let us know how you liked this review! We’re going to try and start doing these more and more so that all of you can have something else to do while on our site. Thanks for reading!