After reviewing the amazing first issue of Blood & Gourd, the creators (whom I had the pleasure of meeting at Cherry City Comic Con) agreed to sit down and submit themselves to some of my ridiculous questions regarding their beautiful comic! Remember, you can keep an eye on what they’re doing on their FACEBOOK page, by following their TWITTER, and checking out their WEBSITE.
KC: First, tell me about yourselves! What do you do and how are you related to Blood & Gourd?
Jenz: Like most indie creators, we do what we can to keep the wheels on and the party going. Writing, editing, marketing, etc. We try to make the art team’s job as enjoyable as possible. We get lots and lots of feedback from everyone involved. Collaboration is very important to us.
DH: We have lots and lots of help from a ton of people in all facets of the series.
KC: What inspired you to make Olympia, WA the home of this insane story?
Jenz: Olympia is a great town to set a story in. Plus, it was where we were living at the time we started writing it; and we follow that old mantra: “write what you know”.
DH: And hey, listen, we thought it was unfair how New York and L.A. got all the monster attacks.
Jenz: We wanted to start something local, and we knew Olympia was capable of creating plenty of interesting characters and a whole lot of drama.
KC: Why pumpkins? Certainly there were other freshly-farmed goods that could have been considered. What made you guys settle on killer pumpkins?
Jenz: We just really love Halloween. Pumpkins are iconic, and it felt like a missed opportunity, so we nabbed it.
DH: Don’t forget, we really stick it to pumpkins once a year, every year. We go to a farm (or supermarket if you’re too busy) and spend ages picking out the right victim, then we take them home and rip their guts out, mutilate them with gory faces, put a lit candle in their desecrated husk so we can perfect our morbid display for the whole neighborhood.
Jenz: If pumpkins wanted some payback, you couldn’t really blame them for it. And, since our story takes place on the day before Halloween… they’d be everywhere!
KC: Did you guys choose a female lead (Kitty) intentionally, or did it just kind of happen?
DH: Kitty Henderson just wouldn’t go away. Kitty is one of those characters that, once the story really got going, she started taking on a life of her own and doing things that we didn’t expect. We loved the idea of writing a strong female lead- and have some really badass examples to pull from; both from our real lives and from the movies/comics realm.
Jenz: She’s become a very relatable character to everyone, and we couldn’t be happier about that.
KC: How did you get this particular team together to produce this wild ride of a comic?
Jenz: Blood & Gourd started as a screenplay. As the story progressed, we realized that there would be no conceivable way of giving it the crew or budget it needed. So, we decided to make a comic book, instead. It took a few years for everything to fall into place, but as soon as artist Dave Acosta (Swords of Sorrow: Vampirella & Jennifer Blood, Red Sonja, Chastity) jumped on board, many notable comic book professionals followed suit. Juan Albarran (Injustice: Year Four, Batgirl, Nightwing) agreed to ink, Fran Gamboa (Battlestar Galactica, Grimm Tales of Terror) and his amazing team agreed to color and letter, Juan Antonio Ramirez (Six Million Dollar Man) agreed to do the cover art, and The Gurch! (Gore Shriek) provided the art on the back. I think the team appreciated that we wanted to make something a little different.
KC: Tell me a little about the process – what was the journey from idea to publishing? Hit the highlights for me.
DH: We finished the script, decided to make it a comic book, and then spent a few years working with various artists to perfect the look and design of our characters and creatures. We succeeded with our second crowd-funding campaign, hired a team, and completed the book in March 2015.
Jenz: That’s the condensed version. The full story could be its own horror story. We were pretty green going in, and man…we had a lot to learn making this thing!
DH: Luckily, we had a talented team of comic book veterans and very supportive friends and family to help us along. We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it: It takes a village to make an indie comic book.
KC: How many issues are planned for the future, and where can people buy the first?
Jenz: We picture wrapping the entire thing up in a year or so. Working with so many talented artists, the ideas keep flowing. We have a very clear, first, second, and third act, though. No fears there.
DH: Right now you can order a print copy from deadpeasant.net or bloodandgourd.com. The book is also available at most comic book shops around Washington and Oregon. We’re currently working on wider distribution.
KC: What are the plans for getting out a second issue?
Jenz: We’re aiming for an October 2015 release. Issue #2 is going to be an even wilder ride than the first!
DH: Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to stay informed!
KC: If you both had to choose a favorite panel out of the 1st issue, which would it be and why?
Jenz: So much love and attention went into each one, but I’d say the impaling by pitchfork panel is my favorite. It’s also an example of our main artist, Dave Acosta, going off script a bit, and the comic being that much better because of it. It’s important to let your artists be artists.
DH: I love the expression on his face that can be seen even behind the dark glasses. The color tones on his skin and that bold background say quite a bit. Originally, the idea was for his glasses to show a reflection of the little girl and the pumpkin. The art team insisted that the glasses should cast no reflection and be these dark ominous holes that reflect nothing. Um…they were very right about that.
KC: Can you guys go to a pumpkin patch and ever look at it the same way again? I don’t know if I can.
DH: Being a part of this project has changed my whole experience of Halloween, which says a lot as I have always loved Halloween.
Jenz: The pumpkin patch is only the beginning…
There you have it folks, everything you could have wanted to know about the first issue of Blood & Gourd. If you’ve already bought the first issue and are wondering about the second, look no further. I have it on good authority that you’ll get a chance to participate in the creation of the second issue in the near future. So hold onto to your hats and pumpkin carvers, it is going to be a wild ride.