In 2007 Tarol Hunt was working a desk job and not loving life. He had a dream to be a comic book artist full time. He went out and pursued that dream and ten years later we have the genius of Goblins Comic for all to see.
In 2012 Matt King began pestering Tarol about creating an animated version of Goblins, bringing the violence, hilarity and touching comic to the screen.
In 2016 the inimitable Phil LaMarr got on board and the whole endeavor took off.
With the assistance of Tarol’s secret weapon, Danielle Stephens, the team has launched an Indiegogo campaign to produce a fully animated 5 minute Goblins mega trailer to introduce the characters to a larger audience and stay true to to the tone, humor, depth and quality of the comic.
Tarol, Matt and Phil took some time to discuss the project with FOG!
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FOG!: Tarol, for those unfamiliar with the property, tell me about Goblins.
Tarol Hunt: Goblins is the story of a D & D realm told from the point of view of the little guys, the “monsters,” that normally get slaughtered by low-level characters for a little bit of Experience Points (XP). In our story the Goblins change the rules and form an adventuring party of their own. The group normally considered evil and weak gets to be the heroes. It’s sort of like Smurfs meets Game of Thrones.
Matt, how did you discover Goblins and who’s idea was it to turn it into an animated project?
Matt King: I met Tarol about 10 years ago through a show I used to do, GeeksOn. I started reading the comic and fell in love with it. For about the last 5 years I’ve been trying to convince Tarol to turn Goblins into an animated series and finally he agreed.
All three of you are producers on the project. Tell me a bit about the crowdfunding campaign.
Matt: The Indiegogo campaign is to raise the funds for a 5 minute Mega-Trailer showing the best of Goblins.
Because Goblins is such a unique and FGBG (For Geeks, By Geeks) project, we want to make sure any investors, producers or studios we go to “get” it. We’ll show glimpses of the characters, the action the number and the style of animation we’re aiming for.
We can tell them about its popularity (60,000 unique hits to the site daily at its peak) and the passionate fan base but we think the best way to stay true to the tone of the comic is to let them see what makes it great.
Phil and Matt, both of you have extensive credits as voice artists. Matt, you are the creator/writer/director of The World of Steam. Phil, audiences also know you from Mad TV and countless tv and film appearances. What challenges have you had thus far as producers and who are some of your friends that are participating in the project?
Phil LaMarr: The biggest challenge has been the greatly increased level of responsibility, which Matt is more used to than me. As actors, we come in, we give it our all, then we can let it go. As producers, once you finish writing, then you start budgeting, then you crowd fund, after that we’ll start pre-production – your job never ends.
But fortunately, when your job is creating a vehicle for Billy West, Tara Strong, Steve Blum, Jennifer Hale, Maurice LaMarche and Matthew Mercer to tell Tarol’s story, you kind of don’t mind when it doesn’t end. We think it’s a fantastic marriage of talent and material. And we actually have a few more amazing people who have agreed to be part of Goblins Animated who we will announce when the time is right.
Matt: As Ron Howard said, (and I’m paraphrasing), “there is no creative endeavor that does not break you and make you at the same time.”
Goblins has been amazing front to back, despite the challenges of production and budgeting and really learning the functional ins and outs of a different aspect of animation than I have ever explored.
However, every time that I’ve felt like the challenges were too much, Phil, Dani, or Tarol has been there picking up the other end of the proverbial table and making this thing happen. I’m impressed with this team every day, and especially of the amazing depths of my co-creators.
Tarol, what’s it been like for you to see the animatics and hear the characters come to life?
Tarol: It’s really exciting to see the characters come to life. I’m surprised at how quickly those voices are becoming the default in my own mind. When I read/write these characters now, I actually “hear” their dialogue in those voices. It’s a welcomed evolution to the mythos but one, I suspect, that can’t be undone.
In addition to the Indiegogo, what else do you all have coming up?
Phil: Well, the Goblins campaign is taking up most of my time and energy these days but I’m very excited about The Jellies, running now on Adult Swim and my recurring role on Paramount TV’s reimagining of Heathers. It has one of the darkest scenes I’ve ever been part of – and I got my brains splattered all over Sam Jackson and John Travolta.
Matt: The World of Steam has been my baby for 6 years now and started as it’s own crowdfunding campaign. It’s been an incredibly long haul that’s taught me way more than I ever thought about producing, writing and directing. This year we are finaling the over 200 CGI shots of the original webseries, and now have The Jim Henson Company and John Hyde as Executive Producer partnering with us to bring The World of Steam to TV.
What are you currently geeking out over?
Matt: I’m geeking out over Stranger Things, Starstuff by Ira Heinichen, which is a fantastic new book, as well as turning my kids into Star Wars nerds.
I’ve been hugely focused on Goblins Animated and The World of Steam which means I haven’t had as much time to geek around in other people’s worlds as I would normally like because I’ve been spending so much time in Tarol’s, Phil’s and my own.
I’m also geeking out over the “bigatures” in the new Blade Runner. They blow my geeky mind.
Phil: I’ve been into Greg Rucka’s Lazarus for a while now and more recently I’ve been loving Crosswinds by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs
To support the Goblins Animated Indiegogo Campaign, Click HERE