Kate Wheeler's Goat Magic Graphic Novel, From Tweet To Publication

Goat Magic is a graphic novel by Washington Post and The Nib cartoonist Kate Wheeler, pitched for fans of Wolfwalkers and Mooncakes, about two girls on an adventure—one a reluctant goatherd, the other a goat who happens to be an enchanted princess—and how their friendship blossoms into something more amid treachery against the throne.

Trill is a young herder with a gift for goat magic (the ability to heal and communicate with the animals). She's headed over the mountains to market, her first solo journey. Trill is tired of feeling like her life is decided for her by her magic and her upbringing: she's ready to strike out on her own. Her plan becomes much more complicated one moonlit night when she finds princess-turned-goat, Hermine. The Queen has recently died, and anxious Hermine dreads taking up her crown, feeling unprepared to become ruler. She wasn't prepared at all however, for her Uncle, a powerful sorcerer, to transform her into a goat in hopes of becoming King himself. When she meets Trill in the forest, she recognizes she'll need her help to get her crown back and prove herself to her people. Together, they'll begin a journey that will challenge both of them to become their own heroes, and Trill will find that her lowly goat magic might just be enough to save an entire kingdom.

In January 2021, Kate Wheeler tweeted out "Just drawing what I love: comics and goats that are large enough to ride" adding "Love a bb goat scream" and then "Some goat saddle details" in February, before telling the world in March, "HEY! I created a page for my YA graphic novel. It's called Goat Magic, and if you know an agent who'd be interested, maybe send it their way? Also just putting this here for general praise and interest. We create in a bubble too often!"

At the end of the month, she tweeted "Was saying to a friend last night how much joy I feel working on Goat Magic right now and how much I would love someone to pay me to draw the whole dang thing. Currently in the market for an agent, so if you know of any interested in middle grade/YA fantasy/goats …" In May she was moving ahead, tweeting "I'll be sending out Goat Magic to publishers real soon here and I'm interested in what to expect… Though it sounds highly variable, I just can't imagine dedicating the next two years of my life to a project & only getting paid $150 per page." We didn't hear much since until now.

 

Because Grace Scheipeter at Oni Press has just bought the graphic novel Goat Magic to be published in the spring of 2025. Kate Wheeler's agent, who she clearly signed up to. Jennifer Mattson at Andrea Brown Literary Agency sold North American English rights to Oni Press.

Kate Wheeler is a cartoonist based in Rome, originally from Seattle. Her illustrations and comics have been featured in Shameless Magazine, Bravery Magazine, The America Library Association Magazine, Real Change and many other publications. Kate is currently working on a few graphic novels for middle grade audiences including  Team Trash And The Time Bot: A Time Traveler's Guide To Sustainability which comes out next summer through Holiday House.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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