Becky Cloonan is one of those talents whose art you can pick out, and whose writing will demand that you pay attention to. During GalaxyCon in Richmond, VA Comic-Watch was fortunate enough to sit down with Becky and talk about everything from her roots, and her current projects.
Comic-Watch: Thank you, Becky, for taking the time for talking with Comic-Watch.com
Becky Cloonan: Of course!
CW: Is this your first time in Richmond and how are you enjoying the con so far?
BC: No, I used to live here, around 2004 maybe? It felt like I got out, but I should’ve stayed longer. I quit my job in New York, had no money, but I had friends that lived here, it’s such a cool little town, lots of punk rock, great food, a great wrestling scene. When I got a job with Vertigo, and I got enough money to move back to New York, cause I missed my life in New York you know. Richmond is so cool, I always thought, what if I had stayed, you know? I felt like I left like before my time was up you know? You gotta leave a party before it gets good you know.
CW: You did some work for Clutch and Leftover Crack, how did you come to do art for a band like Leftover Crack, and do you find what you’re listening to may direct your art?
BC: I used to hang out at C-Squat, I had a mohawk, I was young, going to punk shows, and going to the anti-war protests and stuff like that. Back then I was more vocal about issues, I still have my strong opinions on things but I’m more in my head nowadays. I was always going to punk and hardcore shows, while I was drawing comics and Scott from Leftover Crack one year, was like “we’re going on tour and we need a banner, can you draw us a banner, can you help us out” and I was like f*ck yeah I can help you out. I ended up doing flyers for them. These days its silk-screened posters, back in the day it was flyers, you draw something up, copy it a bunch of times and put it up all over town; it was fun.
CW: What inspired you to get into art, and was there always a fascination with it?
BC: I don’t know. It was of those things like, I was lucky enough to know what I wanted to do at a very young age, I was stubborn enough to do this thing that I wanted to do. At a very young age my dad told me “always stick to your guns, and if someone tells you that you can’t do something don’t listen to them”. When I told him I wanted to go to art school and he said no, I reminded him that he always said don’t listen to people who tell what you can’t do, and I’m telling you no, this is what I want to do. So after a few years of art school, I ended up dropping out, and once again people were saying that I can’t leave school and that I needed to get a degree, and my response was you can’t tell me what to do. I don’t think I was more gifted at art at my age, I just liked what I did. Maybe you don’t excel at it, but you like doing it so much that you just keep practicing and you get better at it.
CW: With your extensive resume, what is that one mantelpiece that describes Becky Cloonan?
BC: It would have to be By Chance or Providence, which is a collection of 3 short stories, we just did a fourth one, which is not included, but it goes with it. They’re small folklore spooky, fairytale type stories. If not that, then I would say it might be Gotham Academy then. Its very Harry Potter, Nancy Drew, Scooby-Doo. It was inspired by people I grew up with and working with Karl Kerschl, and Brandon Fletcher was like working with great friends. Every time I see the Gotham Academy books, I’m reminded of those great times we had working on the book. By Chance or Providence was great but it was just me, alone with the characters I love. It’s very tragic like “we love each other and we can’t be together because we’re cursed”, I really love that type of stuff. The fun of working with your friends on a big 2 book was great. It’s not often when you get to work with your friends on something like that.
CW: A quick fan question that was emailed in. With Doom Patrol Weight of the Worlds #1, why did DC not just continue with Doom Patrol #13
BC: I don’t know. DC is always doing that type of thing. The kids that are reading our books don’t get the numbering thing, ya know. DC always wants a new number 1 because they think that it’ll make people pick it up again. I also think that with Gotham Academy, it was a new semester, and I get that. This was a smart place to do it. With Doom Patrol, it was starting something new, fresh idea, and you want to restart it, but…if was up to me the numbers would just go on. The issues don’t live forever, the characters do.
CW: Are there any projects in the works that you can tell us about without spoiling too much?
BC: Right now I’m doing Dark Agnes with Luca Pizzari on art, issue two comes out in about 2 weeks. This book has been a lot of fun to work on, similar to Punisher. So come on over, its been really fun working on it. I really want to re-fresh the story without getting too far away from the original Robert E. Howard story from the 30’s. This book has been fun to work on.
CW: Well, Becky thank you so much for taking the time to talk with Comic-Watch, the pleasure has been ours.
BC: Thank you so much!
From Batman to Providence: An Interview with Becky Cloonan
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