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Life's hard when you’re a big, ugly mug of man who looks
like he can take a hit to the head. It's even harder when the thugs who want to
beat you up are zombies, robots, and man-eating hobos. Welcome to the life of THE
GOON, where every day you need watch your back or you'll be getting a knife to
the eye. It's a world of monsters, men, and booze, where horror and hilarity
clash like titans.
THE GOON is the brain-child of Eric Powell, the man who both
writes and illustrates this creator-owned comic. He is as talented as he is
funny and has lent to both his own endeavors and industry giants Marvel and DC,
making splashes where ever he goes. Though still considered an “indie” artist,
Powell has grabbed many an award for his unique work and continues to delight
and gross out readers of all demographics.
Fango grabbed a few moments of Powell's time and ask him
some very important, burning questions.
FANGORIA: How do you feel about THE GOON these days, after
claiming some coveted Eisner awards for making such an awesome comic?
ERIC POWELL: Ha! Yes, let me tell you how awesome my book
is! I still have a hard time understanding why people like it. I thought this
stuff just amused me. I guess it stands out a little because there isn't much
like it out there in comic shops, right now. I don’t know. The poop jokes?
FANG: Your work, THE GOON included, plays with a lot of
elements of horror, noir, comedy, sci-fi, circus folk, everything a misanthrope
could dream of. Even you art style plays off of the old circus advertisements
circa 1890s. It's a very specific atmosphere. How did you choose this
particular mix of elements? Is there anything that inspires you to create the
way you do?
POWELL: I don't know. I think I just throw all the visual
styles I like in a blender and that's what comes out. I don't even
intentionally mean to do so many sideshow kinds of stories, but somehow that's
how it happened. It was no conscious decision that my three creator-owned
books—GOON, BILLY THE KID’S OLD TIMEY ODDITIES & CHIMICHANGA—all have
FANG: Though rumors of THE GOON movie have been floating
around the internet for years, just recently, we have seen a some solid
confirmation about it possibly happening, especially with the launch of your
Kickstarter account. Why did you decide to go the Kickstarter route? What can
you tell us about the movie?
POWELL: Well, it came about strictly by fan demand. I was
getting flooded by requests from fans to crowd fund the film when Hollywood
wasn't stepping up to the plate. It was unrealistic to fund the entire film
over Kickstarter, but the guys at Blur came up with the idea of funding the
story reel. Basically a very rough version of the entire film so we can show
off what the finished product might be like. The fans showed up big to say the
least. Our goal was $400k and we raised $441k.
FANG: THE GOON has been shuffled around from Avatar Press to
your own Albatross Exploding Funny Books to Dark Horse comics, where it seems
to have finally found a home. What happened between those times that almost
left THE GOON homeless?
POWELL: Well, I had quality control differences with the
first publisher, so I self-published when no one else would step up to do the
book. Luckily Dark Horse saw a couple of the books and stepped up. Self-publishing
is a lot of work that has nothing to do with making the book. I was happy to
move to a great company like Dark Horse.
FANG: Is there a possibility of seeing Albatross Exploding
Funny Books making a comeback, perhaps creating its own line?
POWELL: If I win the lottery!
FANG: Your site, The Goon, also has a link to an Ebay of
original Goon products. Tell us about that. Is there anything that the profits
go to or is just for fans to grab a bit of Goon gold?
POWELL: I sell original art and prints on there to
supplement my income. Contrary to popular belief, comic artists don't make a ton
of money. Especially creator-owned artists. I make a comfortable living, but I
have to supplement it with art sales.
FANG: There is also a hilarious GOON/METALOCALYPSE crossover
that is a must read for any fan of either franchise. How did that happen?
POWELL: I was a fan of the show and thought it would be a
hilariously weird crossover. Ironically I was talking to someone at Cartoon
Network about a different project and he put me in touch with those guys.
FANG: On top of the work you have done for Dark Horse
comics, you have also spread your creative wings and worked for Marvel, DC, and
even Mad Magazine. Is there any company you really liked working for? Do you
have any more coming our way?
POWELL: I liked working for all of them. They were good,
professional companies. DC seemed to offer me better projects, though. Right
now it's all GOON all the time, though.
FANG: There has been a huge rise recently in getting indie
writers and artist working on major Marvel and DC titles, like you and Steve
Niles. Why do you think there is such an interest in getting these guys to work
characters like BATMAN and THE AVENGERS?
POWELL: I think it's the same thing as seeing an actor who
makes a splash on an indie film later popping up in a Hollywood blockbuster.
They see some talent and you get some name recognition and you get offered
FANG: Tell us a fun fact! We love fun facts.
POWELL: My grandad died performing on the Grand Ole Opry
stage. You are FANGORIA. I thought I'd end on something morbid.
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