October sees a lot of Batman comics and “Gotham Academy” is one particularly good comic from DC Comics that you will want to check out. What is noteworthy about this one is it really strikes an authentic girl power chord. Every page rings true. You can thank the writing team of Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher. I recently interviewed Cloonan and, as you may know, she’s sure to deliver with girl street cred. Art by Karl Kerschl; Colors by GeyseR; and Cover artwork by Karl Kerschl. Everyone delivers the goods here.
Category Archives: Becky Cloonan
Becky Cloonan’s artwork is one of the most distinctive, energetic, and pleasing styles in comics. We chat here a bit about process. As a cartoonist myself, I appreciate the “controlled chaos” of laying down lines of ink on paper. For a casual reader, that means an expressive line with the marks hitting where you want them to hit. This fluidity only comes with practice. As a top professional, Cloonan can modulate that line as needed.
For some comparison, in “The Mire,” a work that Cloonan both wrote and drew, she turns up the volume a bit on her brush work. Another great artist who loves to play with process is Paul Pope. There are so many to name. And they all have tons of fans who appreciate that playful linework. If you’re new to comics, you will instinctively know what I mean. For her art in “The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys,” published by Dark Horse Comics, she provides a line that, as we say in comics, is more “clean.” There are flourishes too and an overall boldness. Cloonan goes on to offer that the clean line here serves the narrative as we navigate through various characters.
From the back of the newly released trade paperback to Killjoys:
Written by Gerard Way (The Umbrella Academy) and newcomer Shaun Simon and beautifully rendered by award-winning artist Becky Cloonan (Demo, Conana the Barbarian), The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys foretells a not-too-distant future where fear reigns and freedom fails.
You can find more details by visiting our friends at Dark Horse Comics right here.
Groucho Marx is the master of the non sequitur and few can come close to match him. Alan Alda, the star of the TV classic M*A*S*H, gave it a try as did Woody Allen. A non sequitur is a quip gone haywire where the joke is more in the telling than what’s said. It’s such an odd form of humor where the actual words don’t matter that much, like a jazz improvisation. That said, you’ll find plenty of non sequiturs in this comic. But, if you’re a fan of Gerard Way, you know what to expect and love it.
“The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys” is pretty lovable. But what’s love got to do with it? Ah, you see how easy it is to veer into non sequiturs? It’s fun, no doubt. There’s an internal logic at play as you bounce from one idea and then detour into another idea. The trick is not to let it get so messy that you lose your way, as in Gerard Way, ha, ha. And he holds his humor pretty well. You’ll find a lot of the nonsense coming from an ongoing narrator DJ on the radio. There’s method to the DJ’s madness. Amid the gibberish, he’s providing some colorful background information and stuff. And it’s not always ha-ha funny:
And it looks like our two minutes of morning static is almost up. This slaughter-matic mouth needs to hit the red before I end up DJ’ing for the dead.
So, yeah, not so much ha-ha funny, as off-kilter ironic funny.
A lot of this first issue is about filling in the background and it’s done with style and a lot of good chemistry between the writers, Gerard Way and Shaun Simon, and the artist, Becky Cloonan. Coming on the heels of a recent Comics Grinder look at some of Cloonan’s recent solo work, it is really nice to see her working with kindred spirits. Well, she always has, hasn’t she? But, with Gerard Way’s silliness and spontaneity leading the way, Becky Cloonan is an excellent match.
For all you who have been patiently waiting these last four years for more of the same comics goodness as “The Umbrella Academy,” you can feel confident about “The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys.” Once again we have My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way writing his little heart out. This time he’s accompanied by Shaun Simon and that appears to be working out rather well. And this time is the best time of all with artwork by Becky Cloonan. The thing is that Cloonan revels in improvisation as well. In this game of free association, the shape of a nose can heavily influence the pose of a cat reclining nearby. Why is that? Well, there is no explaining it other than to say it was meant to be.
As for the story, in all the fun, it can be sort of set to the side. We know, like Camelot, that for once there was such a glorious group as The Killjoys but now they are gone, or so it would appear. And, from the cover alone, you can see that a young girl plays a vital role in what happens next. But what happens next? Well, we know a few things that we’ll know a lot more about as we go. This is a strange world we are in. Post-Apocalyptic? Well, definitely post-something or other.
From all the riffing on this witty thing and that, we appreciate that kings and queens once ruled and those kings and queens were you and me but, for now, things are not nearly as much fun. Will The Killjoys somehow return and make matters right? Let’s hope so.
“The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys #1” is already out, pardner! It’s been out since July 12. But there’s a very, very, very good chance you can still pick up a copy, whether it’s a second or third printing, it’s all good. Visit our friends at Dark Horse Comics and raise some hell.
Becky Cloonan is a masterful cartoonist. She has a very loose and confident line that comes from years of love and practice of the comics medium. Ink gets in the blood and, like a painter, you’re always ready for your next chance to put brush to ink and paper. Becky Cloonan adds another short story to her Ink and Thunder presence at ComiXology Submit with, “The Demeter,” which runs 31 pages, and you can purchase for only 99 cents here. It is supposed to be the third and final book of a trilogy. While all three books under the Ink and Thunder umbrella are not related, they all share a similar spooky vibe.
Cloonan’s love of ink is infectious. She keeps creating opportunities to dive into that ink. Her artwork is gorgeous and her stories are platforms that allow that artwork to flourish.
That’s not to say that the stories aren’t compelling in themselves. Having read the three books she has with ComiXology, “Wolves,” “The Mire,” and now, “Demeter,” all three are very impressive, and even poetic, horror stories. Cloonan is a pro and she’s managed, over the years, to tap into some quality storytelling chops. She’s as good with words and she’s with artwork. “Demeter” runs very smoothly and naturally. At its heart, it’s a simple little story told with elegance and nicely paced. It’s a cautionary tale warning you to be careful about what you wish for.
Like Paul Pope, you get that unique view from one person as artist and writer. The words, the story itself, comes that much closer to the art compared to a team of artist and writer. That’s just how it is, no matter how closely a team works together. Only you know exactly how to scratch that itch. You can see it on the page.
“Demeter” is far and beyond well worth the price of admission. So, if you haven’t already, you definitely want to go ahead and get the other two books, similar in size and same price point. Just visit ComiXology here.
If you’re into comics, there’s a very good chance you’re a fan of Brian Wood. Here’s your chance to get the comic that started it all. Oh, yeah, you’d also most likely be a fan of Becky Cloonan too.
Watch for CHANNEL ZERO. The press release follows:
DARK HORSE COLLECTS CHANNEL ZERO!
THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION OF BRIAN WOOD’S FIRST SERIES!
December 12, MILWAUKIE, OR – Out of print and unavailable to readers for more than three years, Dark Horse Comics is giving new life to a critically acclaimed classic with the complete collection of Brian Wood’s Channel Zero!
DMZ and The Massive creator Brian Wood launched an all-out assault on the comics medium in 1997 with Channel Zero, an influential, forward-thinking series that combined art, politics, and graphic design in a unique way. Hitting on themes of freedom of expression, hacking, cutting-edge media manipulation, and police surveillance, it remains as relevant today as it did back then.
The Channel Zero collection contains the original series; the prequel graphic novel, Jennie One (illustrated by Becky Cloonan); the best of the two Public Domain design books; and almost fifteen years of extras, rarities, short stories, and unused art. Also featuring the now-classic Warren Ellis introduction and an all-new cover by Wood, this is the must-have edition. A blistering take on media control in a repressive future America!
“Channel Zero is literally the start of my comics career, the first proper comic I ever made, and as such as informed everything that’s come after it, especially DMZ and the upcoming THE MASSIVE.” Tells Brian Wood. “It also put me and Becky Cloonan together, helping build a creative partnership that has lasted a decade. This edition here is the definitive one, including everything worth printing, including a color section that includes the original covers to the single issues.”
Praise for Brian Wood & Channel Zero:
“Wood’s message is clear enough: apathy is the real enemy, and it is harder to fight than any totalitarian government.”—Wired
“It’s about anger as a positive force of creation…Someone’s remembered what comics are for. Meet Brian Wood.”—Warren Ellis, award-winning writer of Planetary
“Dramatic Black and White visuals…Controlled sense of rhythm.” — I.D. magazine
“Your handbook for the media revolution.”—Eyeball magazine
“Strangely prescient… lucid and sharp” – Matt Fraction
“A seemingly endless barrage of powerful art” – Newtype USA
“Fascinating… this is a paranoid future Grant Morrison could not conceive of” – Comics International
The Channel Zero Collection is on sale May 30th, 2012!