“Comics should have a lot wider audience than it has. I sponsor a roller derby, and that’s a crowd where the people who are into it are rockabilly-ish, tattooed punks who love roller derby. These are the people who should be reading comics and who would know there are a lot of different types of comics out there. And not as many of them read comics as you’d think.
“There are these weird little subcultures that are artsy and not about the mainstream, and I think that’s the perfect kind of crowd to be reading ‘Goon’ comics.”
Of course, what would expand that crowd of readers even more would be a movie adaptation of the character, and Powell promised that his deal with director David Fincher and CG animation specialists Blur Studios was moving forward strongly. “I just finished writing the script a few months back, and Blur is working on a lot of test stuff. Fincher is working on a film right now, so we’re waiting for him to get some space so we can start showing some of this stuff off. I’m pretty happy with everything so far. We’ve just got to work to get to the next point. This is a slow, long process.”
While he couldn’t confirm whether or not Fincher would direct the final product or be credited as a producer, Powell said, “David’s going to be heavily involved. I’ve worked with him and Blur quite a bit to get the screenplay together, and it’s been a great experience so far.” He added that this specific deal is keeping him much more involved with the screen life of his property than many other comic creators have gotten.
“I think it’s a choice where, if you’re getting a giant paycheck from a major studio to adapt your book and get Brad Pitt as the lead or whatever, then they kind of take it away from you because they’ve invested so much. But when you’re doing something that’s more about the material and less about a big event, they give you the opportunity to be more involved. And that’s your choice,” Powell said. “Some guys are like, ‘Just give me the check and you do what you want with it.’ But I’ve worked so long on ‘The Goon’ and I’m not creating a new book every month. I’m kind of using the Mike Mignola/Jeff Smith approach where you get your book out there and maintain it. I’ve got a lot invested in this on character, so I wanted to be involved. And they were eager to have me involved, so it worked out very well.”
And control reigns supreme with December’s “Chimichanga” series, which Powell decided to self-publish as an exercise in expanding his creative platforms. “It’s definitely in tone and sensibility a complete departure from ‘The Goon'” he explained. “However, it has the feel of one of my comics. When you read this, it’ll have that feel of an Eric Powell comic – the atmosphere a Goon story has and the same rhythms to the dialogue. Other than that, it’s a pretty strong departure.”
While the story revolves around a bearded girl and her cohorts in a strange circus, Powell shied away from directly labeling it a “children’s comic” because “I’m not necessarily writing Chimichanga for kids. It’s kid-safe. You could definitely share it with a kid, but adults will enjoy it just as much. That’s the key. If you try to do something ‘for a kid,’ then you’re doomed. If you do something for yourself that you enjoy, the kid will most likely enjoy it too.”
As for his ongoing plans for “The Goon,” Powell promised more stories through 2010 as the book returns to a bi-monthly schedule. “I’m still going along with the idea I had in the beginning, which is me taking it wherever I wanted to take it. I wanted to keep it kind of random and unpredictable. It’s a ‘whatever I feel like doing at the time’ kind of book. I don’t limit myself because of any issues I’ve done previously. I have bigger story lines I want to do for ‘The Goon,’ but I want to continue with some of the self-contained stories I did earlier on and keep a sense of unpredictability and fun… stuff that pushes the comic in weird ways and what you can do with the medium.
“There’s going to be more Goon stuff and not just ‘The Goon,’ but there’s going to be more kind of ‘Goon Universe’ stuff going on in this next year. I hate using that because it makes it sound like a superhero comic, but Goon-related material will be coming out and should be pretty fun.”
“The Goon” #33 hit stands November 25 from Dark Horse.