Two “Goon” tales his the iPhone comics world today: The celebrated graphic novel “Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr. Wicker” and the special one-shot story “The Goon” #7, featuring Hellboy. Later this year, Powell will return to the universe he created with a new, three-issue miniseries based on one of his most tragic characters, the mysterious Buzzard, and eventually follow that up with a return to regular creative duties on “The Goon” comic book series.
MTV News caught up with Powell to chat about The Goon’s debut on the iPhone, and what else he has planned for the Goon when the regular series returns.
MTV: “The Goon”… on the iPhone. This is… unexpected.
ERIC POWELL: [Laughs] It’s interesting. I have two things I’ve purchased that I think are the greatest, most amazing inventions ever — one is my GPS and one is my iPhone. I’m not a tech guy, but it’s going to be cool to have a “Goon” app.
MTV: I would love that — and maybe a Frankie soundboard? Are you looking beyond the “Goon” comics to any other areas of mobile phone tech? As it is, I’m staring at a “Goon” MacBook skin right as I talk to you here…
POWELL: I definitely want to explore all the options with “The Goon.” I think that’s what everybody wants to do with their creations, but I kind of put all my eggs in one basket with the “The Goon.” I’m not creating 30 different titles or publishing a lot of books and hoping that I can strike fire a couple of times. … I use [“Bone” creator] Jeff Smith and [“Hellboy” creator] Mike Mignola as that model. I devote all my attention to making this one thing as big as possible.
MTV: So after the iPhone comics and your “Buzzard” miniseries, your return to the regular “Goon” series is imminent. After taking time out to work on “Chinatown,” then blazing through a full year of monthlies, then taking a little while to catch your breath, What’s going through your head as you consider writing “The Goon” regularly again?
POWELL: I’ve gotten to a point where I did the “Chinatown” graphic novel, which was a big goal for me because I always had that back story in my mind, and another big goal for me was the confrontation between the Goon and Labrazio, which we did in the monthly “Goon” year. So I crossed two big milestones in my goals for the character, so at this point I’m starting a new chapter.
I actually killed off a lot of the characters in the comic recently. I think things need to be refreshed once in a while. Let’s resolve some stuff and start something new, otherwise it gets redundant and boring.
MTV: So what are you planning for The Goon?
POWELL: We’re going to see some new characters and storylines that haven’t really been building… because we’re building them now.
If people remember, there was another priest that came into town and was a superior to the Zombie Priest and dressed like an Arab. He went to go look for some people, and he doesn’t really say who, so that’s going to play a part — he’s going to be bringing some new baddies into town for Goon to punch around.
MTV: When the time comes around to return to a regular “Goon” series, whats ort of schedule are you envisioning?
POWELL: Our original schedule was bimonthly, and that’s my goal to get back into. It’s a weird thing, because most comics rotate the creator lineup, but Dave [Stewart], the colorist, and I are virtually doing this all by ourselves. If I have stuff I have to work on, I have to step away from the book — and I don’t necessarily like it when other guys turn over their properties to other people to do.
MTV: Yeah, the list of people who have worked on The Goon is pretty short over the last 10 years…
POWELL: I kind of want to keep it that way. As a fan, I don’t like that. I’d prefer to not get the comic as much… I don’t want to see other people do “The Spirit,” I want to see Will Eisner do “The Spirit.”
“The Goon” #7 (free for three days) and “Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr. Wicker” ($1.99) are available today on iPhone. Keep it locked to Splash Page this week for more from Eric Powell about “The Goon” and an exclusive “Buzzard” preview!
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Official Press Release text follows:
ERIC POWELL’S EISNER-WINNING THE GOON RETURNS IN 2010!
THE GOON ARRIVES ON THE iPHONE THIS WEEK AND IS BACK IN PRINT WITH THE ALL-NEW BUZZARD MINISERIES THIS SUMMER
JANUARY 20, MILWAUKIE, OR—Fans and critics alike rejoiced in 2008, when creator Eric Powell took his redneck zombie noir, The Goon, monthly for an entire calendar year. Following the release of the landmark graphic novel Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr. Wicker, Powell laid out his most complex story line to date, spanning twelve issues. In 2009, the creator celebrated the tenth anniversary of the title, releasing a special anniversary issue to coincide with a burlesque anniversary party in his honor in Nashville, followed by a special all-silent issue in November. While both were strong standalone issues, the significantly lighter release schedule left fans wondering what’s next for the madcap mercenary.
Now, The Goon goes digital, as both Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr. Wicker and The Goon #7, which features Hellboy, are made available on the iPhone platform. Chinatown marks Powell’s first self-contained graphic novel, which chronicles the earliest adventures of Goon and his wisecracking sidekick, Franky. After a new figure in the crime scene begins taking out the Goon’s business operations one by one, the Goon’s darkest moment comes back to haunt him, when his mind and body were left scarred . . . and his heart was left black. This new platform promises to expose an all-new readership to comics’ most beloved brute.
Not to worry, however: longtime fans will be rewarded with an all-new spinoff title based around Goon Year’s most notable character, Buzzard. Eric Powell gives one of his most beloved and mysterious characters his own highly anticipated, three-issue miniseries.
Following his brutal showdown with the loathsome Zombie Priest, Buzzard leaves his home, wandering aimlessly until he steps into the shadowy spirit realm of the forest. A dark path leads him to a small village living in fear of a bestial race of savages. More animal than man, these creatures hunt the villagers and drag them from their slumber in the depth of night.
“Buzzard has always been a personal favorite of mine from the Goon cast, and from the amount of requests I’ve gotten to give him his own series, I imagine he’s a favorite of the readers as well,” said Goon creator Eric Powell. “I’m really excited to finally be giving him his own story, along with the revival of Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities!”
For those who missed Goon Year, Dark Horse will be giving this twelve-issue story line the deluxe treatment with the release of Fancy Pants Edition Volume 3: Goon Year on July seventh. Powell’s all-new Buzzard series will arrive on shelves later this fall.
Look for news forthcoming on the return of the Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities short stories—a revival of the series from 2005 that paired Eric Powell with artist Kyle Hotz. The three-issue series will launch later this year.
Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr. Wicker is available for download today in the iTunes store. For a limited time, this heart-wrenching story is available for the sale price of 1.99. In addition, the celebrated one-shot The Goon #7 is available for free download for the next three days.
For more information, visit www.darkhorse.com/features/mobile.
There has never been a better time to find out what you’ve been missing!