Return of ‘The Goon:’ An Interview With Eric Powell

After pretty sporadic publication throughout 2010, Eric Powell’s hillbilly horror swamp comedy/drama The Goon is returning to Dark Horse starting in June. Powell has, of course, been keeping busy between two-fisted adventures of tough guys wrecking swamp monsters, but some of us have been missing his most famous creation.

Powell talked to MTV Geek recently about the return of the book, what he’s been up to, and provides a (mini) update on the status of the much-anticipated movie.

MTV Geek: So where’ve you (and The Goon) been, man?

Eric Powell: Well, I was working on the Goon screenplay, my self published all ages book Chimichanga, Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities, The Buzzard mini-series, and Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters.

Geek: Now that you’re back at it, what’s the overall plan for The Goon? It felt like a lot of last year was about clearing out the decks.

EP: Yep, I don’t want The Goon to ever get stagnant. I try to change up the tone so no one knows what to expect. That’s definitely the plan for the next few issues. Between Chinatown and the monthly run of “The Return of Labrazio” the book took on a more serious somber tone. I feel like doing some crazier stuff now.

Geek: You’ve mentioned in the past that you’re taking the Mignola route with your book, focusing on one universe. Will that ever mean bringing in other creators to expand the world of the Goon?

EP: I doubt it. When I mentioned Mignola, I believe I actually mentioned Mignola and Jeff Smith, [and] I was referring to maintaining focus on one project in order to build it’s momentum. I’ve succeeded at that. Now I just have to maintain it! Mike has spread his characters out successfully to build his own little universe. I don’t think that’s the way for me to go. I don’t want The Goon to have a universe.

Geek: What kind of schedule are you planning for the return of the book?

EP: We’re going back to the original bi-monthly schedule.

Geek: Chinatown was, for me, the most incisive look at the character and how his mind works. When can we expect more looks at Goon’s past?

EP: I have a fun story planned in the next few issues about his teenage years. But that’s all I can tell you.

Geek: Along the same lines, any plans for more spin-offs like last year’s Buzzard story?

EP: Nope. Buzzard needed some closure. That’s why he got a mini-series. I might return to him, but nobody else needs their own book. Sometimes a supporting character is best used as a supporting character.

Geek: Thirteen years on since the series’ debut at Avatar, how do you think the book and character have changed and likewise has anything changed about what you want as a creator from the book?

EP: Man! Has it changed. Dark Horse just opened their digital store and I downloaded some of the early Goon issues. VERY clunky! I’ve gotten much better as an artist and storyteller. I still suck. Just not as much. I kind of cringe at everything I do but I’m coming to realize you have to let it go. People grow with their experience and the readers understand that. Being that self deprecating may seem unhealthy but I think its a very healthy attitude to have about your own work. If you think everything you do is amazing, you’re never gonna grow.

Geek: What else are you working on now?

EP: The Goon is first and foremost. Writing the Godzilla series [for IDW], a new Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities series, Some Chimichanga stuff. Oh, and a story for Dark Horse Presents. I also play weddings and bar mitzvahs.

Geek: Final question: anything you can tell us about the long-in-development-and-much-anticipated film?

EP: We need money. Everything’s ready to go. Just need somebody to sign a check.

The Goon will be returning to shelves on June 29th.

Related Posts:
Dark Horse Digital Store Opens April 27th!
Dark Horse’s Mike Richardson Talks ’Dark Horse Presents’…And The Return Of A Familiar Face

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