I told Becky on Preview Night that I was very excited for her spotlight as I’d yet to hear her whole story. People are always talking about how hard it is for women to break into the industry and I speak on it a lot when speaking on our Womanthology panels as it is always a question on the plate.
With DC Comics newest run on the 52 the question became even louder and so as Becky Cloonan steps up to the helm of penning none other than the Caped Crusader himself, one has to pause for a second and appreciate just how freaking cool that is. (Honestly, I don’t care what sex you are, it’s just cool to draw Batman.)
As much attention as there is on Becky Cloonan being a leading lady in comics spending time with her to me has always been more like spending time with one of the boys. Her panel while full of quirky cute Cloonan charm felt very much the same. This wasn’t a spotlight on what it meant to be a woman in comics, but rather just what it meant to be in comics.
For Becky this meant starting out indie and small like so many others. She mentioned how there is always the feeling that you should never work for free but at the same time if she hadn’t joined Brian Wood in doing Demo for pretty much $8 a page she wouldn’t have broken out the way she did so it really has to be a personal choice.
Becky’s art has a unique style and tone that translates well into multiple genres due to its perfectly balanced feminine and masculine tones. Becky has drawn famous male archetypes from Dracula to Conan to of course her impending run with Batman. Another group of famous males to fall under Becky’s pen are none other than the unclassifiable rock band My Chemical Romance, by way of Gerard Way’s upcoming collaboration with long time friend Shaun Simon: “The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys” via their alternate “Killjoy” personas. (Expect more coverage on this upcoming Dark Horse Comics title as it develops as well as something special at NYCC.)
Cloonan also had been set to helm up “Teen Doom” which after how much I’d enjoyed her work in rooming Prince Namor with Doc Doom even for just a scene, I was pretty stoked for. Unfortunately the project was scrapped and shows no sign of coming back to light.
So what is next for Becky besides Batman and Gerard and Simon’s impending mature readers badassery? Becky Cloonan is stepping back into the DIY world and plans to self-publish more indie works. The reason for this being a simple one, Cloonan wants to write as well as draw. Given her success with The Mire and Wolves this should be a very excellent experience for her and and her readers.
I really enjoyed this spotlight as a creator. Becky and I’s paths have started very similarly and listening to her story gives me a distinct faith that while I may definitely have another decade or so to go, I’m currently right where I need to be. Working hard, and doing it for myself. That said if an indie creator can land anywhere near where all of Cloonan’s hard work have gotten her, one should feel pretty damn proud of themselves. Becky Cloonan built an empire her own way, and that means no one can ever take it from her.
That said, keep up the great work! Your fans can’t wait to read it. -N