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A brief chat with Becky Cloonan


Comic book creator Becky Cloonan carved out a little piece of history for herself recently when she became the first female to draw Batman for the main Batman title. Her work on American Virgin and Gotham Academy for DC has been lauded from all sides, and we can celebrate the fact that she’s going to be at Denver Comic Con this weekend.

Yellow Scene: When did you get interested in comic books, and when did you start creating them?

Becky Cloonan: The first comic I had read to me was a Silver Surfer from like 1988. My dad was really into the Silver Surfer, so that was my first experience of comics. I think I got interested in comics because I was never able to pick up whole stories in sequential order, so I always ended up making up what was happening between issue five and issue 10, or whatever. From the very beginning, it sparked my imagination. The first things I remember drawing were all comics.

YS: Your work on American Virgin for DC/Vertigo was beautiful – is that what led you to be the first female to work on the main Batman title? That’s huge…

BC: It’s weird – I’m the first woman to draw Batman on the main Batman title, but there have been other women to draw Batman elsewhere. I don’t know, I met Scott Snyder in London after a convention. We were at a bar, and he said, “One day I’d love to work with you.” I said, “Yes, of course.” It was the next week when he emailed me and said, “Can you fill in on the next Batman issue?” My gut reaction was to say no, because I had to move that month and then I had a convention. I wasn’t even in the US time zone. I was told by a friend that I have to do it. You can’t say no to Batman. I didn’t realize that I would be the first woman to draw on Batman. That only came out afterwards on the internet. No pressure, right?

YS: Have you been to Denver Comic Con before?

BC: No, I haven’t. I’ve always wanted to. I have a lot of friends out there, and I print many comics. The printers that I use, P&L Printing, are out of Denver. It’ll be cool to go and check out the shop, and meet those guys.

YS: What will you be doing there?

BC: I will be signing, and definitely drawing at the event. I’ll be there to answer questions, sketch for people and stuff.

YS: When the event’s done, what’s next?

BC: I’m doing Special Edition New York [comic con] after that, and then I’m going to San Francisco after that. I’ve got a big summer of work ahead. More work, more writing, more art. I’m looking forward to spending the summer in-work, at my desk.

Becky Cloonan is at Denver Comic Con; May 23-25; denvercomiccon.com.


Brett Calwood
Brett Callwood is an English journalist, copy writer, editor and author, currently living and working in Los Angeles. He is the music editor with the LA Weekly. He was previously a reporter at the Longmont Times-Call and Daily Camera, the music editor at the Detroit Metro Times and editor-in-chief at Yellow Scene magazine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brett_Callwood

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