Comics Creators

Wednesday Fan-Chat #9 - Becky Cloonan


Hell, yes. It’s the Becky Cloonan live-chat and it’s happening this Wednesday at 5pm New York time. Sign in now so your account is processed and you can join in the big group discussion. Mods, please keep this thread closed until just before the chat.

A link to last week’s chat with Rick Remender, all the other chats accessed through the link at the top:



Please reserve this thread for questions for our guest, Becky Cloonan. Thank you.


@beckycloonan - I will likely be in the comic shop when this starts. So I thought I would post my question early. I love your Ink and Thunder stand alone stories. I feel like they are the purest form of your work as a writer and artist. Are there any further installments currently planned?


Becky, most of your work I know of seems to have you on writer and artist duties. What are the differences when you are drawing something from someone else’s script? I was wondering if you find it more restrictive and if it was more structured than working from your own script.


This thread has already served a purpose because I loved The Mire and then forgot to get the other two so just bought them on Comixology :smile:


I created an account just for this, so I’m afraid I may be screwing up here.

Posting questions now as I’m Aussie, so at 6:30am I may not be awake … but more than likely half-asleep and on caffeine with a twitch in my eye.

  1. Recently I heard through an acquaintance about a local creator and their dealings with Tokyopop. From what I gathered, they gained no money what-so-ever on their comics published in the ye-old ‘Rising Stars’ days. I understand that you may be contractually bound not to say anything, but it is worth asking I think. Were they as nasty as I was told?

  2. Okay, this is slightly more personal, but I struggle as a visual person to conceive pages as text descriptions. I always have to doodle thumbnails to get the comic thoughts/ page designs right in my head THEN I can write it down. I think I remembered in an interview, you said that you can now ‘think in words’ or something similar. Is there any tricks you can recommend? (You’re going to say practice. I just know it.)

  3. Do you still use pen and inks? I just love your inking style and I’ve been trying to get inks to look right digitally, and been failing miserably. If you do it digitally, do you recommend anything? If not, may I also ask what scanner you use for scanning?

Sorry if any question(s) are inappropriate.


Thank you for doing this Becky. Southern Cross is my favorite book on the stands right now.

What is the experience of writing for an artist who has a fairly similar style to your own on this book? Or do you not think it is very similar?



Hey Ronnie! Thanks :smiley: I love doing the short stories, in a lot of ways I think that’s where my heart is. I have 2 more stories planned for sure, and some other fun stuff up my sleeve. It probably won’t happen until next year, but I do think that’s what I want to be doing in the future. When I was working on them I was worried they were too weird, or too poetic or something haha, but i was so psyched and happy that people really responded to them!


Every working relationship I’ve had has been different, but I’ve been lucky to work with some amazing writers!! Working with a writer I’m always being pushed to draw and think in ways I normally wouldn’t-- writing for myself I have to remember to do the same, but I have more freedom when it comes to experimenting, storytelling… and of course I’d never make myself draw anything I don’t want to (like modern cars, they all look like bars of soap with wheels)


Part 2 to that question- Likewise, writing for artists I try to write to their strengths. The scripts I write for Gotham Academy look a lot different than the scripts I do for Southern Cross, because Karl and Andy both draw so differently. And because I’m familiar with that, I can taylor my scripts to fit the way they approach them.


Haha, hope you like them :blush:


@beckycloonan - I’m pretty sure I discovered your work through Killjoys. What was it like working on a property so integrally connected to another medium?


Hello Australia! I’ll be over your way in late August in Mackay for Sugar City Con! Let’s go through these one by one.

  1. My editor at Tokyopop, Tim Beedle, was amazing! He works at DC now, so that’s rad! My book was also nominated for an Eisner for Best New Series, which was rad! And I got to meet the prime minister of Japan and they gave me a plaque because it won a comic contest over there. It was great experience, and they were the first company to pay me an advance I could live off of! So even though they might retain the publishing rights, I don’t regret the experience. Not to say I didn’t have problems, but chalk it up to being young and excitable.

  2. Are you psychic? PRACTICE! I always had to thumbnail pages out then write the script based on what I was drawing, but now I find it a lot easier to conceive a page in my head and write what I see. It all comes down to doing it over and over. Also writing for someone else helps, because I when I write for myself I still do thumbnails first haha. There is no right way to make comics anyway, the endgame is always the printed page so don’t force yourself to work in a way that doesn’t work for you. That said, sometimes it’s good to push yourself to try new things until you know it doesn’t work :sunny:

  3. I use both! I recently switched to digital last year, I work on a cintiq companion and it ruuullees. I travel a lot, so it’s great for getting work done on the road when you don’t know if there’s a scanner nearby. Also I don’t have to erase which is like my least favorite thing to do ever. That said, I miss inking a whole ton, so I still work traditionally now and again. I also keep sketchbooks like a madman. I love sketching.

I have no idea how you would think these questions were inappropriate! I’ve been asked far worse haha! Thanks! :smiley:


I’ve known Andy for years and years and years! We are pretty much best friends so it makes things easy- and even though stylistically we might have our similarities, it’s borne from very different influences. Andy has a background in old EC horror books, Jack Davis, and Kirby, Buscema… Understanding that is a big part of knowing how he’s going to work. I also try to write things that I think he’d get a kick out of drawing, which is very different from stuff I might enjoy. He also has a crazy sense of humor in his art that I don’t even know if he knows he has, haha! But I see it, so I try and sneak some funny stuff in there. Even though we draw similarly, we couldn’t have more different approaches to storytelling! He is totally killing that book by the way. Issue 4 is ridiculous!


Killjoys was pretty weird because it started as a comic, way back in like, 2008? or something? 2009? I can’t remember, it was so long ago. Anyway it started as a comic! I did a ton of art for it, character designs and worldbuilding! Then things got put on hold and Gerard asked if they could make the next MCR album a concept based on Killjoys, that’s when I drew that spider for them which kind of became like a logo?

Long story short (too late!) they made some music videos and their fans got super involved and all of a sudden when we finally started the comic again there was SO MUCH to pull from! Which was awesome- but then it was a matter of how to make it so that you don’t need to listen to the album or see the videos to get the plot, and how to make the world feel as lush and lived in as it did in everyone’s minds! Basically meant doing a lot more character and environmental design, and re-imagining a world that had been imagined so many times. This book was the most challenging I’ve ever done.


As the apparent representation of Australia, hope you will enjoy your trip. You will be, arguably, going in the best time. You won’t be going in the humid period. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to see you since I live in the South sad face.

And thank you for your response! I just dumped three questions on you so I’m not entitled to ask you anything more.

And yes. I stayed up. Not that dead and the twitch isn’t that bad haha. But I felt like I should say thank you ^^;.


Feel free to ask away. There’s no limit.


Thank YOU! Plans are underway to make it down south, but nothing is announced yet so I can’t say exactly what or where yet… ;D


Wait, THERE’S NOT???!!!