Interview: Dan Piraro Pt. 2 [of 2]

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In this second part of our MoCCA-based interview with the Bizarro artist, we discuss the influence of Gary Larson, the horrors of writing a funny strip during a year-long divorce, and how one turns a syndicated comic into a successful one-man entertainment revue.

[Part One]
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Interview: Dan Piraro Pt. 1 [of 2]

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For the past quarter century, something strange has been unfolding in the comic pages of newspapers across the country—something called Bizarro. Dan Piraro began the single-paneled semi-absurdist strip nearly 25 five years ago, when the landscape of syndicated comics was largely dominated by unfunny animals—a motif, which, sadly, has largely gone unchanged.

All these years later, Bizarro remains one of the last bastions for interesting and genuinely hilarious comics in the funny pages. The strip is syndicated to more than 350 papers, though, as Piraro will be the first to admit, is a bit hard to come by in his home town of New York. That said, the artist has no trouble drawing fans out during signings at MoCCA, or while performing his one-man music/comedy piece, “The Bizarro Baloney Show.”

We sat down with Piraro this weekend to talk about conventions, editors, and why Kansas City doesn’t always appreciate a good abortion joke.
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Interview: Eric Powell Pt. 2 [of 2]

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At a comics convention, an early stages movie deal is something of a 300-pound gorilla—something everyone wants to discuss, but still tries hard not to jinx. In this industry we’ve seen countless optioning deals come and go, so when a creator announces that they’ve got the ball rolling on a project, it can be difficult to broach the subject.

The Goon creator, Eric Powell, while slightly apprehensive, seems fairly confident in a recent deal struck for his most famous creation. And really, the artist has every right to be. After all, he’s got David Fincher in his corner. A self-proclaimed fan of the Dark Horse  series, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button director has signed onto the project as a producer. Powell has begun working on treatments for the film, and, by all accounts, the early animation looks extremely promising.

In this second and final part of our interview with Powell, we discuss working for the Hollywood machine and what it’s like letting his creation go, ever-so-slightly, in order to explore mediums outside the insular comics world.

[Part One]

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Interview: Eric Powell Pt. 1 [of 2]

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A skilled craftsman by any measure, Eric Powell has put in his time all over the industry, from more independent works to superhero franchises like Batman and Superman. The Lebanon, Tennessee-based artist is, however, most content to do things on his own terms, reveling in the rare manner of freedom afforded to him by his own Dark Horse series, The Goon, the ever-evolving tale of a classically-styled pipe wrench-wielding ruffian doing battle with whatever manner of strange and fantastic villianry the artist’s mind can concoct.

After nearly a decade, the series has become Powell’s major creative outlet, and the hard work has paid off in spades. The book has become one of Dark Horse’s most popular creator-owned works and has garnered Powell numerous awards, including a handful of Eisners. It’s also recently been optioned by David Fincher in hopes of being transformed into an animated feature.

We sat down with Powell at this year’s New York Comic Con to talk about his work in the industry and why all roads lead back to The Goon.
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