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Strange Tales

Strange Tales Spotlight: Becky Cloonan

The multiple Eisner nominee behind Pixu and Demo splashes around with Namor in a sub-marine STRANGE TALES story.

By Sean T. Collins

Here on dry land, writer-artist Becky Cloonan spends most of her time drawing ultra-acclaimed comics such as Demo (with writer Brian Wood), working on her rock-and-roll webcomic KGB with collaborator Hwan Choand generally racking up Eisner Award nominations—including a Best Anthology win as one of the creators of the self-published collection 5. But she still must have water on the brain: When deciding what to contribute to STRANGE TALES, the creator of the post-apocalyptic pirate epic East Coast Rising dove right into a Namor story. We spoke with Cloonan about why she wouldn't mind a swim with the Sub-Mariner and what else she'll be floating our way in the near future.

Marvel.com: What's the story behind your STRANGE TALES contribution?

Becky Cloonan: I'll be drawing a four-page story about Namor, featuring Reed Richards. Namor is probably the hottest guy in the Marvel Universe. Besides Gambit. I first fell for the Sub-Mariner when I saw him in his black Freddy Mercury outfit, and then again in his scaled Speedo.

A page from Becky Cloonan's Namor story in STRANGE TALES #3
Marvel.com: It's kind of refreshing to see a male character objectified by a female creator. Can you tell us anything about the plot?

Becky Cloonan: I wouldn't want to spoil anything! But I do have a surprise twist ending, if you will, and a cameo by the Invisible Woman, who is also totally hot. So it should be a good time. With a four-page story I didn't want to tackle anything too serious, but I didn't want to just do slapstick with a punchline either. I tried to go for something in between that I hope readers will enjoy. I'm just looking to entertain with this one.

Marvel.com: What's the first Marvel comic you remember reading?

Becky Cloonan: My dad used to read me SILVER SURFER and FANTASTIC FOUR as a kid, and growing up I loved the X-Men.

Marvel.com: Is that still what you're into?

Becky Cloonan: I absolutely love what Matt Fraction is doing with UNCANNY X-MEN! I also keep up with most of the AVENGERS titles as well, but one of my favorites was SUB-MARINER: THE DEEP, which was absolutely mind-blowing, and is defiantly on my list of all time favorites.

A page from Becky Cloonan's Namor story in STRANGE TALES #3
Marvel.com: Somehow that doesn't surprise me. Any other Marvel heroes or villains you'd like to tackle someday?

Becky Cloonan: My favorite villain of all time is Doctor Doom. I think there's a lot that could still be done with him. TRIUMPH AND TORMENT and BOOKS OF DOOM might be my favorite Doom stories of all time. I'd love to draw Silver Surfer or Wolverine. Oh, and I'll have a short story in Marvel's NATION X #2, coming in January.

Marvel.com: What else is out there for readers who dig your work here to pick up?

Becky Cloonan: I did a graphic novel for Tokyopop a while back called East Coast Rising, which is similar in spirit to my STRANGE TALES story, I suppose, except with a different sea monster. It's out of print though, so good luck finding it. They also pulled the plug on the second volume, so instead you might want to check out Pixu, a horror comic published by Dark Horse this summer. Which is actually nothing like my STRANGE TALES story, but I hope you enjoy it just the same. [Laughs] Also, if someone is unfamiliar with my work, the collection of Demo, which is written by Brian Wood, might be a good book to start with.

Marvel.com: What else are you working on these days?

Becky Cloonan: For the last few years I feel like I've been working really hard, but don't have much to show for it. I've been hammering away on six new Demo issues to be published by Vertigo, and I've got another miniseries called The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys on deck, which will be written by Gerard Way and published by Dark Horse. And some other stuff. Damn, comics rule!


Check out the off-the-wall pranks pulled by the Fantastic Four in Jeffrey Brown's contribution to STRANGE TALES #3, on sale November 4!

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