On an unseasonably hot and windy San Diego summer’s day, I sat down with Eric Powell, creator of the acclaimed The Goon series, to talk about his latest project: Big Trouble in Little China.
Many of us remember the classic 1986 John Carpenter film that paid homage to supernatural kung fu movies while setting a new bar for American action-comedies. The movie ended with a monster dangling under Jack Burton’s truck, and for nearly 20 years Big Trouble fans wondered what would happen next.
Launched in June 2014, BOOM! Studios shows us in a new series of Big Trouble in Little China comics.
Blogcritics: How did the project get started?
BOOM! Approached me coyly and asked, “If you could, which John Carpenter property would you do?” I said, “I could do a Jack Burton.” A month later, after not hearing a word, they announced they were looking to get the rights to Big Trouble.
Did you have much history with Big Trouble in Little China?
I’m a huge John Carpenter fan. I’ve consumed all of his films, and Big Trouble was one of the formative movies of my youth. I don’t take much write-for-hire these days, unless I know I can knock it out of the park.
How is working with John Carpenter?
He’s been a great help as a story consultant, very open about talking and being emailed with questions. He’s really laid-back, not all “Hollywood” like someone like him could be. It’s made me like him even more.
Are these stories Carpenter has had in mind for 20 years?
No, this is all fresh story-telling. It’s inspired by the film itself, so we’re staying true to the Jack Burton form. He’s a truck driver, so he’s always in new places to have new adventures. That’s been our angle through the series.
Who can we expect to see from the movie?
The focus is on Jack Burton and his snappy dialogue, but other characters pop up now and again: Egg Shen and Wang Chi, and especially Pete, the monster.
What can we expect from the series?
We’re doing a twelve-issue run with episodic stories in an overarching plot, enough that people can pick it up anywhere to enjoy a story but not have them be repetitious. The upcoming issue three is especially exciting. We’ve really hit our stride, and the art by Brian Churilla is fits the world perfectly.