Meet Two Local Cartoonists: A Chat with the Luna Brothers
Joshua and Jonathan Luna, aka the Luna Brothers, are successful comic book creators who since 2004 have made three comic book series with Image Comics. By generally working on its own material, the pair has perhaps maintained a lower profile than other comic book creators—at least until their works are optioned for television or movies, as they undoubtedly will be (although the brothers have said they make comic books first). Their series Ultra, Girls, and The Sword were finite stories, and with The Sword recently wrapped up, all three are now available in collected editions. Jonathan's art has also appeared in Invincible, Red Sonja, and Spider-Woman, among other titles. I was introduced to the brothers at the Baltimore Comic-Con, where they're regular attendees.
Washington City Paper: What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?
Joshua Luna: We make comic books. We develop the plot together, I write the scripts and provide layouts and lettering, and then Jonathan handles the pencils, inks, and colors for each page.
WCP: When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?
Joshua: I was born in Lemoore, California in 1981.
Jonathan: Lemoore, California in 1978.
WCP: Why are you in Washington now? What neighborhood or area do you live in?
Joshua: We are actually in Northern Virginia, just 20 minutes away from D.C., in a city called Woodbridge. We lived around this area before we lived in Italy. Our dad was in the Navy, so we were stationed overseas for a few years. When he retired, we returned to this area because it was familiar to us.
WCP: What is your training and/or education in cartooning?
Joshua: We attended The Savannah College of Art and Design and earned BFAs, majoring in Sequential Art. I believe it’s one of the few schools to offer a degree in “comic books.”
WCP: Who are your influences?
Joshua: There’s just too many to mention. Naming individual influences wouldn’t be accurate because I’m inspired by just about everything. But if I had to choose a major one, I’d say life in general. I love to incorporate realism and personal experiences in my writing and art as much as possible.
Jonathan: Movies. I love cinematic storytelling. You could say that I’m a comic book artist that wants to make movies.
WCP: If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?
Joshua: It’s always difficult for me to read my past work because all I see are things I’d like to do-over or change. But at the same time, I think it’s nice to see the progression and ongoing improvement in your body of work.
Jonathan: I have no regrets, really. I’m always trying my best.
WCP: What work are you best-known for?
Jonathan: That’s hard to tell, because I wouldn’t really know. Girls and The Sword almost tie in terms as our bestsellers.
WCP: What work are you most proud of?
Joshua: I can never choose. It’s like picking your favorite child.
Jonathan: I think it’s always my most recent work because it’s where I see most improvement. Hopefully.
WCP: What would you like to do or work on in the future?
Joshua: I’d love to continue working on comics until I’m physically able. It’s also been a dream of mine to write and direct a film.
Jonathan: Same here. There are other things I’d like to do that will be announced when the time is right.
WCP: What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?
Joshua: It really is the worst feeling. For me, sometimes the best option is to go the opposite direction and do nothing pertaining to writing for a day and concentrate on something else. Sometimes, you have to let inspiration find you, not the other way around.
WCP: What do you think will be the future of your field?
Joshua: I think the digital presence will continue to grow.
WCP: What's your favorite thing about DC?
Joshua: The great restaurants, sites and museums.
Jonathan: I’ve definitely been enjoying the great food lately.
WCP: Least favorite?
Joshua: I love to visit DC, but as far as living there, I think I’m more a suburbanite. City life is a little too hectic and fast paced for me.
WCP: What monument or museum do you take most out-of-town guests to?
Joshua: Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and Smithsonian are must-see stops.
Jonathan: The Hirshhorn. I love modern art.
WCP: Do you have a website or blog?
Joshua: For more info, our website is www.lunabrothers.com.