Grotesque Anatomy
Saturday, September 13, 2003
  Da Goon
Broken Frontier columnist Matt Maxwell has an article up recommending The Goon by Eric Powell. I'd second that recommendation. I preordered The Goon on a whim (I think the art caught my eye), and I've really been enjoying it so far. The book, which comes out bi-monthly from Dark Horse, isn't deep by any means. But as Matt mentions, it's nice to read a comic that is actually funny. I'd suggest getting the first two issues of the new Dark Horse series. DH also put out a TPB collecting earlier Goon stories from Albatross Publishing, but the new series is much better in my opinion.

Here's a review of The Goon #1 I did for Mailordercomics:

The Goon #1Who is the Goon, you ask? Well, everything you need to know about him is contained within the pages of this comic. Basically, he's a big bruiser who fights monsters. Oh, sure, he's got an origin story and everything (beautifully rendered in sketchy sepia tones), but you don't really need to worry about that. All you really need to know is that the Goon is a big guy. And he fights monsters. Zombies, to be particular (or "Slack Jaws" as they're referred to in the story). Oh, and cannibal hoboes. How do the spontaneously-combusting orangutans fit into this story? Ah, heck, just go buy this book. If you like goofy humor mixed with not-so-serious horror, this is the book for you.

I had a lot of fun reading this book. The story is simple, drawing you right in, but it's all the little side details that enrich the comic. Details like the aforementioned orangutans. And the hobo leader, who bears a striking resemblance to a famous folk musician. Even the legal copy on the inside front cover is worth reading. And make sure to stick around for the final page, which contains testimonials by several noted "Comic Icons." Writer/artist Eric Powell is adept at both writing genuinely funny lines and illustrating humorous scenes. And he does the colors for the book as well, although I'm not sure if the colors were truly "funny," so I don't think I can pronounce Powell a true comedic "triple threat."

Trying to place this book on a continuum for the purposes of issuing one of those "if you liked X, you might also enjoy Y"-type recommendations is tough. The Goon reminded me a lot of similar "funny horror books" I've enjoyed recently (such as Steven Weissman's "Yikes" books and Richard Sala's Peculia), although Goon is definitely done in a style more familiar to mainstream readers. The book design, layouts, and art are all more like a traditional superhero comic than the other books mentioned. Goon is also reminiscent of Alan Moore's humor work, such as "The Bojeffries Saga" or the strips in Tomorrow Stories (although comic icon "Alan Moore" does appear at the end of the book to disparage Powell's grasp of the English language, in a nice bit of self-deprecation on Powell's part). If you've enjoyed any of these books, chances are you'll get plenty of amusement out of The Goon.

The Goon also made Entertainment Weekly's "Must List" back in July, and the first issue received an A from one of EW's reviewers.

For more info on The Goon, check out the Dark Horse site or Eric Powell's site

Like Unto A Thing Of Irony!

Iron Fist

by John Jakala

Main Blog

You Get What You Pay For
Manga Marches On
The Fantastic Kurt Busiek
Hello World