Posted on: November 7th, 2009 NERDWATCH – The Goon
Welcome to NERDWATCH, a regular column here at GKS highlighting some of the must-read collected stories in comic books. No matter if you’re new to comics, or a seasoned veteran, NERDWATCH serves as your trusted comic book checklist.
Where do even begin with The Goon? I’m entirely embarrassed that I’m ten years late with this book. I fell in love with this title from the first issue, and have awarded it the ‘funniest comic book ever’ award. Ladies and Gentlemen, this book is bloody brilliant.
The Goon, with his partner Franky, is the hulking muscle for Labrazio, a feared (yet unseen) mobster. On top of their thugly duties, Goon and Franky find themselves constantly fighting off hordes of the undead controlled by the Zombie Priest, or waging war with sea-monsters, hags and ghouls of all natures.
The thing about The Goon that makes it so darned unique, is its inability to fall into any one category or sub-genre. It is a comedy book – it’s absolutely hilarious, but certainly not exclusively. Nor is it a straight up horror or fantasy. It is sequential and at the same time dense enough to be a long-lasting weekly series, but it captures the best elements of the old paper strip format in that its pacing is rapid-fire, in single-serving morsels. The book is vibrant and curvey, yet solid and hard like a noir. You’d be hard-pressed to find a book like The Goon, one that taps into the geekiest of imaginations and repeatedly punches that spot in your brain that is reserved for only the most depraved and purest of laughs. As if a talking fish-man wasn’t funny enough, “KNIFE TO THE EYE” is the icing on the cake. Eric Powell, the mad scientist behind the story and the (gorgeous) artwork in this book, has single-handedly created a self-referential masterpiece that blends together vintage horror, b-movie sci-fi, 50’s exploitation and the elusive pie-mad skunk-ape into a deliciously drinkable concoction of dementia.
Not just tonally, but conceptually the book is a lot like Ren & Stimpy in that there is no real main plot; same with the serials of old, we are given a few highly conceived and developed characters, and every week (or month or trade) we’re taken on a new journey, each one more ridiculous than the last. I just kills me sometimes, the hoops these characters jump through, all to set-up a single, hilarious punch-line (Powell’s dialogue is for the ages, by the way). I strongly encourage you to get into this book, even if it is outside of your normal pull-list. Eric Powell gets comic book readers and knows how to tell a simple story that keeps us coming back for more.
Now make your way to your local comic shoppe, post haste, and pick up The Goon trades (from Darkhorse), there are about 10 in total so far I believe. I guarantee you will love it.
Also, be on the lookout for news on a Goon feature film! The book is making it’s way to the big-screen via CG animation. Eric Powell wrote the script, with the great David Fincher producing. Clancy Brown and Paul Giamatti will provide the voices for The Goon and Franky, respectively. Until then, here’s a look at how that might look.
That does it for this edition of Nerdwatch!
One Response to “NERDWATCH – The Goon”
First Footage From THE GOON! « Giant Killer Squid - Film, Comics, News, Reviews and more Says:
July 19th, 2010 at 8:18 pm
[…] comedic minds in the comic biz, Eric Powell, you haven’t lived (read more of my gushing here). It truly is one of the most unique, funny and gorgeous books on the shelf. And like anything […]