Comic Review: Knife in the Eye! ‘The Goon’ by Eric Powell
Review by Comix
It’s a scary world out on there on Lonely Street. Zombies wander the roads like they own the place, hobos are flesh-eating cannibals who lord over a section of town known only as “Hobo Jungle,” and skunk-apes will rip the skin off your face for a piece of blueberry pie. When you’re an ugly mug of a man named the Goon, these are the streets you call home. You pound the pavement like you pound the face of anyone (man or beast) who looks at you funny and you don’t think twice about it. Especially if they happen to be standing in your way of a good, stiff drink at the local dive bar. The Goon is a hilarious, hard-hitting comic that has been a staple work for any fan of good comics, be it horror, comedy, or noir. If you enjoy laughing your ass off while watching a bunch of ghouls get beat into the ground, then this is the comic for you.
The Goon is centered around, well, The Goon, one large, messed up looking sum-a-bitch, who once was a wee-bit orphan raised by his Aunt Kizzie in a carnival. After his Aunt’s unfortunate demise at the hands of the crooked mobster Labrazio, The Goon snaps the guy’s neck and takes up collecting his debts, while pretending to be a mobster for hire, to get by. Along the way, he meets Frankie, a wussy push-over who eventually grows up to be a loud-mouthed, bag of dicks with a fierce loyalty to Goon, getting laid, and chugging booze. These two pal up faster than a fat kid and cake and take over Lonely Street, their home and wasteland, while keeping the peace beating up all kinds of strange creatures from robots to zombies. The comic follows the adventures of these two as they battle villains, save dames, and fight giant squids! Oh the humanity! The UTTER HUMANITY!
I absolutely, positively, LOVE The Goon. It’s goddam hilarious while still managing to throw in dramatic parts without either of them getting too goofy. The Goon takes on many aspects of noir and horror and smashes them together to make a comic that is as visually awesome as it is fantastically written. The art plays hard with heavy shadows and smokey visuals, bringing back that old forties feeling, and pops it in full color straight into your brain. Each of the characters are well thought out, even those damn pie-stealing skunk-apes, and really stick with you. Hell, even the Goon himself is a soft guy inside, but don’t tell him you know that. He’ll kick your ass. I feel like this is one of those comics that I can safely say, hey, you! Yeah, you! Go buy this, now! Seriously, you should be reading this!
The man behind the comic, Eric Powell, has blown up larger than life thanks to The Goon and is quickly becoming the next big thing in comics. Not only has he done his own creator owned work, like the Goon and Chimichanga (about a little girl with a beard), but has worked for both DC and Marvel comics doing cover work. He has won a shit-boat of awards for his work on The Goon and has announced plans to make The Goon into an animated movie. Though the announcement had been made back in 2008, there has been little change in the actual outcome due to financial problems. But fear not, dear reader! If you have read or will read this comic and want to see it made into a movie, there is an online petition going on right now to have the movie made. Just go to www.thegoon.com and follow the links. I’ll be signing, will you?
The Goon is still in active publication under Dark Horse Comics and has just hit issue 42. There are also several graphic novels that chronicle the adventures of the calamitous duo, ready for your every hungry consumption. Most of the graphic novels have the cover reprints, several pages of sketches and notes, and fatty introductions. If you love having your graphic novels come with extra treats, then you are going to like these ones. Some of them even carry exclusive short comics, so they are worth every penny (or every visit to the library.) Now get out of here, you mug, before I give you a knife to the eye!