The best thing I can say about ‘The Goon’ issue 34; even though I got a PDF preview, when I head to my favorite comic book shop (Queen City Comics, in case you were curious) I’m still going to buy this issue. That’s right, it is that good. So good that I’m willing to shell out the $3.50 to have the physical copy.
One of the things I have always liked about ‘The Goon’ is Eric Powell’s artwork. It always has a fresh and slightly demented look (i.e. the kids with solid black eyes, making the sockets look empty). The other great thing about ‘The Goon’ is Powell’s quick wit.
In this issue, I especially appreciated the the venom toward ‘Twilight’ and the tweens who love it. The cover is one example and the “vampire” beat down starting on page 4 is an even better one. To top all that off, the image on page four will have all “Team Edward” doubters in tears from laughing so hard.
I know one thing is for sure, I want to start celebrating St. McFuggin’s Day. It is a fake holiday to rival Festivus! Who doesn’t want to run out into the streets after consuming large quantities of beer and eating cake with stones and bricks? And who wouldn’t want to “smash the faces of those deemed too pretty and too stupid for their own good”? Tell me who wouldn’t want to have a St. McFuggin’s Day?
One of the best lines in the whole book was delivered by one of the wayward orphans being attacked by a monster under their floor: “Hey, drunk Goon is better than no Goon at all”. Simply priceless. And it’s another example of Powell’s outstanding wit.
In case you don’t know, ‘The Goon’ is a hulking figure, normally wearing green pants, a white or black shirt, and the hat he removed from the gangster Labrazio. Occasionally he wears a faded blue shirt with green stripes on the sleeves—the uniform from his football days. The left side of his face is horribly scarred, caused in a fight with a Triad leader who could turn himself into a dragon by the use of dark magic (as explained in The Goon graphic novel Chinatown). His eyes are blue, with the scarring on the left side of his face rendering his left eye blind. He has brown hair cropped short, almost always covered by his trademark cap.
‘The Goon’ hasn’t been without it’s fair share of controversy. He debuted in Avatar Press’ ‘Dreamwalker’ #0 in March 1998 in a 4-page story that was later reprinted as the third story in the Goon #1. Because Powell was unhappy with the quality of the Avatar Press comics after 3 issues, he stopped handing in new material and waited for his contract to expire. When he was finally free of his Avatar contract, he was unable to find another publisher, so he began self-publishing in 2002 with Albatross Exploding Funny Books. These self-published issues caught the eye of Dark Horse Comics, which approached Powell by telling him that they didn’t know why they passed on the book, and in 2003 publication of The Goon moved to Dark Horse.
A new Goon book hasn’t been seen since November of 2009, so it is nice to have one of the more interesting books in all of comic back. It’s especially exciting because on Dark Horse’s website there is already a solicitation for The Goon #35 coming out this August. The Goon should be required reading for all comic book fans. It’s got everything you could ever want; heroes, villains, supernatural powers, zombies and of course the Goon.
Welcome back Goon!