Okay I know you don’t know about Eric Powell’s “The Goon”. That’s okay, we all have problems. Most of us not as many as you, but I get it.
Basically, “The Goon” is what Eric Powell draws to entertain himself. Luckily he’s an interesting sort of guy so it happens to also entertain every other reasonable human being in the world.
It stars the titular Goon, a man who is the only enforcer for a local mob boss who controls the weird vaguely archaic rural post zombie-plague town in which he lives. Of course, a man like the Goon is the only person you need enforcing for you. The Goon is a titanically imposing, terrifically ugly powerhouse who dishes out violence with whatever objects come to hand until whatever he’s been hitting dies or throws money at him. He also kills zombies because fuck zombies.
It also stars Frankie, the Goon’s partner. a small man with Little Orphan Annie eyes who makes up for his significantly less frightening exterior by being significantly more foul-mouthed and well-armed than the Goon. He is also just an awful, druken, misogynist of a human being.
Powell uses this simple setup to tell any story he feels like. On occasion, The Goon will knock some zombie heads and light a vampire on fire. Other times, he’ll shake down a giant bowler-wearing spider and go out for a drink afterward. Occasionally he’ll fight a robot or space alien. Weird Tales in the most essential sense. When necessary, the sheer unrelenting pace of surreal adventuring lets up to allow Powell to expand upon the Goon’s character in surprisingly affecting “serious” pieces.
The art began as interesting but not spectacular, then grew to spectacular, then grew to spectacular again, then again. Powell uses the Goon as a combination training ground and showcase. The insubstantial nature of the character and setting allow him to work with any art style or any story he chooses. Because Powell is talented as all get out, being able to read these experiments is a pleasure.
If you’d like to check out a bit of the book, feel free to check out some of Volume 1: Nothin’ But Misery at Amazon. Those of you with the smarts to pick up the first Goon collection will be delighted and obviously itching for more. Lucky you! Eric Powell was approached by David Fincher (the director of Fight Club) to write a movie. It’ll be an animated feature, produced by Blur Studios, the same people who’ve made every single cutscene/intro/trailer you’ve ever liked in a videogame. It’ll star Clancy Brown and Paul Giamatti as Goon and Frankie respectively. And it looks awesome. They’re still looking for cash-money, and the more you crow about it online the more likely it is to happen. Here’s the bit they’ve made as a pitch/preview: