Make way for the Goon!
Eric Powell’s hard and scarred brawler is showcased in “For Want of Whiskey and Blood” in this collection from Dark Horse that includes The Goon #42 through #44 along with a couple of special bonus items.
The Goon has recently celebrated his 15th birthday and is a five-time Eisner Award winner and this sampling gives the readers an idea as to why Powell’s creation (he writes, illustrates and is even involved in the coloring process on his character) has been getting so much attention and accolades. The Goon delivers adventures in a variety of settings like no other.
This particular tome finds the nonplussed Goon along with his pal Franky encountering zombies, going on a pub crawl with a reluctant sailor and even running across Billy the Kid.
One page actually has a rendition of the Goon by the great Jack Davis and the following tale, “One for the Road” is “Dedicated with all respect and admiration to Jack Davis!” Cameo visits in the tale include caricatures of famous celebrities in the Jack Davis style and if that’s not enough to pique your interest, other pop culture appearances include Friday the 13th’s Jason, Forbidden Planet’s Robby the Robot and even Hellboy.
Another standout is “The Big Lurk that Lurked Like a Thing! A Bad Thing!” This black and white story is written by Eric Powell with guest artist Mark Buckingham and is a mirthful mashup of the bog creatures that began in the vein of Solomon Grundy, the Heap and Swamp Thing, but the title alone should give you a notion of the tongue in cheek treatment and humor that is also infused into these entertaining tales. If that doesn’t quite do it for you, be on the lookout for the giant Killer Robot.
Rounding things out are several pages from Eric Powell’s sketchbook along with commentary.
If you’re new to the world of The Goon, as this writer was, it’s a great introduction to a character that wanders through the world, often a world that makes little sense and seems to be bent on doing him personal harm, who just desires to be left alone as he knocks down a few beers at the local watering hole. That doesn’t mean, however, that he won’t put up a good scrap when he’s been disturbed, which seems to happen with alarming regularity, and provides the conflicts, which leads to the resolutions that are inevitably resolved as only the Goon can.
Check out The Goon. You’ll be glad you did.