The Goon: Rough Stuff/The Goon: My Murderous Childhood

June 14, 2004 | Trades


The Goon: Rough Stuff
Eric Powell
Dark Horse Books
$12.95 US (Paperback)
*** 1/2 (out of five)

The Goon: My Murderous Childhood
Eric Powell
Dark Horse Books
$13.95 US (Paperback)
**** (out of five)

There’s nothing better than picking up a comic book that is fun to read and also teaches you important life lessons.
Eric Powell’s The Goon series is chock full of pearls of wisdom, like: “zombies make great compost; blueberry is the evilest pie;” and “cheating is just playing with creativity and style.”
Like so many great independent comic titles over the years, The Goon, a mix of horror and black comedy, is the product of both desperation and frustration, mixed with inspiration and timing.
Rough Stuff is an excellent look at the evolution of a character, with the first three complete Goon tales, some hilarious one-page gags and an annotated sketchbook explaining his origins. The book reprints Powell’s first work with the character, a depression-era gangster thug with a heart of gold and a hate-on for the undead.
As the creator himself notes in his introduction, “if this is your first exposure to The Goon, pick up the new stuff. It makes (Rough Stuff) look like crap.”
Moving on to My Murderous Childhood — a collection of the first four issues of The Goon’s new ongoing series — kind of does make you appreciate Powell’s feelings on his earlier work. His most recent work is crisp, polished and shows a much higher level of maturity. Well, not really that mature; it is one of the more un-P.C. titles on the market, mercilessly mocking the elderly, the physically challenged and even the kids who might read his work.
The Goon is crude, occasionally tasteless, certainly not suitable for the easily offended, and a riot.

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