Evil Geek Book Report – The Goon: Rough Stuff
Hey there Evil Geeks! We’ve been hitting the books pretty hard lately, so I hope you ladies and gents are fully prepared for an onslaught of Evil Geek Book Reports in the coming weeks.
Uggghhhh…. While I appreciate our picture guy’s enthusiasm, I actually didn’t mean THAT onslaught. I just meant we were going to be chatting a whole lot about comics in the near future. I just finished up reading The Goon: Rough Stuff by Eric Powell, which I picked up for only $9.99 through the Dark Horse app on my iPad. I have to commend Dark Horse on the pricing in their online store. Digital comics from the Dark Horse Store are WAYYYY cheaper than comics from Marvel and DC.
Has there ever been a title that you’ve been dying to check out, but for some reason or another, you just haven’t done so? You even know you’re going to absolutely love it just from the look of it, but you still never pick it up. It’s not limited to comics either; it applies to movies, TV shows, bands, video games, etc. I’m calling it the “Battlestar Galactica Effect”, since for years I’ve heard nothing but great things about that show, then only recently started watching it even though I’ve had access to it on Netflix for years. Turns out I freaking love it. I’m putting The Goon in that category also. Everything about this book had me captivated, the art work, the premise, the critical acclaim; but I’d never actually read an issue of it until this past weekend. MAN, have I been missing out on some great stuff! I can’t wait for payday to roll around again so I can pick up some more Goon books.
If you’re not familiar with The back story of The Goon, Rough Stuff is a fantastic place to start. Whenever I check out a book that I’ve never read before, I always have an internal debate over whether to start reading the book from the beginning like the true fans did, or do I start from where the book got good? Not being one to be a fair-weather friend, I usually tend to fall on the side of starting from the very beginning, because in order to truly love a book, you need to be able to accept it; warts and all. Rough Stuff is exactly what the title says it is, rough stuff from Powell dating from the early days of the Goon’s creation. The artwork isn’t as refined as it is in the later Dark Horse comics and some of the elements of the story were dropped from the later stories as well (specifically the talking chainsaw according to the books intro). Powell himself does an intro basically apologizing to the reader, then begging them to read the Dark Horse comics first. The Goon and his sidekick Frankie also do a hilarious introduction where they also apologize for the rough quality of the book and that now that they are high-class, wealthy types, these kinds of things are below them.
The overall feel of the book is great as well. It’s very 40’s film noir and pulp like, but there are some modern references thrown in which gives the setting an almost timeless feel; like it could be happening at anytime within the past 80 years. I’m going to guess that Powell is a fan of Frank Miller’s Sin City (Who isn’t?), because the world’s of both books are populated by similar characters in the best ways possible. Boozed up barflies, back alley brawlers, palookas, mooks, etc. make up the majority of the background cast while occupying smokey bar-rooms and warehouses by the docks. The character of The Goon is a little similar to Marv as far as physical prowess, but the Goon seems to have a lot more going on in the brains department than Marv does though. The Goon himself is an enforcer for a mysterious and relentlessly brutal mob boss named Labrazio. The Goon, along with his loyal sidekick Frankie, are constantly busting heads and tangling with all sorts of baddies from the criminal and supernatural worlds. The main story of Rough Stuff is about The Goon’s first encounter with his arch nemisis, The Priest, and his army of undead zombie mobsters. There’s even a little side story about the back story of The Goon and how he came to be in the employ of the vicious Labrazio. It’s equally brutally violent, incredibly funny, and absolutely entertaining. If you’re looking for a great place to jump onto a title, with brawling, supernatural action and laughs, then I recommend ignoring Eric Powell’s advice and checking out Rough Stuff.
That’s all your Friendly Neighborhood C-Mart’s got for today, check back soon for another Evil Geek Book Report!
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