The Goon is back in a brand new ongoing series and we’ve got a video review!
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The next era in the legacy of The Goon starts here! This all new series marks The Goon’s return to Albatross Funnybooks and is just in time to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the book. Eric Powell takes the series to its humor-based roots as Goon & Franky return from strange adventures abroad to find a horde of unsavory characters have filled the void left in his absence from Lonely Street.
I won’t pretend to be an expert on the Goon, because I have never read a comic with the character in it before. So with that being said, the question for today’s review is whether this first issue is an easy place for new readers to start with the character (and whether it’s actually any good).
I won’t make you wait for an answer to that, because the comic didn’t leave me feeling utterly lost, which in turn meant I quite enjoyed the supernatural aspect of the story (which came as a bit of a surprise to me, I’ve gotta say).
Written and drawn by Eric Powell, who also contributed to the colouring of the book along with Rachael Cohen, The Goon #1 tells a very atmospheric story in a world that feels as though there’s a rich history – but that never relies on new readers knowing that history. Previous events are referred to in passing which helps in fleshing out the characters relationships, but also serves as a way to recap or give readers an idea to what the Goon has been up to – and for how long he’s been away.
The story is almost a standalone comic, with an almost complete tale being told in the first issue that has a strangely satisfying conclusion as the Goon reestablishes himself in the Town With No Name. It’s darkly funny at times, eliciting genuine chuckles from your humble reviewer at the visual and verbal comedy. But it’s the deeply atmospheric art where the comic shines; or rather doesn’t shine, but excels. Powell and Cohen have produced a comic that feels at once like a visual representation of the depression era (although I don’t know when the tale is set, based on the costumes and colouring I felt it was very likely a depression-era story), with the odd splash of colour temporarily brightening the page, or used to highlight certain things.
I don’t know what I expected when coming into The Goon #1 but it certainly wasn’t this – I loved the supernatural tinged depression era story that never once left me feeling as though I was jumping into a story 20 years in the making with no idea of who the Goon is (although I totally am). The Goon #1 is the kind of comic you can read without any preconceived notions, nor any need to worry about understanding the rules of the universe – it’s fun, entertaining, and offers the reader a great example of good comics.
Writer: Eric Powell Art: Eric Powell
Colours: Rachael Cohen and Eric Powell
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Albatross Funnybooks provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
After a six-month break, Snot Girl & Co are back in action. Snot Girl #7 is the second book in arc two, which ended with Charlene (Sunny’s new girlfriend), “falling” off the top of a building on New Year’s Eve. Issue #6 gave us some clues as to the general shape of this arc: lots of back story, and an ever-expanding cast of characters.
In issue #7, Caroline “Coolgirl” joins the crew in what Lottie calls “friendtegration”. At the same time, Charlene wakes up from her coma and the “fashion police” continue their off-the-books investigation. All three storylines give us more Virgil, whose status is more slippery than yards of fake silk. By the end of the issue, the girls are well on their way to San Diego for a mid-con blogger party. Charlene may or may not have revisited the scene of her fall as well as Caroline’s strange origins (see issues 1-4). Either way, her plastic surgery does NOT go as planned, and yes, that was most definitely Virgil performing “physical therapy”.
While creators Leslie Hung (artist) and Bryan Lee O’Malley (writer) call this a new arc, it’s certainly worth reading the first five issues before diving in. Arc One built a solid foundation of character connections. It may not be heavy on plot, but the inner-workings of Hung and O’Malley’s cast is almost impossible to explain in summary.
Snot Girl is a fascinating exercise. It took me a while to jump on the train, but now I don’t know what life would be like with Haters Brunch. I think that has a lot to do with Hung and O’Malley’s character-heavy story. I come away from every issue feeling like I’ve gotten a behind the scenes peek at the internet elite, which is, frankly, all I’ve ever wanted in life. Reading Snot Girl is like reading trashy paparazzi magazines, without the guilt of invading a real person’s privacy.
Hung’s artwork, too, is masterful. I would flip through lookbooks by her for hours, if they existed. (hint. Do the thing.) There is something delightful about the “classic” manga style applied to an undeniably American setting. The application may or may not lend itself to a comment on our fetishization of all things Japanese, especially considering the consumerist themes of the book itself. Thanks to Hung, our fashion-conscious cast never wears the same thing twice. It’s easy to believe that these girls have overstuffed closets in their tiny apartments, and that each item they put on has been carefully curated before they even consider walking out the door.
If I knew these people in real life, I would hate them, and you probably would, too. However, kept at the safe distance of “being fictional”, and dressed in what can only be described as the weirdest (and yet coolest?) couture I’ve ever seen, I can’t wait to find out what kind of trouble they get themselves into next.
Story: Brian Lee O’Malley Art: Leslie Hung Color: Rachael Cohen
Lettering: Maré Odomo Cover Color: Jason Fischer
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy!
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review