The Flooze's Reviews > The Goon, Volume 1: Nothin' but Misery

The Goon, Volume 1 by Eric Powell
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Aug 10, 2010

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bookshelves: graphic_novel, urban-fantasy-paranormal, vanquished_2010
Read from August 09 to 10, 2010 , read count: 1


Powell's The Goon: Nothin' But Misery is an entertaining enough tale of neighbourhood thug vs. zombies (and more). Through 30s and 40s pastiche, Powell creates a character who's probably more bad than good by our modern standards. He runs a protection racket, buys shipments of stolen goods off the docks, and flattens anyone who doesn't pay his debts on time. However, in a town where zombies roam free, ghosts hold people captive, and little green men make children into snacks, the Goon serves his purpose. He protects the regular folk from the less savory elements lurking in the shadows; from the amount of respect he's shown, he must be very good at his job.

The stories collected in this volume are extremely episodic. There are a few running themes, such as the zombie priest, but overall any one of them could be read out of order without losing the general thread of the piece. Mostly it's the Goon and his pal Franky meeting something formidable and getting knocked about a bit, then the Goon triumphing and teaching the baddie a lesson. It made for a quick read, and though I enjoyed the set-up for my introduction to the series, I hope later volumes include more details on the Goon himself and perhaps an overarching plot. I always derive more enjoyment from piecing together drawn-out mysteries as opposed to reading about the monster of the week.

The artwork depicts a treacherous, urban landscape that perfectly reflects the darkness the Goon battles. The areas inhabited by zombies are even worse off, as if the buildings themselves are decaying at the same pace as the undead. Powell's color palette reinforces the idea of illness and death through muted tones of sickly green and broad strokes of grey.

When it comes to flashbacks, Powell changes his style. One transition from present to past is particularly memorable: The Buzzard's background story begins in ink but quickly changes to sepia-toned pencil work, highlighting not just the difference in time period, but also the change in landscape and a switch to a more sober tone. I was impressed by the skillful changeover and look forward to seeing more of it from Powell.

Another fun touch comes between the stories. Scattered throughout the volume are advertisements done in the same 30s and 40s style as the rest of the comic. My favorite of these is the advert for the Billy Lobotomy Kit (contains one human head, one medical saw, a suture kit, and a manual entitled “Removing the Vile Minions of Satan Through Cerebral Dissection“). I imagine this could provide hours of fun for the whole family!

All in all, Nothin’ But Misery was amusing and twisted enough to keep me reading, and the unique characteristics and possibilities of Powell’s world warrant a further look-see.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Greta is Erikasbuddy NEAT!

The Flooze I've got the next two or three at home. I'll probably weigh in on those this weekend.

Greta is Erikasbuddy nice :) can't wait!

Greta is Erikasbuddy What do you think about a 13 year old reading these? My son is mega mondo into Scott Pilgrim now and it looks like comics are actually opening him up to reading. Do you think he'd be ok reading these (I'm really concerned with the racy stuff... gore is super fine lolz)

The Flooze Hmn. From what I know of Scott Pilgrim, I would say this has some more adult tones. It's very noir, with gangsters, smuggling, drinking, damsels in distress...alongside zombies and such.

It's quite funny at times. Lots of fight scenes.

The only racy thing I recall was in the Chinatown installment I just read. It went over the Goon's history with his lady love and there was one long, narrow panel that showed his big hands on her torso. Apart from that, there are some buxom babes but I don't recall anything more in the way of nudity. Curses are scribbled out so that the meaning is there but not the word. Most of the violence is the Goon taking on baddies--he's actually relatively nice to other people.

Off the top of my head, I would say 14ish, but iTunes categorizes the Chinatown volume as:

Rated 12+ for the following:
Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
Frequent/Intense Profanity or Crude Humor
Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
Frequent/Intense Horror/Fear Themes
Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content or Nudity

Take this image as an indicator of the max naughty level.

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If you go to this site and click on a cover, then click on the cover image on the following page, you can check out some of the artwork and get a feel for it yourself.

Sorry I can't be of more help, but not having kiddies myself, I don't want to steer you in the wrong direction!

Greta is Erikasbuddy LOLZ!! Maybe if I read one then I can decide ;)

In Scott Pilgrim there is a box or 2 that makes you think they are going to "Do IT" but it's just like something you would see off "Friends" so I didn't think that was too bad. Plus, he's in 8th grade and pretty much knows it all (oh gawd! Ewws lolz)

I'll check one out and see how it goes :)

The Flooze Lol. Well there's no doubt that the Goon and the girl do it in that single book, but it was a silhouette of them dressed and kissing and then that one slice of nakey torso. So it's by no means graphic in the sex department. The other interactions with Franky, Goon, and women is mostly them getting slapped! The grand majority is fun and fights.

Greta is Erikasbuddy Squee!! Slap slap ;) I'll check one out :)

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