Review: The Goon: A Place of Heartache and Grief

I have been waiting sooooo long for this book to come out.  For the last year and a half Eric Powell has been writing a single epic into his ongoing series, and for some inane reason Dark Horse decided it was a good idea to wait until it was done to publish the first (of 3) volumes collecting it.

But fortunately it was worth the wait, as Powell continues his streak of brilliance.  The Goon has always been a unique comic, somehow living in the area between Jimmy Cagney’s gangster films (there’s even a version of the Dead End Kids from Angels with Dirty Faces in here) and the horror/comedies of Peter Jackson’s early career.  If you ever wanted to see a fight between Atticus Finch and a giant, rabid, transvestite then this is the comic for you!  

But what’s always made the Goon a great comic (besides the amazing art) is the more serious tone imbedded just behind the gags and scenes of pony’s being mauled by bears.  From the last issue in this collection it’s clear that heartbreakingly bad events are in store for every member of the cast, and yet somehow Powell still manages to leave the reader with a smile.  It’s a balance I’ve neven seen another writer nail so perfectly.

Thank God the next volume will be out a little faster than this one.

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