Shiny Shelf

The Goon #4

By Mark Clapham on 20 February 2004

The other day I was asked for recommended comic purchases. I thought long and hard about this, and came up with a shortlist. Then the mental debate set in: should I keep ‘Catwoman’ on there, now it’s lost the lovely art? Should I recommend ‘New X-Men’ so close to Morrison’s departure? Is ‘Hush’ open to everyone, or just for hardcore fanboys?

Then I read issue #4 of ‘The Goon’, Eric Powell’s funny horror comic, and I threw away all my previous recommendations. Because, especially at this dark, bleak, time of year, we all should be buying a comic like this, a comic which is sick and funny, and features its lead character being thrust into the naughty parts of a giant sea monster.

Yes, you read that right! And if that wasn’t enough, the second story in this issue features a mad monkey beast, and a whole load of pies. And, as the comic repeatedly states, who doesn’t like pie?

Eric Powell is some kind of sick genius, like a combination of Rich Hall and Sam Raimi, or somesuch feeble comparison. He’s joined here by Kyle Hotz, who also suffered pushing the great wheel of Paul Jenkins’ ‘Hulk’ run some time ago. Hotz seems to be having a lot of fun here, cutting loose with some truly caricatured characters.

‘The Goon’ is broad, nasty humour which is stupid and wicked. It inhabits some dark place between the newspaper strips of the interwar years and EC horror comics. It’s highly entertaining, and as such can be recommended safely to anyone with a pulse, fanboy or not.

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By Mark Clapham

Mark Clapham is a Devon-based writer and editor. You can find out more about him at the egotistically named

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