I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got 3 new comic plus a hard cover collection:

  • Rex Mundi Vol 2 – 9
  • Ex Machina – 33
  • Grendel Behold The Devil 1 (of 8)
  • The Ultimates Volume 2 HC (Then I remembered I never read all of the first volume. Oh well.)
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read this week.

  • “The Goon: Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr. Wicker” by Eric Powell
  • I picked this up because I have a couple of friends who have always praised this series. The only “Goon” book I had read was a 25ยข preview version Dark Horse had published a while ago. The preview was good but never motivated me to start buying the series. This book isn’t part of the ongoing series but a stand alone story done as a graphic novel.

    What first struck me about this book is its sheer straightforwardness. That’s not to say that it lacks nuance and subtlety but the storytelling is very focused and it’s nearly impossible not to get exactly what Eric Powell wants us to get. It’s a story that is very much about the plot and all of the characters serve that plot. There is no mystery to anyone’s actions as all of their actions serve the plot in a easily perceivable manner. I say this not as a criticism but as an observation because it seems I’ve read a lot of stuff lately where neither the reader nor the characters in the story know what is going on. I hadn’t noticed that trend until I read this which is the complete opposite.

    The Goon is a criminal who is running some rackets in what looks like some small waterfront city in the 1930’s or so. This book has two narratives running at the same time. We get a glimpse into the past as The Goon attempts to take over some rackets in his youth and we get the mystery of Mr. Wicker. Some strange monstrous looking thing trying to ruin and then kill The Goon and his gang. This part is in the present.

    Eric Powell’s artwork switches between watercolors and traditional black ink and is quite nice. I especially liked the visuals of Mr. Wicker. Part of the reason I noticed the straightforwardness of the story is that the storytelling is very good. It reads well. All of the characters and settings are well defined and well drawn. A well crafted book all around.

    This book is all about The Goon living, loving, and trying to hold his rackets together through friendship, violence, and planning. There is nothing existential here and it won’t offer any insight into our own lives. It has it’s own story to tell and it does it well. Give it a read.