The Goon Library Volume 1 start like this -the inhabitants of Lonely Street don’t have it easy. Not since the sinister Zombie Priest has come to town. Set on building a crime family out of his legion of the undead, he is the second most feared gangster in town.
Only the mysterious Labrazio is more powerful. And most dangerous of all is The Goon, Labrazio’s enforcer and right-hand man.
If you liked awesome horror graphic novels like Hellboy or noire thrillers like Criminal: Coward –you are in for a treat. The Goon is a rip-roaring tale of horror, noire crime fiction and hilariously crude humor. Courtesy of the deranged mind of Eric Powell!
Enter a world of supernatural gangsters, violence and evil chuckles. Where Goon and his big-mouthed buddy Franky take on zombies, ghouls, giant chimpanzee monsters, extra-dimensional invaders, robots and any other pulp horror characters you can imagine.
Why should you read The Goon Library Volume 1? Read on to discover todays must read graphic novel…
Five Years Hard-Labor –How The Goon Almost Didn’t Happen
The Goon Library Volume 1 collects The Goon Volume 0-3. A collection that almost didn’t happen.
When Goon started back in 1998 under Avatar Press it almost died. Eric Powell, the creator, did not like the quality of the Avatar Press published graphic novel. So he stopped handing in material until his contract with the publisher expired.
He resurrected the series by self-publishing with Albatross Exploding Funny Books. After all other major and minor publishers had rejected it.
Then Dark Horse noticed the series. After having passed on it before, they knew Powell was on to a good thing and made him an offer. So The Goon found his final home at Dark Horse. Where his exploits have been, more or less, regularly published since 2003.
Back to the story…
Zombies, Gangsters and Risqué Jokes
The Goon and Labrazio are the only thing standing between the demented Zombie Priest and totally domination of the criminal underworld. Thwarted at every corner by Goon, the Zombie Priest obsesses about finding out who the mysterious Labrazio really is.
If he can uncover Labrazios’ secret identity, maybe the Zombie Priest can kill him and finally take over… everything?
While concocting his latest wacky, and gross, scheme to take down Goon, Zombie Priest is approached by G-Man Smith.
The Feds make the zombie fiddler an offer he can’t refuse. Help the government with a top secret necromantic project and Smith will ferret out Labrazio’s identity and hiding place.
The Goon will, of course, have to be eliminated…
So our zombie fanatic does what all good gangster bosses do. He puts a hit out on Goon. All of 50 thousand dollars! With a fortune at stack, soon every hoodlum and hustler in town wants to take a shot at our hero.
And it’s here where we are introduced to Powell’s deliciously twisted sense of humor. For example, we have a redneck werewolf who tries to kill Goon in his favorite bar.
When that fails, a friendly neighborhood cop arrest Goon and tries to hand him over to the zombie mob.
While Goon and Franky are giving the crooked lawman a piece of their mind (i.e. fists) they get knocked out by a strangely misshapen figure.
Coming to their senses, our friends find themselves captured by Joey the Ball. Joey is a tinny, nerdy looking accountant type -with a freakishly buff arm that is permanently attached to a bowling ball.
He decides he’s going to finish Goon off with some panache. So he has him beaten and dumped in Rat Alley. They even give Goon a gun. Just so that he has a sporting chance against the giant mutant rats that inhabit this part of town.
Will Goon and Franky escape form Joey and the zombie mob? Will G-Man Smith uncover Labrazio’s’ shocking secret?
Full of Goodness. Not for Kids or The Faint Hearted
This is all just in the first volume of the book.
The rest of the graphic novel just keeps turning up the laughs.
We get to meet ‘The Buzzard’. An old enemy of the Zombie Priest. Who has a unique…’condition’. You see back in the day Zombie Priest messed with the wrong Sheriff. As result of this said Sheriff turned into a living man who feasts on the flesh of the dead –a reverse zombie! Buzzard has been hunting the Zombie Priest for a long time and is ready for a good old Western showdown.
We get to see the backstory of the goon and how he came to be Labrazio’s right hand man. Warning, this involves a travelling carnival, tragic death and solemn promises.
Powell also goes crazy with his classic comic parodies and pulp related jokes. Get ready for comic ads featuring the ‘Atomic Rage’, a foul-mouthed and angry ‘golden-age’ superhero. His head has nuclear powers! When faced with testicular cancer from his superpowers, the Rage visits a groping faith-healer. With amusing consequences.
There are hilarious three pagers featuring Goon and Frankie taking on robots, alien gangsters and etc.
Oh and let’s not forget about that one photo-story featuring a lovable rascal who’s just run away from home. Inspired by The Goon, our young friend decides he has to get to the city to ‘get him some of those easy women!’.
The Art and Writing of The Goon Library Volume 1
Powell writes and outrageous, funny and exciting pulp novel. He’s sarcastic, makes fun of every horror and crime trope you can imagine and loves borderline crude laughs.
We see the background of the Goon solidify between volumes 0 and 3.
Just remember, we don’t talk about Chinatown. Ever!
Eric Powell’s dialog is smart, pithy and naughty. And no folklore, fairy tale or supernatural character is safe from his madness.
The art reminds me of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. But Powell has a strong and proud cartoon influence in his work, just like Jeff Smith’s Bone. His characters are unique, dynamic and well suited for the story.
Everything is rendered in black and white shading. And its beautiful!
The Goon’s story and art would fit in well with Cartoon Networks late-night Adult Swim block. Without being annoying or dumb. So maybe Adult Swim would not be the best place for it…
The Goon is awesome! Read it if you like sort-of naughty adult humor, crime stories and zombie.
I hate zombies and horror personally. But like Hellboy, The Goon is so good that even somebody who doesn’t like the supernatural genre (and is tired of the Walking Dead craze) can enjoy it.
Definitely not for kids!
If you want to have a laugh and enjoy a real cult classic off the beaten path of graphic fiction. Get The Goon Library Volume 1 today!
Enjoy your must read graphic novel!
PS: The Goon Library Volume 1 is fantastic. You should read it.
Click here to order your copy of this awesome graphic novel in hardcover!
If you want more horror that is so good even non-horror fans can enjoy it read our Hellboy review.