Thursday, 18 October 2012

Book of the Month Club - September 2012 - THE GOON vol 1 - NOTHIN' BUT MISERY!

Since March of 2009, myself and a group of like minded comic enthusiasts have been meeting each month to discuss a book that has been picked by a member of the club to be read that month. We have read and discussed a variety of titles including; Watchmen, Preacher, Daredevil - Guardian Devil, Superman - Red Son, Judge Death - Boyhood of a Superfiend, Bakuman, A Right to be Hostile, GI Joe vol 1 and Neverwhere.
I would like to invite you all to join us, either physically each month if you live in the Kettering area and can attend the meetings, or virtually via this blog by reading the chosen book and voicing your opinions in our comments section. Each month I will post our thoughts on the pick as well as posting the name of the next months book.

This months pick...

THE GOON vol 1 - NOTHIN' BUT MISERY - by Eric Powell

In a world where Zombies, Monsters and Ghosts are common place, The Goon and his pal Frankie are a pair of mob enforcers who don't take any crap from the dead as well as the living. They're regular, blue collar guys, who like a drink and don't care much for Zombies. And when the Zombie Priest discovers that Labrazio, the Goon's boss, is in fact dead and the Goon himself has taken over his turf, how will he make his big play?
This mixture of horror and comedy is beautifully played out in a pulpy old school style that will have you laughing out loud and grimacing within the space of a few panels.

Our thoughts on the book...

Mario - I can't remember the last time I had so much fun with a new discovery like this. I have known of the existence of The Goon for years, but even after enjoying such Dark Horse Horror Classics as Hellboy and Beasts of Burden, it took a book club recommendation for me to finally pick up this book and boy do I feel foolish for not grabbing it sooner. It has its horror elements, but the tales are so outlandish that I found myself laughing heartily along with the book, rather than being overly horrified. There are a few gross out panels, but Eric Powell's art work is so delightful that I found myself enjoying every moment, every scene. The made up adverts and product placements are also incredibly funny and don't take anything away from the book or distract from the main story. All in all this is one of the best graphic novels I have ever read for sheer enjoyment factor between the covers. It is pure and simply fun and I felt that I got my moneys worth completely! 10/10

James - Good old fashioned fun, pulpy and awesome. I personally prefer longer stories, but it was nice. I enjoyed the Vulture storyline, that was pretty badass and I enjoyed the fact it paid no care for the lengths of stories. Funky art. 8/10

Alex - A good fun comic which doesn't take itself too seriously and is just generally quite funny. Nice distinctive art with a retro feel, only real negative is its very much an instant gratification kind of comic, I only read it the other day and already I only remember a couple of the specific gags rather that much about the thing as a whole. Still great fun while it lasts. I have no decent employment based excuses. 8/10 

Frankie - Great little vignettes contained within what maybe a cohesive story or not it doesn't matter. Its a sort of 1930s pulp novel with fish gangsters and zombies all carried by the eponymous Goon of the title. Violent, funny and damn good. 9/10 

Martin - The Goon: Nothin' But Misery is one of my favourite comics and holds a special place in my nerdy heart. A series that has complete disregard for epic sagas, plot twists and climatic battles between good and evil; it's your generic gangster pulp story turned on it's head.
To the point, Eric Powell has created a world with such care you can truly see this is a labour of love. The art is spectacular, paying homage to mid-20th Century pulp fiction comics and many "creature features" that appeared during that time as well. The short stories are fun and engaging, keeping pace throughout so you never get bored or tired of what's going on. The humour is out of this world, being very surreal, random and witty throughout.
Overall this book is genius and deserves to be on the shelf of any self-respected fan of comics or indeed absolutely anybody. 9/10

Amy - Volume one of the Goon feels like a mishmash of ideas, half explained plots and off the wall characters that are never given any real explanation. This makes the Goon a wonderfully off the wall read. Early on in the book, one of the characters is seen watching Monty Python and that is a great comparison to make to the Goon, the off the wall humour, the crazy plots and the random adverts and one page strips should make the book feel like a cluster of too many ideas, but instead works in its favour. An interesting book that is quick and easy to read and has a wicked sense of humour. Well worth a read. 7/10

So there you go. This is what our club members thought of The Goon volume 1. Please leave your comments in the box below to give us your two cents or if you live in the Kettering area, why not pop along to our next meeting on the 22nd of October (message me for more details). Next months pick is The Pro, by Garth Ennis and Amanda Conner, so why not dig out a copy and give us your thoughts!


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