Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Review: The Goon #38

Eric Powell's The Goon is essentially a comedy. Pretty much every issue has me in stiches. Every know and then though, Powell can hit some really emotional beats. Chinatown, for example, widely considered Powell's best work. The Goon #38 is one such story. Powell dedicates the issue to Betty Jean Wheeler, "the best Grandma anyone could ask for". From this opening dedication to the tear-jerker of a final page This little story tugs the heartstrings and proves to the world that Powell has not only matured as an artist, but as a powerful and moving storyteller as well.

The story itself follows Kizzie, a socially awkward and unattractive girl, as she runs of and joins the travelling circus. The Goon is only in one panel of the story, but it is a story that has clear and deep meaning for him. The Journey Kizzie goes on is wild and emotional - from accidental death to domestic bliss to heartache to passion to heartbreak. The other great thing about this issue is that, because it's a stand alone one-shot, you can pick it up with no real knowledge of the Goon and enjoy the hell out of it.

Powell pulls out all the stops with the art - just when I think he can't get any better, he brings out an issue like this and blows my mind all over again. He is, in my opinion, in the upper echelon of comic artists today. his figures are perfectly stylised, his action dynamic, his composition artful and his lines are bold, while mainting a level of softness. Dave Stewert on colours help, of course, but it is Powell who makes his vixens foxy and provides that trademark watery ink aesthetic. The Goon 38 is a must have.
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