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Eric Powell on The Goon’s 15th Anniversary

January 27, 2015

Very rarely is a comic book these days the product of a single man’s labors. Even rarer does that comic shoot to the top of the indie scene, and rarest of all, does it do so out of the gate.Yet when Eric Powell debuted The Goon it seemed to have arrived fully formed, to the wonderment of readers.

Who was this guy? Where has he been that he can draw so well? How did he strike to the heart of his authorial voice so surely? How did he not only devise a book so different from everything out there…but get it so right from the start?

The Goon is simultaneously hilarious while tragic, retro but innovative, and novel yet recognizable — every one of its characters is familiar to us from the morass of our grandparents’ culture, around the Golden Age of Hollywood. This is pastiche noir. It’s horror and sci-fi and western and gangster films–a million celluloid rarebit fiend dreams, stuck in a blender and poured in the ear of a powerhouse creative dynamo from Tennessee.

Powell writes and draws The Goon (often with a second party coloring his art, though not always) from some enchanting corner of his own imagination that’s as immediately addicting to readers as it is bafflingly intimidating to other creators.

He found an enthusiastic readership, including director David Fincher, who eventually helmed the creation of an animated sample reel pitching the story to Hollywood. (The voice casting of Clancy Brown and Paul Giamatti as Goon and Franky was especially perfect.) You can see it for yourself if you don’t mind a little NSFW language and some ridiculously fun Goon shenanigans.

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