I WANNA BE LITERATED! #129

I WANNA BE LITERATED! #129

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Friday, 23 September 2016
COLUMN

The Goon, Volume 15: Once Upon a Hard Time
by Eric Powell

 
I’ve got nothing but love for the Goon. Ever since I was a wee lad in my late 20s, I have had the pleasure to see this underdog of a comic book mature and flourish into a juggernaut. The Goon’s universe operated by very basic and simple rules. A mysterious man defends his town from the powers of evil and the undead. Of course, the fact that The Goon is independently published and creator controlled is most definitely a plus in my book. But as of late, the Goon has seemed a bit out of place, and never more so than in Once Upon a Hard Time.

 
These pages are almost completely devoid of the humor and straightforwardness we’ve come to love from the series. Which is fine as long as the story is compelling in some way, but — and this is hard for me to say — it just isn’t. Characters are one-dimensional and introduced just to propel the story and then promptly discarded. And even all the witchcraft and wizardry Powell seems to love seems like he’s just making it up on the spot. I know, it’s all technically made up, but here it’s just frustrating and uninteresting. And even the story is one that has been told many times already: THESE bad guys are finally a match for the Goon, right? No they’re not.

 
As always, the beautiful artwork has to be noted. Eric Powell has managed to turn his artwork from simple and cartoony into stratospherically incomprehensibly good over the years. Here, the Goon excels as it never has before.

 
So it seems like Powell has run out of ideas which would explain why he chooses to illustrate the Island of Dr. Moreau in the middle of this book instead of telling his own story. Weird! At the end of Once Upon a Hard Time, the characters seem to start a new chapter in their lives. About time! That old town of his might have been poison after all.

 

Get your copy here!

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