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October 11th, 2009

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01:23 pm - Busy Buzzing
So between NaNoWriMo and my thing going up unexpectedly on FlashShot, Thursday's post exploded into comments which, let's face it, is awesome. So that's been fun.

It took me several years to find a great comic book store, and when I did, boy did I: it was well-lit, the clerks were polite, they carried what I wanted (including, against odds, the first collected volume of Bayou); basically I could go in assuming I wouldn't be insulted, disappointed, or attacked.

I went comic-hunting around the new area yesterday, and let's just say that it might take a few more years to find another one.

In the meantime I did manage to pick up two things: the 10th anniversary issue of The Goon by Eric Powell, and the first issue of Beasts of Burden by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson.

The Goon: I love The Goon. The Goon is reprehensible. Not the Goon the character, who is just a hulking ton of adorable, but The Goon the comic, which has no sense of propriety or limitations or taste, at all. If you asked "How far can you push the envelope, The Goon?" they would say, "There's an envelope?" and then kick a baby puppy, except it wouldn't be a puppy and they wouldn't just kick it. So that's what you have going in.

The stories are set in a manic Depression-era world overrun by zombies. It's zombie noir. Generally they involve the Goon busting some undead heads (my favorite is when he busts them for the labor union) and some shameless antics in the lead-up. There's a tonal clash that works well and is obviously intentional: The Goon's scar-ringed eyes fall in shadow under his cap, and his pal Frankie is drawn with the huge blank eyes of Little Orphan Annie. So sometimes it's the Three Stooges, sometimes it's Oldboy. Hilariously appalling.

This issue (#32) starts with two pages of sepia-toned backstory (I love those) told straight, then another page and a half of current-timeline drama, then segues immediately into Frankie attempting to throw a birthday party for the Goon, ordering walk-on cameos how to behave and trying to get a bottle-blonde broad to flash him (because "it ain't a birthday if a man don't get to see a strange booby"). A quintet of terrible, terrible children get their hands on the cake, a ravenous hobo-god is raised from the swamp, Powell himself shows up for a page or three to discuss whether animal-on-man rape is ever funny--in other words, everything The Goon has come to be in the last ten years, plus a sketchbook of character development and some neat tribute images by Mignola, Sean McNally, and others.

You have to know what you're getting when you pick up the Goon. But if you know it and you like it, this issue doesn't disappoint.

Beasts of Burden: I pretty much am a fan of anyone who goes around killing monsters. Hot guys...mob enforcers...Puritans...other monsters...it's all good. In Beasts of Burden, it's housepets fighting evil. Look, as long as evil is being fought, I'm there.

These characters (about five dogs and a cat) appeared in the Dark Horse anthologies to some critical acclaim and that got them a four-issue run, and I couldn't be happier. Our ghostbusters are dogs that still act like dogs, and the watercolor-y art style interacts with the content in a neat way--sunlit gardens on one page, haunted forests on the next. Big sad beagle-eyes? Encroaching evil? I eat this stuff up.

Issue one (actually the fifth story about these guys) starts with a rain of frogs and gets scarier. Forgivably meant as a setup for the rest of the run, it reintroduces us to the gang and gives us a taste of the horror getting ready to descend. The characters are adorable. They're also tough. Somewhere, Scooby-Doo is hanging his head in shame.

It's a series worth supporting, and a comic worth keeping.

Cut for length and because I went completely nuts with the in-text linkage, sorry about that (not really sorry).

(4 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 12th, 2009 01:21 am (UTC)
buy comics at a store???

there's a concept i've forgotten about since the advent of eBay.

i think i'd be too daunted to go to a comic store these days. hope you find a friendly haven!

: D
[User Picture]
Date:October 12th, 2009 02:33 am (UTC)
It was really nice. I got spoiled. Now? It's back to Amazon. :/
Date:October 12th, 2009 12:31 pm (UTC)


Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your flashshot 'The Comfort of Touch'.
[User Picture]
Date:October 12th, 2009 02:09 pm (UTC)

Re: Flashshot

Thank you, anonymous person!

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