Thursday, January 24, 2013

Review: The Goon Volume 0 Rough Stuff

The Goon and Frankie welcome you to the Milking-It-For-All-It's-Worth-Edition of this earlier work by Eric Powell.

This book collects the first three issues of The Goon (before Dark Horse), some comic strips, sketches and unpublished drafts of some of the early stories.

Learn all about The Goon's origin and his first encounters with the Zombie mob and the Zombie Priest, Fishy Pete and others.

How is it?

Short version

Really good. Read it.

Not so short version

Eric Powell is the mind behind The Goon. This is his love child and it shows. From the introductions (plural) to the extras of the book the emotional investment done is palpable. Rough Stuff collects the early work Powell did for The Goon. For some reason, right up front, Powell makes sure to lower the expectation for this book stating that its sub-par of his more recent work on The Goon.

To be fair this is my first Goon book so I don't have a Goon benchmark setup, but judging from this one Powell was overzealous. While this book is a bit too short to be a great collection it still manages to be really good at its job. To entertain. In that light this is an good book. I couldn't help but to end each chapter with a smile on my face.


For those unfamiliar with The Goon, he and his pall Frankie are mob enforcers. Actually they're the only ones that stand up to the Zombie Mob and prevent the Zombie Priest's rule over the city. They work for Labrazio. A ruthless bad man with a reputation that puts fear into everyone’s heart. However The Goon is the only one that’s had any type of contact with contact with Labrazio for the last 20 years. His relationship with Labrazio is the foundation for his origin story.

I loved the dynamic between The Goon and Frankie. One is somewhat calm, big and powerful, the other is violent, little, psychopath and very vocal. They complement each other very well. Powell complemented these traits with a fantastic visual representation. The Goon and Frankie are drawn is very different styles highlighting the differences between them.

Art wise this is a good book. Powell says "Its called Rough Stuff for a reason", however I won't go as far as Powell went with his self criticism. This is not bad work be any means. While it won't win any art awards it is very enjoyable. This was Powell's earlier work, he hadn't yet establish is award winning style, but it already show high potential. Mister Powell might not love this earlier work, but I sure enjoyed watching it.

You heard the man Lazlo!
Getting that demon out

Plot and art aside, this book is a humorous one. Its present in every page and every panel. Not all of it is brilliant, but there are many good moments. I particularly love the Vampire joke (not going to spoil it).


The Goon gained a new follower with this Rough Stuff. Its a funny book that is guaranteed to put you in a good mood. Highly Recommended.

On a side note I want to thank my e-buddy Tim for this awesome gift. I liked it very much.

Publisher:  Dark Horse
Year: 2010
Pages: 104
Authors: Eric Powell

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  1. "Actually they're the only ones that stand up to the Zombie Mob and prevent the Zombie Priest's rule over the city."

    Stop. Stop, stop, stop. Just...say no more. That's all I need to hear. The Goon is now officially something worth investigating.

    Thanks for this. And here I was, thinking goons were just sandbags for superheroes to practice with...

    1. Hi Voltech,

      Eric Powell created a truly original book. The Goon as nothing to do with superheroes. Its all about Zombie Mobs and two really badass characters. :)