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“G” Is For …

… The Goon! (1999)

Longbox Graveyard was founded to celebrate my Bronze Age comics obsession, but one of the unexpected benefits of this blog was that it reinvigorated my interest in comics in general. Mostly I stick to the moldy oldies but I have read a few books from (gasp!) the current century, and among my favorite new discoveries is Eric Powell’s The Goon.

These are two-fisted adventures set during the Depression … if the Depression were overrun with zombies and giant monsters. (Perhaps it was — my parents wouldn’t speak about it). Powell’s work is beautifully drawn and wickedly funny, a real rarity in funnybooks. The tales are simple but they have emotional heft, and however bizarre the situations may get, I love that every problem can be solved with a punch in the face.

I’ve bought the whole series as it has been collected, and even purchased several volumes direct from the creator at San Diego Comic-Con (where his booth was scandalously under-attended). The Goon is a work of sublime genius. If you aren’t reading it, you should!

Lay your favorite “G” books on me in the comments, below!

Honorable Mentions:

  • G.I. Combat (1952)
  • Giant-Size Man-Thing (1974)
  • Godzilla (1977)
  • Green Lantern (1960)
  • Giant-Size X-Men (1975)

Check out the complete Longbox Graveyard Comics A-To-Z HERE!

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About Paul O'Connor

Revelations and retro-reviews from a world where it is always 1978, published once a month or so at www.longboxgraveyard.com!

Posted on February 8, 2018, in Comics A-To-Z and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Steven Paquette

    saGa

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  2. Yes! I also fell in love with this series a few back and picked up all the trades available. I’ve probably got 4-5 years lag again though.

    Powell has a couple other series that are also weirdly awesome. I don’t remember the titles offhand. Something with Billy the Kid, and maybe Chimichangas? Or Chupacabras? God, I’m too lazy to Google. What a disgrace.

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    • Doesn’t surprise me in the least that you are a fellow Goon fan!

      Also of note is this is one of the few comics I’ve gotten my son, Jack, to go for. This and Mouseguard — that’s pretty much it. He’s definitely a fan … Marvel movies, Doctor Who, H.P. Lovecraft, plus he writes and he’s a film student … but he doesn’t much like comics. Except the Good. (And Maus, which came to him through a high school literature course).

      Our kids are connected to us by tangled lines.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Our kids are connected to us by tangled lines.”

        Is that your own line? I love it. Its so true. It snowed last month, and I was dressing my toddler to play in the snow. She had black pants on, and out of the blue, she snarled at me, “I’m the Black Panther!”

        I am shocked to live in a world where a 4 year old girl knows who the Black Panther is, and is excited to be him. This also warms my heart. We’ve got a boy coming in April, and I just have a feeling he will not care about comics in the least.

        Best of luck to your writing film student son! I hope he makes it. Getting paid for creativity is the second best thing, right behind having a legacy to leave when you’re gone. He’s on track for both!

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        • A damn shame Jack Kirby couldn’t live long enough to see his work come so thoroughly into the mainstream. Or maybe it just would have wounded him, knowing he was just making pennies on the dollar.

          Probably the only rewards really worth having are those that come out of 4-year-olds who want to be Black Panther. You’ll have that one until the day you die.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. And here was me thinking Groo The Wanderer would get a look-in …

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    • Good pick!

      I sat next to Sergio Aragones during an autograph session for Malibu Comics at San Diego Comic-Con many, many years ago.

      I didn’t give out a lot of autographs that day! (Or any day).

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  4. I too will momentarily abandon the bronze-age and offer as my favorite “G” comic:

    G0DLAND!

    Written by Joe Casey with art from the Kirby-inspired Tom Scioli, G0DLAND is an ode to Kirby cosmic epic adventure, done in a modern style. Adam Archer is an earth astronaut who acquires cosmic powers on Mars. While protecting earth from space-born menaces that are attracted by his power, he comes to learn the true story of the birth of the universe and the threats that might lead to it’s end!

    You’ll love to hate the far out villains like Friedrich Nickelback, the Tormentor, and Basil Cronus.

    I have the set of 3 “Celestial Editions” which cover the entire series which ran from 2005-2012. It looks like it is on comixology, so hopefully you can read it in comixology unlimited?

    The Goon sounds awesome! I’ll check it out for sure.

    As my bronze-age choice I would have gone with Green Lantern/Green Arrow: a book I adored back in the day. I loved Mike Grell’s art on this series. The cover to #90 is in my top 10 covers.

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    • I vaguely remember when Godland came around. I had no idea it ran for seven years. And, yes, this is one more reason to check out Comixology Unlimited. Our last correspondence did inspire me to get my Comixology membership on its feet again (damn passwords). Even inside the paywall over there, they don’t offer a lot of information on what titles are included in their Unlimited subscription. I’ll do a trial with them eventually but I need a stretch of time where I know I can binge several nights in a row without interruption … and despite the seeming calm of publishing Longbox Graveyard every day during February, my life behind the scenes is anything but all planned out right now.

      When reactivating my Comixology account I did discover that at some point I’d bought the collected edition of Tom King’s Omega Men. Had no memory of that, was glad to find out before I bought a print edition. And now to see if I can read it before my “O” column goes live!

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  5. Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 2 (2008-2010), DnA in attendance. Fun run, along with their Annihilation events and Nova. I know, I just listed 3, but GotG, final answer. ^_^

    Liked by 2 people

    • Please point me to some kind of Guardians preferred reading order, there are a blizzard of titles out there!

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      • I second the modern DnA Guardians of the Galaxy. Really awesome stuff that resuscitated the cosmic scope of Marvel, and built unlikeliest film franchise of all. This guy here has a solid reading order for you:

        https://www.comicbookherald.com/guardians-of-the-galaxy-reading-order/

        About a third down on that page, the heading “Modern Guardians of the Galaxy – Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning Run” is where the great stuff begins. (I agree with the author that Annihilation is good to read for context, but personally, I didn’t love the series, and you can skip it if you want.)

        I’d also recommend the coinciding run on Nova during this time.

        When Bendis gets his hands on it, it loses a lot of its…spunk? His characters all speak in shades of the same voice, and as silly as this may sound, the comic seems too commercial. DnA seemingly had carte blanche to tell a great story without any reins or muzzles. And the result was a great story. WHO COULD IMAGINE SUCH A THING?

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        • Exactly what I was looking for, thanks! I did read a lot of the Abnett & Lanning stuff several years ago and thought it was a hoot. It was just too difficult to follow everything as it threaded in and out of Marvel’s dreaded crossover events (which are DEATH to long reads).

          I run hot and cold on Bendis — mostly cold — but I thought his Guardians “Infinite” comic was pretty strong. He’s another guy that I like much better in a long read on Marvel Unlimited … and another guy who’s runs always seem to get into a car crash with a mandatory crossover. Grrr.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. The include the Giant-Size comics as a G title sorta seems like cheating, plus most only lasted a couple of issues or so. So….I will choose Green Lantern I’m a big fan of the O-Neal-Adams run, plus the Wein-Gibbons stuff in the 80’s was very good also.

    I’ll admit to a certain fondness for Godzilla, at least the issues I’ve read. Ghost Rider is OK, but I really need to read some more issues of that one of these days, having only read the first three issues plus a couple of random issues from later years.

    By the way, I’ve never, ever heard of The Goon.

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    • If all that this feature accomplishes is to help spread love for the Goon then it was blogging time well spent.

      Giant-Sizes count! This whole series is driven by indicia (and minutia!). If the book was called Giant-Size, then Giant-Size it is … but few of those books will get much love from me. Crappy binding!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, and I’ve got a handful of GI Joes which I thought were pretty good, as well as the Green Arrow Limited Series from 1983 which was pretty good. I also bought the first few issues of the Guardians of the Galaxy series from 2008 until I decided to stop collecting new comics…again.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ghost Rider, G.I. Joe?

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