Volume 6 is a departure for the Goon series as it takes on an all together more serious tone. Eric explores the Goon’s early history from his time in the circus to his fledgling steps as a gang leader. The Goon’s loves, betrayals and friendship with Frankie are all fleshed out so that the reader finally understands what made the Goon the man he is today. On top of the great back stories there is also an impressive adversary in the form of the mysterious Mr. wicker driving through the narrative. Going all deep and serious on a comic series that is normally light hearted and funny could have been a disaster for Eric Powell but instead he created a masterpeice.
The artwork in “Chinatown” is gorgeous and it captures the moods and emotions of the story perfectly. Eric chose to use different color washes to illustrate the different time periods of the story and this works really well. Every page is a pleasure to the eye and I found myself going back just to look at the pictures several times after finishing the story.
Not only does this book have great art and great story but there are some great extras too. This is a Goon book that people who are not fans of the series could pick up and read as a standalone novel and still enjoy. I consider this to be the best book in the Goon series so far and it really does pack an emotional punch. ISBN-13: 978-1595824066. 9/10
“The Goon: Rough Stuff” collects the earliest stories of The Goon that were originally published in black and white. Eric goes to great lengths in the introduction to say that this book is not up to the standard of his later work both in terms of Story and writing. I disagree with him here and found both elements to be well up to speed with the later stuff and the newly colored art looks great. Two particular standout stories for goon fans are the introduction to his circus performing family and the back story for how he became the head of a notorious crime family.
The extensive special features and sketches in the back of the book are a real treat and I think the original pencil sketches look even better than the colored art. The artwork is great but the splash pages deserve a special mention as they are awesome. This book is a must buy for Eric Powell and Goon fans. [ISBN-13: 978-1595824684]. 8/10.