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‘The Goon in Theatre Bizarre:’ Advance Comic Book Review

A show to die for.

Eric Powell is wrapping up his amazing series, but that doesn’t mean the fun’s all over.  In his new capacity, Goon, Frankie, and Dog find themselves at a carnival on All Hallow’s Eve, and not just any carnival, but Zombo’s Theatre Bizarre.  Like a siren’s call, the fair draws people in to never be heard of again, but will our heroes fall for such simple tricks?  (Yeah, it’s Frankie.)

This is the kind of story that Powell loves to have fun with, tons of old-school horror overtones done in the pulpy, ’50s style that anyone can enjoy.  I’m not a horror book fan, really, but something about Powell’s work in the genre draws me in.  The last few issues of The Goon have been very heavy and for good reason, and this feels like the outlet for all the snarky, witty humor that we’ve all come to enjoy over the years.  If you’re not a fan of the series, this would be a wonderful place to give it a try; not only does he call himself out on his plot devices while maintaining a believable and engaging story, but the truly dark cant to the laughs is what he does better than no other.  Dog gets to land some of the best gags in the issue, and Frankie plays the boob like no other. (The boxing gag is phenomenal.  As a future parent, I’m at once horrified and excited for my son to be old enough to enjoy this stuff.)

Eric Powell is a stupidly talented artist, and the splash pages in this issue are mind-shatteringly pretty.  Damn, he’s good.  Seriously, this stuff could hang in galleries. I want to cover my walls with this issue and pay the extra therapy expenses gladly.  There’s not a more perfect vibe to a good Halloween book from form to color.  A perfect ten.

Fans, jump on this one.  Non-fans, DEFINITELY get this issue; it will open you to a wonderful, twisted world with high low comedy and exquisite artistry.  (The final page is great, sneaking in a great call-out to the Bindlestiff Circus, which is a fantastic nod to the history that Powell uses in his style.  Kudos to that call-out; it made me smile a good deal.  Look it up.)

Share the stories that move you.

Erik Cheski, Fanbase Press Contributor



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