March 16, 2009

THE GOON: First movie pictures

Ain't It Cool News has dropped the first exclusive pictures from Blur Studio and producer David Fincher of the CG animated adaptation of the comic series The Goon

Click HERE for more pictures

The Goon is a hilarious, wacky, and sometimes touching Eisner award-winning comic series by Eric Powell. Blending pulp horror, slapstick comedy, and blatant, nostalgic crime-worship, the series follows the ongoing misadventures of a thug crime boss called Goon and his spastic sidekick Franky as they protect their town and battle the legions of the undead and other eccentric threats. While the comic series has turned somewhat more series after 10 years of publication (first in 1999 by Avatar Press before moving to the realm, of self-publishing through Albatross Exploding Funny Books in 2002 before finally landing with Dark Horse comics in 2003), the series is at its best absurdly brilliant. Besides zombies (aka "slackjaws") the Goon and Franky have contended with such enemies as exploding orangutans, jungle hobos, robots, harpies, and a lusty man-mincing sea-hag to name a few.

The man known as Goon is a hard-hitting, plain talking, brute of an everyman. Claiming to be the enforcer of the Labrazio crime family, he sets up stakes in a 1930s-era small town as its criminal protector. Although he’s a mob thug, Goon and his high-strung partner, Franky, protect the town from a collection of demons, ghouls, zombies, monsters, and other assorted evils that plague it. Their protective services are given in exchange for the townpeople's loyalty and money; however, Goon and Franky are essentially good men although criminals. Just like in noir, they are guys doing dirty work and all the while trying to deny that they are heroes. Usually at the center of the evils they face is the nameless man - the Zombie Priest - and his gang of the undead. The Goon could be a serious horror/crime book, but Powell’s situations are often silly and ridiculous while his writing is punchy and sharp, so the book has traditionally been a horror/comedy.

In his introduction to Nothin' But Misery collection of issues, William Stout (the production designer for films such as Return of the Living Dead) likens Powell and his work to the drunken, unholy union of Jack Kirby, Wally Wood, and Graham Ingels. The comparison is wholly deserved as The Goon is, as Stout puts it, a "mini-masterpiece of urban debris ... [that] drops '30s and '40s pop culture references ... amongst Texas chainsaw hillbilly hilarity". With the humour, versatility, and wonder of Wood; the scale of Kirby; and the horror-comic stylings of Ingels, Powell adds his own favour of absurdism that makes the whole project crackle with originality. In very little space, Powell can tell stories in sequential visuals that are exciting, funny, horrific, and touching all at once.

I've been following the comic since it moved to Dark Horse, and I eagerly await this film.

For more information about Eric Powell and The Goon check out the official website: