This week, ‘The Goon’ # 39 hit store shelves and started an incredible battle that has about twenty different sides and within the fight, many fans don’t quite know what to think.
If you didn’t already read the book, ‘The Goon’ # 39 is a scathing attack on the world of super hero comics. You don’t have to read very far into the issue to find out what creator Eric Powell is saying. In fact if you missed it, the first page and text page (at the end of the comic) make it pretty clear why Powell is so angry. Powell feels that DC and Marvel are doing nothing but turning out mindless dribble and the people who read them are not very smart because they fall for the same stuff over and over again.
The book takes a poke at everything we know about the superhero genre. And by poke I mean insult and attack with a lot much fire and venom. I will say that most of his lampooning is spot on, but it can be an uncomfortable read simply because of the anger that went into creating it.
I agree with many of the points that Eric makes. Superhero books can be very predictable; they reinvent themselves on a monthly basis and sometimes seem to follow a blueprint. I also agree that companies load up the shelves with too many of the same comics. How many Batman and X – Men titles do we need every month? But DC and Marvel will flood the market with what they know will sell. The only reason I read superhero comics is because my original diet of war, horror and western comics have been whittled down quite a bit.
Where I think he went a bit too far is his feelings towards DC and Marvel and the creators who create comics. It seems he thinks a true creator is a sell out if they work on a superhero comic. Maybe some of them want to draw them. If I could draw I would love to work on Captain America or Batman. And I would love to work for Marvel or DC despite the fact they are a corporation. You can’t fault a creator for wanting to work on some of the coolest characters in the world.
There was also a dig that was pointed at artists who sell their pages. Why? It’s a great way to supplement their income and for fans they get a one of a kind peace of work. I will assume Eric doesn’t sell his artwork.
Yes we should support creator owned books. I do! At every show I will buy (or be given) at least 10 books in artist alley and write reviews or push on the show. When I look at Previews guide I look for books that look to be interesting and order them. And if they are good I will do everything I can to promote them.
The comic market would fail without Marvel and DC and if they don’t make what sells than they will not survive. A comic store isn’t going to just survive on just ordering indie books. They are barely making it with all the stuff already out there.
Selling creator owned comics is all about marketing and I’m sure this issue of ‘The Goon’ outsold every other one before it, probably combined. I wonder if this is what Eric Powell intended in the first place! I don’t like ‘The Goon’ (my choice) but I bought a copy of this one, so there is one more sold.
I share the concern of indie creators out there. I know there are some amazing books out there that I may never find out about. But that isn’t Marvel or DC’s fault, nor is it the fault of the fans who buy into the ‘pointless gimmicks’ or the creators who write, pencil, ink, and color them. We all just love our comics!