A horror comedy character that packs a punch, the Goon has prowled the pages of comic books and faced down evil time and time again over the years, and to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the character's first appearance, Eric Powell recently resurrected the Goon in the first issue of a new comic book series published by his company, Albatross Funnybooks. To celebrate the return of Powell's memorable character, we caught up with the writer and illustrator to discuss why now is the right time to bring back the Goon, collaborating with other artists and writers on the new series, and what fans can expect from upcoming issues.
Thanks for taking the time to catch up with us, Eric, and congratulations on the 20th anniversary of the Goon! What made this the perfect time to resurrect your beloved comic book character in a new series?
Eric Powell: Thanks! Well, the 20th anniversary is one big reason to put out more Goon. The more abstract answer is it just felt like time to get back to him. The world is a pretty stressful place right now, and for myself and readers, I thought it would be nice to get back to the roots of the series and have some fun.
This time around, you’re not only writing The Goon, your company, Albatross Funnybooks, is publishing it as well. Has publishing The Goon under your own banner changed your approach to writing and drawing the series?
Eric Powell: As far as the creative approach, I’d say it doesn’t affect it at all. But from a publisher’s standpoint, there’s a lot more work involved with getting the book on the stands—a lot more hats to wear. But we’re pretty thrilled to take on the challenge.
Readers have been thrilled, chilled, and humored by the Goon for the past two decades. What can readers expect to experience in the new Goon series that they haven’t seen before?
Eric Powell: Two things. We’re opening up the series to new creators for the first time. And more hardcore sex scenes. Just kidding! Nobody wants to see Franky perform the Kama Sutra. But we do have some amazingly talented people that will be contributing to the series. Evan Dorkin wrote one issue of the original series, and other than a few short stories, no one has touched the series other than myself. And anyone fearing I’m turning the book over entirely, don’t worry. If I’m not drawing the book, I’ll be writing it, and if I’m not writing it, I’ll be drawing it.
You’ve teamed up with colorist Rachael Cohen for the new series. What made her the right fit to work with on the new issues?
Eric Powell: Rachael was actually hired for a project that hasn’t been announced yet and she did such a great job I brought her on board for the Goon. She’s knocking it out of the park. Takes direction like a champ and makes interesting color choices that I wouldn’t have thought of.
The new Goon comic book series features never-before-published stories. Can readers expect a mix of unpublished stories from your archives and new tales that you’ve recently written?
Eric Powell: This Albatross series will be all-new material, but we will be releasing Omnibus collections of the old material starting in May.
In addition to your own stories, the new Goon comic book series will also feature tales written and drawn by other creators. Although the guest writers and artists have yet to be announced, I’d love to know how you decided who to bring in to work on the new Goon series.
Eric Powell: First, I do a background check and if they’ve got any felonies or history of violent crime, THEY’RE IN! Really, it comes down to me being a fan of their work and if it fits the world of the Goon. I’m really excited about the artist on the second arc. Nails the world of the Goon!
What do you hope readers take away from the return of the Goon?
Eric Powell: A few laughs… some tears… maybe a slight intestinal bug, and then laughs again.
To celebrate the launch of the new Goon comic book series and the 20th anniversary of the Goon’s first appearance, you’re embarking on a massive signing tour and you’ll also be releasing Goon tiki mugs and classic Goon graphic novels. What are you looking forward to the most on the upcoming tour, and how do you prepare for a tour this big?
Eric Powell: I’m most looking forward to the end of it because it will mean we actually pulled it off. Honestly, I’m just looking forward to doing my best to make some fans happy, hanging with these shop owners, and spreading the word of Goon. If I can bring a few new readers to the fold, mission accomplished.
In addition to resurrecting The Goon, do you have any other upcoming projects at Albatross Funnybooks that you can tell us about? Also, where can readers go online to keep up with your work?
Eric Powell: The only project that we can talk about at this time is our series Grumble with Mike Norton and Rafer Roberts. And we are doing a Grumble vs the Goon crossover for Free Comic Book Day this year. Grumble has flown under the radar of some folks, so we’re excited to bring that fantastic title to a wider audience on FCBD.
Read on for the list of stops on Powell's tour, and check out the previous press release with more details, as well as preview pages from The Goon #1 and cover art for the crossover Grumble vs. The Goon.
MAR 19 Grill ‘Em All • Alhambra, CA.
MAR 23 Bridge City Comics • Portland, OR.
APR 6 Bedrock City Comic Co. • Houston, TX.
APR 10 Austin Books & Comics • Austin, TX.
APR 13 The Goon Art Show, Mondo Gallery • Austin, TX.
APR 20 Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find • Charlotte, NC.
MAY 4 Mile High Comics • Denver, CO.
JUN 1 Aw Yeah Comics • Skokie, IL.
JUN 8 Tardy’s Collectors Corner • Grand Rapids, MI.
JUN 12 Pastimes • Asheville, NC.
JUN 14-16 Heroes Con • Charlotte, NC.
JUN 19 Tate’s Comics • South Florida, FL.
JUN 22 Pensacola Pop Comics • Pensacola, FL.
JUN 26 My Parents’ Basement • Avondale Estates, GA.
JUL 18-21 San Diego Comic Con • San Diego, CA.
AUG 10 Space Cadets • Houston, TX.
SEP 14-15 The Dragon • Guelph, Ontario, Canada
SEP 28 Powers Comics • Green Bay, WI.
OCT 3-6 New York Comic Con • New York, NY.
OCT 9 Aw Yeah Comics • Harrison, NY.
OCT 25-28 Maui Comic Con • Maui, HI.
NOV 1-3 Supanova Comic Con • Adelaide, Australia
NOV 8-10 Supanova Comic Con • Brisbane, Australia
Previous Press Release: In 2019, award-winning cartoonist Eric Powell and his publishing company Albatross Funnybooks will debut an all new GOON comic book series, featuring never-before-published stories. For almost two decades, the Goon’s whiskey fueled adventures have thrilled fans, critics, and creators with their bold creativity, classic style,and irreverent humor. When Albatross Funnybooks debuts THE GOON #1 next spring, it will mark the first new Goon stories to be published since Dark Horse published THE GOON: ONCE UPON A HARD TIME comics in 2015, and it will kick off a year-long, 20th anniversary celebration featuring a national signing tour, Albatross Funnybooks’ collected editions of classic GOON graphic novels, limited edition GOON tiki mugs and more.
“The fact that we feel confident bringing the full library of my flagship title over to Albatross going into our third year of expansion fills me with excitement and a new enthusiastic energy for what’s to come,” said Powell. “With Albatross, we focus on making fun, eclectic comics that stand out for their individuality and creative quality, as seen in our lineup of titles like HILLBILLY, SPOOK HOUSE, ‘NAMWOLF, GALAKTKON, GRUMBLE and MEGAGHOST. It’s with this idea of keeping the fun in our Funny Books that we are steering this new GOON series. I’m returning to the roots of the series with a heavy emphasis on the weird, twisted humor the book has been known for. The world around us is dark enough right now. I want to make readers laugh and forget their troubles for a little bit. It definitely feels like it’s time for THE GOON.”
For this new run of stories, Powell will be joined on Albatross Funnybooks’ THE GOON by several acclaimed creators.
“Since I am now not just the creator of THE GOON but also the publisher, I need to make sure our readers get their GOON fix on a regular basis. To that end, we’ll be bringing new creators on to the regular series for first time ever,” teased Powell. “You’ll not only be getting GOON books written and drawn by me, but some written and drawn by some of the best talent in the industry! We will be making announcements in the months to come, but, boy, I can’t wait to show off some of the art we have in the works!!! I think this artist might draw Goon and Franky better than me! And just wait until you hear who’s writing a script for me to draw! It’s one of the best daggum creators in the business, ya’ll!”