If you ask Eric Powell, he will probably recommend you to skip some of the early goon books, but I’m here to give you a reading order, so let’s start at the beginning.
What’s The Goon?
The Goon is not a what, he is a who. He is the enforcer for the gangster known as Labrazio. He runs his operation, collecting money and offing deadbeats, and basically being just violent with the help of his best friend, Franky.
In Lonely Street, The Goon and Franky must now deal with zombies raised from the dead by a Zombie Priest and more craziness.
The Goon Reading Order:
I. Trade Paperback Collections
First, let’s begin with the Trade Paperback Collections before looking at the bigger editions.
- Rough Stuff – The Zombie Priest has just set up shop on Lonely Street and intends to build an undead army, and the Goon’s the only man who can stop him. His early battles with the undead are mixed with stories of the Goon’s youth, as we meet his circus-freak clan and learn how he came to be the head of a notorious crime family. Collects The Goon #1–3 (originally published by Avatar Press).
- Nothin’ But Misery – Goon and his sidekick Franky seek their fortune in a haunted house plagued by inbred ghosts! Collects The Goon Color Special & The Goon #1–4 (self-published).
- My Murderous Childhood (and Other Grievous Yarns) – The Goon and Franky have been best friends ever since they were tykes. Find out how the two little ankle-biters became best pals and how they muscled their way into the rackets of big-time crime-boss, Labrazio – who, incidentally, nobody’s seen in a while. Beginning of the Dark Horse Comics ongoing series. Collects The Goon #1–4 & The Goon Meets the Brothers Mud.
- Heaps of Ruination – Beware all undead minions and other variegated doers of badness! Rouse up trouble with the honest folks of Lonely Street and it’s the Goon you’ll answer to! Robot or alien, werewolf or vampire, zombie or gorilla (or zombie-gorilla), it makes no difference to the Goon. Collects The Goon #5–8.
- Virtue and the Grim Consequences Thereof – The Goon join a short-lived football team, face man-eating eyeballs from another dimension, and suffer incarceration in Cade’s Island penitentiary. Collects The Goon #9–13.
- Wicked Inclinations – An ally of the Goon has learned the Zombie Priest’s secret name, turning the tide in the struggle against the undead hordes of Lonely Street and forcing the Priest to create a whole new breed of minions. Collects The Goon #14–18.
- Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr. Wicker – When a mysterious new figure enters the crime scene and begins taking out the Goon’s business operations one by one, the Goon struggles to keep the city’s organized crime under his control as his mind is haunted by the memories of his darkest moment… Collects the original graphic novel.
- A Place of Heartache and Grief – An ancient curse spreads hatred, fear, and violence, drawing the most powerful and vile creatures to a town with only one hope for protection the Goon. Collects The Goon #19–23.
- Those That is Damned – The town on the edge of HorseEater’s Wood is permeated by all manner of dark things hatred, fear, unhappiness, demons, and the undead brought on by a curse. The Goon himself was drawn by the power of the curse, but his soul is not consumed by this bleak place, and he discovers that he is the only hope for his town. Collects The Goon #24–27.
- Calamity of Conscience – The living dead, pretty living ladies, gypsies, backwoods children … ‘dogs’ … crazy-weird cats, pimps peddling animal love, animals on the receiving end of said animal love … evil Shredded Wheat-men, more-evil undead burlesque-house owners, guys with tails, a woky (a woky?) … and more! Collects The Goon #28–31.
- Death’s Greedy Comeuppance – A poignant adventure of the immortal Buzzard, wandering a desolate land after his confrontation with the Zombie Priest. Collects The Goon #32–33 & The Buzzard miniseries.
- The Deformed of Body and Devious of Mind – Sparkly, skinny-jean wearin’ vampires, wiener-eatin’ hoboes, multinational midgets, and 2010 Queen of Burlesque star Roxi DLite are just a few of the obstacles Goon and Franky are up against. Collects the stories ‘An Irish Wake’, ‘The Goon’s on Vacation’ (from Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities and the Ghastly Fiend of London #1–4) & The Goon #34–37.
- Them That Raised Us Lament – Zombie rockabillies, superheroes with hilarious gay abandon, and the tragicomedy of carny folk are just a few bizarre tales in this new Goon collection from Dark Horse Comics! Collects The Goon #38–41.
- For Want of Whiskey and Blood – The return of the Zombie Priest, a Latin-tongued Godzilla, drunk sailors, and a Halloween visit from Billy the Kid are just a few of the special tricks and treats for Goon and company. Collects The Goon #41–45.
- Occasion of Revenge – What’s left of the Zombie Priest’s race of witches comes after the Goon, forcing him to face his nightmares or lose his town! Collects The Goon #46–49.
- Once Upon a Hard Time – The witch coven believes that control of the unnamed town will soon be in their grasp and the Goon’s tragic soul will contribute to the curse that increases their power. Collects The Goon #50–53.
Bonus. Dwight T. Albatross’s The Goon: Noir – A series of original short stories by various artists and authors (not including Eric Powell himself), which take place within the world of The Goon. Collects Dwight T. Albatross’s The Goon: Noir #1–3.
II. Library Editions
If you want something more prestigious, the Library Editions are a must have. They are bigger, but they are also beautiful.
- The Goon Library Volume 1 – Collects ‘Rough Stuff’, ‘Nothin’ But Misery’, ‘My Murderous Childhood (and Other Grievous Yarns)’ & ‘Heaps of Ruination’
- The Goon Library Volume 2 – Collects ‘Virtue and the Grim Consequences Thereof’, ‘Wicked Inclinations’ & ‘Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr. Wicker’
- The Goon Library Volume 3 – Collects ‘A Place of Heartache and Grief’, ‘Those That is Damned’ & ‘Calamity of Conscience’
- The Goon Library Volume 4 – Collects ‘Death’s Greedy Comeuppance’, ‘The Deformed of Body and Devious of Mind’ & ‘Them That Raised Us Lament’
- The Goon Library Volume 5 – Collects ‘For Want of Whiskey and Blood’, ‘Occasion of Revenge’, ‘Once Upon a Hard Time’ & ‘The Goon Noir’