(New World Comics, 2013)
Written by Guy Hasson
Art by Guillermo Ramirez Issue #1
Borja Pindado Issue #2 and #3
“The World’s Goofiest Superhero?” There could be a hundred different heroes that creep into your grey matter to fit this bill. Super Goof, or, Disney’s Goofy in long wooly underwear, was the first that struck me. There are no shortage of silly heroes, dunderheads and clumsy oafs who are given the chance to live a “super” life and completely mess it up, as is their wont.
Add to that list Captain Gorgeous, of the Goof comic from Old Man Productions. Aliens visited Nick nearly a year ago, a race called the “Jun” who granted him super hero powers. He has super strength, the ability to fly, laser vision, invisibility, and probably some others that haven’t yet manifested in the book. Oh, and a stretchy purple costume. Needless to say he has chosen to use these powers for the good of humanity, and performs all sorts of deeds and darings do. He fights other aliens, rescues cats from trees, invisibly stalks the hot doctor…wait. I ran off the tracks there, or rather, Captain Gorgeous did. Writer Guy Hasson (Wynter) is writing the story as it probably should be written.
Example. Peter Parker is a nerdy, clumsy kid. He gets bit by a radioactive spider which gives him the power of said spider (and a couple other, awesomely named powers like “spider sense”) which makes him…a nerdy, clumsy kid who can climb on walls. In the comic he becomes agile as well as strong, and his vision clears up…essentially his personality changes with the spider bite. (Not, as far as I know, a common reaction to close contact with radioactive isotopes, arachnoid or otherwise.) The point here is that in Goof, the man is essentially still the same. He fights aliens, yes, but with a hundred yard long strand of toilet paper stuck to his boot. He rescues a cat from a tree, then sneezes and shoots it flat into the nearest tree. This is wonderful stuff, but not just because of the silliness. Hasson does make you feel for Nick as well. He is a loveable loser, and that makes him easy to connect with.
The art, provided by Guillermo Ramirez in issue 1 is great. It really reminded me first and foremost of the humans drawn in the Animaniacs cartoon. Slightly caricature, brightly and vibrantly colored, and extraordinarily expressive. In issues two and three the artist changes to Borja Pindado, who also has a cartoon style, but with greater emphasis on the shading and shadow variation, as well as increased caricature. The second books look more like something out of MAD magazine as far as the graphic content. All of it works, and both artists are great for these books.
Here I must say one or two words about Hasson’s ability to bring humor into this book. It is not easy. Mainstream comics have become a dark medium and it seems that indie books, while some take that same shadowy road, have stepped up their game when it comes to humor. Hasson has the great ability to write humor that translates to the comic form. It is a return to “funny books”. (I personally love page eight of issue three…which I’ll not spoil here, but…Bravo Mr. Hasson. I laughed aloud.)
The point is this. Goof is a “funny book” and it is a funny book. The distinction comes in the delivery of the “funny” which is done with a slapstick sensibility. The art by Pindado and Ramirez not only illustrates the story, but it lends another facet to the funny. If you were ever a fan of mid-90’s cartoons, or MAD magazine, the art will feel like coming home, and the story is loaded with all of the laughs you can cram into 24 pages.
Brad Gischia is a writer and artist living in the frozen Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is married and has three kids and a dog, who all put up with his incessant prattling about comic books.