Comics are a tricky business to get into, so when you see a new publisher arrive on the scene, it’s hard to not give them and their books at least one chance. I love it. I love the feeling of being part of something that’s growing and gaining attention. I love the feeling of success when the company gets some recognition or acknowledgement. I love talking for hours with creators who are starting their own comics campaign totally independent of all other publishers. I love independent comics.
We at AiPT are incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity to read and review Guy Hasson’s two new comics, Wynter and Goof. Goof is the story of “the world’s goofiest superhero” and is a comedy not unlike the detective comedy Chew. However, unlike Chew, Goof doesn’t have an entire corporation backing it up and publicizing the crap out of it. So, is it good?
Goof #1 (New Worlds Comics)
Nick is Captain Gorgeous, a superhero who got his powers unwillingly from a bunch of aliens who we know little about. Although he has good intentions and a family that supports and loves him, Nick can’t get the hang of this superhero thing. He is remarkably…well, goofy, and as a result he is mocked by the people instead of respected.
Nick himself is an absolutely brilliant character who lights up the comic and demonstrates just how much potential this series has. He is likable and relatable, showing very human characteristics and an emotional depth just from his debut issue. He is very likable until about 3/4 of the way through the comic where he does something honestly quite gross: Using his powers of invisibility he follows a girl to her house, watching her get undressed until his morality sort of kicks in and he ditches, jumping out the window and leaving a “dick print” in the sidewalk from his erection. It doesn’t seem right to have us like a character who would abuse his powers and violate someone else like this. I understand that this is complete fiction and that it is all done for the lulz, but it does seem a little icky.
And what ticks me off even more about this already frustrating situation is that the author, Guy Hasson, tries to make us feel bad for Nick. His nephew and niece beat up on him, his publicist yells at him endlessly and his parents humiliate him on the Internet when all he’s doing is his best. He can’t help it that he’s absent minded and didn’t choose to get his powers. And for a while, I’ll admit it, I did feel bad for Captain Gorgeous. But that only lasted until he did something very wrong, something that made me no longer want to sympathize with him. Now, if Nick was supposed to come off as a jerk and was not showcased as the hero of the story, the sneaking around behind the women would be fine and for the story. But as long as Nick is supposed to be a likable character, that’s a misstep in my book.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to be giving the impression that I thought Goof #1 was at all a bad comic, at least technically. Guy Hasson clearly has it with a funny and poignant voice to a promising character. The premise itself is imaginative and unconventional and the book stands strong when it is backed up with funny scenes, like when Goof tries to rescue a cat. The inner monologue gives us a great feel for the character and makes the narrative clear and witty. Guy’s writing and jokes were all gold until his character became a selfish jerk. I think that both adults with a sophisticated sense of humor and adolescent boys still laughing at fart jokes will get a rise out of some of Nick’s antics. There is definitely a strong writer at work here, it’s a pity that he had to make such a silly (in my opinion) mistake with his character.
Guillermo Ramirez’s style matches this book’s spirit and tone pitch perfectly. It’s certainly goofy, but it also lends itself to the book’s action, making the story very easy to follow. My only complaint with Goof‘s visuals would have to be the lettering. The font and colors are poorly chosen so it is a bit tough to follow along with the writing itself.
Is It Good?
Goof has potential if nothing else. I really loved the writing and art on this issue, but resented the author’s decision to include that one scene. I doubt that this will be a problem for the series’ future, but for now I have to dock points for it. That said, I would definitely recommend this book.