I’ll be honest: I am not familiar with Eric Powell’s popular comic book series The Goon. However, people I trust not only say the comic is terrific, but they told me that the panel for the film adaptation for the past several years has been hilarious. After going to this year’s panel and listening to actor Robert Ben Garant (Reno 911!) banter with Powell, Tim Miller and Jeff Fowler of Blur Studio (who are animating the film), voice actor Paul Giamatti, and producer David Fincher, I will tell you this: I’m going to make sure I’m damn familiar with The Goon. Not only did it deliver on this promised hilarity, but even more than the panel for Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, this one relies on the fans in a big way. You see, The Goon doesn’t have a green light. It has a teaser that’s trying to raise interest for a movie that doesn’t have studio backing yet. That means the fans need to go online and let people know they love it. Needless to say, they loved it and they’re going to go online and let people know that.
Hit the jump for my thoughts on the panel and why I’m not leaving Comic-Con without at least the first volume of the series in my suitcase.
The panel started with Powell and Garant bantering back-and-forth about the comic and taking questions that “fans” submitted. @SarahPalin2012 said that it was offensive that the Zombie Priest should be able to raise people from the dead when we all know that only Jesus Christ can do that. Another “fan” question was “How long are you going to do this? When are you going to get a real job?” Powell then proceeded to call his mother and ask her not to submit questions to the panel. It’s this kind of humor that helped set the tone for the panel, and since I was laughing, it let me know that this is a comic I’m probably going to enjoy.
Powell and Garant were then joined on stage by Blur Studios’ Tim Miller and Jeff Fowler. Miller was just as funny as Powell and Garant and it was cool to see people who were clearly passionate about the project but didn’t need to be intense about it. You don’t repeatedly come to Comic-Con trying to get the same movie off the ground if you don’t love it. And when you have something that genuine, it’s no surprise that the fans come back year after year.
Finally, the last two panelists took the stage: Paul Giamatti and David Fincher. Fincher is producing the film while Giamatti is voicing the character Franky. Giamatti said he was instantly attracted to the character’s personality and orphan-Annie eyes. As for Fincher, during the audience Q&A, someone asked him if this was a dry-run for his Heavy Metal remake. Fincher’s answers: they’re not connected. “There are no dry-runs. Only wet-runs,” he quipped.
Then the audience got a real treat: the teaser trailer they’ve made for the film to help shop it around to studios and build fan interest. We got that treat three times. Due to technical issues, the footage was too dark the first time, the sound didn’t quite work right the second time, but the panel closed out with the teaser playing out perfectly. The audience loved it each time. I would describe it to you, but MTV has posted it and you can check it out below. Feel free to watch it however many times you want. If you’re like me (and you should be since I’m awesome) and haven’t read The Goon, this is going to send you to your local comic shop to check it out. As for everyone who’s already familiar with the series, if today’s panel is any indication, they’re happily cheering the hell out of this movie.
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