Kickstarter is a website that has changed the rules of crowd sourcing in almost any medium, but it has had a particularly strong effect on the comic book industry. Our newest column, Kickstarter Spotlight, aims to highlight any projects that the Multiversity team thinks are worth supporting, from debut graphic novels by new creators hoping to get their foot in the door to legends who are just a few bucks short of publishing their next big thing. Read on, and pledge away!
You may remember that, in 2010, plans were announced for a new movie starring everyone’s favorite zombie-killing tough guy, the Goon. And, if you’ve been paying attention, you may remember that the project was put up on Kickstarter just last month, during New York Comic Con. This week, the film adaptation of “The Goon” enters its final stretch, ending on Sunday, November 11. It’s still a good way from its target goal of $400,000 (making movies is expensive, people!), all of which will go toward creating a complete story reel. For those of you not in the know, a story reel is a combination of storyboards, dialogue, sound effects, and music that is used to show off to potential distributors what the film could be — the first draft of an animated film, if you will. If you own any animated movies on DVD, they’ll probably have a story reel or two tucked away in the special features, if you want to see one firsthand. It is important to note that this Kickstarter is only for the story reel, and does not mean that the movie will 100% certainly be made. However, without a story reel to showcase what makes “The Goon” different from the thousands of other properties involving dudes killing zombies (what, you think Hollywood types are going to read a comic?), the odds of the Goon making it to the big screen are super slim.
Personally, I think the video at the top should be enough to convince any sane person that the Goon movie is worth every bit of the support, but let’s get into specifics: first of all, the movie’s script was actually written by the creator of “The Goon,” Mr. Eric Powell himself. Powell has always been an advocate for creative rights, and so it’s great to see him in control of his creation even when it crosses mediums. More importantly, though, this means that there is no reason to fear that the Goon we see on the screen will be any different from the Goon in the pages of the comic, tone-wise, and that the yuk-yuks and over-the-top, ridiculous action we are used to from the comic should be just as great in the film as on the page. This will not be something completely different from the source material with “The Goon” label slapped on its title card, as many adaptations are; this promises to be comic adjusted for a different medium, keeping all the basic beats of the original without being a direct adaptation of a story we’ve already seen before.
On top of that, this film has some top-notch talent chosen for its two leads, the title Goon and his pal Frankie. Those of you who watched the Bruce Timm Superman and Justice League — which would probably be a lot of you, seeing as this is a comics site — might recognize Goon voice actor Clancy Brown as the voice of Lex Luthor, or might remember him as his most successful role: Mr. Krabbs in Spongebob Squarepants. Don’t let that dissuade you, though; Brown is one of the most talented voice actors in the business, and a spot-on choice for The Goon. Then there’s his drinking, swearing partner in head-busting, Frankie, voiced by none other than Paul Giamatti. Anyone familiar with “The Goon” and Giamatti probably already reads Frankie in a voice similar to Paul’s — I know I do — and watching the proof of concept video included on the Kickstarter page cements Giamatti as the perfect choice for Frankie. Besides, he’s already been in one comic-related movie, American Splendor, so this should be a similar experience, right?
Oh, and it’s being produced by David Fincher, director of movies such as Fight Club, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Se7en, but I can understand if you don’t recognize the name.
Sarcasm aside, that brings me to my final point for why this movie deserves your dollar. Who ever heard of David Fincher not being able to sell a movie? What’s up with that? Sadly, the answer is that no matter who is attached, Hollywood does not have much interest in seeing an animated film aimed at adult audiences. Comic fans know firsthand that America’s entertainment industry discriminates against entire mediums, labelling them “for kids” when there is nothing about animation or comics as mediums that warrants such a write-off. Blur studios has created some beautiful animation, and it would be a shame to not see any more solely because “animation is for kids and families.” A win for adult animation (not “adult” animation, sickos) is a win for any medium that is labled by the prejudiced as “kids’ stuff,” including our own beloved comics medium — and it doesn’t hurt that the animation is an adaptation of a comic.
As a big-budget Kickstarter, some of the incentives are pretty darn pricey, with the top incentive — a private screening of the story reel with the creative team, including Eric Powell, followed by lunch — costing $10,000, not including travel expenses, but you only need one dollar to gain access to a donors-only screening of the story reel out in L.A. (again, not including travel expenses, but you’re only donating a buck!). Collectors in particular may be interested in the $35 incentive, a printed Kickstarter variant of Powell’s favorite, as-of-yet-unidentified issue of “The Goon.” Like many big-budget Kickstarters, the rewards are cascading: for example, $75 dollars may seem a lot for a t-shirt, but when it includes admission to the screening (even if you probably won’t make it), a .pdf of the pitch book, the previously mentioned exclusive variant, access to the production blog, and five digital “Goon” comics, I’d say it’s a pretty damn good deal.
That last bit is what I think is the best incentive, though. Ten clams gets you five of Powell’s favorite issues in digital issues, making it the perfect donation for anyone who is unfamiliar with “The Goon.” Just watch the proof of concept trailer — if it interests you, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t, ten dollars is all that’s needed for more Goon goodness, all while supporting the film. I know lots of comic fans who have always been interested in “The Goon,” but have never gotten around to reading an issue, and I’m sure you do, too — in fact, you might be such a person. Now is the time to get into it, with a two-dollars-an-issue donation that will both give you a good read and help bring the Goon to the big screen. If you want to shell out the big bucks for, say, a sculpture of The Goon ($1,000), that’s great, but this is the one you should be suggesting to all your Goon-less friends.
In its final week, the film adaptation of “The Goon” has about $100,000 more to make, but if we spread the word, we can make it happen. Find everyone you know who reads comics, and as many as who can who don’t, and get them to pledge for that $10 incentive, and we just might see The Goon become a reality (note the italics). As the saying goes, every dollar counts, so head over to the official page and get cracking sku– I mean, donating!