Written by: Jacob Semahn
Art by: Jorge Corona
I am a man of few pleasures but one of them is monsters of myth and folklore. If you come to me with tale tales of little green men, fantastical creatures or anything that may be prime content for the History channel on Saturday night I am all in. I just can’t get of enough of the maybe it’s true but more than likely not monster myths. I have such a fascination with living in a world where the weird and wild are reality and true evil exists in the form of demons and monsters as oppose to money and politics. Goners Vol. 1: We All Fall Down from publisher Image comics and the mind of Jacob Semahn is a version of this world I unwittingly but desperately want to be a part of.
Goners tells the story of the Latimer family as they fight to keep the world safe from things that go bump in night. Not only do the Latimer’s fight the world’s deadliest foes, they do it all on the world’s stage for all to see. Semahn’s story of the Latimer’s doesn’t start at its beginning, but instead its end as Zoe and Josiah the youngest of the clan are on the run and being hunted. They must not only find their parents killer but also take on the family business, all while the whole world is watching.
Semahn has crafted an exhilarating, adventuress and heart wrenching story of family, myth and duty. To glorious effect Semahn constantly hurls the Latimer children into danger and despair making you instantly care for their well-being and safety, establishing tension and unease from the word go. This tension is only heightened by Semahn’s near perfect pace as each issue sets the bar a little higher only to come crashing down for the next. I found it difficult to put down Goners as my affection for Zoe and Josiah grew with each page and I wanted nothing more than to just see them safe and home with what little family they have left.
While deep down Goners is a storyabout linage and purpose it is also a story about monsters and they are its star. My favorite part of Goners was seeing what horrific mythological being Semahn would introduce next. My personal favorite was the Skin Walker; an ancient Native America monster/man that could take the form on any animal who’s skin he wore. Semahn’s Skin Walker, was a dark and deadly being that turned into a hulking, murderous wolf. Goner’s has a monster for everybody and each gets an amazingly detailed fact page and the end of the volume giving you the monsters’ history lore.
Semahn creates a wonderfully wicked and touching tale in Goners, but without Jorge Corona’s art it may have become something else entirely. Corona adds a cartoonish and colorful style that turns what could have been a dark and gruesome book into a fun, spielbergian adventure. Corona’s approach to the art on Goners is a flawless fit as it give a light hearted and childish aura to what is a very dark and horrific story. Often when reading Goners, Corona’s art made me feel as I was watching the best cartoon Adult Swim had to offer. Corona’s character and monster designs made me dream of a day when Goners action figures could litter my desk as each being that inhabits Semahn’s world is worth immortalization through plastic. Corona’s art is such a joy to behold you won’t even notice the gallons of blood and constant dismemberments.
Goners Vol. 1: We All Fall Down is a great comic for newbies and veterans. As cliché as this sounds it literally has something for everyone and won’t ever leave you feeling buyer’s remorse or regret for the time you spent in Semahn’s world. Goners will horrify you in more ways than one and make you cry as you realize it’s almost over. A sign of a good comic is always wanting more and after reading Goners nothing would make me happier than to spend more time with the Latimers and their monsters.