That’s the premise for Tom Gauld’s mundanely hilarious and heartbreaking graphic novel GOLIATH. Rather than the mindless man-hulk of biblical lore, this Goliath is a desk jockey who’s content minding his own business, but whose size places him square on the radar of bureaucrats who provide him flimsy armor and an inquisitive 9-year-old shield bearer (e.g. “Do you have a gigantic you-know-what?”) but not much detail concerning his role in their military strategy against the Israelites.
Knowledge of our protagonist’s brutal fate makes GOLIATH an almost painful read — you can’t help but feel for a guy who’s a pawn in a game of war in which he has no personal stake, and the truly funny dialogue echoes the mundane managerial pettiness perfected in British television like THE OFFICE.
A London-based cartoonist for THE GUARDIAN, Gauld is not looking to make any grand statements – he aims for blackly comic satire. And like David’s sling, GOLIATH hits the bullseye. —Brian Winkeler