Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review: PUNKS: The Comic #1

IMAGE COMICS – @ImageComics

CREATORS:  Joshua Hale Fialkov and Kody Chamberlain – @JoshFialkov @KodyChamberlain
COVER: Kody Chamberlain
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (October 2014)

Rated T+ / Teen Plus

Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov (The Ultimates) and artist Kody Chamberlain (Sweets, Tag) revive their comic book project, Punks, with the new ongoing series, Punks: The Comic, which is being published by Image Comics.  Fialkov and Chamberlain published at least two issues of Punks via Digital Webbing in 2007.  Punks stood out because of its surreal and absurd humor and because Chamberlain produced the art by cutting up photographic images and pasting them together to create the characters and settings.

Punks: The Comic #1 features the return of Dog, Skull, Fist, and Abe Lincoln.  Dog is a human figure with a bulldog head pasted onto it.  Skull has a skeleton's skull.  Fist is a clenched fist on a human body, and Abe Lincoln features an iconic image of the President Abraham Lincoln head on various bodies and figures.

The story opens at the quartet's home (a dormitory?).  The misadventures begin with Dog and his “Wunderpants” and includes a visit from a girl he is trying to romance.  Her arrival coincides with an invasion of gnomes.  Will it be happily ever after or just insane as it ever was?

[Punks: The Comic #1 includes some story pages from Punks: The Summer Comic Special, which was published in 2007.]

The cut-and-paste, do-it-yourself aesthetic of Punks: The Comics goes farther than one would think.  It is not a one-note joke, but I am curious to see where the creators go with this.  This comic book concept also reminds me of those animations that Terry Gilliam created for “Monty Python's Flying Circus.”  I think Fialkov has previously mentioned that the late British television series, “The Young Ones,” as an inspiration for Punks.

Punks: The Comic is so “out there,” yet it works.  I have to admit that I am genuinely surprised by how successful the humor is, rather than merely being arty, pretentious and vague.  Also, I can't help but admire the work Kody puts into creating the art.  Readers looking for something truly different in comic books will want Punks: The Comic.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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