Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review: PUNKS: The Comic #2

IMAGE COMICS – @ImageComics

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

Rated T+ / Teen Plus

I have added a new comic book to my must-read list.  It's Punks: The Comic, and the second issue recently arrived.  This new series is actually a revival of writer Joshua Hale Fialkov (The Ultimates) and artist Kody Chamberlain's (Sweets) 2007 small press comic book, Punks.  Chamberlain produces Punks' “original art” by cutting up various photographic images and compiling them to create the characters, settings, and storytelling.  Punks may be part of what Wired Magazine called “cut-and-past” culture.  Punks: The Comic stars the screwy quartet of  Dog, Skull, Fist, and Abe Lincoln.

As Punks: The Comic #2 opens, Skull and Abe witness the arrival of “Superdog,” who drops from the sky like a falling star.  This new-fangled canine looks almost identical to Dog.  Perhaps, he will be a better roommate than plain-ol' Dog; at least, Fist agrees.  When Superdog's true colors are revealed in a yellow stream, the out-with-the-old Dog will have to stop the in-with-the-new Superdog.

[Punks: The Comic #2 includes some story pages from the original Punks comix.]

The cut-and-paste, do-it-yourself aesthetic of Punks: The Comics seems a little strange at first, but this is a comic book that gets better with each issue.  “Irreverent” does not seem to be a strong enough word to describe the kind of humor produced by Fialkov and Chamberlain.  And “witty” sure as hell doesn't hack it.

For me, the animations that Terry Gilliam created for Monty Python's Flying Circus and Monty Python, in general, come to mind when I read this comic book.  Punks is pungent and potent like British satire and as beguiling as the best of it.  Indeed, it is as if Fialkov and Chamberlain have formed their own surreal comedy troupe.  Punks certainly seems like the beast that will devour the staid yuck-yuck pamphlets that pass for humor in American comic books.

Readers looking for something truly different and truly good in comic books will want Punks: The Comic.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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