Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artist: Kody Chamberlain
Punks stand out in a crowd for a variety of reasons. They could stand out because of their colorful hair. The spikes, chains, and leather that adorn their clothing. The political views favoring anarchy. Overall, society tends to view punks by the textbook definition of “worthless person.” Based on those statements some people might view me as a punk for consistently having pink hair and tattoos. Others would consider me punk for my anti-government beliefs. I wouldn’t consider myself a punk because the things people think qualify me for that title make me who I am. For me, calling yourself punk is like calling yourself a hipster, only it’s less convincing. True punks don’t need a title, they just exist as individuals being true to themselves.
The story, it almost feels like Fialkov was trying too hard to sound punk. I expect off the wall story lines for comics directed at kids. It makes them fun and enjoyable. This is a book geared towards adults and is completely nonsensical. As someone that is technically an adult, and a fan of Adventure Time, this was not the time I wanted crazy antics happening in a story. Fialkov is a great writer, but in this case I felt like he was trying to put on a show. If you’re going to claim to be punk, add in some core values to that claim. At least have the characters in the story stand for something that goes against the grain.
This is what I understand: the story follows four characters, Skull, Fist, Dog, and Abe Lincoln. They have a relationship that mirrors male bonding perfectly. They take jabs and give each other shit. The humor is subjective. As a female that is used to being one of the guys, and usually the only girl in group situations, I found nothing about this book funny. Nothing made me laugh or groan at the stupidity. I take that back, one thing made me laugh. Just one. There’s a panel of Abe Lincoln in his room and all the walls are pictures of John Wilkes Booth. This was a great use of irony. Abe Lincoln is the only character in the story I find the least bit entertaining. If you’re going to include dead people in the comic, at least put a cameo from Sid Vicious in the book. At least he was part of the punk movement.
Chamberlain’s art follows suit with the craziness. Chamberlain’s sketches are amazing and I would have loved to see his personal drawing style included in this book. Chamberlain chose to collage pictures together to create panels telling the story. It’s almost as if Chamberlain looked at the Sex Pistols’ cover of God Save The Queen and decided that was going to be his chosen art style for a comic. While I like this look for concert flyers, which Chamberlain has a background in, I don’t like it in book form. The pages are too busy to look at and really grasp what’s going on most of the time. Yes, Chamberlain is taking a risk by doing a book like this because it’s not the norm. I think if he had only done this for the cover it would have been more appealing to me. I do like that with this style he paid homage to “The Incredible Hulk #181” with the NYCC exclusive cover.
Just when I thought I saw everything you could possibly put into a comic, it happened. They included activity pages. Activity pages are completely irrelevant to the story. Why were they necessary? The word search has “anal fissures” in the list of hidden words. I looked for all the words because I like word searches. Read the book and you’ll know how that went for me. If you don’t want to read the book, then spoiler alert, the only word you’ll find in the word search is “poop”. Real mature guys.
I’m still unsure of whether or not this is supposed to be one cohesive story or mini stories within one book. I read through this issue several times and I still have very little idea of what’s going on. I think it’s safe to say I won’t continue reading this book. Who would I even recommend this too? Really, the only reason for anyone to pick up this book is for the novelty aspect of it. People will pick it up because of the names attached or because it’s something different. Nothing about this book screams “punk” to me. I feel like the characters could be any group of male friends, regardless of the counter-culture they may or may not belong too.
“Punks: The Comic #1” earns 3/10