There are a whole lot of strange, bizarre, and just plain weird comics out there. Some are kind of artsy. Some are kind of deep. While some are kind of allegorical in nature trying to prove a point. As for Punks the Comic, it is none of those. What it is however is some of the craziest entertainment that you very well may experience in reading one of those strange, bizarre, and just plain weird comics that are out there. Following the improbable and irrelevant adventures of Dog, Skull, Fist, and Abraham Lincoln, writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Kody Chamberlain slice, dice, punch, kick, and float flaming fireballs at our four fellows all while giving us a lesson of how to break the fourth wall and nearly every other rule of storytelling that there is. What we get is pure unadulterated, kick in the nuts kind of fun and mirth that is quite unique from anything that is currently out there. It’s bedlam with pages!
Of course, this is actually a Punks - The Comic revival. The original Punks had a little less budget and was more of a funky experimental piece that had built quite a cult following through the years. With Image Comics redo though, the readers of today as well as those fans of yesterday get an all new lethal dose of the guys, while also getting reprints of the old “classic” adventures. It’s the best of both worlds with a nice additional touch of various games, fact pages, and cut out activities.
Up for Issue #4, we start at the end, sort of. The guys have just taken out a dispatch of nuns and are sitting in the carnage of their dead bodies, laughing off their adventure waiting for the inevitable “The End” tile to appear. The only problem is, it doesn’t ever come. Being the resourceful guys that they are, all of them try to do things to help jump start the ending, but nothing seems to work. This leads Skull to decide to literally crash, like through a kicked out hole on the steps and sleep. From there, dreams and realities take over and things end up going all sideways for the guys. As to the answer if the guys ever make do make it to “The End” …Well, you will just have to read for yourself to see.
And that is just the first bit. Following, we are given cut out displays of the fellas, classic old tales regarding cannibalism, alien invasions, personal comics written and drawn by Skull, egg laying in head spider sons, and general factoids regarding things. In short, a bunch of stuff happens. But like all of the previous Punks - The Comic issues, nothing happens. It is like the comic book version of Attention Deficit Disorder. Everything flows from here to there to everywhere. You never really know where things may land as each action can have a reaction that takes the guys into a whole new area. But it is in that spontaneity where lie the strength of Punks - The Comic. You never, and I mean never, know what will happen next. This issue starts with the guys standing over a bunch of dead nuns for goodness sake. We get the first ever decapitated head shot to the nuts shot courtesy of Skull causing the whole framing to get thrown off, and we even get some interaction with creators Fialkov and Chamberlain themselves with this issue. It’s mayhem, but good mayhem. Reminds me of a party where cars are overturned, fires are started, and windows are smashed, but no one gets hurt and nobody gets arrested. And everybody has a blast. It is that kind of mayhem that describes Punks - The Comic.
And bringing this good mayhem to the level of fun are Fialkov’s little witty lines and actions. He writes the tales as a flow to “stuff” where he lets the guys take off wherever they may go. They go to some strange places which makes it all the more fun. And likewise adding to Falkiov’s work are the wonderful cut and pasty artwork acts of Chamberlain. It is masterful. Case in point with this issue, There is a scene where Skull is sleeping and dreaming of going all jujitsu on Dog and his balls. Chamberlain creates a frame of just skull’s face which shows his teeth since he is a skull. What makes it classic is that the smile is there. That frame made me laugh out loud when reading it. And that is just one frame of many. All of the expressions of the guys as well as the background images are cleverly arranged to a maximum level of fun. I don’t think I will ever get tired of Dogs’ head going into flame from Skull’s fireballs. It never gets old.
I have been reading a lot of dark and morbid comics as of late. Reading Punks The Comic was a nice kick to my nuts in providing me a boost of fun and frolic from the dark and disturbed. It was just the shot that I needed, and it didn’t even hurt. Well, it might hurt a little. Either way, Punks - The Comic is still dropping its goods in your face and delivering a strong flaming fireball right at you.
Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov Artist: Kody Chamberlin Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/28/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital