The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) has been fighting the good fight for many years. Whenever a comic gets banned, blocked, removed, ruled indecent, or worse, CBLDF is first to scene, supporting the rights of creativity, independence, and free speech among the graphic book format. It is a worthy cause deserving of every bit of support of anyone who has ever read one of those more “controversial” titles such as Maus, Bone, Watchmen, Persopolis, or even Batman: The Killing Joke. If you have read any of these titles in your lifetime, it very well is possible because the CBLDF fought for your right to read it. So what better way to highlight the CBLDF as well as donate a portion of sales profits to the Fund than through an Image title that doesn’t really follow rules as it were when it comes to its own graphic presentation. Yes, Punks the Comic has come to pay their nut punching and fireball throwing homage to a fund that has made something as insane as their own comic possible to be released with no fear or harassment.
And that is to our good fortune. I never thought that I would hear myself write these words, but I believe that I actually received a little bit of an education from Punks the Comic. Whoa… That was kind of heavy. But is true. I actually did learn a little something while reading this particular special edition of Punks the Comic.
#1. The issue actually printed the original Comics Code. You know, that classic icon of the Seal of Approval from the Comics Authority. They actually printed the template for guidance into that code in this issue.
And when you read the Code, it is a real wake-up call of what was considered obscene and indecent back in the day. Let’s just say that many of the shows of today would not be approved at all. There are some weird views in the Code of what constitutes decency. And this Code lays it out in all of its narrow minded glory.
So in reading the Code, it was a very nice and endearing touch by writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Kody Chamberlain in this issue when their opening story made an attempt to violate each and every part of the Code, detailing it with footnotes. The story itself is typical Punks high drama. A rather old school stereotypical thief is out doing crime. He just happens to find our lovable gang of misfits and all hell ensues from there fresh with chicken (actual chicken) police, Dog receiving bizarre sexual gratification, Abe nut blocking, and hostage taking of wooden indians, fresh with a climatic final scene. I am not sure if they hit every part of the Code in their presentation, but they had a blast trying to and I had a blast reading it.
#2. This issue actually gives a listing of many of the comics that have fallen under the protective banner of the CBLDF with reasons for why some deem them indecent or obscene. It is quite enlightening, especially when it comes immediately after the kidnapped wooden indian and thief agreeing to engage in “various forms of lower and baser emotions” as they ride off into the sunset.
#3. This issue gives a nice and compassionate presentation piece of the CBLDF by writer Joshua Hale Fialkov with the cut and pasted art of Kody Chamberlain displayed appropriately. It moves the heart and gives you a good feeling for the trials and travails of those before who were blacklisted or worse because they did not like to play ball with the Code. It makes one’s heart proud to know that their struggle was not in vain or unrecognized.
And finally #4. Well, there is no #4. The second story is a wonderfully delightful new roommate tale that sums up the whole Punks philosophy. And what is that philosophy? Life is crazy and Punks is crazier. Between Dog, Skull, Fist, and Abe, you never can tell what might come out of their mouths, nor do you know who or what might pop in during their organized bedlam.
And it is in that wonderful unpredictability that has made Punks the Comic one of my favorite guilty pleasures to read. It breaks all of the rules and doesn’t give two shits about it. It is rude, crude, sometimes offensive, and always entertaining, putting a wonderful smile on my face every single time that I read it. Long live the Punks! And long live the CBLDF! Both do wonderful work.