Punks: The Comic #3
by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Kody Chamberlain
Abe Lincoln talks to a fist, a dog, and a skull. The ACLU have toothbrushes for heads. The end of the first segment includes a cross-stitch guide to recreate an image provided. These are only pieces of Punks: The Comic #3. In some ways, this may be the most offensive issue yet. At the same time, Punks #3 is the most succinct and hysterical of what has been published thus far. Regardless, Joshua Hale Fialkov and Kody Chamberlain are having a blast, and have even thought of those put off by their brand of humor by creating a censor cutout page to help make the book friendlier. Isn’t that sweet of them?
At the beginning of the third issue of the book, the foursome is attempting to decorate for the holiday season by including an assortment of holiday decorations and symbols. Abe claims that his family is coming for dinner and he wishes to have the house well put together for them. The term ‘speechifying’ is used as Abe monologues a bit about this special time. But the absurdity of the scenario, down to Lincoln actually wearing a ‘5’ on his t-shirt is the main focus here. Chamberlain continues to use his scrapbook design for the series, and Abe’s face shifts several times depending on the necessary expression or pose. Even Abe’s wardrobe changes accordingly. Whether it’s bearded, non-bearded, suit, or t-shirt wearing Abe, nothing is going to keep him from having the best family dinner possible. Well, no one except maybe members of the ACLU or the cameo-appearance of a very special guest and his friends.
The beginning is just that, and before long the issue jumps head first into insanity. For those following the series, there is a strong chance that this type of humor and writing is appreciated and expected. Or rather, it is unlikely that people are picking up the third issue without some awareness of what they will find inside. For fans, this is the most entertaining issue yet. The enjoyment that Fialkov and Chamberlain must get out of dreaming up and creating the stories for this book is apparent at every page turn. As has been true of the first two issues, Punks #3 is a book best understood through experiencing it. Capturing just how far these characters and story go with these delusional situations is nearly impossible. What can be said is that Chamberlain’s physical humor, that he is able to construe through the compilation of images and positions, embodies the scripts impeccably. For a concept as bizarre as this, the only way for it to succeed is for the writer and artist to be on the same page. Fortunately, Fialkov and Chamberlain match each other beat for beat. As a result, it is hard to tell who is steering the ship, and when. The sense of collaboration is transparent here and Punks maintains its spirit throughout.
Ending in a way that is just as unexpected as everything that precedes it, the creative team recycles moments of an earlier era of the series and it has a whole different level of entertainment considering where those involved are today. In some ways, it is rather surprising, even with the knowledge of what Punks strives to be, that this would have been reprinted. While there may truly be only one Highlander, there is certainly only one Punks and it is fantastic.