Now that the political debates are in high gear and seemingly every day sees a new “leader” in the polls, what better time than now to deliver a political satire in the comic scene? We’re certainly not drowning in coverage just yet, but maybe we soon will be in the comics and in life. Is it good?
Citizen Jack #1 (Image Comics)
Jack Northworthy is a gun-toting ex-mayor who was not only impeached, but couldn’t even sell a snowblower in Minnesota if his life depended on it. He’s a bastard plain and true and he’s more interested in bribing folks than actually doing some hard work. Sounds like a perfect politician!
Why does this comic book matter?
I don’t know about you but I like comics that are funny. They’re hard to come by really, at least in the mainstream. Plus it’s a political comic delivering satire. It’s a no brainer if you like that sort of thing.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
There’s an undercurrent of evil that pops in and out of this story making Jack a somewhat scary person. He’s dumb and average in most senses, but there’s something creeping over his shoulder watching his every move and planning for him. It’s a figurative sort of evil that is the most frightening thing about politics because it makes us wonder, “are these politicians good people?” Even more importantly, “are they who they say they are?”
Writer Sam Humphries captures the ignorant spirit of Jack very well, casting him in that role we’ve seen so many times on YouTube. You know the types, the guy on YouTube who’s on fire or jumping off rooftops. It’s the stereotypical ignorant American we all know and love and probably the last person we want as president. Humphries does a good job exploring the man and the innocent ignorance of his failures. Problem is, he’s more dangerous because of it.
The art by Tommy Patterson is every bit as sketchy and detailed as one would want from a more reality based comic. The style reminds me of Chris Burnham’s work on Batman Incorporated and it has a nice weight to the clothes and characters. The moments in reality look downright real, but when things go into the deep end it’s a sight to see. One full page spread is like some kind of techno dreamland with some awesome colored squares floating off into the distance. At the same time, Jack is in awe as everything he wears floats off and around him. It’s a shocking moment and there are others equally surreal and awesome throughout the issue.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
Generally this comic is a bit slow as we learn who Jack is and ultimately how sad the guy’s life is. I wondered a few times if this comic could pick up the pace a bit, but it serves as a good starter issue.
I wasn’t laughing out loud by any means while reading this. The political commentary reads a bit like it’s taking pot shots at things Jon Stewart had been making fun of for decades. The cliffhanger promises some great things though, and I’ll reserve judgement until issue #2.
This isn’t normal. But on meth it is!
Is It Good?
Politics are going to look differently after you read this disturbing satire on the political system.