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‘Citizen Jack #5:’ Comic Book Review

As we approach some important dates in the wheel house of American politics, election life has become so intolerable it’s one of the reasons I’ve scrapped the Facebook app from my phone (momentarily, anyway). Not only is it nauseating (Didn’t people used to treat who they were voting for as a relatively private matter? Does that make me sound older than I want to admit to?), but it’s frightening – the dissolution of any level of wisdom or sensibility, fervor feeding of fervor, equal and opposite reactions even from people who should generally be agreeing with each other. There was never so big a gap between a 7% difference in belief than there is now.

With Issue #5, Sam Humphries’ Citizen Jack has moved from being one of the funniest political satires, capturing this political zeitgeist, to one of the most frightening. Satire usually works best as elements become more exaggerated and the commentary becomes sharper, but as Humphries’ work becomes more absurd, it becomes more dangerously real.

Our candidate of the moment is Jack Noseworthy. The more outrageous his affronts become, the more the public embraces him. But with a demon, Marlinspike, behind his journey and political twists and turns occurring as they approach election day, one can only imagine what the end is going to look like, especially on the note this book ends with. You would think that there would be a breaking point, that a person would go so far or do something so outrageous that they would no longer be considered a worthy candidate, or maybe you would have thought that once upon a time . . . How far Jack can go will be very telling.

Tommy Patterson’s art and Jon Alderink’s coloring are brilliant. Two wolves chewing meat apart in front of the memory of a now-dead smiling man, an angry talking dolphin who is a news reporter attacking another news reporter (by the way who may end up being one of my favorite characters in a comic this year), black ooze flowing from Jack’s mouth. There are several pages in which each panel doesn’t only further the story but could, on an individual basis, be a solid piece of social and political satire unto themselves.

This book is insane and insanely on point. Subversive and brilliant. Read it.

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor



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