Review – Punks Not Dead #2 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing (Black Crown imprint)
Writer: David Barnett
Artists: Martin Simmonds, Aditya Bidikar, Dee Cunniffe
Release Date: 21st March 2018

Nostalgia is bloody great isn’t it? Especially when it involves something new. A song that reminds you of the one you listened to playing Tony Hawks pro skater; an actor turning up in a TV show who reminds you about that film you loved; or, in this case, something that has resurrected the young teenage punk within me in a way that very few things have.

Punks Not Dead gave me the same feeling I had while reading John Lydon’s “Anger is an Energy” or hearing the iconic voice of Dr Thompson when I read the biopic novel “Gonzo” by Will Bingley. It’s written by punks and most definitely for punks, but in a manner that, while dripping with safety pinned reminiscence, still produces a genuinely funny and truly unique bit of fiction.

The second issue picks up where the last issue left off.  Well, sort of. We find Fergie wining and dining the love of his life in a posh restaurant which soon devolves into her ripping her clothes off within 5 minutes of his company. It’s a dream, of course it is. But we see the connection between Sid and Fergie growing as the pages keep turning. They reluctantly get on, both realising they can’t get rid of each other so try and figure out just how Sid can finally bugger off.

Sid continues to exude his old self in the pages.  Much like in the first issue I’m still a little hesitant to see how he’s being portrayed but Barnett and Simmonds are doing a bang-up job of staying true to how Sid was. He wasn’t a genius, but beneath all the bravado and attitude lay a genuine bloke who cared about his mates and those close to him.

We see him learning about Fergie, opening up about his mum and absent dad, asking how his old mate John is (well done for the butter jab by the way, bloody superb!), and as Fergie and Sid get closer we start to unravel the larger plot. Fergie has something hiding inside him which has taken a dead punk and a bully pissing his pants to awaken, and with that we get a glimpse of just how large the scale of this story is about to become.

But it’s not just these two spotty mugs.  On the flip side of the story we see Ms Culpepper throwing her new secret agent protégé in at the deep end of an exorcism. Her blasé attitude and dark sense of humour both play well with the feel of the story and provide a nice contrast to the ghost of Sid. Here we have a remnant of the 1960s trying her best to maintain a look in the same way that many punks do in their late 50s today, with the same fuck off attitude and alcohol tolerance they had at age 21.  Again there’s a sense of build up with these 2 narratives which makes the reader anticipate how hilarious it’s going to be when Sid and Culpepper finally butt heads.

To put it simply: never mind the bollocks, here’s Punks Not Dead.

Rating: 5/5.

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The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
Indy Tweets from @smokingpunkindy

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