It’s not uncommon for teenagers to turn to punk music as an outlet for all that adolescent rage and rebellious energy, but 15-year-old Fergie has a different relationship with punk culture. He’s haunted by the ghost of Sid Vicious in the new series Punks Not Dead, the third ongoing from IDW’s Black Crown imprint spearheaded by former Vertigo editor Shelly Bond. Written by David Barnett with art by Martin Simmonds, Punks Not Dead explores teenage hardship through Fergie’s unbreakable bond with his new ghost sidekick, which is just the start of weird happenings that threaten to derail Fergie’s life. This is the first ongoing comic from Barnett, who works primarily as a novelist and journalist and has done a few short comics in the past, and he’s come up with a concept that is strange and intimate, exploring relatable personal issues with a fantasy twist.
The A.V. Club has an exclusive look at cover art, interior pages, and the solicitation info for Punks Not Dead #1, which goes on sale February 21. While the book’s covers have an in-your-face punk energy, the interior art from Martin Simmonds isn’t as loud, grounding the story in subtle emotion. That said, the first shot of Sid walking through a bathroom wall at the airport is bursting with energy and attitude, with Simmonds capturing Sid’s unruly swagger as he emerges from a blue pool against the red background with beams of text radiating from his head. Fergie is frightened at first, but by the final page of this preview, the two have settled into their new dynamic and are lounging on Fergie’s bed. Simmonds creates a chill, somewhat sad atmosphere on this page, indicating that this book isn’t shying away from the low points of adolescence as it reaches for punk highs.
Punks Not Dead #1—Cover A: Martin Simmonds—GEM OF THE MONTH
David Barnett (w) • Martin Simmonds (a & c)
As if being an awkward, bullied 15-year-old isn’t bad enough, “Fergie” Ferguson suddenly discovers he can see dead people. Well, one dead person specifically—the ghost of a certain punk rocker named Sid. Sid’s spirit was trapped in London’s Heathrow Airport for 40 years until the day he met Fergie. Sid’s ghost is now stuck to Fergie—as if Fergie doesn’t have enough on his plate, being raised by a single mum whose idea of parenting is strictly fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants. Now Fergie has to contend with an unruly ghost sidecick and some weird, uncontrollable new “abilities.” How does the father Fergie never knew fit into this mayhem? And why is the Department for Extra-Usual Affairs showing an interest?
Never Mind the Bollocks—all of this plus fish fingers, chunky chips, and endless pints of anarchy in the new monthly series PUNKS NOT DEAD!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99