Citizen Jack #1 (Image Comics)
I’m not big into politics. I don’t really trust any politician, and many times I feel like I’m voting for the lesser of two evils. So a series like Citizen Jack is right up my alley. Featuring a Minnesotan snow blower sales man who’s influenced by the devil to run for President, the Sam Humphries and Tommy Patterson Image series is perfectly timed for people who are already sick of the Presidential Election circus.
Jack Northworthy is a loudmouth, a drunk, and an all around despicable human being. He’s also friends with a demon named Marlinspike, who’s constantly trying to convince him to run for President. After a failed attempt at being the Mayor (which also ruined his marriage), no one believes Northworthy can run for President, yet he tries anyways. And when things start to fall in line for Northworthy, he starts to believe his pal Marlinspike, and signs his contract to start his campaign for office.
Sam Humphries’ script definitely has a lot of fun with the current election cycle, and his depiction of Northworthy is a lot of fun to watch (even with him being as awful as he is). In a lot of ways Jack’s character reminds of the main character from Bad Santa. No matter how horrible he is to other people, it’s still fun to watch him interact with people. Humphries’ script shines when it focuses on Northworthy, but we don’t get a ton of back-story on how Northworthy met Marlinspike, and some of the jokes (like a Dolphin being the sole voice of reason on a talking head politics show) are so random that they end up being distracting more than humorous.
Tommy Patterson’s art is ideal for this type of book. It’s full of exaggerated expressions and crazy visuals, but they’re not so exaggerated that you don’t believe them as part of the story. Patterson also has fun working Marlinspike into the backgrounds of different panels, the highlight being an awesome splash page shortly after Northworthy has his big “press conference” to announce his campaign.
Citizen Jack is a pretty weird book, but it’s a lot of fun, despite the awkward jokes here and there. This is a book that’s going to have fun skewering the way our country elects its leaders; hopefully Humphries and Patterson can keep it up for the length of the series.