Chunks 1 & 2
Writer: Matt Garvey
Artist: Cris Canfailla
Publisher: LabRat Comics
A review by Amelia Wellman
I’m a punk at heart. I love the music, the clothing, the mohawks, the attitude – it’s an aesthetic I just can’t seem to resist. So when Matt Garvey’s punk-centred Chunks was deposited into my hands, I got ridiculously excited for another group of crude, leather-clad punks to fall in love with. I definitely got what I wanted!
The Pineapple Chunks are the next big thing in punk music! Too bad nobody but them seems to realize it. The down on their luck, mish-mash of personalities are touring the USA, hoping to land in LA with enough buzz to get themselves a record deal. Between terrible audience turnouts, getting arrested, and having to play a kid’s birthday party, it’ll be miracle for them to even get their hands on a proper pint.
Chunks is a comic that’s mostly focused on the relationships of the four punks that make up the band. They spend their time beating on each other, casually picking up hard drug habits, and sitting on toilets. Some are no doubt already put off by the crudeness. A lot of issue one is spent on toilets because it’s meant to be unsavoury and crude. They are punks after all.
Maybe I’m being a little more lenient because of my aforementioned bias, but I never thought it went too far. With stories like Chunks you have to walk a fine line between vulgar but fun, and vulgar that’s just gross. Trust me when I say that my requirements for that sort of humour are unbelievably high. I am not a fan of what you would call “fuckboy” humour. Think Superbad if you need an example. Chunks offers the perfect balance between revulsion and fun and I was immediately invested in it.
The characters are a huge part of the investment. Chunks is a story that’s been told before: struggling band searching for fame through some truly embarrassing situations. The reusing of an old storyline isn’t ever a problem though because the characters are what you stick around for! The band is made up of Johnny the lead singer, Rik the guitar player, Milo the drummer, and Bo the bassist. Rik is the sort of smug ass that you love seeing get his comeuppance, and Bo’s offhanded remark to a little girl that she’s not a vampire but does eat chicks got a good laugh out of me. They’re all really human feeling, even if some of the stuff that happens to them is exaggerated into the ridiculous.
As much as I loved the story of Chunks, I loved the art even more. The series is being done in greyscale with specific colour highlights on certain objects. Sometimes their van will be bright red, but then in the next panel it’s grey and Rik’s jeans are blue. It’s really striking against the solid black, shadow-like backgrounds. It definitely has a Sin City vibe, but in a more lighthearted way.
The lightheartedness comes from the expressive characters of Chunks. The main cast of punks are a bunch of wankers but you can’t help but like them. Their cartoony, expressive look plays a big part in that. You will never not know what each of them are thinking and their exaggerated bodily portions, things like skinny little legs and knobby knees, really adds a lot of character and charm. And despite the overall cartoony style, there is so much detail throughout. The tone that Canfailla created to go along with Garvey’s story is perfect!
Buy it! And I’m not just saying that because I have a major soft spot for punks! Chunks is lewd, crude, and truly entertaining. The story offers a group of lovable assholes in situations that are both worth cringing and laughing over. And the art alone is worth the price of admission! Issue three of Chunks cannot get to into my impatient little hands fast enough!