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The Comic Book Fools of April – Keith Giffen’s PunX

Every day in April I will be featuring a humorous comic (either an issue or a series of strips) that I found particularly amusing. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com the comic stories that are your favorites when it comes to hilarity, and I’ll see if I can’t feature some of them this month, as well!

Today we look at Keith Giffen’s ill-fated PunX series for Valiant, which was written and drawn by Giffen, inked by Claude St. Aubin and colored by Lovern Kindzierski

While ostensibly this series was about a group of “Generation X” superheroes in the town of Acclamation, Oregon (a play on the owner of Valiant at the time, the video game company Acclaim), the three issues Giffen produced of this series before it was canceled were not really about plot, per se, and more about mocking the very conventions of the modern day comic book (particularly through the various superheroes who live in Acclamation). Luckily, Giffen did his mocking in a compellingly offbeat fashion, so it was a lighthearted and amusing satire of comic books.

Take this inspired bit from issue #2, for instance…

With the recent discussion at Random Thoughts about recap pages, I thought that this bit from the opening on #3 was particularly pertinent…

One of the more outlandish sequences in the comic came toward the middle of #3…

Spot on parody, and very cool of Bernard Chang to go along with the joke. The Massersky stuff is very much a throwback to the way Julie Schwartz was used in Ambush Bug.

On top of the three issues, there was also a “manga special” one-shot with artwork by Kevin Lau. It involved a Godzilla-like creature who decides to move on past just terrorizing Tokyo…

These issues are actually somewhat hard to find on the back issue market, but if you do, they’re each worth picking up. They’re all funny, irreverent comic books.

9 Comments

Tom Fitzpatrick

April 7, 2011 at 5:43 am

A rare Giffen moment, where not only you appreciate the writting and the art, but the book as well.

He really let go of the restraints and went all-out here.

The butt-signal, heh. Even the goddammed Batman would cringe at that! ;-)

I wish we’d gotten PunX #4 to at least conclude the mini-series… ah well… it was fun while it lasted.

Loved this series. For years I held out hope that #4 might finally get published if for no other reason than a payoff for the gag about the character who refused to reveal what their power was because it was too disturbing.

Oh wow. This looks amazing.

The spoof of “Understanding Comics” was particularly great.

I have the Godzilla one. Got it in a box of about 50 comics that I bought for a quid, had no idea what it was, and loved it.
Somewhat ashamed to say I never bothered to find out if there were any others.

Pete Woodhouse

April 7, 2011 at 3:31 pm

1st panel – “Or in this case a few too many shooters..” – if that’s an in-joke on Jim Shooter: hah, good one!

Michael Howey

April 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm

How have I never heard of this? I have every issue of Hero squared. I thought I was on top of things. I must have Punx.

Giffed had a cool run in the 80s-90s. Worth looking at.

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