Tarantino meets The Bible meets The Sex Pistols meets The Truman Show. Sounds like the perfect recipe for a Saturday Night Live sketch, right? Maybe. But Punk Rock Jesus runs deep with modern day commentary on exploitative entertainment, teenage angst worthy of consideration, religious fanaticism, and “just because we can, should we?” science — all on a Biblical scale.
Punk Rock Jesus, written and illustrated by Sean Murphy, is set in the not-so-distant future where science has progressed enough that cloning is now a viable practice. A TV exec hires an ambitious geneticist to clone Jesus Christ, so that he can document the “Second Coming of Christ” as part of a reality TV show. Enter Chris, the clone of Christ, created with DNA from the Shroud of Turin. And then there is Thomas, Chris’ lifelong bodyguard and the book’s co-protagonist, an ex-IRA enforcer with a dark past and brutal methods. Chris, grows up in the public spotlight until his teenage years, when his rebelliousness cannot be contained by his producers, Thomas, or his Virgin mother. Chris escapes and starts a punk rock group and leads a mohawk-and-spikes laden rebellion against all that he has ever known.
Punk Rock Jesus is a story that takes place in a reality that could very well be our own. Writer Sean Murphy’s “world about a world” is intimate and immense. The cast of characters, including: Chris’ virgin mother, a gang of radical Christian fundamentalists, and the rabid punk rock fans, make Chris and Thomas’ existential journey fantastical, but wholly believable
This is a book in black and white. Murphy’s art is energetic, violent, stark, and moody. The linework both describes the world of Murphy’s earth and the emotional state of its inhabitants. Black battles whitespace as perfect lines race across the pages and oftentimes end in gory splotches of black, like Murphy was the love-child of Jackson Pollock and Jack the Ripper.
Punk Rock Jesus is for anyone who loves redemption stories. For anyone who loves sitting on the hood of their car, slightly wasted with a best mate, discussing the horrors and joys of existence. For anyone that wants to see brutal, meaty justice delivered to those that make their living exploiting others. For anyone who wants to do all of this whilst listening to The Damned and The Sex Pistols on repeat.
Sound like your cup of tea? Punk Rock Jesus is available in its entirety on Amazon. No need to hunt down individual issues.
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