Jack Northworthy is a loser. He’s rude, crude, and hard to like. He’s a former hockey goon. He’s a snowblower salesman who can’t sell snowblowers in Minnesota, a disgraced former small-town mayor, and pretty much a nobody…and he’s running for president.
Jack doesn’t have much going for him, but the one thing he does have is his old friend Marlinspike. Marlinspike has plans to take Jack to high places—all the way to the White House. With the aid of Donna Forsyth, campaign manager, Jack makes his way across America, fumbling through the campaign in typical Jack style.
CITIZEN JACK, superbly written by Sam Humphries with gritty art by Tommy Patterson, collects issues 1-6 of the Image Comics phenomenon and compiles them all into one wild political ride. This scandal-ridden fiasco of a campaign is made all the more frightening by today’s political events that are unfolding right before our eyes, yet CITIZEN JACK never takes itself too seriously.
Now, I’m not a “political” person. In fact, I was skeptical when I first heard about CITIZEN JACK, because I didn’t know what to expect. Would it bore me to death? Would it annoy the snot out of me (as many political things do)? The answer to both questions is “no,” because Jack’s story is written in such a way as to grab hold of you and pull you in. You’re there on the campaign trail with Jack, watching every spectacular fumble and seeing America’s reaction to it all.
The artwork in CITIZEN JACK is alternately dark and comical, conveying the nuances of the train wreck that is Jack Northworthy’s life. You can see Jack’s personality come to life in those gruff features. Everything that Jack sees and feels jumps out of the page to smack you in the face like the goon-at-heart that Jack is, and you end up loving it.
I highly recommend CITIZEN JACK to any adult who needs a little relief from today’s political nightmare. You don’t have to like politics to love CITIZEN JACK, though I should forewarn you: there’s a reason I say I recommend it to any “adult.” There is language in the book that kids should definitely not be exposed to. Jack Northworthy is not about to correct anyone on their use of foul language—if anything, he’ll try to one-up them. This is not your average kid-friendly comic, but as a graphic novel, it’s a masterpiece.
So pick up CITIZEN JACK when it hits bookstores this August, and enjoy a lighter look at the dark side of politics.