From a posh girls’ boarding school…to the slimy gutter of the London punk scene…to sniffing voodoo glue in a Louisiana swamp, how did Shadowman’s black magic bon vivant haul herself from the upper crust to the backwater of the Big Easy’s voodoo underground? Punk Mambo is about to head back home to spread some much-needed anarchy in the UK…and confront the ghosts of her past head on! The punks and the voodoo priests she used to know have cleaned themselves up, and she’s a loud, belching ghost from their past, come to break in the new furniture…and break some faces!
Err, ok. As the comic starts there’s some nice moments as Punk Mambo (really?) speaks to the spirit of Sid Vicious and once the comic relocates to London from Louisiana it makes a few salient points, albeit 20 years late.
The problem is that Punk Mambo perpetrates the same sort of myths about Punk that it’s criticising in it’s first few pages and that totally takes me out of it as a reader. It’s pandering to the picture postcard image of Punk while trying to be against it and you can’t do the both. Punk was more than mohawks and leather jackets, which by the way, a lot of Punks couldn’t afford initially. It was an attitude which isn’t really what Milligan gets across here as he tells a story of revenge which does have some nice enough art from Robert Gill who is trying to channel Chris Bachalo here.
It’s enjoyable but it is fluff built upon cliche after cliche with the odd bit of somewhat neutered social comment not to mention endless innuendo over the word ‘wanga’. Punk Mambo is a diverting read for ten minutes as Pete Milligan goes through the numbers and pays the bills for a month. For something supposed to be Punk it’s all a bit well, like clocking in for The Man.
This is fluff. It’s alright fluff but I’d not go out the way to add this to your reading list even if it is Pete Milligan.