cover image Too Tough to Die: An Aging Punx Anthology

Too Tough to Die: An Aging Punx Anthology

Edited by Haleigh Buck and J.T. Yost. Birdcage Bottom, $20 trade paper (320p ) ISBN 978-1-73315-094-1

Punk’s still kicking in this massively entertaining anthology in which fans who came of age in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s ruminate on what the scene means to them at middle age and beyond. The comics range from hilarious to harrowing, from unabashedly nostalgic to refreshingly critical, and the inclusion of many artists who are women and people of color provides welcome perspectives on the racism and misogyny that sometimes infect the punk milieu, such as Ayti Krali and Fred Noland’s recollections of dealing with skinheads as Black punk teens. Hyena Hell thanks the Dead Milkmen for saving her life; Krali rediscovers political action as a gardener; Liz Prince recreates her favorite basement music venue in Animal Crossing; James Spooner crafts an irreverent guide to hairstyles and shoelace color codes; and Haleigh Buck tells her life story in concert fliers. Some repetition accumulates, but the pieces are consistently heartfelt and unflinching, and despite an oft-voiced commitment to grungy DIY ethos, showcase a high-level of artistic craft. Though the artists don’t shy away from the problems of punk, they remain inspired by its sense of freedom and space to create radical change. As Jordan Jeffries writes, “I can stay old and angry until the day there’s no more need.” This is one awesome and introspective ode to rebellion. (Oct.)