This is a well-crafted graphic novel. The Mad Magazine/Don Martin style of art feels appropriate for this story. The writing is relatively strong, with a story that has some complexity and a touch of intrigue.
Yet I greatly disliked this book.
Todd, who is the ugliest kid on earth, wears a paper bag over his head at all times. He’s so ugly we can’t even look at him. But of course Todd’s apparent physical ugliness is nothing compared to the inner-ugliness of EVERYone else in this book. Point taken, thank you.
I am not a soul who is easily offended. I like dark, gritty, makes-you-think kinds of work. But this book is nothing short of child-abuse. It is bullying and abuse run rampant. And that Todd is not the brightest bulb on the tree only serves to make that abuse even more despicable.
To be brief…Todd is framed by local bullies for an atrocity. The local constabulary wants Todd out of the picture permanently so they send him to the adult prison. His parents aren’t sure about bailing him out. Even when the police find the true culprit, they try to find ways to keep Todd in prison.
My skin crawled with revulsion as I read this, and yet … and YET … like that car wreck along the side of the road that you can’t help watching as you drive by, I couldn’t help but keep reading. It is well done, even if it is repulsing.
Looking for a good book? If you want good writing and stylistic, caricature art, this is well done, but be warned… none of the characters are in any way likeable.
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Todd, the Ugliest Kid on Earth, Volume 1
author: Ken Kristensen
artist: M.K. Perker
publisher: Image Comics
paperback, 96 pages