Sunday, 25 October 2015

Todd, the Ugliest Kid on Earth, Volume 1 Review (Kris Kristensen, MK Perker)


Todd is forced to wear a paper bag with eye-holes on his head because his parents - and everyone else for that matter - are complete pricks! And supposedly he’s super-ugly... But it never dampens his spirits and he’s perennially cheerful. Then an axe-wielding child murderer starts lopping off kids’ heads and Todd gets the blame - and still he remains chipper in the slammer! How will a young boy survive in an adult’s prison? Will the police look past their inexplicable hatred of Todd and catch the real killer? Which one of his parents will get laid by total strangers? 

As you might tell from the summary, Todd the Ugliest Kid on Earth is a farce. Todd’s over-the-top treatment by every single character is meant to be silly and not taken seriously - it reminded me of Kenny dying at the end of each South Park episode only to reappear in the next. It’s an ironic title too because Todd is the only non-ugly person in the book - everyone else, physically and personality-wise, are hideous (I’m gonna guess that once we see beneath the paper bag, Todd’s gonna be totes normal-looking, maybe even handsome). 

Because everything that happens to Todd is so outrageous, it made me smile rather than feel depressed (like many other reviewers said they were!) but after a while the joke becomes kinda worn - it is very one-note. Todd muddles his way through horrible scenarios and manages to come up aces each time which is fine given the style the creative team are going for if a bit predictable. 

Besides following the opportunistic detective who put Todd in prison as he unwittingly captures the real killer, the comic focuses on Todd’s mom and dad: a drunken barfly and a fanboy in love with a Scientologist soap star. They weren’t very interesting subplots though I can see why the mom’s story was included. The dad’s storyline probably has more to do with the second volume? 

I didn’t love MK Perker’s artwork which is heavily caricaturistic but I can see why it was that way given the warped nature of the characters. Appropriate then but not especially lovely to look at, for me anyhoo. 

The first volume of Todd the Ugliest Kid on Earth has its moments - it’s an interesting comic that feels original and different - even if the storyline is itself not as strong or compelling with the various perspectives and the farcical tone becomes somewhat played out towards the end. It’s not an amazing comic but it’s not a bad one either. I liked the irreverence and silliness of it and thought it was an ok book - worth checking out if you’ve got a taste for the absurd and lean towards dark humour.

Todd, the Ugliest Kid on Earth, Volume 1

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