2.01.2013

Todd The Ugliest Kid On Earth [Shotgun Blurbs]


TODD THE UGLIEST KID ON EARTH
Published by Image Comics
Creators: Ken Kristensen & M.K. Perker

What It’s About: “So, it’s like this total outsider kid, right, he wears a bag on his head because he’s so ugly, and all the neighborhood kids pick on him and everything, he doesn’t really belong, but I don’t even know if he really knows that. There’s this cute little Korean girl who moves in and he tries to talk to her and befriend her for a second , but his dad is totally racist and ruins that before it even gets going. Oh, and there’s this crazy serial killer running around killing kids the whole time! And there’s these total overzealous idiot cops who are trying to figure everything out, but they have no idea what they’re doing. So, one thing leads to another, and the ugly kid, Todd, ends up getting framed for the latest child abduction. It’s crazy. The art’s really good, very dark and stylized. It’s like this total satire, like an indictment of suburbia and that whole world.” Yeah. There’s an unfiltered look at how I was describing this book to a couple of different coworkers when they asked what I was reading. I often end up giving these impromptu field reports to coworkers.

Why You Should Buy It: From the title page on, it’s clear that the characterization is wound very tight. It’s a subversive take on the middle class bubble of existence and the failings of our society. If you can imagine some kind of heady modernized blender of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts (a story that was largely always about attempting to reconcile the way life is, versus the way life should be) and Joe Casey work like The Milkman Murders (a scathing satire of suburban values in its own right), then you’re somewhere in the neighborhood of this piece of dark humor that’s a cult classic in the making. The luscious art is very clever, using transitional devices like a floating leaf to get from scene to scene, or the unflinching intra-panel view from cleaved frog brains. We have detached parenting, over-medicated youth, socialized ethnocentrism, desensitized violence, homophobia, materialism, bullying, victim-blaming anti-feminism, the allure of fame, and the oppression of the innocent as a parody of everything wrong with our culture, all masquerading as a really funny, really weird comedy.

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