The toughest part of reviewing anything whether it’s comics, movies, or games is removing yourself from the equation. A piece of art can be beautifully filmed or masterfully composed and some people will still simply not like it. In the news recently, Quentin Tarantino’s films are often viewed as masterpiece-level material. However, his dialogue-heavy, blood-soaked cinema just might not sit well with some people, and that’s okay. What we love is very much defined by our personal tastes for violence, comedy, and drama.
That long-winded tangle of words is of course an introduction to Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth #1, a book brilliant in its delivery yet ultimately not for everyone. This is a comic jam packed with violence, debauchery, and every nasty thing under the cruel and indifferent sun that inhabits the world of Ken Kristensen.
Probably not a spoiler to anyone, Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth is about, well, a kid name Todd who is so ugly he wears a paper bag over his head. Todd’s life is terrible. Everyone hates him including his drunken negligent parents. That would be all fine and well if Todd was an awful kid, but as these things happen, Todd is heart-crushingly sweet. Bottom line, it sucks to see these awful things happening to Todd, which in some people’s mental dictionaries reads as hilarious.
Kristensen writes Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth like Siegfried and/or Roy, pushing and poking wild jungle cats until they finally snap and leave him in a mass of torn and bloody sequins. The wild cats in this confusing metaphor are you and I, the reader. To Kristensen, no calf is too golden. Drunken abusive parents, little kids getting murdered, blood, and guts are all in a day’s work for this author and that might not sit so well with some folks. Sure, we can handle all types of murder and mayhem in drama books, but things get different when it’s in a comedy book. Put a child-killing axe murder next to a dick joke and some people may think you’re making light of some pretty heavy stuff. This of course is why I must restate that this book might not be for everyone.
If you can stomach all the wicked things going on between the pages of Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth, you’ll probably love this book. Prolific artist M.K Perker stuns in this book with his unique distorted character proportions and brilliant line work.
Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth is a brutal book both in terms of violence and content. As things stand, I doubt that Kristensen won’t ramp things down as this story progresses. It’s tough to say if this book will be universally loved. The only thing that can be said without a shadow of a doubt is that Kristensen and Perker are two endlessly talented individuals and Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth is the culmination of their shared vision. Give it a shot. You might be surprised.