Review: Todd – The Ugliest Kid on Earth Vol. 2

For whatever reason we fell behind on the reviews for this series and yet going through this trade again I discovered that there were only two issues in the story arc I hadn’t read. For the sake of the review I wanted to just blaze through to those final two chapters, but I just couldn’t. Instead I found myself absorbed into Todd’s world yet again and I’m not complaining. After looking at the cover you may be asking yourself, “who is Todd: The Ugliest Kid on Earth for?” That’s a fair question and I’m sure there’s plenty of people who would begin rattling off lists of people that they think won’t enjoy this series and hell I almost did the same. After thinking about it, it’s a series for anyone. It’s a series for the religious, for the political and especially for those who don’t know how to take a joke. The reason being is that they’re going to be hard pressed not to laugh at something in this series. No one is safe in this series as creators Ken Kristensen and M.K. Perker take shots at everyone. Everyone.

This volume picks up just after the first volume which introduced us to Sandy, Todd’s “little sister” who is actually the daughter of an actress that’s paying Todd’s family to keep her as their own. The first chapter introduces a lot of the arcs key players and really the plot of the arc which is rescuing Sandy from hell after Todd’s dad stole/found Charlie Roses’ satanic interview table. Not before they take a trip to comic con and rip on Marvel comics and really both of the “big two” receive a new one.

My one and only gripe with the story was that the ending was abrupt, but I seem to recall the same thing happening in the last volume as well. Otherwise I couldn’t stop laughing throughout the entire story. Even the parts that just seemed to be hangovers from the last arc like the police chief. He doesn’t help the plot move forward and is really only there for the ending, but everything he does in-between was hilarious. With his new celebrity he decides he needs a black partner, but can’t find one that is “urban” enough for his needs. Again, no one is safe.

Ken Kristensen is at home with this story. I’m glad to see him expanding into other series, but really the writing and humor he does on Todd is his best and you won’t find anything else like it in the world of comics or entertainment for that matter. His humor is sharp, smart and well opinionated. His commentary about the comic industry and the rest of the world is a harsh mirror that’s needed to be held up and looked into for a long time. To put it plainly, the man knows what he’s talking about and gets his point across with humor.

ToddTheUgliestKidOnEarth_Vol2-1Something that wasn’t as noticeable in the monthly issues of Todd was the consistency of Perker’s artwork. Flipping through you can plainly see that the quality never dips which gives this particular volume an amazing feel to it. Perker’s style is very detailed and nearly photorealistic, but he keeps it on the comedic side of things due to the design of the story.

In particular I enjoyed Perker’s rendition of Satan and Craig as he brought Kristensen’s dialogue to life and made the characters three-dimensional. After their initial introduction, just their presence could make me laugh and that stems from the art.

It wasn’t so long ago in comics that everyone was talking about the resurgence of partnerships in the comic industry and the reason being that great partnerships make for great comics. That’s started to fade as companies have adapted to a new system that allows them to crank out more issues and lump the art together. That’s what makes Todd special though; it’s one of those rare partnerships in which the story and art work in perfect tandem making a fantastic read. If you missed this volume in singles then definitely pick up the trade even if it’s just to find out how to order a PBS Satan Horned shirt.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Ken Kristensen Artist: M.K. Perker Publisher: Image Comics Price: $12.99 Release Date: 5/7/14 Format: TPB