Review: Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth, Vol. 2
Collects TODD, THE UGLIEST KID ON EARTH #5-8 The politically incorrect comedy that Ain’t It Cool says “clubs the baby seal of life.” Its second hilarious story arc is now in trade paperback format! After uncovering a satanic cult run by Charlie Rose at PBS, Peggy gets kidnapped, Gus goes on the lam, and Todd warms up to the wrong people…in Hell.
It’s that special time of the year again where Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth is collected into trade paperback form for your reading pleasure. This time issues #5-8 are rounded up into one convenient place. The story is written by Ken Kristensen with art and lettering by M.K. Perker. Cemal Soyleyen rounds out the cast with colors. The first four issues of Todd made for a surprisingly twisted hit, but how does the second arc measure up now that it’s all said and done?
Todd is adjusting to his new life with his ‘sister.’ His father took in Belinda Fairchild’s daughter for an annual sum of ten thousand dollars. This day just happens to be the day when Todd’s dad wants to go to the Comic Con and Day Old Seafood Expo to find all the Belinda related merch he can get. When he stumbles upon Charlie Rose’s table, things take a weird turn. It just so happens that the secret to Charlie Rose’s success is a deal he made with the devil. The table he uses is imbued with the darkest of magic and serves as a portal to hell. This all leads Todd on a crazy cross-dressing adventure complete with Satan, his overweight disappointment of a son, and the anti-satanic demon hunter called the Marxman. Can Todd save his new sister from the hellhole Charlie Rose’s table has opened? Will the Marxman be able to use Todd to find what he’s searching for? Will Charlie Rose have to kill a few people to get that special table back?
Kristensen writes an even more twisted, sharp-witted, and hilarious story this time around. The first volume of Todd was an irreverent ride that offered up some interesting characters, but this second installment turns everything up to eleven. Things are a little more offensive and edgy this time around, which is largely the point. Kristensen writes the type of story that makes you go “Oh, that’s not right” at least once. That’s part of the fun and humorous nature of Todd. The team doesn’t shy away from anything. Perker’s art is just as fantastic as the first time. He makes it look like the most insane children’s book you’ll ever see. The new characters give the artist a chance to really cut loose and do something different than the first arc. The comic con scenes allow for some really hard-hitting jokes about the industry as well. Soyleyen’s colors are a little more realistic than the first arc though. This is still a bright and cheerfully drawn and colored comic considering the story being told, but the second arc walks a little closer to the middle ground of children’s book and reality (again, especially during the comic con sections).
Bottom Line: Todd comes back better and stronger in his second installment. This is a more focused and narrative driven story, but it still offers up uncomfortable laughs and surprising moments of real emotion. Todd is only going to get bigger and bigger thanks to his upcoming TV show, and Kristensen and Perker keep showing you why with each new issue. 4/5
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