“Bad Kids Go 2 Hell” – Graphic Novel review

Ok, so this is a little convoluted, so let me clarify what’s going on here, exactly.

I previously reviewed the film Bad Kids Go To Hell (HERE), which was based on the first set of comics of the same name (from Bad Kids Press). I picked up that movie while I was out at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles last November. I also picked up a copy of “Bad Kids Go 2 Hell,” which is the sequel (See the number ‘2’ in there? Clever, right?) to the first set of comics, not to the aforementioned movie.

So, now I’m going to talk about the sequel to the comic, which is also getting the film treatment, due out this year (HERE).

I really wish I had the first series to compare this to. I really do (so feel free to throw the Shadow a copy).  As much fun as the first movie was to watch, this really is an instance of comparing apples and oranges. Without knowing how much difference there was between the first comics and the first movie, it’s tough to extrapolate just how the second set of comics stacks up against the first…

So, in a vacuum, let me say that I did enjoy BKG2H. The lack of exposure to the source material from the first series wasn’t a drag on the story in any way, and having seen the movie filled in the truly relevant historical points necessary.

I like the art style. Classic, classy, with asshole jocks and slutty high school girls looking like asshole jocks and slutty high school girls. No PC in this book. No, sir. Drugs, sex, and violence. Oh, the violence. Definitely lives up to it’s Mature Audiences recommendation.

But that doesn’t bother me.

What does bother me–and this is my major problem with BKG2H–is that this whole book just feels rushed. Like everything needed to happen NOWNOWNOW. In film (thinking of the first one), you can take a beat, process what has gone on, and then move on. This comic has none of that. it is literally GOGOGO, and it kind of wore on me. The story line(s) is/are so intricate that some discretion in the presentation is not only advised, but required to truly appreciate the work the writers have obviously put in to crafting a backstory (though the villain doesn’t necessarily work for me. Just sayin’.) of such complexity.

Without those moments, those pauses, those interludes, all that hard work can be tough to keep straight in the readers’ minds.

So, I still say read it, as long as you are prepared for a narrative onslaught. If there is a 3, I hope that maybe Matt Spradlin and Barry Wernick and the other guys out there will add some issues and present their narrative with a little more thought to not simply shoving it out there, but presenting it in a way that allows their vision to be properly appreciated.

I look forward to seeing the film adaptation when it hits.

See you around the shadows! And remember, share with your friends!

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