Ken Kristensen

Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth 8 (January 2014)

292177 20131231120547 largeAt this point, Kristensen and Perker have fully embraced the bit. Every scene, even if it eventually ties to another scene, is a bit. There’s a Santa bit, there’s a Joan Crawford bit, there’s a Satan’s nice kid bit. It’s all a bunch of bits strung together. The regular cast members no longer have anything to do in Todd.

Is it bad, but I’m sort of hoping for another break from the series. The creators need to reorganize, rethink. Perker tries something of a new art style this issue. It’s interesting, but there’s no point for it. The issue opens–after the lengthy new cast introductions–and seems like it might be a Christmas thing. It’s not.

As for those opening introductions. Kristensen is now using them–instead of the actual issue proper–to tell parts of the story.

Todd has pretty much run out of its accrued good will.

C 

CREDITS

Writers, M.K. Perker and Ken Kristensen; artist, Perker; colorist, Sedat Gosterikli; letterer, Pat Brosseau; publisher, Image Comics.

Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth 7 (November 2013)

289562 20131120121320 largeTodd doesn’t jump the shark with this issue; instead, Kristensen and Perker sort of hop the boat. They send Todd to Hell–literally–and he has to take Charon’s boat across the River Styx.

So, the creators aren’t exactly being exclusive–River Styx knowledge isn’t particularly high, but it’s smart. It’s a smart reference, it’s a smart turn of events. Similarly, there’s an opening reference to Jonah Hill. They just as ably make a solid pop culture reference.

Then there’s the story, which they split between Satan (in the prologue), Todd and his father and then Todd’s mother. Except the last two don’t really relate–it’s not, for instance, Todd trying to rescue his kidnapped mother.

Because Perker and Kristensen come up with something much better.

This issue has a lot of good laughs. Even better, the creators never go for the easiest joke; they always aim for higher ones.

CREDITS

Writers, M.K. Perker and Ken Kristensen; artist, Perker; colorist, Sedat Gosterikli; letterer, Pat Brosseau; publisher, Image Comics.

Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth 4 (April 2013)

Todd The Ugliest Kid on Earth 4Some things can never be unseen. I’m pretty sure Todd’s dad naked in bed covered in money is one of them.

Kristensen and Perker doesn’t introduce any new characters this issue, I don’t think, but many of the series’s smaller players reappear. Even though Todd will return as an ongoing, this issue feels like a finish.

There’s a lot of plot development, maybe even more of it than there is humor. The issue has a lot of action, often funny, but the action humor is black. Kristensen only has a handful of really funny lines.

He brings all of the plot threads together to resolve the story pretty well, while still introducing little things and setting up the big development for the ongoing series. One has to wonder if it would have ended the same without its success.

It’s a moderately satisfying finish, but probably the series’s least successful issue.

CREDITS

Writer, Ken Kristensen; artist and letterer, M.K. Perker; colorist, Cemal Soyleyen; publisher, Image Comics.

Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth 3 (March 2013)

IMG120813Well now… Kristensen saves the issue’s biggest laugh for the final page. It’s a small panel, but it’s Todd’s panel and Todd isn’t in the issue much and it’s a damn good joke. It’s kind of a dumb joke, but the way Kristensen tells it is smart, which isn’t the way Todd usually goes, but here it does and it works.

Kristensen splits the issue between Todd, his mom and his dad and the police chief. The police chief is fighting the serial killer, which is hilarious; the mom and dad are both having extramarital encounters. The mom’s is sad and depressing, but the dad’s is Kristensen telling Scientologist and Internet jokes.

The change in tone–and pace (the issue seems to take place over an hour or so)–makes Todd entirely unpredictable. The beautiful, preciously careful Perker makes the comic even more of an oddity.

Todd continues its excellence.

CREDITS

Writer, Ken Kristensen; artist and letterer, M.K. Perker; colorist, Cemal Soyleyen; publisher, Image Comics.

Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth 2 (February 2013)

IMG120739AKristensen really runs with the Todd in jail angle. It’s a busy issue–Todd’s parents get their own subplots, the moron cop who arrested him gets a little page time and, of course, the real serial killer gets a scene or two.

There’s some wonderful about the panels of Todd running around the prison yard playing with a butterfly. Perker’s art perfectly captures the innocence of the act, but also all the danger around Todd.

There are a lot of jokes this issue. Not just the prison jokes, which start at inappropriate and get funnier, but also digs at Oprah, Scientology, celebrity worship… other stuff. Perker is able to turn all these things into sight gags, even Todd’s mom picking up a sleazy guy at the bar. The writing and the art synthesize beautifully in Todd.

The only problem is the ending. Kristensen stops the issue, rather than ending it.

CREDITS

Writer, Ken Kristensen; artist and letterer, M.K. Perker; colorist, Cemal Soyleyen; publisher, Image Comics.

Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth 1 (January 2013)

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Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth is delightfully disturbed. The titular protagonist is so ugly, he has to wear a paper bag around. But that ugliness does save him–there’s an axe-wielding child killer on the loose who lets Todd go because he’s so hideous.

But I’m not sure I would call writer Ken Kristensen’s humor disturbed; Todd is never uncomfortable, Kristensen’s jokes are just outrageously inappropriate.

M.K. Perker’s art adds to the lunacy. Perker could very well be illustrating a children’s book–the art is lush, expressive and pleasant. Todd and his family are the only things out of place in the idyllic setting. Well, the serial killer too.

Kristensen’s finish for the issue is one long series of jokes about small town cops. It’s funny, but doesn’t indicate where the series is going. But given the quality of this issue, Todd should work out just fine.

CREDITS

Writer, Ken Kristensen; artist and letterer, M.K. Perker; colorist, Cemal Soyleyen; publisher, Image Comics.

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