Life’s Not A F*%$ing Fairy Tale – DEAD END KIDS Review
Dead End Kids Review
Written by Frank Gogol
Art and Color by Nenad Dviticanin
Letters by Sean Rinehart
Published by Source Point Press
Like all comic book readers, I’m excited for new comics to begin shipping once again. However, during Diamond’s shipping hiatus I have really enjoyed reading and reviewing recent comic book series. To that end, I picked up Dead End Kids from Source Point Press. Earlier this month, Source Point did a Free Comic Book Week to make up for the annual FCBD events being canceled. Since I was already going to have to pay shipping on the free comics I ordered, I went ahead and bought Dead End Kids as well. Barring a new round of stay-at-home orders, this may be my last “new comics on pause” themed review. As it turns out, Dead End Kids was a great title to end this series of articles on.
“You know the story. Bunch of kids from screwed-up homes meet and it’s the best years of their lives. This isn’t that story.”
The trade paperback collects all three issues of this mini-series drama. This book does not contain your average coming of age story. Dead End Kids follows a group of four best friends, each with difficult home lives. When one of their gang is murdered, the others vow to find the killer. The plot is full of a dark intensity that is prevalent throughout the entire narrative. In only a handful of pages, I came to deeply care for each of the kids. This made the somber events of the story hit that much harder. I did wish the book was longer, both because of how much I enjoyed the characters and because the story felt rushed. With only three issues, there isn’t much room for the nuance that would have taken this comic to the next level.
The art in Dead End Kids has a newspaper comic strip look to it, except rendered with a full color pallet. This simple art style provides a nice contrast to the seriousness of the story. I really enjoyed the visual call backs that referenced the fact that the story is set in 1999. A lot of the pages have five or more panels yet they never feel crowded. One complaint in terms of the art was that the coloring of the nighttime scenes made it hard to tell the characters apart at times. I had to pay more attention to the characters’ clothes than the characters themselves in order to keep track of the sequence of events on pages colored in this manner.
“We couldn’t fix each other, but we could be messed-up together, and we promised we would be.”
New comics will resume shipping next week, though the selection will be limited as publishers and distributors ease back into things. Luckily, it’s a great time to check out titles you may have missed. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend checking out Dead End Kids. This mini-series was published toward the end of 2019, and the trade released earlier this year. Ask your local comic book store about back issues or if they have the trade in stock. Or visit Source Point Press and order it yourself. However you procure it, Dead End Kids is worth your time. In a world where most comic books center around superheros, it’s refreshing to find a drama about normal human beings. Especially one as developed and heart-rending as Dead End Kids.
Dead End Kids Review
Dead End Kids is worth your time.