I have seen this pig toy on Five Below’s website for ages now. I had no idea what it was, but assumed it was from some online/video game. It was this pink pig with a baseball bat and had the look of a zombie-like character. Recently, I saw this book cover with a similar character on it, and thought, “oh, that is the book I just saw advertised in a catalog. Maybe I will give it a shot.” While subconsciously realizing it was the toy, as it felt familiar without being familiar.
Permanent Detention (Piggy Original Graphic Novel) by Vannotes and illustrated by Malu Menezes was actually a little spooky at times, but good for the at least strong eight and up read. However, I would say more liking ages 10 to (young) 13. If you know the game it is based on (Roblox), that might help, but is not really necessary. The characters are a bit stereotypical, but still relatable and if there are further stories, things could be fleshed out more and could focus on other characters besides Willow and Cami. It is a thriller-horror story, so sensitive readers might be turned off, but overall things are well handled. As my copy was a reader copy, images were not complete, but they look like they will fit the story well and move things along.
The story is a typical end of the world apocalypse. There has been an infection that makes people into zombies. They never attack anyone outside of Piggy doing so late in the book, so I am not sure how they attack/harm anyone, but Piggy seems to want to use her bat. The final fight scene has Piggy and Willow (the leader of a group called the Silver Paws) just throwing a few punches, pushing and not anything too serious (but again, the images were only sketches so details were not shown). The characters are animals: Piggy a pig, Willow a wolf, Cami a chameleon, Pandy a Panda (there is another character that is never named but in the afterwards called Kitty). The main action happens in the old middle school of Willow. There are some flashbacks to Willow’s time as a student; there are a few Lord of the Flies like situations; there is humor, and a card game like Pokemon meets D&D. In the end things boil down to “be yourself” and don’t let, even adults, call your card games nerdy or geeky, and never be ashamed of liking comic books and being yourself. And of course, real friends are not bullies.
The overall feeling of if this book was food, it would be chips without dip. It is nice enough solo but needs a bit more to make it a solid snack.