I honestly was surprised at how much I liked the graphic novel, Doom’s Day Camp by Joshua Hauke. At first, I felt it was just going to be “dumb humor” or “not for everyone offbeat and off color humor” but most of it turned out to be pretty classy. (Okay! Okay! There is one earth shattering f**t, but it did save the day! And frankly, f**ts are funny if they happen to someone else.)
The ideas, of course, have been done before (a nerd/uncool kid does really well, saves the day a few times, screws up a few times (usually those two things are happening in reverse) and has some out in left field ideas that are actually good), but the twist is this time the “normal” one is the “weird” one makes it a bit fresh. There is a depth to it as well, that is not lost with the surface humor and fun. The world might have ended, but that is just the beginning of things.
The idea that makes things a bit different is after a “fallout” of some kind, people are mutated (super strength, are gelatin molds, have five eyes, are just a brain in a diving suit, flying human-bat hybrid, a wolf tail), and that means that the animals of the world have, too, and are not nice about it. When the adults decide to leave to find out why things are getting worse, the pack leader leaves his son in charge (the uncool/nerd Doom). And after one of the mishaps it’s up to him to save himself and the rest of the pack. The real kicker is that people’s names are punny and fit them (Doom’s sister is Disaster or Dizy), and match personalities. The other kicker is we have a funny Lord of the Flies scene at the end.
Then there is the artwork which all I can say is, look at the cover. It says it all. Yes, you can judge this book by the cover when it comes to the artwork. The story, well, it mostly fits that, too. And of course, this book is not for everyone, but if you find that it works for your reader (at least 8 to 12), book two will be due end of October/early November 2023