This past weekend at the San Diego Comic Con, I got the opportunity to stop by the Antarctic Press Entertainment booth and met the creators of Bad Kids Go to Hell. They were happy to give The Flickcast one of the first issues of Bad Kids Go to Hell #2, which will be released on Wednesday. We’re proud to have the first exclusive review of the issue right here.
Bad Kids Go to Hell #2 – Antarctic Press – $3.50
What would happen to the Breakfast Club if instead of just dealing with teenage angst and a hard-nosed disciplinarian they had to worry about a curse caused by all of their parents building a library over a sacred Apache Indian burial ground? Bad Kids Go to Hell explores this scenario as four members of a pretentious high school’s elite class find themselves in detention with a kid from the wrong side of the tracks trying to avoid heading back to juvenile hall and a cynical Goth girl in tune with the occult.
Each of the elitists, the overachieving daughter of a lawyer, the injured jock son of a councilman, the homecoming queen cutter and the pressured son of an Afghani immigrant, all try to examine how they got themselves in to the trouble that landed them in detention. The odd thing is that none of them can explain why they did what they did other than saying the idea just came over them and they didn’t feel like they were in control of themselves at the time.
The issue begins with the kids beginning their punishment, researching and writing a speech for the library’s dedication. What they find backs up the rumors they had begun discussing last issue that the school had been built on sacred Apache land. Upon further examination, they unearth some information about the last guardian of the tribe who had been forced from the land by eminent domain, committed to an asylum and took his only life after feeling he failed to protect the sacred land. And of course, before he died he made sure to place a curse on the land. Like any Goth girl, Veronica offers up the idea to have a séance to find out if there really is a curse on the school. Reluctantly, the others agree and the circle sets themselves up around a table.
When things begin to get a little too heavy for some of the participants, Megan, the overachiever who landed herself in detention for stripping in class and making out with another female student has an asthma attack and runs off, breaking the circle. And then, like any classic horror movie tale, people start dying. Locked in the library together with no one to get them out after Veronica tainted the coffee of their teacher with eye medicine, the five remaining students try to find their way out and quickly begin to turn on each other in typical horror movie fashion.
Bad Kids Go to Hell is a fun read. With 48 pages for a $3.50 price tag, there is a lot of bang for your buck in this issue. Writers Matthew Spradlin and Barry Wernick give their take of a John Hughs version of a horror movie. Every teenage stereotype is nailed perfectly, including the characters you really can’t wait to see kick the bucket in a gruesome fashion. Their pacing has been well done too for the story as the first fatality doesn’t happen until this, the second of the four issue series. They have also left a lot of questions on the table, while giving subtle hints there are still a lot of pieces left for the reader to wonder about in the coming issues. Anthony Vargas and Chris Allen’s pencils are a good fit for the issue with their style resembling the T & A motif of Zenoscope’s Grimm Fairy Tales and Return to Wonderland series. While this style might not work well in super hero comics, it fits this teen horror movie style of the series.
Bad Kids Go to Hell isn’t a book for kids. There are mature themes throughout including sex, drugs, strong language and YouTube. It is geared towards fans of series like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street and has no problem pushing the envelope in terms of content, especially the violent death scenes. This is one of the independent books that deserves a look.
Like I discussed in last month’s article on Indie books, make sure your store preorders this miniseries if you appreciate stories like this one.