Bad Island — Not Your Ideal Vacation Spot

Geek Culture

Bad Island by Doug TenNapelBad Island by Doug TenNapel

Bad Island by Doug TenNapel

Lyle just wants to take his family out on a camping trip. They need some time together as a family, “away from the busyness and distractions,” despite his teenage son’s objections. When their boat gets caught in an unexpected storm, they wind up on a strange island inhabited by some weird creatures. It doesn’t take them long to discover that their vacation spot is a Bad Island.

Doug TenNapel’s latest graphic novel (published in August by Scholastic’s Graphix imprint) is a story about a family thrown into a crisis which teaches them all lessons about themselves and draws them closer together. You’re probably familiar with this type of story. Of course, being a TenNapel comic, it’s full of bizarre monsters and outlandish beasts, all drawn in his signature style.

There’s also a second storyline involving these robotic -looking guys with little tiny people living on their backs and shoulders, fighting against insectoid invaders. But even here, there’s some adolescent angst, as the robot king’s son wants to prove his worth in battle, against his father’s wishes.

There’s a lot of excitement and mayhem throughout the book, which kind of reads like action-adventure movie, and TenNapel’s illustrations pop with energy. Despite knowing how the book will turn out in the end — with the family safely reconciled, having learned to appreciate each other — it’s the journey itself that makes Bad Island worth a visit.

I only wish that it were a bit longer. At 224 pages, it’s not a tiny book, but it reads quickly and you’ll zip through it because of the pace of the storytelling. I wish there were more about the robot-warrior guys and their conflict, or maybe some more about the origins of the weird creatures on the island.

For a fun, fast-paced comic with a family-friendly message, check out Bad Island.

Disclosure: GeekDad received a review copy of this book.

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