Bullies are a kid’s worst nightmare… beyond horrible teachers, school work and cleaning your messes. They make your life miserable and turn what should be a rewarding experience (an education) feel like the eighth circle of hell. The classic set up is the bully and the victim, with the victim working to overcome the bully. It’s a tired cliché and made this beginning of this comic feel very stale, despite stellar artwork. But Young provides a twist that turns the bully story concept on its head, one that makes perfect sense and feels fresh. He cleverly plays into the reader’s expectation to present a novel twist that sets his comic apart from other stories of bullies and victims.
I don’t want to spoil to much about this comic as the most enjoyable part of reading it was discovering Young’s contribution to the well-worn story of school bully and nerdy kid. What I will say is that it makes the story worth reading and establishes an interesting arc for the series two main protagonists.
All of this is rooted in the experience of someone who is moving to a different phase of their life, one that is unfamiliar to them and leaves them sailing in uncharted waters. The main characters are entering a new school and are in the process of growing up, with this series looking like the most unconventional coming of age story.
Conley’s art is amazing. His stylized figures perfectly fit the story Young is telling and the art has so much energy. There is a sense of movement in each panel that makes the bullying scenes even more brutal, but no less over-the top. The cartoon-like character designs and exaggerated motions make this series perfect for all ages. It is a fun comic that kids can enjoy, but contains enough complexity that adults can enjoy it too.
Bully Wars reminds me of the golden age of cartoon network animation. Completely dissimilar from what can be found in the mainstream market, this was a good read.
Rating: 4/5 — Good