Bird Kid by Carl Owens is a graphic novel that explores the issues of bullying against young kids at school. Phil, “Pill” Anderson has just moved to a new town from Albuquerque and is faced with the daunting prospect of a new school, new friends, new (scary) girls and, of course, new bullies. Pill’s father is obviously no longer around, presumably deceased and it is up to his mother to provide all the guidance and security he needs but she has a job and Pill is often left alone to make the daunting walks to and from school where he is accosted, beaten-up and robbed by a couple of older bullies from the school. When he finds respite in a local junk-yard he discovers it is a shortcut to and from home but the junk-yard manager is alternately helpful and then sometimes not so much when it comes to allowing Pill to take the shortcut home and avoid the bullies. Bird Kid is an ongoing graphic novel that will continue in future issues, so there is no clear and definable conclusion to the story – we will have to wait for the next episode.
I’m glad I didn’t realise Bird Kid was a graphic novel when I chose to read it because had I known that, I would probably not have downloaded it (graphic novels are not my thing) and I would have missed out on a well-illustrated, well-told, story about bullying that was an enjoyable read. Author Carl Owens has produced a professional story here and one that draws the reader in. The illustrations are, at times, spectacular but in some areas of the novel appear to be just a tad rushed and underprepared. That being said, though, if the graphic novel’s intent was to draw the reader in and interest him/her in reading more of this series, I think the book has achieved its objective. I for one, am interested in learning more about the eccentric junk-yard manager and what exactly he is up to with his creations there in the yard. This is an excellent start to what could be a well-crafted graphic novel/comic-book series. Well worth the read, especially for those in the young or pre-teen group (middle school perhaps). It has a message that will resound with many young readers.