“Disturbing but impossible to put down!”
Billy is hounded, bullied and abused. He wants nothing more than a loving family… but it doesn’t seem to be in the cards for him. That hate. That dejection. It calls out in Billy’s voice and, this time, something answered. The Rejected, led by Mr. Teeth, offer Billy otherworldly protection and a place in the family. The shadowy beings allow Billy to take his revenge on anyone that maligned him. Billy has to be careful, though. The Rejected can make your desires come true… but at what price?
I had the pleasure of talking to the Source Point Press guys during our coverage of the Wizard World Cleveland event last month. I picked up a bunch of their books, but this one was definitely my favorite. The art style is wicked, the story disturbing, and the writing is very creepy. All in all, it makes for a gruesome read.
The story is about a boy named Billy who is bullied relentlessly at school. This immediately sets the stage for the reader to feel for the kid. He also gets physically abused at home which only adds to the horror that is his daily life. It’s made clear he’s desperate for a way out of all this. Not long after we’re introduced to Billy we get to meet The Rejected. Boy are these things fucking creepy!
After falling asleep one night he is woken up by Mr. Teeth—the leader of these awful shadow creatures. He gets introduced in a spine-tingling way to the various shadow beings, who all have equally disturbing names like Mr. Teeth. He accepts an offer from Mr. Teeth and gains the shadow beings’ protection.
After that, horrible things start happening to the people who hurt Billy in the real world. I won’t give anything away here, but I will say it gets pretty messed up. If you like twisted horror stories and or revenge stories, this is the book for you as it’s a good combo of both.
I found the art for this book to fit pretty well. The dark grays and blacks give the story an extra element of, well, I guess the word for it would be the macabre. I hate to keep saying this, but it’s damn creepy looking! There were a few panels that didn’t come out as well as others, but you’ll have that with indie books. I will say, though, I would love to see this book redone with a similar art style but in more detail; a little less of the cartoon look.
The writing in this was very well done. Stan Konopka did a great job of making you feel bad for Billy, then slowly make you turn your back on the kid as he turns more sinister. Yet, even when you turn on the kid, you still feel bad for him; you understand why he becomes the way he does. It’s a very cool premise for a story and I would love to see the universe of the shadow creatures explored more in another book. Maybe an origin?
To sum up, this is a solid book with very good storytelling and capable art. It might not be suited for everyone’s taste, but it’s original and definitely worth the read.
I’m giving The Rejected…
4 Out Of 5 Whiskey Shots
The Rejected is written by Stan Konopka, with art by Corey Chriestian Anderson, lettering by Micah Myers, and with cover art by Shawn Langley.