Graphic Novel Review: Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong

Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks have been serializing the graphic novel online, and the print edition will make its debut at Toronto ComicCon on May 11. It’s like The Breakfast Club, but with more chainsaws and killer robots.

General Information

Title: Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong
Written by Prudence Shen
Art by Faith Erin Hicks
First Published: May 2013
ISBN-10: 159643659X
ISBN-13: 978-1596436596

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Two childhood best friends find themselves in conflict when the Robotics Club and the Cheerleaders from Hollow Ridge High seek control of students’ council so they can acquire money for their respective pet projects.

Then things take some unexpected turns.

High Points

1. Faith Erin Hicks gives excellent attention to small details in order to convey character and emotional states. Her art works perfectly with Shen’s script.

2. The story features a couple of hilarious abrupt shifts.

Low Point

At the robot competition, our heroes find rivals in a pair of guys who complain of being bullied and ostracized for being nerds, while bullying and ostracising others in their own world. The conflict has a memorable start, and ends a little too quickly. I felt like we could have seen more of these guys.

We certainly see enough of them in real life.

The Scores

Originality: 3/6 The story where opponents must band together over common cause has been done before, and it has been done before with high school cliques. This version has its own elements, and a few original turns where readers may not initially expect to find them.

Artwork: 5/6

Story: 5/6 The story works well, though it has perhaps one too many forced developments.

Characterization: 5/6 The key characters have depth that transcends their initial stereotype. In fact, Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong achieves this far better than did The Breakfast Club. The lesser players, while more obviously simplified, have been impressively-drawn.

The world contains (among other types) nerds and jocks, but it contains many diverse kinds of nerds and jocks. This graphic novel recognizes the fact.

Emotional response: 5/6 Unlike Big Bang Theory, this never devolves into a Geek Minstrel Show– or, for that matter, a parade of Jerky Jocks.

Flow 6/6

Overall: 5/6 Will Shen and Hicks produce the next Scott
? Time will tell, but they’ve definitely created a standout North American graphic novel that eschews capes, tights, and magic.

In total, Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong receives 34/42