Pervert Club Vol. 1

By Will Allison
120 pages, black and white
Published by Radio Comix

When I first heard the title Pervert Club I was a little dubious. My initial reaction was that it was somehow a book that would be making fun of others, or somehow mocking. It wasn’t until an hour later that it suddenly hit me that there was a much more logical use of the word “pervert”—that the word was being reclaimed as a badge of honor, not shame. And happily? That’s exactly the case for this first collection of Will Allison’s fun little comic.

Word is quickly spreading all over school: Malcolm Davis was caught sniffing his sister’s underpants. The only thing is, that’s not really the case. Malcolm was up to something entirely different in his sister’s bedroom. His best friend April says she’ll always stand by him, but when Malcolm is chosen by popular star student Julia to be a member of the secret Pervert Club, April may find this promise harder to stick to than she originally thought.

Allison’s writing in Pervert Club has a nice progression to it, taking us step by step from a vanilla world into one full of people who are considered different by many. He wisely uses April as our main viewpoint character; by having Pervert Club primarily from the eyes of someone on the outside looking in, every twist and turn is a surprise to her. It’s nice to watch April starts figuring out that her friend Malcolm is still the same person she’d formed a bond with way back when; it’s not too quick nor to slow to happen, which makes it realistic. It’ll be interesting to see in upcoming volumes how this knowledge affects April’s feelings towards the rest of the Pervert Club, and if some of them could end up being her friends as well. The rest of the Pervert Club, incidentally, is pretty entertaining in their own right. It’s hard to pick a favorite out of their varied characters but I think I’d have to choose the always silent Mirabelle, whom Allison has lurking in the corners of the story all the while. It’s a fun group of characters, though, and there’s enough story potential in them to fuel dozens of additional volumes if Allison so wished. Their leader, Julia, is clearly the most important of them all. She founded the Pervert Club, after all, and her unapologetic stance towards everyone’s turn-ons is part of the charm of Pervert Club. She tells it like it is, and when she sees someone who’s in a state of repression helps them break free. I think it says a lot that for a character that (through the eyes of April) first seems like a villain, feels almost like a hero as the book unfolds. (Almost, but not quite. She’s a great character!)

Having only previously seen Allison’s art in the fantastic Bunny Town it was interesting to see his earlier efforts. It’s a different style from him than I was used to, a little rougher and angular than Bunny Town. It’s interesting to watch Allison continue to adapt and refine his craft from one chapter to the next, though; with each page Malcolm and April get more expressive, able to really carry Allison’s stories and ideas. I like how the minor characters get their own attention as well, too; Mirabelle’s spectacled face peeping around corners is a great combination of funny and eerie, for instance, and Mindy watching Kimberley play volleyball is nothing short of hysterical.

Ultimately, Pervert Club is one of those books that I’m now kicking myself for having not bought earlier. This collection of the first four issues of the series is smartly crafted and quickly addictive, and knowing that there are eight more issues waiting to be collected gives me great joy. Definitely check this book out, I think anyone with a good sense of humor will get just as much enjoyment as I did from Pervert Club .

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