A boy’s dull summer turns exciting, to say the least, when he acquires a large and temperamental companion in this entry in a new series of graphic short stories.
Kevin’s friends have all gone off to camp or elsewhere, but before boredom can set in, an overnight accumulation of bugs and worms somehow transforms a pile of rocks and miscellaneous junk left in the woods into a mountainous, misshapen figure with a tiny cap atop its faceless head. As Kevin happily looks on, the monster proceeds to build and then violently smash a raft and a series of increasingly elaborate lean-tos made from broken branches or other found materials. One night it leaves a trail of destruction in town, and when, in trying to help it hide from an angry mob, Kevin takes off its cap, it suddenly reverts into a heap of rocks. Along with the abrupt ending (not to mention the never-explained title), readers may both question Kevin’s instant acceptance of the expressionless, mercurial monster and find much of its behavior hard to understand. Exley’s panels of loosely drawn orange and gray-blue cartoons add to the confusion, as many are wordless and some are close-up visual jumbles. Furthermore, the pacing is jerky, and occasional panels seem to exist just to fill a space or to hold a balloon full of Kevin’s chatter.
Though this effort has some eerie moments, it’s too abbreviated to offer more than sketches of plot or character. (Graphic short story. 7-9)