Hey, did you know people who live in trailer parks are often murderous, self-centered, drug-addicted whores who live in squalor and don’t care for their children? It’s shocking, I know. Did you know that sometimes they have sensitive sons who are frustrated with this life but don’t know how to break the cycle? And did you know that sometimes middle-class girls fall in love with those sensitive boys and try to save them from their lives?
Okay, that summary is a bit harsh. Josh Clayton, the sensitive son, is a pretty interesting character, and his dilemmas seem realistic. It’s hard to say what anyone would do if they were in his place. After your mother has killed a man who was abusing her, would you bury the dead man’s body? It’s easy to say no, but if you were 16 and all this trauma happened to you, what would you do? And if you saw your mother spiraling into an ever more troubled life, what would your reaction be? Josh is the center of the book, and his reactions go a long way towards making the book compelling. There’s a nice scene with Josh and his girlfriend where it’s clear that Josh is so tied up with his troubles that he absolutely can’t relax. Josh has a nice dramatic arc – he really changes quite a bit throughout this graphic novel – and it’s good to see him arrive at a happy ending.
The art by Julie Collins-Rousseau is a nice fit for the story. She effectively captures the dissolution of the characters, and her facial expressions are very evocative. In fact, to me, the worst piece of art is the rather bloody cover, which suggests more gore and violence than there is in the comic.
But overall, this book is a disappointment for me. I was hoping more for a book that was better at taking a different look at these characters. The book has an element of a Lifetime movie in its reliance in standard settings and characters. I kept feeling anxious for this book to climb out of its box, Stray Bullets style, and do something different from what I expected. Trailers has its moments, but overall, it comfortably stays within the standard clichés.