During my high school years, I always yearned for something exciting to come to my school. Something unique, an event or club that would make my childish dreams come true. Something like a robot fighting club; but you know what would make it more enticing? A chance to compete in a national robot fighting tournament, being cheered on by the high school cheerleaders and experiencing the adrenaline rush of combat and the awesomeness of robots. This is the idea behind “Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong” a graphic novel by Prudence Sheen and Faith Erin Hicks.
The story follows Charlie, captain of the basketball team. He hangs out with Nate, a quirky and sometimes neurotic nerd. Nate is president of the school robotics club, and jumps on the idea to enter the club in a robot fighting match. But before he can get the money to fund it, the cheerleaders swoop in and try to get funding for new uniforms. What starts as a simple disagreement of priorities quickly turns into all out class warfare, with Charlie stuck in the middle. What could possibly go wrong?
A couple of things actually.
The plot as it stands is fairly unique. It sets itself apart from the standard high school cookie cutter story, except when Charlie has a side plot regarding his split family. Now this isn’t an intrinsically bad sub plot, it is just shoehorned into the main plot and is there just to give Charlie something to do when he is not directly in the scene. The other characters don’t get nearly as much attention when they probably should regarding emotional depth, but we only see them if a main character is in the scene.
The art reminds me of Scott Pilgrim in many cases, except it lacks the cartoony aspects that made that style unique and memorable. The art wants to stay fairly realistic in that it does not use exaggerated, anime-like expressions which is fine, but with the comedic style and subject matter, you would think that some deviation from the grounded art style would be warranted.
This is Prudence Sheen’s first book, and she probably wanted to tell her story and not try anything experimental, which is fine. For what it’s worth “What Can Possibly Go Wrong” is a solid enough first publication. If you’re looking for something deep and thought provoking, look elsewhere, but if you want to read something light hearted, funny, and just down right entertaining, I would recommend at least giving this book a try
6/10 A light recommendation for a casual read.