Kaput and Zosky

Kaput and Zosky by Lewis Trondheim 5/5 stars (amazon)

Kaput and Zosky is a thoroughly delightful comic book for young people about inept space invaders. Kaput and Zosky travel from planet to planet looking for a world to rule but they never seem to manage to pull it off. They land on a planet where the inhabitants immediately capitulate, run into issues with another planet’s potato-like populace, accidentally take over a world due to gambling and investments, and fail in an attempt to rule through democracy. Each time, the duo’s plans for mayhem and domination are spoiled, so they set out for new worlds to conquer.
Kaput is short and squat, with a wide mouth full of sharp teeth. He’s determined to cause as much mayhem as possible, saying things about like “Let’s be charitable and share our knowledge. We’ll teach them the meaning of pain and fear!” Zosky is taller, with expressive yellow antennae. He tends to be a little more moderate and logical in his quest for absolute power; “Phase 1: Analyze the ground situation. Phase 2: Devise a plan of action. Phase 3: Seize Power!!!!”
The art is expressive and whimsical, with a variety of cool looking aliens and monsters that Kaput and Zosky are never able to enslave no matter how hard they try. There’s an excerpt of Kaput and Zosky available on the First Second web site, so you can preview the book. I’m not sure that very young children will be able to fully comprehend the finer points of a parody of democracy or the trouble with arms races, but parents reading the book with their children will appreciate these plot elements. I’m definitely looking forward to sharing this book with my sons when they’re older, because I think every child should have a book that contains vocabulary building words like destruction, ruination, and planetary domination.

Review copy provided by First Second