One quality of strong storytelling, sometimes, is making the reader think “This could have been me”. That’s what Bad Friends is all about.
As Drawn & Quarterly continues to republish some of the world’s top graphic novels in Canada, this work from Korea takes its place among the best. Ancco’s fictionalized work, with a grounding in her own experiences, tells of a young girl’s bad behaviour and the dangerous places it takes her.
It’s an easy read but a challenging subject. The rebels and runaways in this story feel all too real, and the risks they take put them in danger. The abuse, from parents, teachers and other young people, is a shock, especially when you realize this could almost be any kid.
And this is a story of friendship. Told partly in flashback, it has an older, more sober main character musing on her friend’s experiences and what might have been.