Set in 1980s Massachusetts, King of King Court is also a trip down a bumpy memory lane, one that winds through Travis Dandro’s life from age 6 to 16 and contemplates the ways in which love, anger and loneliness collide. Dandro’s art is expressive, his storylines often impressionistic.
Kinetic dream sequences feel whimsical yet enlightening, dark shadows reveal even as they conceal, and scenes of kids making mischief are unquestionably cute. Thanks to the adults who loomed large in young Dandro’s world, such contrasts (and confusion) were not uncommon, especially when it came to his biological dad, Dave. He’s macho, mustachioed, addicted to drugs and still appealing to Dandro’s mom.
Readers will sympathize when teen Dandro feels beleaguered and angry at adults’ ill-advised choices, and they’ll appreciate grown-up Dandro’s empathy. Dedicated to his mother, this moving book is a happy ending to their story—and perhaps a beginning, too.