No Teddy Bears’ Picnic

The Woods, vol. 1: The Arrow by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas. Boom Studios, 2014. 978161398308.

An entire high school, including students, teachers, and staff, is mysteriously transported to a monster-filled forest on another world. Some panic. The Student Council president tries to organize students to dig latrines (the water mains aren’t hooked up to anything anymore). The principal does his best to maintain control and keep the students in their homerooms. The chemistry teacher organizes a goon squad of the student athletes he coaches. And a motley group of students head into the woods unnoticed to try to find out what brought them to this strange place.

This has all the ingredients of a great survival story: strong personalities in conflict, a struggle for power, and an assortment of terrifying creatures intent on chomping all humans. It will be a bit bloody for some kids, but the ones who enjoy gore will love speculating about how their own teachers and fellow students would act in the same situation.

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