Maddox writes a short defense of this premise as an introduction to the book, arguing that children should be discouraged from drawing if they suck at it: “If a kid wants to impress me, he has to draw something awesome, just like an adult would. Kids don’t get a free pass just for being kids.” A problematic caveat arises when he actually pseudo-praises a drawing (“I can only infer that you want to eat your cat. Awesome.”) but still gives the kid an F. C’mon, Maddox.
His commentary ranges from straight-up mean (“Look, Emily, I’m not going to sugarcoat this: your entire family is retarded”) to just plain dumb (“I realized that this picture was upside down after I put it in the book and left it that way because it looks about the same right side up”) to cringingly vulgar (“This artist deserves a beer and a blow job, simultaneously”) to borderline misogynistic (“This is so boring it could make women miscarry”).
There are 43
sections. Standouts include “Bowls to Throw Up In,” “Unintentional
Hitler,” “Nice Boner!” and “Sexism, Drugs, AIDS and Crib Death.” Yup,
there’s a little something for everyone. So if you like the idea of an
adult providing abusive commentary on children’s innocent artwork, have
at it. If you have a killjoy relative who gets off on that sort of
thing, I Am Better Than Your Kids would be a great Christmas present.
GO: Maddox will speak at Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside St., 228-4651. 7:30 pm Monday, Dec. 5. Free.