Picture This: Cartoonist puts bullies in the frame


Twelve-year-old Niko is the baddest bully at Checkers Nixon Middle School.

When he is not busy "doling out noogies" and flushing nerds down the toilet, he is "fart bombing" teachers and terrorizing his therapist.

When Niko is on the prowl, nobody is safe.

But Niko's reign of terror almost comes to an end when the principal threatens to expel him if he does not shape up.

Through his doodles and jokes, Niko chronicles the life of a schoolyard thug, detailing the benefits of befriending an ex-con and giving out tips to bullies-in-training.

But in his journal we see that this fearsome bully has a softer, sadder side. Niko writes about feeling dumb around smart kids and abandoned by his deadbeat dad.

Farley Katz - author of Journal of a Schoolyard Bully and a cartoonist for the New Yorker - writes about dodging wedgies and "kick me" signs from personal experience.

Katz, an adept guide through these terrifying hallways, smiles at his childhood tormentors as he makes the case that bullies and nerds are not so different.

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