Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Kill Giants #1 Review

Written by Joe Kelly
Art by JM Ken Niimura

Barbara Thorson finds giants. She hunts giants. She kills giants. If that's not enough reason to love this book, I don't know what is.

Okay, for those other giant killers out there that don't find that all that interesting, I'll go into a little more detail on just what this book is about.

Barbara is a precocious 5th grader with an overactive imagination. I'm sure everyone can associate with feeling different on some level and Barbara is that kid in your elemetary school class that was about as different from everyone else as you can imagine. She's into Dungeons & Dragons, wears a set of bunny ears and goggles and is the student every teacher dreads to hear from in the middle of a lecture.

Barbara Thorson finds giants. She hunts giants. She kills giants.  
As Girl Friday pointed out last week in her own review, Barbara is smart enough to know the things the other girls in her class are talking about are pointless and frivilous, but, at the same time, she wants to join in with everyone and talk about those same things. It's a very subtle moment in the book and adds a lot of depth and character to the book at the same time. Oh, and as mentioned, she hunts and kills giants.

However, the issue never really addresses whether or not she actually hunts said giants or not and we are left to wonder if she's merely endulging in her childhood fantasies or if these beings are real. The only indication that we have that these mythical creatures are real is a scene at the end of the book where Barbara is seen discussing the difficulties of life and her opinion of her family members with some fairy-like creatures in her front yard.

The art style of the book takes on a manga-like look, but never quite crosses over into full blown manga like Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane or other Japanese influenced comics. This also means this is in black and white, but it really suits this story and I couldn't imagine it having the same style or feel if this was in colour. However, this is something that turns off a lot of people, so I felt I had to mention the black and white nature of the book.

Verdict - Check It. I loved this issue, but, admittedly, it's not for everyone. If you are looking for a unique, fantasy wish fulfillment story that reminds you of your youth, this is a great read and I think anyone that's willing to give this story a try will enjoy it on some level. Until we find out where this book is going (is it going to be a fantasy book or a social commentary on people retreating into and embracing their fantasies or is it just a Calvin & Hobbes-like adventures of a young girl's mind?), I'm going to leave this as a Check It, despite loving this first issue.

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