I kill Giants, not baseball related, whatsoever


Greetings dear readers,

Recently in my Graphic novel class I was handed a copy of the comic book I kill Giants and told that it would be our text book for the next few weeks.  At first I got worried, I was unsure what kind of book my teacher would pick based on a pervious assignment where he had us read old superhero comics (I got X-men) which was a terrible experience. But after opening the book I was pleasantly surprised to find that I thought wrong, this book was different.

Barbara, our heroin

Barbara, our heroin

The first thing I noticed was that despite the title, this book took place in present day. It’s about a 5th grade girl, who has a distinctive love for fantasy and animal ears, her name is Barbara Thoson.  Barbara says that her job is to kill giants, hence the title. Considering the fact that this is a present-day real world setting, Barbara is seen as a crazy outcast by her fellow students. She is bullied, harassed and has no friends at school, and when she gets home? She lives with her older sister and brother, is for some reason petrified of upstairs, and plays DnD with her brothers friends. Her life is seemingly terrible, and her companions? Naked fairies (You won’t get that inside joke).

The story follows Barbara as she grows and prepares to face her own giants, meeting friends along the way. It’s filled with a lot of action, a lot of drama, but overall, it’s a story with a moral. This is a comic that I’m absolutely positive was written to teach us all something, something important. Each panel seems carefully planned, not ever space wasting space and is presented amazingly. The plot is full of twists, and a lot of confusion, but the writer pulls it together beautifully, and once I started reading I was unable to put this book down. Jim Kelly is an amazing writer who gave us a book that has the capability of show what comics can be.

ikillgiants02        The art in I Kill Giants can only be described as incredible. Niimura shows skill and originality in his art, which seems to draw inspiration from anime and manga. The choices he makes (i.e giving Barbara animal ears so she sticks out and the way certain panels are shaped) really add to the story and bring it alive. His art is loose but still maintain a professional and consistent look. The looseness never becomes overwhelming, and still keeps a neat look.  The character designs work well with the story, and Niimura even keeps nudity to a minimum (though according to the artist notes, this was not entirely his desire).  Overall it is very professional, and fits the story perfectly.

There is something about I Kill Giants that sets it apart from most comics, it was schoolwritten to teach a moral, not a moral just added as an after though, but it is literally designed and built after this thought. It was written for those who have been, or are, or will be, in a terrible situation, regardless of what that is, to offer help. Using a combination of words and pictures Kelly and Niimura brought to the table a work of art that expresses that yes, comics can be made for anything. This book is truly inspiring, watching Barbara face all she did showing that no matter what you’re going through you’re going to be okay, because “to fear death is to fear life itself”. I believe that everyone has something to gain from this story, and hope that it becomes a classic in this new age of comics.

And no matter what dear readers remember this, you are a lot stronger than you think,