Posts Tagged ‘Image Comics’

I Kill Giants

There are a lot of stigmas surrounding comics.   More often than not, people have pre-concieved notions about what and how a comics is.  They get this idea of superhero comics and bebcome dismissive.  They don’t understand that when you take away the “Super” dressing, and get to the heart of the “Hero”, what you have is a story about people.   In reading Joe Kelly’s I Kill Giants, I am reminded not only of what comics truly are, but what they can be.

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I Kill Giants is the story of a precocious little girl named Barbara who spends her life preparing to hunt and kill Giants.  Her obsession is so singular that she blocks out everyone around her, from the mundanes that surround her in school to the family that loves her, despite their broken home.  But Barbara doesn’t care about people; Barabara just wants to kill Giants. Together with her legendary war hammer Covaleski, she plans to end the lives of Giants no matter how powerful.   And yet no one else seems concerned that the monster may come.  To them, she’s just a strange girl with a bizarre fascination with mythology.   Maybe she is.   And it seems that no one can get through the wall of calloused cynicism she’s built around her heart, until one day a new school psychologist and a new neighbor named Sophia walk into her life.  Combined with the arrival of a new school bully named Taylor, Barbara’s life is sent spiraling through a course of events that she may not survive, or even want to.

I won’t pretend I’m entirely certain what happended in the strictest sense of this story.   There is a stark contrast painted between the “real” world that Barbara is forced to tolerate and the magic world in which she lives.   In the end, it doesn’t matter.  The answer to that question is not nearly as important to Barbara’s story as you may first imagine.   On one level it appears to be the story of a child escaping into her imagination to avoid the harshness of her reality.  And yet at times it seems to be about her stuggle to slay the monsters which only she can see and defeat.   But it’s both… and it’s neither.

I won’t ruin the book by defining it.   But Barbara’s journey will enthrall you.  Her tortured, brilliant young mind will empathize with you.  Her fights with Giants will astound you.  And her plight will reduce you to tears.  And you will fear for Barbara, but don’t worry… she’s stronger than she thinks she is.

I Kill Giants is exemplary of the kind of complex writing that comics are capable of, and achieve more often than society believes.    It’s a story about life.  And a story about people.

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