Saturday, October 6, 2012

Review: I Kill Giants

I Kill Giants tells us the story of giants, magic hammers and Barbara Thorson the killer of giants.

Barbara is a fifth grader that, unlike normal fifth graders, knows exactly what her place in the world is, exactly how the world is and what she must do when the evil giants arrive.
This is a coming-of-age story that takes a interesting little girl with a overactive imagination, obsessed with killing giants and helps her come to terms with some of the harsher facts of life.

With the help of her magic hammer Covaleski Barbara doesn't fear anything and will face any giant that crosses her path. However, some obstacles in life are harder to overcome than killing giants.

How good is it?
I Kill Giants its a wonderful coming-of-age story that will keep you glued until the very last page.
Joe Kelly manages to write a powerful and compelling story that stars a little girl and deals with loss and acceptance in such a way that is almost flawless.

From Barbara's problems at school, mainly caused be her antisocial behaviour (a fact she is proud of), to her somewhat difficult and distant family relationship, the story builds a fabulous, very well paced and interesting story. Characters wise, its not groundbreaking, there's not that many memorable characters, apart from Barbara herself. But she single-handedly manages to keep the story going and the reader always wanting more and more until the very last panel.
Joe Kelly kept a very tight control on the overhaul plot, keeping it interesting and mysterious until the lifting of the veil in the very end of the book. And what a reveal it is. The ending is where many stories fall short of excellence, but not I Kill Giant. Kelly presents us with a powerful and emotionally charged ending that brings closure for both Barbara and the reader.

Art wise the book is filled with great black & white pencils. Ken Niimura art dips heavily in the Manga pond for a strong inspiration and creates a unique feel that fits the book like a glove.
I Kill Giants is one of those books that appears from time to time, where the art and the writing create a near perfect partnership and it elevates the book a higher degree of excellence.

Barbara being Barbara

Behold the mighty Covaleski

Would I recommend it?
I'm very biased when it comes to this book, mainly because I love it. With that out of the way, yes I would recommend it. I would recommend it very highly to everyone, be that one a reader of comics or not.
Maybe the younger reader won't be able to understand some of the character's motivations or even distinguish between whats supposed to be real and what's just Barbara's overacting imagination. But teenagers and adults will enjoy this book very much.

Publisher: Image Comics
Year: 2009
Pages: 184
Authors: Joe Kelly, J.M. Ken Niimura


  1. I'm a fan of coming of age stories. I haven't read it but it sure looks promising. As you say, sometimes the endings are not satisfactory (hence that phrase "round it in the end and you've got a hit"), good to know this one has a good conclusion. I must say I'm not familiar with Ken Niimura's work, but those panels you're including look good enough.

  2. Arion, I think you would like this one. You love B&W books (IIRC) and as such you'll love mister Niimura's work in I Kill Giants. And as for coming of age stories, its as good as it gets :)