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I Kill Giants Titan Edition Signed & Numbered Hardcover – April 6, 2010
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I haven't looked at this book in a couple of months, but I'm still tearing up while trying to write this review and remembering the story. The book is just that powerful. We may not all know someone exactly like Barbara, but we can recognize bits of ourselves in her personality and the actions that she takes during a trying time in her life. It doesn't matter if you were the geek, the star athlete, or the most popular kid in the school...Barbara is part of you. Joe Kelly has written a story that captivates and holds you from the first to the last page and never lets go in between. He builds his characters up that we can picture them standing in front of us, we can relate to their problems and battles, and when the final battle comes...when we finally find out what Giants Barbara is facing, we weep at the struggle and wonder what we would do if we were in the same position. The story is just that good. And months down the road you'll still remember it.
This titan edition includes extra features such as sketches, the script for issue #1, fan inspired artwork, and all kinds of other goodies. Is it worth the extra $10? Yes most definitely. It's a gorgeous hardcover volume, with slightly larger pages, just to be able to take in the illustrations that much better.
This is one of the best graphic novels that you'll read. Don't wait, don't go read other reviews, don't wonder anything else...just go buy it. Read it. Savor the story and the illustrations that perfectly capture the intensity of Barbara as she battles Giants and the storms that follow them. You won't regret it at all.
I don't know that you'd call troubled fifth grader Barbara Thorson endearing. She's certainly eye-catching, but the immediate perception is that, if you're her fellow class mate, I don't know that you'd want to hang out with her. Barbara Thorson is rail thin with mousy hair and glasses and a crap attitude. She wears bunny ears, can't be bothered when she's lost in her own fantasy world, and she carries a heart-shaped purse which holds the mighty Norse war hammer called Coveleski (or so she'd have you think).
Barbara Thorson doesn't shy away from telling her class of her true calling. She finds giants. She hunts giants. She kills giants. You can imagine the reaction from the other students. Not that she gives a what about people thinking her a nutty freak. There's something going on with Barbara. She's a social misfit, mean and sarcastic. She often gets into fights. The school psychologist tries to help her, only to get slapped viciously for her trouble. At home, in her bedroom, Barbara is wont to spend her time huddled in a tent made up of blankets. Dysfunctional pretty much covers the Thorson household. There's something lurking upstairs which frightens her terribly.
Barbara Thorson eyes the clouds and sees dark omens. She talks to tiny faeries. These faeries seem more real to her than that new girl who tries to be her friend or that concerned school psychologist or the big fat bully or her family. As she prepares for the impending invasion of giants, we wonder if there's something to her fertile imagination. The writer doesn't let on until he's ready. (But this story has a clear destination in mind.). And we wonder at what's behind Barbara's disconnect from reality and her perpetual anger and her bottled-up fears. As Barbara herself informs, there are many kinds of giants, some of whom may prove to be too much for even the mystic war hammer Coveleski.
I cannot recommend this graphic novel enough. I should put on a big-brimmed feathered fedora and purple striped pants and some bling because I aim to pimp this book to anyone who'll listen. I KILL GIANTS is unexpected and powerful and so very sad and so very good. JM Ken Niimura (I think the "JM" stands for "Just Masterful") turns in black & white, manga-influenced illustrations that are delicate and expressive and, when appropriate, chaotic. And comic book writer Joe Kelly should branch out more. Because when he does, then we get exceptional stuff like this. We get storytelling that is rich in character and emotional and achingly bittersweet. It has stuff to say about coping and dealing, especially when it's a little girl trying so very hard to come to terms with a messed-up situation. And don't forget about the monstrous giants that Barbara battles in her mind. Or is it all in her mind?
Not all the time - but sometimes - it takes people who don't give up on you, for you to find that measure of grace.
What I've got is the hefty Titan Edition which collects the entire seven issues of the mini-series and also offers the following bonus stuff (which takes up about a third of this friggin' tome): an "Illustration Gallery" - covers & promotional art done for the US, Spain, and France (19 pages' worth); "Behind the Scenes" - a look at the creative process as Kelly and Niimura comment on concept designs, breakdowns, etc.; "Joe & Ken - A Creative Team" - reprinting the cartoony comic strips included in the original issues and the special strip created for the launch of the IKG paperback edition; Kelly's scripts for issues #1 & 7, embellished with Niimura's sketches; and mini-bios about Kelly and Niimura.
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i Brought it on the spot, when reading it for the first time i had...Read more