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Kim Reaper Vol. 1: Grim Beginnings Paperback – March 13, 2018
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Graley presents an adorable story of friendship and budding romance—and an underworld of vengeful grim reapers. College student Becka has a crush on Kim, a classmate in an art course, but Kim doesn't even know Becka exists. When Becka accidentally follows Kim through a magical portal, she discovers that Kim works as a part-time grim reaper, helping souls make their way into the afterlife. It soon becomes evident that Kim returns Becka's feelings, but Becka isn't sure she approves of Kim's dangerous profession. While the plot features plenty of ghostly close calls, the tone is more funny than frightening. Featuring soft, curved lines and plenty of visual humor, the cute artwork keeps the mood lighthearted. VERDICT An excellent addition to libraries seeking graphic novels, especially those looking for hi-lo titles for teens interested in paranormal romance.—Emily Butler, Deerfield Academy, MA
About the Author
Sarah Graley is a UK-based comic artist and writer, living with four cats and one cat-like boy. When she's not working on comics about part-time grim reapers and cuties, she's probably working on other comics about other cuties! She did that RICK AND MORTY™ series (LIL' POOPY SUPERSTAR) that one time, and also does a diary comic called OUR SUPER ADVENTURE. You can check those out and more at www.sarahgraley.com.
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Naturally this is a job for social media so Becka gets ready to capture this moment for internet posterity but then her phone and Becka both get sucked into the portal. It turns out that Becka’s crush has a part time job to help pay her way through uni and to fund her expensive goth clothes. Kim is … 🥁 … a reaper … of animals because she hasn’t been promoted to reaping people yet. 😊
What follows is a process of the two girls getting to know each other, visiting each other’s favourites places and a few other fairly typical getting to know you scenarios, like encountering a cat hoarding gym junkie energy drink addict hulk, zombies 🧟♀️ 🧟♂️, bed cookies, ghouls, and going to hell via the employee’s entrance.
I wasn’t quite sure what I expected from this collection. I was sucked in purely based on the wonderful cover image and its implied promise of purple tones throughout. I got the purples I was looking for along with a beautiful soft colour scheme. All of the illustrations were really sweet and I was impressed that both girls actually had curves.
The stories were interesting and the budding relationship between Becka and Kim was cute, with arguments along the way before their first kiss. Aww! 😘 While the language used came across as a bit too young for the characters, I was entertained for the entire ride. The strange occurrences in the stories took me deeper into this world instead of the jarring effect I sometimes experience. I had no problem believing anything was possible in this world and I look forward to finding out what’s next for this cute new couple.
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Oni Press for the opportunity to read this graphic novel.
Though Becka and Kim are both college students, their language and actions read more like junior high. The art, however, fits perfectly with that younger age group. The colors were vibrant and quite cute, and I especially loved the panels with illustrated backgrounds. There’s lots of pinks, purples, and yellows, and quite possibly the cutest little ghosties I’ve ever seen. There were times that I spent so long admiring particular panels that I’d have to go back and re-read the whole page to remember what was actually going on.
I also loved the character designs for Becka and Kim, and how different they were. Becka is curvy and wears her hair in Sailor Moon buns, while Kim is more athletic and 100% goth girl. While this style of drawing isn’t my favorite, the characters’ faces are just so expressive, and that really added to the whole plot experience.
While I thought the story was interesting, I almost felt like I would get whiplash from the randomness – they go from trying to reap the soul of a dead cat, to breaking in to an amusement park, then a haunted ship, fighting off a plague of zombies (?!?!), and then breaking into hell. While I was willing to go along with the first couple stops – especially the cat hoarder! – by the time they got to the zombie plague it just felt like too much to me. I was much more interested in Becka and Kim’s relationship and how they got past the rocky start – well, yes, of course, finding out the goth girl you’ve been crushing on is a grim reaper would be a bit off-putting – and at times it felt like the zigzagging plot detracted from me learning more about them than showing me how these things would affect their relationship.
Overall, this was adorably cute and quirky, and the art was fun. While there were things I didn’t like about it, I’ll probably pick up the next comic. If you’re a Rick & Morty fan, or just looking for some silly lesfic, this will probably be right up your alley!
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Story: Becka has a crush on a classmate - when following her one day to invite her to a party, she ends up learning Kim has a side job as a grim reaper (hey, a girl has to earn money, right?). Becka is at first excited but gradually begins to hate the unpredictability of the job. Can Kim win her back while still fighting off ghouls and zombies?
The plot operates like a sitcom - situations are set up to cause a demented comedy rather than to actually create a story. So most of the first chapter is Kim showing off grim reaping without actually doing any reaping. The second story is Kim preventing Becka from being reaped - and fighting off a zombie horde sent to take out Becka. Because one should never cross the rather silly Grim Reapers Inc, obvs.
The art is cute in all its bug-eyed wonder. The cover image gives a good indication of what you will find inside. It's a lot of over-emoting and over-the-top antics in order to gain laughs. A dumbing down of the Simpsons, to be honest. That can work or not depending on your mentality going in and how much you enjoy very stylized sequential art. A lot of the scenery reminded me of my last visit to a Voodoo Donuts restaurant in downtown Portland - take that as you will.
In all, it was cute and original but also a bit too silly and manic. I would have liked some pithy commentary or another hook other than the hyper active rude humor. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.
Most recent customer reviews
This was so cute!! Mega Super Cute!!! If you enjoyed Lumberjanes, Moonstruck, Coady and the Creepies, or Space Battle...Read more