Every so often, a beautiful but simple story comes along that must be done in comic form in order to harness its true potential. I Kill Giants is a perfect example of this kind of story.
I Kill Giants follows a young female outcast in high school who’s interests are more typically aligned with males of her age. Oh, and did I mention that she kills giants? With minimal dialogue on each page, Joe Kelly has crafted a hauntingly beautiful but simplistic storyline for this 7 issue mini-series (also collected into a single trade paperback.) More well known for his extensive bibliography of superhero comics, this is one of the best short storylines I have ever read…comic or otherwise.
Kelly’s fantastic character development and simple plot are vaulted into masterpiece status by Ken Nimura’s minimalist yet elegant drawings. Solid lines and sharp angles are complimented by vast, pencil-shaded views of otherwise small environments. The sense of scale for all of the characters seems to be normal…except for Barbara, the main character. Her sense of perception seems to be extremely skewed. When we are presented the world through her perspective, objects seem to decide how big or small they will appear, with angles coming straight out of a Picasso painting.
I Kill Giants is a rather unique piece of work. The only comic I could envision having the same “feel” as I Kill Giants would be Megatokyo crossed with Bone…minus most of the humour. While there are a couple of spots that will elicit a chuckle, most of I Kill Giants has a somber air about it…never wanting to reveal too much, and yet wanting to reveal everything at the same time. Barbara, the main character, undoubtedly has issues…however, the depth of these issues tends to be understated by Barbara and overstated by those around her.
Overall, I VERY highly recommend I Kill Giants. The entire series is collected into a single ~200 page trade paperback which can be easily found just about anywhere you would normally buy comics. The artwork, the story, the characters…everything about this work is amazing. If this story isn’t sitting on your shelf, your collection is incomplete.