I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly and J. M. Ken Niimura

I Kill Giants, is a comic I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. I was intrigued by the cover image of the main character giving a death stare while wearing a pair of bunny ears. I knew it was going to be a heartbreaker of a story, but I did not expect to get emotionally wrecked by it like I did.

She kills giants

I Kill Giants is a comic by Joe Kelly and J. M. Ken Niimura. It tells the story of Barbara Thorson, a fifth grader who is going through some hard times.  Her family life is a mess as her bossy older sister tries (and fails) to run the home. She’s the weird girl at school that rather spend time researching monster lore and running Dungeons & Dragon games than watch TV. Plus the school bully wants to beat the crap out of here. That’s okay, because all of that stuff is a distraction from her real purpose: she kills giants with her legendary warhammer, Coveleski.

Granted all of this might be an elaborate fantasy to cope with the fact her mother is dying, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Spoilers: not all of the giants are metaphorical!
Spoilers: not all of the giants are metaphorical!

Ken Niimara’s art is fantastic. There is a raw intensity to the character of Barbara that comes through even when she’s doing mundane tasks. To say nothing of the action scenes. There’s even a lot going on with the side characters that you might not notice the first time through.

All in all, I Kill Giants is an emotional story that deals with loss and acceptance. That not all problems can be beaten by smashing them with a hammer, but you still stronger than them. I highly recommend this book and I warn you that you’ll probably cry by the end.

As a postscript, nerdcore rapper Adam Warrock did a tribute song for this comic, both as a single and as a track on his “You Dare Call That Thing Human?!?” album. It is worth your time as well.

All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners.

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