I Kill Giants
Barbara Thorson, a girl battling monsters both real and imagined, kicks butt, takes names, and faces her greatest fear in this bittersweet, coming-of-age story called “Best Indy Book of 2008″ by IGN. Collects I Kill Giants #1-7.
User Ratings and Reviews
5 Stars Lovely, Wonderful, and One of a Kind
The very first giant, Ur, was the result of a union between the earth and sky. When he became too lonely from being the only of his kind, he tore himself apart, creating a group of other giants: swamp giants, mountain giants, frost giants, and, worst of all, titans. They’re unstoppable.
We know this because Barbara Thorson explains it just so. Barbara is waiting for the giants to come, at which time she will fend them off with her deadly hammer. It’s tough work, preparing for an oncoming invasion and being the sole person tasked with killing them when they arrive.
Barbara is a unique fifth grader, even aside from training to kill giants. She wears giant bunny ears, avoids talking to most of her classmates, has regular conversations with fairies, calls her P.E. teacher a bull dyke, and even slaps the school psychologist. She’s antisocial and proud of it, considering almost all the people she encounters to be stupid and annoying.
Only fellow student Sophia manages to crack Barbara’s thick shell, acquiring a place of trust and friendship that no one else ever has–or even tried to attain. The sweetness of the friendship is genuine, as are most of the relationships in I Kill Giants. Whether Barbara is dealing with her principal, her psychologist, or her sister (who is raising Barbara and her rarely seen brother), and even when the dialogue feels ready-made to fit a movie starring a sassy protagonist, the words have the ring of truth to them. Even when writer Joe Kelly pushes the dialogue to the brink, he pulls back just in time to ensure believability. Better yet, he sends in surprises to usher the story along in unexpected paths (anchoring it as he goes with some fun allusions; my favorite being one of the best movie quotes ever: “No fighting in the war room!”).
All along, we know this story is headed somewhere; we just don’t know where at first. Kelly holds his cards close to his vest for a good part of the story–even scribbling through lines of his own dialogue to obscure what’s really going on in Barbara’s life–but he pulls the curtain back just in time, confirming our suspicions without making us wait too long for the satisfaction of knowing, after all this, just what is going on with this character we’ve become so attached to.
That attachment is perhaps the best trick I Kill Giants, because it comes about so subtly and effectively. Like JM Ken Niimura’s frenetic but pitch-perfect art, Barbara’s personality is wild, jagged, and impossible to not get engrossed in. By the time we’ve finished our journey with Barbara, we’re stronger for the experience and so is she.
I Kill Giants is easily accessible for teens (the aforementioned bull dyke outburst is about the harshest the language ever gets, and the violence is frequent enough but never graphic), but it’s a true gem for adults as well. It, like Barbara, is lovely, wonderful, and one of a kind.
– John Hogan
5 Stars My Wife kills Giants!
I saw this book hanging out in the small Graphic Novel section of my local Library. I remember hearing a lot of buzz about the acclaimed Indie Comic (meaning a comic not published by Marvel or DC) I thought, WHat the heck a comic about killing Giants sounds excieting.
Shortly into it I felt cheated. This is just some annoying snot nosed little kid! What a cheap trick to suggest a violent adventure in the title of a series and follow it up with a whiney disrespectful Kur!
As I usually do even when disspointed I read on and in doing so became dissapointed in myself. The book was incredible and was moved to tears by its closing pages.
This books moved me in a way that has befor only occured in classic films and literature. I misjudged barbara, the artwork, and this story teller. After reading this I felt much closer to my wife who if you havn’t guessed, Kills Giants.
5 Stars OUTSTANDING…
Great publication. I’ve been collecting graphic novels for some years and I was surprised to find in “I Kill Giants” a refreshing, intriguing, and touching story that surely abroads the concept of graphic novels. I strongly recommend it for any collector but also for starting readers, since the power of this story lies in the analysis of human nature and fears. it also has a great price, so what are you waiting!?
5 Stars An incredible read
I think the thing that got me most about this was that I was never sure how the story was going to turn out. It keeps suggesting a predictable story line but it keeps changing all the way through, not quite delivering what you were expecting but something better instead. The art is a little difficult to begin with but really, really works well as you go on, playing a major part in the overall delivery. Truly captivating.
3 Stars Overrated
I enjoyed this Comic.
It had some extremely funny parts and was certainly above average, but overall I wasn’t as crazy about it as every other reviewer. I don’t really care about symbolism or a little girl learning to cope with loss. This comic needs you to be the sort of person who would look for “Graphic Novels for Intellectuals” to truly enjoy it.
By now I’m sure you’ve read the other people’s reviews where they tell you about Barbara living in her own world where she fights giants. She learns to be friends with someone, learns that love sometimes leads to pain and betrayal, and how to deal with death… Honestly the main character reminded me a bit of Lilo (of “Lilo & Stitch” fame).
While I’m not crazy about the manga-esque art I have to admit that it was appropriate for IKG and I did enjoy it.
The bottom line is that for me this comic really didn’t resonate… maybe it’s that I’m jaded or maybe it’s just that I’m not a little girl, but I didn’t feel as emotionally connected to this comic as you need to be to fully enjoy it.
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