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I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly


Title: I Kill Giants

Author: Joe Kelly

Illustrator: J. M. Ken Niimura

Publication date: Five issues published from July 2008 to January 2009

My Rating: 5/5

Right off the bat I want to say that I know some of you are thinking, “Jeez 5/5 that’s extreme.” I don’t think I’ve ever rated something that high before but I honestly loved this graphic novel. I find I struggle with graphic novels sometimes because the story isn’t as detailed as a book and because they’re normally shorter then novels things develop a lot quicker and I don’t really like that. This is one of the graphic novels I had to study for my Comic Books and Graphic Novels class this semester and it’s definitely my favourite one for sure.

The story itself is very unique. I found it to be really quirky as we follow the young Barbara around as she tries to fit in, but really she isn’t trying to fit in she is just trying to be herself. The novel takes you through the life of this seemingly normal family and the kinds of regular issues that they have. As you follow this young girl who is convinced that she can kill giants with her hammer named Coveleski, that she stores in her purse, you also uncover much deeper issues that lead us to the true moral of the story: We’re stronger than we think and we will be ok. It’s a story filled with comedy, fantasy, and heartfelt moments. A little something for everyone.

Barbara Thornson as a character just made me love this book even more. When she first stands up in this gorgeous full page spread she is wearing bunny ears. Her quirks and her hissy fits throughout the book remind me a lot of Louise from Bob’s Burhers, which again made me love her. Barbara puts on this tough exterior as she battles the boys in fierce games of Dungeons & Dragons, when she fights bullies at school, and when she talks about fighting the giants, but really she has fears. Throughout the book the writer hints to these fears and it makes you want to keep reading to find out what is being hidden from you. I found Barbara to be very well written and very relateable.


I mean look at that sass!!

The art was amazing. After I had finished reading it and I was talking to one of my classmates about it I actually convinced myself that it was drawn in colour… I was wrong. It is 100% in black and white (maybe with a little red here and there on the cover or something). That just goes to show how dynamic and striking the art was if I could think about it and think it was in colour.


As you can see the art is so well done because it is able to convey a lot of information through it’s simplicity. I find that if a graphic novel is to busy I lose sight of the story because I am trying to figure out what is going on in the pictures.

Overall I would definitely recommend this to absolutely anyone. If you’re thinking of trying a graphic novel this is a super easy read but it’s full of really amazing content. If you love graphic novels and haven’t read this yet I strongly recommend that you do!





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