I Kill Giants
is a graphic novel written by Joe Kelly and illustrated by JM Ken Niimura.
Barbara Thorson is a loner. A misanthrope. A girl with a very caustic personality. And she's only in the fifth grade. Oh, yes, and she kills giants.
Problem is, nobody else sees what she sees. Everyone treats her as a freak, and she reacts violently to the counselor, Mrs. Molle, when she tries to find out a little more about Barbara. It takes the friendship of a new girl in town, Sophia, to start breaking Barbara out of her shell....
But is that for the best? Are the giants Barbara claims to kill really real? Is Barbara really just suffering from some kind of mental breakdown, caused by some kind of family trauma? And what does baseball have to do with it? Yes, the giants are real. Maybe
An excellent work, I Kill Giants
starts weird, gets crazy, then gets Crazy Awesome
, and then goes straight into heartwarming. Read it if you need something to read.
This graphic novel provides examples of:
- Berserk Button: If you value your face, do NOT mention Barbara's mother. Or her cancer.
- Deadpan Snarker: Barbara.
- Disney Death: Barbara, in an apparent Heroic Sacrifice.
- Drop the Hammer: Barbara's supposed weapon, called Coveleski. When she finally unleashes it, things go boom.
- Good All Along: The titan really just wants to help Barbara come to terms with her mother's cancer.
- Greek Mythology: Referenced when Barbara talks to Sophie about the origins of the giants.
- Imaginary Friend: Barbara has a bunch of them... or does she?
- Jerkass: Barbara, though not nearly as much as the girls who bully her.
- Little Professor Dialog: Barbara.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's never clear if what's going on is real or all in Barbara's head. The ending implies that the titan may have been real.
- Norse Mythology: A consistent theme throughout. From Barbara's last name (Thorson, explaining her Weapon of Choice), to the fact that she inscribes a Norse rune on the handbag she constantly carries.
- Title Drop: Barabara proclaims this to Sophie.
- Unusual Ears: Barbara wears three different pairs of Animal Eared Headbands throughout: cat, what looks like mouse or bear and, most commonly, bunny ears, making her look a little bit like Haruko Haruhara. It doesn't help that the art style is a little similar. The headbands also help to visually distance her from all the other characters and emphasize how much of an outsider she is.
- Weapon of Choice: Coveleski.