Comic Book: I Kill Giants

I Kill Giants is a graphic novel written by Joe Kelly (who also wrote Deadpool) 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?

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:

  • Animesque: The art style
  • Berserk Button: If you value your face, do NOT mention Barbara's mother. Or her cancer.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Barbara comes to terms with her mother's illness and makes amends with her before she passes away, leaving her saddened, yet able to move on
  • Deadpan Snarker: Barbara.
  • Disappeared Dad: Barbara's father
  • Disney Death: Barbara, in an apparent Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: When Taylor tries to kill Barbara because of the punishments for beating up the latter.
  • Drop the Hammer: Barbara's supposed weapon, called Coveleski. When she finally unleashes it, things go boom.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Barbara's Mother when we first and last see her. The assumption as to why this is might have something to do with her illness
  • Elevator School: The school where Barbara and Sophia go to.
  • Fat Bitch: Taylor, the school bully. She's also the Alpha Bitch who tends to bully Barbara the most.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Sophia and Barbara are seen wearing these in the end
  • 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 Sophia about the origins of the giants.
  • Ill Girl: Barbara's mother, who is ill with cancer. Towards the end, she passes away.
  • 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.
  • Meganekko: 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.
  • Odd Friendship: Barbara and Sophia
  • Promoted To Parent: Karen, Barbara's sister
  • Shout-Out: According to this image of Taylor, she is wearing what appears to be a Leaf Village headband around her neck
  • Title Drop: Barbara proclaims this to Sophia.
  • 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.
  • Weirdness Censor: No one seems to think Barbary wearing Animal Eared Headbands are out of the ordinary.
  • Younger Than They Look: Taylor and at least a few of her lackeys (the former especially) in particular look rather similar to teenagers for girls that are supposed to be in the fifth grade. However, it is possible that they may have been held back a grade (given some of their record, especially Taylor's) or they only look the way they do because that is how Barbara perceives them.