Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Killing Girl

Maybe you saw Killing Girl when it was out as single issues from Image last year, maybe you didn't. Recently released is the collected edition, so if you missed it the first time, there's an even better reason to look for it now.

Created and written by Glen Brunswick, you may not be surprised to learn that the book revolves around a girl and some killing. Yes it's a bit more complex than that as the heroine Sara discovers her origins and true identity one little suppressed memory at a time, amidst her violent ballet of blades and bullets.

The standout feature of the book is the art, and it is two-fold. If you like espionage and sexy assassins, you'll like the book, sure. But if you enjoy art, you will love this book. The first third is by none other than Frank Espinosa, who blew me away a few years ago with his introduction of Rocketo. Here his beautiful, graceful (digital?) brushwork continues to amaze, with pages that display a seemingly effortless panache. His linework is loose but bold, his colors striking and unexpected. Simply put, Espinosa is singular in his style, and it is stunning.

The remainder of the book is by Toby Cypress, and in a way it's even better than what precedes it. Not in terms of skill, but in how the complimentary but evocative style accelerates the whole book to its conclusion. Cypress' art is just balls out in every direction, free and unfettered as if it was put down immediately from brain to pen to paper. His lines and figures are wonky and unpredictable, but every bit as sexy and daring as I've ever seen. Aided by colorist Rico Renzi, the palette expands and evolves from that set up by Espinosa, growing to accommodate the runaway train of Cypress' pages. Like Espinosa, Cypress presents visually that which has no comparison on the shelves, and by jove it's wicked cool.

At 15 bucks, the trade is in my opinion a must have for comics and book readers on the art enthusiast side. The subject matter and content keeps the book away from being all ages or an entry level read, but outside of that-- and based purely on the visuals-- I can't think of a reason not to pick it up.

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