Pullbox Reviews: Kim Reaper #1 – Not so grim

Kim Reaper #1

Writing and Art: Sarah Graley
Letters: Crank!

Publisher: Oni Press

Available date: April 5, 2017

Like every great “Person of Mystery” story, Kim Reaper isn’t told from Kim’s point of view, but that of her admirer and new friend. Becca is in Fine Arts class with her friend Tyler, with Becca rhapsodizing over Kim’s many attractive qualities. Together they formulate a plan for Becca to invite Kim out for drinks at the Uni-adjacent pub, but Kim is out the door of the classroom before Becca can ask her out. Like any woman on a mission, she chases Kim out of class and gets sucked into the spacial vortex that Kim just created. Kim has a cool part-time job: she’s a Grim Reaper. Only she’s brand-new, so she can’t Reap people yet.

Graley does a fantastic job of drawing us in to Kim and Becca’s world, not just as students or workers, but as breathing people. They’re youthful, exuberant, a little dramatic, and not afraid to be themselves. The art reminds me of something between Caitlyn Rose Boyle’s art for Jonesy and Otis Frampton’s Oddly Normal, but Kim Reaper’s characters are definitely in the next phase in life after high school despite Becca’s anime hairstyle.

I love the style of this book – from Becca’s hair to Tyler’s cultivated hipster look to Kim’s gothness.  The conversation between Becca and Tyler where she tries to convince him that she’s perfect for Kim because she’s really goth too (“I’m Goth as Hell, and Hell is like, super goth. It’s full of skeletons and junk…”) is every conversation my friends and I had in college about how deep we were because we got drunk and watched “Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall'” upside down on the couch.

If you are looking for a deep and thoughtful story on the nature of death and dying, this is definitely not it. This is light and fun and fanciful, which is everything the cover promised it would be. I can’t wait for the rest of the story to unfold!

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