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I Kill Giants

(I Kill Giants #1-7)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  13,477 ratings  ·  1,390 reviews
Barbara Thorson, a girl battling monsters both real and imagined, kicks butt, takes names, and faces her greatest fear in this bittersweet, coming-of-age story called "Best Indy Book of 2008" by IGN.
Paperback, 184 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Image Comics
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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,477 ratings  ·  1,390 reviews

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Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
This really grew on me. It had to. I started the book frustrated with Barbara, with her disconnect from the real world and total immersion in a fantasy world she's created, with her near inability to interact with the people around her. That's a bold thing that Kelly did, to start the reader off with an entirely outside perspective of Barbara, and only slowly reveal exactly what is going on inside her heart and mind, and what events in her life have caused her to react in this way. (view spoiler ...more
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Giants and stories that hit home!
I Kill Giants

5.5 stars!


I have read so many Image Comics over time (Saga, Invincible, Chew) and I have been enjoying every one of them! Now, I had stumbled upon this unique little comic called “I Kill Giants” which is written by Joe Kelly along with artwork by JM Ken Niimura and it was seriously one of the most creative and intense comics I had ever read!

What is this story about?

Barbara Thorson was just your average fifth-grade student…alright maybe not so average student. Barbara’s big
Sep 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Content warnings:
Abelist slurs
Lesbian slurs
Violent responses/reactions to non-violent situations

Barbara is a character that I continuously had to remind myself to not judge too harshly. I figured there had to be an explanation. And there is...I'm just not sure it's enough. She's not nice, she's abusive and mean, and there's nothing in these pages that excuses that behavior - though many people make excuses for her behavior. However, there are reasons for her actions, too. It doesn't make
Sam Quixote
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Barbara is a pretty headstrong young high school girl who loves Dungeons and Dragons, dislikes school, isn't interested in friends or other people, and is obsessed with giants - more accurately, killing giants. But in our everyday world, is Barbara just a weird kid because we all know giants aren't real. Aren't they...

The most important thing potential readers to this book should understand that it's not a fantasy book (though it contains fantasy elements) and is set in our world, the "r
Eℓℓis ♥
Siamo più forti di quanto pensiamo. ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
The artwork in this comic is super super amazing! Even If the story wasn't so interesting and full of oomph I would've kept on flipping through, it's that amazing. Cool story, amazing read and satisfying ending. Not many YA comics are this satisfying. Awesome book.
Johnathan Morris
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What an emotional roller coaster! And the first graphic novel to make me cry!

I Kill Giants follows a segment of the life of Barbara Thorsen, arguably the greatest giant slayer of all time, in her quest to defend the world from giants—and maybe defend herself from some giants and ghouls of her own.

Probably my favorite graphic novel, the story opens on the surface with a young, angsty girl trying to follow her passion of bringing down titans and giants. However, as the story progresses we find tha
Seth T.
Nov 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
It's good to pick a book with vaulted expectations, set the book down finished an hour and a half later, and have those expectations met. In I Kill Giants' earliest chapters, I was not at all sure this would be the case. The pace felt abrupt, the characterizations suffered some adjacency to verisimilitude, and the ground seemed well-worn and overly familiar as it hadn't been long since I had the pleasure of reading Nate Powell's Swallow Me Whole. Of course, by book's end, all that had been well- ...more
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La stanza al piano di sopra

"Tutto ciò che vive, muore. Proprio per questo devi trovare la gioia nel vivere, mentre il tempo è ancora tuo, e non aver paura della fine. Negare questo è come negare la vita. Temere questo è come temere la vita."

Siamo assoluti protagonisti del nostro mondo e lo difenderemo sino alla fine; l'oscurità non entrerà mai, non esiste, non è mai esistita.
Forse esiste, ma è abbastanza lontana: non è forse vero che in questo mondo vivremo per sempre?
La porta in fondo al corr
Liz Janet
Feb 07, 2016 rated it liked it
I got the same feeling with this book that I did with "A Monster Calls", it was good, but not great.
It is the story of a girl named Barbara who thinks she fights giants, the giants being a metaphor for something else of course. Her big sister is taking care of her and her brother, but Barbara does not have the best relationship with them as of late. Something has happened that has distanced them.
It is a very well drawn piece of work, all in black and white. It might have been much better with c
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Pretty awesome. I'm not usually a fan of manga-style or black and white artwork but this is great. (Although I do wish there was more black or, at best, a highlight color like red.) I Kill Giants is a surreal allegory (in the style of Joe the Barbarian) about Barbara Thorson, an angsty loner teen who deals with very bad things through fantasy. Or is it fantasy? This coming of age story is also about friendship, courage, bullies, allies, family, and the power of the imagination. Having been a qui
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Barbara's a lonely girl, but she tries hard not to show it. Queen of the misfits, she loves fantasy books and D&D. And why shouldn't she? Her real life is no piece of cake. She's bored by school, has her own personal bully, and is coping with one very deep, dark secret.

Though I wasn't overly crazy about the manga style artwork, this is a wonderful, touching story that should not be missed.
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m not crying you’re crying shut up.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I kinda expected it to be something else and it was. A little disappointed, I just felt that nothing really happened and I could see the end a mile away.
Nicay │The Nerdy side of a Queen
Originally posted @ THE NERDY SIDE OF A QUEEN

“You are stronger than you think.”

Simple words, yet so deep in giving a meaningful meaning.

I don’t know how I stumble to read this graphic novel, but I remember when I saw my friend reading this, I became intrigued what is the story of it. I Kill Giants is the title and I became curious to find out what is the story all about. Until, I also saw the movie trailer, and I’m shocked that it will be adapted into a movie. That’s why I eagerly read this an
Rosa Campanile
Credevo di leggere una graphic novel di tipo fantasy, invece mi sono ritrovata a leggere una storia contemporanea che mi ha intrigato fin dall'inizio e mi ha sconvolto alla fine. Non mi aspettavo dei risvolti così introspettivi, davvero. I Kill Giants è una splendida e azzeccata metafora della vita. Barbara siamo noi, giovani, ingenui, che ci rifugiamo nella fantasia per paura di non saper affrontare qualcosa che ci spaventa, i giganti che non vogliono altro che atterrarci. Fantastica. La narraz ...more
Jan Philipzig
Nothing really wrong with this one, I guess. And yet, I don’t know, somehow the story just did not feel all that original or convincing or memorable to me – go figure. Maybe my expectations were too high?
Graphic novel STUPENDA!
Mi sono ritrovata in lacrime alla fine senza neanche accorgermene!
Questa è la storia di Barbara, una bambina molto speciale che ha un solo, unico obiettivo: uccidere i giganti. Barbara sa tutto di loro, legge e si documenta più che può, prepara trappole e porta sempre con sé un’arma speciale da utilizzare in caso di bisogno. Ma la vita di Barbara non è come quella degli altri ragazzini. Barbara è vittima di atti di bullismo, tutti a scuola la considerano matta e lei alim
Released as a seven-issue, self-contained comic book series, about a teenage girl in the modern day who claims to kill giants. Difficult to expand much on that without spoilers. This book will upset you.

Nothing about this is well-done on a technical level, but I still found it effective. The writing is... okay, but there's very little payoff until the end. The art is not great and sometimes make it hard to tell what's going on.

The creators have pre- and post-issue comic book conversations betwee
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
"A giant comes to a place and destroys everything on its path. It's not like a dumb hurricane or something. A giant is hate. It can't stand anything good, so smashing isn't enough. A giant comes to a place and takes everything from you...and when it's's like whatever made your life good was never there. That's why they have to die."

"All things that live, die. This is why you must find joy in the living, while the time is yours, and not fear the end. To deny this is to deny life. To fea
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic, realism
Huh. I wonder if Patrick Ness read this?
May 25, 2018 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pt, graphic-novels, 2017
Esta banda desenhada fez-me lembrar imenso ''O Sete minutos depois da meia noite'' do Patrick Ness. A premissa é um pouco semelhante mas ao mesmo tempo não tem nada a ver. Gostei mesmo muito.
Sep 27, 2016 rated it liked it
When we are adults we tend to remember our childhood and teenage years as the good old days, we keep sweet memories but no matter how happy we were (and I was a happy child indeed) it was never a piece of a cake. There were hard moments. Surviving school and high school sometimes could get rough. We had problems grown ups considered ridiculous, but they were massive for us. So much for a regular kid, but Barbara's life is somehow not very common: She lives with her sister and her brother. She ki ...more
David Schaafsma
Sep 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: gn-ya
Seth said his high expectations were met; mine were set high in part by him, but for some reason I didn't love this book. The highlight: Niimura's visual work, which was awesome. I thought the story was conventionally "inspirational," how you get through the challenges of "giants" in your life, and maybe especially as a kid, and Kelly had some similar challenges, and apparently some of the same angry responses, and presumably came to the same cathartic conclusion as the main character girl in th ...more
Neil (or bleed)
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it
It's like A Monster Calls in graphic novel but the main character is mean this time.
Leah Rachel von Essen
I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly, illustrated by JM Ken Nimura, is a stunning and emotionally effective graphic novel about a young girl’s world and the monsters she battles.

Drawn in lush, shadowy black and white, it tells the story of Barbara Thorson, a fifth grader who struggles to make friends and gets bullied quite frequently. She doesn’t have the easiest home life, and she has a rough-and-tough personality that can make her hard to deal with. But the strangest thing about her is also the simples
Jean-Paul Bass
Apr 14, 2012 rated it liked it
I was excited about reading I Kill Giants–the title itself was enough to get my attention. And then I read the description and was even more intrigued. Barbara is a loner, an odd kid, who escapes into a fantasy world to avoid dealing with real life. As the fantasy world starts bleeding into reality, Barbara becomes more and more convinced that something big is coming and it’s her duty to stop it.

Barbara is just enough of a smartass to make you feel sorry for her. A kid who backtalks like her mus
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book is why God or Santa Claus or Alan Moore or whoever invented graphic novels and it's the perfect example of why they are a valid and worthy literary form. The art and text together make the story. It's a truly beautiful collaboration between Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura.

This is the story of Long Island fifth grader Barbara Thorson. She is iconoclastic and nearly friendless-until she meets a girl named Sophia and the school guidance counselor. She is a Dungeon Master extraordinaire. She
Mike Rapin
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ircb-summer-2017
Whew. I put reading this book off because I knew it was going to wreck me. Reading it a second time, and in one go, was way more gut wrenching. That whole last chapter had me in straight-up tears.

I knew the damn ending and I still cried.

This book sets you up to have fun with some quirks but with a heavy, heavy cloud over head. How we get to the end is the most important part, and watching Barbara lose control, chapter after chapter, is the roughest part of the story. You know something bad loo
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Other books in the series

I Kill Giants (7 books)
  • I Kill Giants 1 (I Kill Giants, #1)
  • I Kill Giants 2 (I Kill Giants, #2)
  • I Kill Giants 3 (I Kill Giants, #3)
  • I Kill Giants 4 (I Kill Giants, #4)
  • I Kill Giants 5 (I Kill Giants, #5)
  • I Kill Giants 6 (I Kill Giants, #6)
  • I Kill Giants 7 (I Kill Giants, #7)
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“We're stronger than we think.” 50 likes
“All things that live, die. This is why you must find joy in the living, while the time is yours, and not fear the end. To deny this is to deny life. To fear this... is to fear life. But to embrace this... Can you embrace this?

You are stronger than you think.”
More quotes…