Kill Your Darlings #1
Eight-year-old Rose loves nothing more than to play pretend in a magical land of her own creation. To her, that world is as real as our own; from her fluffy friends to the terrible evil that lurks at the center of it all. In one night, the line between fantasy and reality will disappear, an ancient hunger will feed again, and Rose will be pulled into a gruesome saga that began centuries before her birth. A new epic begins from debut writers ETHAN S. PARKER and GRIFFIN SHERIDAN, and superstar art team BOB QUINN (Knights of X) and JOHN J. HILL (VANISH)!
Kill Your Darlings #1 follows Rose, a little girl with a huge imagination. Rose creates these huge fantasy worlds in her mind, recreating a sword and sorcery style adventure with her toys and stuffed animals. Things start to go awry when a mysterious force starts to create chaos in both the real world and in her fantasies. Capturing the essence of several genres, Kill Your Darlings #1 grasps onto something special with its imaginative take on a childhood hobby that many readers will fully be able to connect with. Connecting fantasy with reality, the creators tap into a setting that has worked many times for readers over the years, truly setting up an epic.
By far, the most capturing element of this introductory issue is the way that writers Ethan S. Parker and Griffin Sherdian, and artist/colorist Bob Quinn capture the essence of playing with toys. There is something super authentic about seeing the way Rose fully immerses herself into this dream-like fantasy, which will strike a chord with anyone who grew up playing with toys alone in their bedroom. Rose’s strong and creative imagination is put on full display as Quinn shifts the art over to her imagination, highlighting the authenticity and meaning she puts into everything. All of this works really well as great visual juxtaposition, if not just for an amazing childhood nostalgia trip.
Speaking of Bob Quinn’s art, there should be equal credit paid to his work in coloring as well, with there being two distinct palettes throughout the issue. In Rose’s play work, everything is bright, jubilant, and full of colors. This is in direct contrast to her home life, where everything is super muted. This highlights the rough circumstances that Rose unknowingly lives in, while her mom struggles to pay bills. The issue takes place over a two day period, one where the weather is sunny and another where it is dreary and raining. These choices for setting allow Quinn to further emphasize the bleak world that Rose lives in outside of her fantasies. Even when the sun is out, there is a sense of foreboding in her home, which just grows more obvious the following day when the gray, clouded skies give an even further ambiance of discomfort. This all ties well into the story, as the mysterious force starts to enact chaos.
John J. Hill’s letters here pay an additional amount into the way that this story reads, while never detracting from it. The real world is filled with traditional, everyday speech bubbles, whereas the fantasy world is full of colorful letters. The fantasy world is also where the lettering gets more creative, highlighting the creativeness in Rose’s mind, while also emphasizing the larger than life battle she is imagining. This further ads to the juxtaposition in art, creating a cohesion throughout the entire comic.
Parker and Sherdian should receive a gold star for the way that they paced out this first issue. The slow build and essence of dread are created from the first page, where there is always a sense that something is about to go wrong. This also leaves a lot of time for Rose to be firmly established in both of her worlds, giving this protagonist a clear emotional through line. By the end of the issue, a house is burned down, and Rose’s fantasy world has been invaded by a mysterious force, yet many things are still left unknown. This serves as the perfect cliffhanger for what promises to be a very intriguing series, which can hopefully continue with this amazing pacing and worldbuilding.
Kill Your Darlings #1 is definitely the most well-paced book on the stands this week. The creators clearly have a lot of love for this story, with a perfect marrying of art, letters, and plot that maintains the essence of childlike innocence.
Kill Your Darlings #1: Knights of the Children’s Table
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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