Books for Babes provides info on the sort of comics that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. This week we recommend ‘Kim Reaper: Vampire Island’ #1, out now from Oni Press.
THIS REVIEW OF ‘KIM REAPER: VAMPIRE ISLAND’ #1 IS SPOILER-FREE.
by Stefania Rudd. In college I worked several jobs, from sales associate in a sporting goods store to selling ladies’ undergarments at a popular mall shop. Working while you’re trying to get your degree can really take its toll on you. There is a silver lining, of course, an opportunity to improve your people skills or figure out the best time management mechanisms . I’m not sure if the main character of Sarah Graley’s Kim Reaper series feels the same way; Kim is a full-time college student and a part-time grim reaper. After class it’s her responsibility to take souls into the afterlife. Hey, whatever pays the bills, right?
Now that summer is almost over (it officially ends on Sept. 21st, mind you) what better way to get into the autumnal, Halloween-y spirit than to spend time with Oni Press’s Kim Reaper? Kim’s back, alongside love interest Becka and perennial BFF, Tyler, and this debut issue finds the latter two have become obsessed with the latest teen-vampire TV drama (aptly named Vampire Teen Drama). Once Becka discovers that her girlfriend has access to real vampires she dials up the charm so that Kim might take them to where these be-fanged vamps reside, the eponymous Vampire Island. As much as Kim would prefer a more low-key date night she cannot resist making Becka happy, even if it might mean a whole mess of trouble for the both of them. Who can resist those lovey-dovey eyes? Off to Vampire Island they go!
Sarah Graley (Our Super Adventure, Rick and Morty: Lil Poopy Superstar, Invader Zim) is a one-woman creative force, taking on everything from the story to the art. That leaves the lettering to Crank! (Rick and Morty, Revival, Letter 44), whose smooth letter work makes the issue flow effortlessly from one panel to the next. Graley is great at infusing humor into the story and pokes fun at some of the portentousness that often pops up in the world of vampires. For example, when Tyler wonders why all vampire furniture is pointy or covered in spikes, you laugh because those tropes are really ridiculous. I also appreciate how Graley progresses the relationship between Kim and Becka, as they are trying to become more comfortable and confident with one another. It’s a very relatable feeling for anyone in the early stages of romance. Graley’s artwork has wonderful detail and a slight softness to it; the characters’ personalities come through in their wide facial expressions and the on-point clothing design has a playfulness to it (such as Kim’s coffin crossbody bag), giving it an absolutely adorable style (check the cuteness that is Becka’s space buns). Her coloring has a muted feel, using purples and reds to evoke a full range of feelings, from cozy to full-on panic.
Fans of Kim Reaper will love this brand new arc, and those who are just starting the series can easily pick up this issue and find themselves settling right into the inviting story. As we begin preparations for the oncoming Autumn goodness we fully endorse Kim and company’s vivacious vampire romp… though, of course, you’d be well-advised to wait until the sun has gone down before opening the issue.
Written and illustrated by Sarah Graley.
Letters by Crank!
This book contains jealousy between friends and blood-thirsty vampires.
Age range: 12+
‘Kim Reaper: Vampire Island’ #1 is in stores now!