Monday, August 5, 2019

Getting Graphic: Die, Vol. 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker

Title: Die, Vol. 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker
Author: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Stephanie Hans
Pages: 478
ISBN: 9781534312708
Publisher: Image
Published: 5 June 2019
Genre: Graphic Novel
Source: Purchased

Buy it from:
The Book Depository

writer KIERON GILLEN teams up with artist supernova STEPHANIE HANS (THE WICKED + THE DIVINE, Journey Into Mystery) for her first ongoing comic! DIE is a pitch-black fantasy where a group of forty-something adults have to deal with the returning, unearthly horror they only just survived as teenage role-players. If KIERON’s in a rush, he describes it as “Goth Jumanji”, but that's only the tip of this critically acclaimed obsidian iceberg. Collects DIE #1-5
When I first heard the premise of Die I just knew I had to get it. The wait for the trade paperback was excruciating, but so worth it. The art by Stephanie Hans is simply amazing, there are times where you turn the page and just have to go "Wow, that's beautiful". Kieran Gillen takes the world of Dungeons and Dragons, RPGs and fantasy lore and uses those well-known mechanics to create a world and characters that are both interesting and unique.  The story is emotionally harrowing and at times verges into horror territory.

The easiest thing would be to call Die a dark Jumanji for adults, but that description doesn't quite do it justice. There are nuances at work which will delight veteran D&D players and goes so much deeper than is first apparent. Gillen manages to explore the emotional scars of his characters both as angsty teens and jaded adults, the impact of the fantasy world, the consequences of their actions and the very act of playing the game itself.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Die. My only complaint is that the story felt quite rushed and that it was over far too quickly. There is so much at play here, so much depth and history to delve into. I want to experience it all, but in this first volume we barely get to scratch the surface. I can't wait to see what comes next.  

Die is definitely a series to keep your eye on!

The Rating: 7/10 (Very good)

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