Gabriel Hardman, “Kinski”(Image, 2014)
Let’s start with a positive: the art in Kinski is consistently wonderful. Hardman sticks to black and white (pen & ink?), yet provides compelling and emotive illustrations. Dialogue is minimal, so the art really does carry the burden with storytelling.
It’s the story itself where you might have problems with the book. Kinski is the story of a mentally unstable dog thief. A salesman randomly encounters a puppy, and becomes obsessed. He believes that the puppy is being mistreated and deserves to be with him.
And for me, this is the problem. While technically this may be one of the strongest graphic novels of the year, I just flat out did not enjoy it. I don’t want to read about boys whose dogs are stolen. I don’t want to read the story of a dog thief. It’s just not a pleasant experience.
Maybe it’s just me. Technically this is an amazing piece of work. Unfortunately I just found it thoroughly unlikeable.