I Kill Giants
I read this in far from ideal circumstances – commuting for work or almost asleep at the end of the day, and with a long break before reaching the final two issues. And yet those closing scenes brought tears to my eyes, as they have done for many others. The break I took when reading perhaps artificially divides the comic into build-up and release, but it's a useful way of understanding how it works its magic. A great deal of time is taken introducing Barbara's character and her support network before we even know what is wrong, not to mention before we reach the moment of crisis and catharsis. While the comic explores the role of the imagination as a coping mechanism to deal with trauma (Barbara sometimes reminds me of William Blake talking to the angels in his back garden), ultimately its that support network around her that draws out the tears. Friends, family and school unite behind a brave girl lashing out against the horrible situation she finds herself in. Those bonds are the real heartstrings of the comic.