"Kim Reaper #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Oni Press
Written and illustrated by Sarah Graley
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 17th, 2017
When we last left grim-reaper-in-training, Kim, she was trying to guide the soul of a cat into the afterlife while her suitor, Becka, did her best to help out. Things did not go as planned and a man practically made of muscles lost his shit on them, forming an armor of cats in the process. Now they have to come up with a plan to get that kitty's soul, but in the meantime, Kim shows Becka the pros and cons of working as a Grim Reaper, mainly the travel perks.
The budding relationship between Kim and Becka is adorable. They have great chemistry and it's a lot of fun watching them figure each other out. It's clear they like each other, but they're not quite on the same wavelength just yet. The pair go on a dream date of sorts thanks to Kim's scythe, which allows her to travel anywhere in the world. First they go to an amusement park called Space Land (Becka's choice) and then to a haunted sunken ship (Kim's choice).
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Writer / artist Sarah Graley captures this fun in each image on the page. There's a great sequence of Kim and Becka on a ferris wheel. Kim is eating cotton candy and Becka is holding a ridiculous stuffed hot dog that she won at a claw game. (Yes, I want one of those.) Graley makes this simple conversation exciting as the two women start to find out more about each other.
Much of this comes through in the facial expressions of both characters. Becka is wide-eyed and full of wonder, swept up in those initial phase of having feelings for someone. Kim is a bit more cynical, with a tinge of mischief in her eyes. Sudden changes in these really hit home the kind of emotion they're going through. You feel for them more.
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You might have guessed that Kim Reaper isn't really a scary comic. It plays with supernatural elements like ghosts, ghouls, and the aforementioned Grim Reaper, putting a fun spin on them. Yes, Sarah Graley has made death fun. She's taken these concepts and set them in this cartoonish world where crazy things can and do happen. Even when Kim and/or Becka is in actual danger, it looks more silly than scary.
Kim Reaper is a supernatural Scott Pilgrim. It's the kind of comic you will read with a smile on your face from cover to cover. It also takes the doom and gloom out of death and the Grim Reaper. Instead, it's less about an unstoppable force of nature and more about how someone can pay their bills by reaping a few souls here and there. I wonder if they offer dental.