KIRUcomics is an independent UK comic brand. KIRU stands for knowledge, imagination, responsibility and understanding. With this mission statement in mind, I’ve been reading their recent offering, Jinn #1.
This black and white manga gets an immediate nod of approval from me as its creators have gone to great lengths to be accessible. Doubtless many readers will possess a complete understanding of the genre, but the tone here avoids being either preachy or condescending. Most refreshing! One arrives at the swift conclusion that the good people behind this offering care very much about this fine form and it’s spanning galaxy of storytelling opportunities.
We start with an introduction that with concise precision and admirable layout and design sets the stall for the emergence of a developing crisis, whilst providing an overarching mythology that’s laced with intrigue. The narrative moves apace and dexterously sidesteps feeling like compulsory exposition. The sense of momentum and the vitality expressed in the sharp line-work is energising. This artwork has style, speed and muscle.
We’re subsequently introduced to the four key heroes of this book and the organisation of which they are a part. They are The Guardians. They are confident in their gifts and easily distinguishable by personality and skill-set. The motives, impulses and significance of these characters along with the unfolding dilemma that confronts them are once again artfully delivered, in harmony.
There’s a bracingly blunt flavour to each protagonist’s words, that really hits the spot. It innervates the evolution as one turns each page. Each individual has their own decidedly specific voice which greatly aids laying the foundations for characterisation. Throughout the interplay, there’s drama, turmoil, comic turns and bouts of explosive violence that make for a well-rounded recipe.
Performing a debut adeptly can be a capricious endeavour at the best of times. It warms the cockles of yours truly to declare that this narrative develops and concludes in a manner that’s both engaging and appetising.
There is from my perspective, a pinnacle within this book that I would like to bring to your attention. Midway through, there is a shift from a group of young heroes in a world of international wonder and conflict to a group of schoolboys, making their way home through the streets of Brook Town, London. These avenues are not always as easy to traverse as one would hope.
The writer makes great efforts to ground this very much in the reality of London, now, through keenly observed contemporary and street-wise vocabulary. I doubt there’s a reader who won’t find a resonance with the issue they face and it certainly struck a chord with me.
I would be remiss to acknowledge that on occasion it’s rendered with a syntax or rhythm that can’t help but feel somehow translated. However, bearing in mind the dispute requiring resolution, the struggles facing the our young exponent and the decisions before him, it actually ultimately sits well in this context.
These few pages are at the centre, which is rather fitting as this is where the heart of this story resides. The inspiration for this saga is placed at the apex and it’s rewarding to see it bear fruit.
These folks have already had successful appearances at London MCM Expo earlier this year and I expect them to continue in this vein at the London Film and Comic Con at Olympia on October 5th and 6th. All power to them.
Jinn #1 and #2 are currently available on MangaReader.netand in hard copy format.