Comic Solutions

Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling

screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-8-37-19-amDelilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling
Tony Cliff
First Second
March 2016

Delilah Dirk has traveled all across the world-Japan, Indonesia, France, even the New World! But now she and her loyal friend Selim are travelling together to see England! Selim has never been before and since Delilah is from there it’s only fitting she showed him around. Especially after their last adventures. But they have to be careful because the English are at war with the French! And before you can count to three they’ve both been accused of being spies against the British Crown! They must clear their names and only Delilah Dirk can do so, using all of her wits, sword fighting, and wearing…pretty dresses and having a cup of tea with her mother? Hrm. Well none the less, drinking proper tea and sword fighting will win the day!

One of the great things for me about this graphic novel is that we have a strong female character and a strong male character. Delilah is a well rounded character that acts like a real person! Imagine that! A female character that doesn’t have to have a man save her. Shocking I know. Seriously though, Delilah is kinda of a female Indiana Jones. She goes around the world, has adventures, and while she may like company she doesn’t need it. Selim on the other hand is the exact opposite, at least when we first meet him. He’d rather enjoy the simple things in life, like a good cup of tea, and just do his job. But together these two characters have great adventures and both are the better for it. And get this…they don’t have a romance! Tony Cliff goes against all “normal” stereotypes to create a fantastic story, with memorable characters. Yes by the end they kinda start looking at each other with googly eyes at some points, but…eh its less romance and more that they genuinely care for each other. And it’s built up over the course of two novels. Both characters stand alone and can and do succeed on their own, but they do better with each other together.

One of the things I really like in this story arc is that we get to see a bit more about where Delilah comes from. We saw some of her upbringing in the first novel in that she lived with her dad and travelled the world, but in this one we see more about her mom. That yeah she’s more of the typical “mom” during this time period, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have her own strengths to her. And she dearly loves her daughter and will fight to protect her in her own way. I also really like the opposing forces in this story. While the main villain is an over the top representation at times, the rest of them are very human. You get a good sense that they do what they do because they must or out of love for their families. Sure they might be misguided, but they don’t have all of the details to make better decisions. The main villain is an over the top cliche, but…eh it works well here.

Tony’s artwork is flat out gorgeous. I’m not sure what Tony uses to create his artwork, but it’s lush, detailed, and beautiful. I mean each and every page feels like something that could be hung up on the wall as art and you wouldn’t get tired of looking at it. The colors are beautiful and the expressive faces just bring the characters to life. The action sequences are some of my favorites in the book, particularly the last battle at the end of the book. Oh. My. Word. Breathtaking is how I’d put it. I really kinda wish the book was bigger so that we can get more detail out of the scenes. It’s that good.

This is a great book and I’d recommend it for teen readers and up. I can’t wait to see if we get more of Delilah and Selim (one can hope.) I give the book 5 out of 5 stars.

ARC provided by Gina at FirstSecond

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