Part-Time Grim Reaper. Full-Time Cutie!
Like most university students, Kim works a part-time job to make ends meet. Unlike most university students, Kim's job is pretty cool: she's a grim reaper, tasked with guiding souls into the afterlife.
Like most university students, Becka has a super intense crush. Unlike most university students, Becka's crush is on a beautiful gothic angel that frequents the underworld. Of course, she doesn't know that.
Unaware of the ghoulish drama she's about to step into, Becka finally gathers up the courage to ask Kim on a date! But when she falls into a ghostly portal and interrupts Kim at her job, she sets off a chain of events that will pit the two of them against angry cat-dads, vengeful zombies, and perhaps even the underworld itself. But if they work together, they just might make it... and maybe even get a smooch in the bargain.
After working up the courage to invite her crush Kim to the pub for a drink, university student Becka follows her into a portal, where she discovers that Kim's goth look isn't an act: Kim works as a part-time grim reaper, collecting the souls of animals and, eventually, humans. Becka accompanies Kim on a few missions, but she isn't entirely comfortable with Kim's career choice, creating a potential roadblock in their relationship. With plenty of hijinks (an amped-up bodybuilder with an army of cats, ghoul-possessed pirate treasure, a plague of zombies) and banter ("Your noodley arms pack such a punch," gushes Becka at one point), the story has no shortage of entertaining moments. But they play second fiddle to its focus on how one goes about setting boundaries in relationships, especially in the face of trying to make a living. Graley uses a dark, purplish palette to create an atmosphere of otherworldly adventure without resorting to a full-on goth-culture black motif. Her chunky drawing style resists over-sexualizing the girls' budding romance, and the steady stream of jokes keeps her story's more intense emotional moments from getting too dire or serious. Ages 13 up.
Quirky and funny
Kim Reaper is cute, silly, and pretty cheesy, and when I read at the end that the artist wrote for Rick & Morty, I realized that’s exactly what it reminded me of. Unfortunately, I’m not a huge fan of Rick & Morty, so it fell a bit flat for me.
Though Becka and Kim are both college students, their language and actions read more like junior high. The art, however, fits perfectly with that younger age group. The colors were vibrant and quite cute, and I especially loved the panels with illustrated backgrounds. There’s lots of pinks, purples, and yellows, and quite possibly the cutest little ghosties I’ve ever seen. There were times that I spent so long admiring particular panels that I’d have to go back and re-read the whole page to remember what was actually going on.
I also loved the character designs for Becka and Kim, and how different they were. Becka is curvy and wears her hair in Sailor Moon buns, while Kim is more athletic and 100% goth girl. While this style of drawing isn’t my favorite, the characters’ faces are just so expressive, and that really added to the whole plot experience.
While I thought the story was interesting, I almost felt like I would get whiplash from the randomness – they go from trying to reap the soul of a dead cat, to breaking in to an amusement park, then a haunted ship, fighting off a plague of zombies (?!?!), and then breaking into hell. While I was willing to go along with the first couple stops – especially the cat hoarder! – by the time they got to the zombie plague it just felt like too much to me. I was much more interested in Becka and Kim’s relationship and how they got past the rocky start – well, yes, of course, finding out the goth girl you’ve been crushing on is a grim reaper would be a bit off-putting – and at times it felt like the zigzagging plot detracted from me learning more about them than showing me how these things would affect their relationship.
Overall, this was adorably cute and quirky, and the art was fun. While there were things I didn’t like about it, I’ll probably pick up the next comic. If you’re a Rick & Morty fan, or just looking for some silly lesfic, this will probably be right up your alley!
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.