KUTTER graphic novel review at Silver
Bullet Comic Books
youve watched even a small share of Westerns, Im sure
youve digested this plot at least once: a notorious gunslinger
decides to call it quits, settles down and gets busy living a legit
(in other words, boring) life. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances
and the persistent exhortations from other individuals force the
gunslinger to perform one last job. Essentially, this
is the plot of Clint Eastwoods Unforgiven. Its also
a plot carried over ad nauseum into other genres (i.e. a mob movie
like Things to do in Denver When Youre Dead). And it is the
plot of Kazu Kibuishis 153 page manga-sized black-and-white
four chapter story Daisy Kutter: The Last Train.
the gunslinger pulled out of retirement for one last job
plot is derivative, it nevertheless remains compelling IF engaging
elements are thrown into the mix
, and Daisy Kutter does just
that. Instead of being gruff, grizzled and squinty-eyed, the retired
gunslinger in this story is a gruff, girl with the curl
(quite literally), carrying a shotgun whose length and power really
qualify it as portable artillery. Instead of enjoying the charms
of a virtuous town school teacher, Daisy Kutter has to suffer the
unwanted romantic determination of her ex-partner-in-crime Tom,
whos turned his life around and become the town sheriff. His
square personality is emphasized by his squarely-drawn head. Instead
of being situated in 19th century Tombstone, Arizona or Deadwood,
South Dakota, Daisy Kutter takes place in some unspecified time
and place, where telephones, radios, security guard robots, holographic
machines and enormous Mechanized battle armor occupy the expected
wide-open Western genre vistas, saloons, general stores and gambling
halls. The story doesnt explain this strange juxtaposition
of futuristic technology and Old West settings, and to be honest,
an explanation isnt necessary because the bottom line is that
visually, this mix works incredibly well.
book will hook you. Each chapter establishes a situation that keeps
you reading until its resolution. The entire story is decompressed.
I categorize decompression in two ways: Lazy decompression
and Cinematic decompression. Lazy decompression finds
ways to lengthen trite moments over several pages for the sole purpose
of padding a 40 page story into a 100 page one. Cinematic decompression
draws out a storys important moments in order to dictate the
pace at which the reader experiences the story as if the reader
is at the movie theatre watching a story unfold in time.
Lazy decompression has a shortage of panels; it showcases (often
laughably) ineffective and unnecessary splash and double splash
pages. A page of Cinematic decompression, on the other hand, can
typically have more than eight panels on it where dialogue is sparse
and panels get duplicated in order to provide the illusion of time
transpiring on a page of static images. Daisy Kutter demonstrates
Cinematic decompression. The storys third chapter exclusively
focuses on the job that Daisy has been hired to perform.
It takes place on a moving train and of course, everything hits
the fan. This chapter displays the pacing and choreography of a
well-made action movie.
the pacing is cinematic, the elements of the story are clever and
intriguing, but it is Daisy Kutter herself who drives this book.
The book is tremendously charming because of her. Despite retaining
all the appropriate Western genre masculine traits (she is a proficient
gambler, shes quick-tempered, shes socially aloof, shes
skilled at gunplay), Daisy remains decidedly feminine. Her openness,
confidence, resilience and independent spirit are utterly attractive.
But she's no "super-hero," no invincible Amazon. She is
vulnerable but not frail. She is desperate but not needy. Her charisma
is also the product of the way shes drawn. Her figure is demure,
her hair is girlishly cute, and more often than not, her mouth and
nose are simple curved lines. The art style throughout the book
is quite cartoonish, which helps eliminate any nihilistic subtext
that Western stories often have. Daisy finds herself in some dire
situations by the end of this book, but because of the nature of
the artwork, I never felt like I was reading some grim amoral tale.
Thats a good thing because ultimately the attraction of this
book is Daisys simple appeal and self-assurance that she can
handle any problem thrown her way.
Kutter: The Last Train reaffirmed my faith in comic book story-telling,
and I cant wait to read it again.
KUTTER is the #1 COMIC OF THE WEEK at The
is one of those books thats not quite what you would expect
much more! Part western, part sci-fi, part tough girl comic and
100% fun! Daisy Kutter is unlike anything on the shelves today!
And, speaking for myself, I wish there were more Daisy Kutter-like
books out there!
one time, Daisy Kutter was the most feared gunfighter in the New
West. After years of living up to that reputation, Daisy has decided
to retire and follow the straight and narrow. However
is Daisy we're talking about, and you'll soon discover that where
Daisy goes, trouble and bad luck always follows!
plan to open a general store and lead a good life is derailed when
she is unexpectedly drawn back into her old life of crime, much
to the chagrin of Sheriff Tom. Due to the luck of the draw - or
in Daisys case, the unluckiness of the draw - Daisy loses
everything. Now, to get back on her feet again, Daisy reluctantly
takes a job that appears to be a cakewalk. However, with Daisy
is ever easy!
has been hired to rob a train
by the trains owner! Apparently,
Mr. Winters wants to test out his most lethal security robots -
who make C-3PO look macho - against the great gunslinger, Daisy
Kutter. However, Daisy soon discovers that there is more to this
test run than meets the eye! In addition to the vacationing Tom,
there is an unexpected guest aboard the train. And before all is
said and done, death and destruction board this train, too!
Kazu Kibuishi has created one of the brightest, most lovable characters
to hit the scene in years. Kibuishis Daisy Kutter is a tough
cutie along the lines of a female Clint Eastwood with the luck of
Barney Fife! Kibuishis art captures this essence perfectly,
all the while giving this book a welcoming and comforting feel that
can only be described as a breath of fresh air in an often stale
KUTTER receives a perfect score at ComiXtreme
book has been a huge surprise to this reviewer. In a week with Green
Lantern:Rebirth and the end of Batman's War Games, I
found this on the top of my stack. The pencil work by Kibuishi is
awesome, it really doesn't need inking to look good, in fact the
subject matter works with the black and white pencils. The backgrounds
are surprisingly rich for a pencils-only book, especially once the
train gets in motion, stunning stuff.
book is written as well as it is drawn. It's surprisingly funny,
especially the bits with the old security robots. Kibuishi's dialogue
is witty and sharp. The words coming out of the characters mouths
are their own. Kibuishi has also created very well-rounded characters,
Daisy is your typical train robbing, card playing, bad ass western
frontier chick, but she has soft spot for Sheriff Tom. It's interesting
that the one person she can talk to is the one person she probably
shouldn't. Tom is a perfect foil for Daisy. He's kind of a doofus,
but he's always there for her, even helping out when Daisy gets
into a jam. It's fun to see the two play off of each other. In fact
if I had to give one word to describe this book it would be "fun",
because really that's what this book is. Yeah, it's beautifully
drawn and the writing is top notch, but it also manages to have
the fun factor and that's really what sets it apart. If only Kibuishi
could add a submarine and a giant spider it would completely obliterate
the fun scale.
Daisy Kutter and the Dead@17 series Viper Comics is putting out
some truly excellent stuff right now and is worthy of your readership.
KUTTER receives a 9 out of 10 at X-World
Kutter is a female who just wants to be left alone. Apparently,
Daisy is a former military hotshot of sorts. Living in a small town,
running a shop and just trying to live the rest of her life. Shortly
after the story starts, she is presented with a suspicious offer
that she turns down, on the claim of having quit "the life".
The other main character so far is a Sheriff in town that is keeping
an eye on Daisy - to make sure she's quit "the life" (which
has yet to be revealed).
Daisy was good at what she did, not just because she could handle
a gun, but also because she could read people. She has confidence
in what she use to do, which helps her today to play some pretty
good cards. As it turns out there is a Texas Hold 'em tournament
during Poker Night at Shelly's Tavern. When Daisy takes the pot
she thinks she's done for the night, until there is a Mister Winters
who isn't ready to walk away and wants to play the tournament out.
Daisy's confidence turns to cockiness and arrogance against Mister
Winters' calm demeanor and playing skills; which costs Daisy a lot
more than the night's winnings, it costs Daisy her store in a fool-hardy
emotionally charged bet.
independents strike again; better yet Viper Comics strikes again
and makes sure they didn't just publish a comic in order to publish
a comic. As is quickly becoming a new trend in the comic industry,
the editors are playing a noticeable role in the quality of comics
getting picked up or passed up. Viper Comics has shown an eye for
talent with the publishing of Dead@17, so it comes as no surprise
that Daisy Kutter maintained the same pacing and quality that made
Dead@17 an enjoyable read.
Kazu Kibuishi, the creator behind Daisy Kutter, does a wonderful
job of developing this comic book. From Scott McCloud's definition
of a comic book in Understanding Comics: Juxtaposed pictorial and
other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information
and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.
Kutter is an instance where the artist is able to convey the story
without using excess words or dialogue. Kibuishi uses his obvious
Manga influence to show the emotions of the character through facial
expressions. Kibuishi has a very cool mix of Manga with an American
form of art that allows him to express emotion in a Manga way, without
have to hyper-over do expressions. Flipping through the pages, trying
to "tack down" exactly his style is near impossible. Trying
to find exactly the American style, or the Manga style is equally
difficult. The mix of the styles is so subtle that to label it one
way or another causes the reader to question the label. "It
can't be Manga, it doesn't have that over expressed feel to it."
"There has to be Manga in it, look at the features." This
is just an element that creates interest and excitement in the comic.
story has tons of potential and will hopefully have a follow up
shortly after this first mini-series. The "mystery person"
approach has been way over done, but it doesn't have that feel here.
Kibuishi is developing the story and the characters in such a way
that it really doesn't focus on what isn't there, but what's happening
now, mixed with a "something" from the past. It makes
for a really fun, interesting read.
Whatever it is about Kibuishi's writing style that allows the reader
to not give much attention to the whole "mystery person"
approach; is also the same style that allows the reader to not question
an unexplained world that seems to be set in the Old West, but has
robots walking around in it. Normally, this would be a nice size
plot hole, but somehow it just works. Doesn't mean it shouldn't
be explained, or at least talked about on some level, it's just
not really a concern for wanting to know more about Daisy and where
she is headed. Not an easy feat by any means, but pulled off well
9 of 10
Art: 9 of 10
9 of 10.
Comics strikes again. Another very solid, easy to follow, nicely
paced series to keep comic fans everywhere in tune with what makes
comics great. A solid female lead is never bad thing, a well written,
well drawn even better. This comics so far translates universally
and is worth picking up.
KUTTER reviewed at ComicBookResources.com
I first started reading comics, I idolized the artistry of Todd
McFarlane, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, and Erik Larsen. But I also redrew
panels from William Van Horn and Don Rosa Duck stories. I freeze-framed
episodes of DuckTales, Tiny Toon Adventures, and Animaniacs that
I had on tape, to learn to draw them. I even did that with The Jetsons
when their animated movie came out. I was sure I was going to be
an artist when I grew up.
changed in high school, but I still doodle to this day. When I doodle,
most of what I draw is the stuff I learned from far too many weekday
afternoon cartoons, not what I learned from the comic books.
if you were to ask me today to draw a comic book for myself, I would
choose a more animated style. With the current wave of animation
professionals currently drawing comic books -- from Darwyn Cooke
to Mike Kunkel -- there are role models galore to choose from. They're
producing some of the freshest and most vibrant work in comics today.
They're bringing something new to the table that may honor the classic
comics work, but isn't strictly beholden to it.
latest in that line is Kazu Kibuishi's DAISY KUTTER. Although at
first it might look like another attempt to cash in on the anime-flavored
sci-fi western theme that keeps popping up lately, it's really something
completely different. The first issue is all set-up, but not in
the way that so many stories waste that set-up. There are events
happening in this issue that begin the overall story. We meet Daisy
Kutter, we see her get into trouble, and we know how she needs to
get out. That part will come next issue.
now, we have a very likeable lead character, the owner of a small
western general store in a town inhabited by humans and robots alike.
She's trying to get away from her complicated past as some sort
of hired gun, but it keeps coming back to her. And on one particular
poker night, her life changes.
for as big as poker has become in the past year, this is the first
major use of Texas Hold 'Em I've seen in a comic book so far. I
suspect we'll see more coming up shortly. The biggest problem with
scripted gambling is that there's no gamble to it. We, as the audience,
know the end is fixed to suit the writer's need. There's no need
for any logic.
in real poker, it's all a gamble. You might win, or you might lose.
Even when you only have one card left in a deck of 42 remaining
cards, you still have a chance. It doesn't break suspension of disbelief
for that card to show up. And if it does break that on you, then
you haven't played or watched enough poker in your life. Crazy cards
come up at the weirdest times.
goes so far as to explain the rules of Texas Hold 'Em in a genuinely
entertaining manner. Daisy narrates the segment, and the hand it's
narrated over is likewise interesting. You can hear the voice over
like you would in an animated film. It doesn't feel expository,
and it doesn't stop the story.
overall feel of the book is very comfortable. There are no overly
wordy panels, because Kibuishi knows how to draw a beat per panel.
This is pure storytelling, the ability to pace the images to go
with the words. He's not afraid to draw a dozen panels on a page,
and he never makes them feel cluttered. Each panel is a beat. There's
no cheating here. It's very much like storyboarding for animation.
Each drawing there represents a moment. In comics, one drawing can
represent more than one moment with some slick dialogue. Kibuishi,
though, stays true to his animation training, which results in a
very smooth read.
KUTTER: THE LAST TRAIN #1 comes highly recommended. Viper Comics
is the publisher. The packaging is very slick, with a square binding,
a cardboard cover, and a good stock of paper to hold Kibuishi's
gray washed penciled artwork. It's only $3.99 for a 31 page main
story, with a 13 page dog detective backup story by Phil Craven.