Kriss by Ted Naifeh

Do you ever read something and feel little to no impact from the story? That’s how I felt about Kriss.

Kriss: The Gift of Wrath is the introductory volume to the Kriss graphic novel series. It is about a young man with a mysterious past who must fight a wild snow cat to save the townspeople and the girl he seemingly loves.

You honestly don’t learn anything about Kriss, the protagonist, in this first installment and that bothered me. He seems to be in love with a girl where he lives and he hates his “father”. His “father” isn’t actually his father. Other than that he fights the snow cat and meets what I interpreted as the gods of his existence. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot to say about the plot because there wasn’t much of one. Kriss is an angry character with a hidden past that we don’t glimpse, I don’t know the direction he is heading. To me he came off as an anti-hero, at first he appeared evil and it weirded me out.

The illustrations by Warren Wucinich were half dark and mysterious and half goofy. There is a character titled “The Lord Protectorate” and the way he was drawn looked comical compared to the rest of the gloomy scenes. It just felt like some of it didn’t fit in and threw me out of the story. Upon further investigation Wucinich illustrated some Invader ZIM graphic novels and I could see the art style hidden within Kriss. To me it felt flippy floppy and didn’t stick with one theme. A project like this should either be dark and gloomy, with the black and white with red contrasts or full color cartoon style like Invader ZIM, not both.

There really wasn’t a lot for me to base this review on because this volume was short and it was the introductory issue, I hope that Kriss improves over time because I see how the character could be compelling with his mysterious past. As of right now Kriss has earned a low 2/5 stars. I liked some of the art and I feel like it has potential, but right now I am not impressed.

Regardless of my opinion on this particular graphic novel I want to extend a huge thank you to NetGalley and Oni Press for giving me the chance to review Kriss.