You might have seen the latest graphic novel offering from Kieron Gillen floating around our Top Ten lists (check out Elliot’s blurb here). DIE, illustrated by Stephanie Hans, is absolutely marvelous and several of us can’t get enough of it. Touted as “goth Jumanji except they go into Dungeons and Dragons,” DIE is a fantastical, atmospheric story about… er, friendship? Maybe? But also dragons, regret, and stories. It’s beautiful on every front, and the second volume comes out Tuesday. So you should catch up and pick up the new one because it is even better than volume one!
The art is dreamlike and atmospheric, soft colors and flowing lines–but there are enough sharp edges to cut your fingers on if you’re not paying attention, which is exactly the tone of the story. It’s rare for me to find a graphic novel where the art so perfectly compliments and illustrates the narrative, and Stephanie Hans has nailed it in every issue.
Crawling and horrific, fantastical and full of adventure, with characters to die for (ha), and a worldbuilding concept so fascinating it sucks you in and refuses to unlatch its talons from your heart, DIE is a fantasy/horror story about friendship, magic, and the absolutely terrible things that can happen when those two concepts intersect. It is not to be missed.
Volume two is the perfect follow-up to the first story arc, this next story arc is more perfect, nightmare-fluid, dream-saturated, gorgeous art (because Stephanie Hans is a genius), more deep, interconnected, horrific, undulating storytelling from Kieron Gillen (also brilliant). If you liked Vol. 1, this is unmissable. If you haven’t read Vol. 1, do it quickly so you can read Vol. 2. Choices are made, characters are revealed, and the amount of punch packed into each issue will have you reeling in the best possible way. This is a story that comes for your throat and consumes you. Let it. You will not regret it.