Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff

Erdemoglu Selim is a lieutenant in the Turkish Janissary Corps, and he doesn't love it.  What he really wants is to live a quiet life and make tea.  That becomes impossible when Delilah Dirk, a swashbuckling adventurer, is imprisoned, and then escapes the Turkish palace.  Selim is swept up and along with Delilah Dirk, and soon he must decide if this life of adventure is really for him.

Oh First Second.  Do you ever get it wrong?  So much fun!  I love how Delilah Dirk is totally unapologetically herself.  She makes no excuses, and has little patience for waffling. 

The only disappointment was that this was billed as Delilah Dirk's story.  I mean, it is called Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant.  But it was really the Turkish Lieutenant's story.  It was from Selim's point of view and was his story of his meeting and joining Delilah Dirk.  That didn't stop it from being a fun graphic novel.  I liked how Selim and Delilah Dirk worked together and played off each other. Although she ended up being a secondary character in her own book, Delilah Dirk is certainly not in the background!  I wonder if all the books will be from Selim's point of view.  I hope more of the stories will get to revolve around the title character.

After Delilah Dirk rescues Selim from being beheaded because he's suspected to be in league with Dirk herself, their first adventure is stealing treasure from the Evil Pirate Captain Zakul.  Selim is skeptical, but goes along with it, and soon they're blowing up bridges and running from pirates and escaping in flying boats.

Her outfit is kind of odd, don't you think?  When Selim is first interrogating Delilah Dirk he says, "Why do you dress like this?  Certainly you would look more at home on the street corner."  Delilah Dirk is about to give him a snappy reply, when she's distracted with how delicious the tea is.  And we never get back it.  Why does she dress like that?  She's always in motion.  Sword fighting, jumping out windows, making speedy getaways.  I'm trying to decide if her outfit doesn't make sense for her character, or actually dressing in this way does make sense, because she's Delilah Dirk and she's going to wear whatever she damn well pleases.  Unclear.

While I don't think this would be above middle schooler's heads or anything, the content does deal with battles and stabbing people with swords.  A lot of people die at Delilah's Dirk's hands.  So just a heads up.

The art appears to be digitally created (I think) but I found it very pretty and the colors are nice and bright.  It has a mostly traditional comic book layout, although there were some lovely full page spreads and great action scenes that broke out of the panels.

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