Writer/ Artist: Marco Fontanili
Publisher: Scout Comics
WHAT IS IT?
A fun, gore and destruction-filled Kaiju romp.
Think Godzilla meets Ed, Edd, and Eddy.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
It’s a normal day in the city for Kingjira. Do a little roar, destroy a few buildings, the basics of being a giant monster.
Getting lost in his fervor, he stops suddenly when his stomach makes a mighty roar. Only one thing can satiate him: Pizza. And that sign for the local pizzeria sure looks appetizing!
Little does Kingjira know, getting that cheesy slice of goodness will prove much more challenging than he thinks. Soldiers, tanks and government agents stand between this determined kaiju in this silent, monstrous journey for the perfect lunch.
Fontanili tells an enjoyable story with distinct characters despite using no dialogue.
His loose linework gives the story a fun, cartoonish style which makes the more gruesome panels a shocking contrast.
The use of minimal colors against sepia-tone backgrounds brings focus to important aspects of each panel and keeps this an interesting read.
In the absence of words, Fontanili utilizes pictures in word balloons to convey meaning, staying stylistically consistent with the art and story.
Fontanili’s use of neon gradients is beautiful and gives the story a dreamlike feel.
While most lettering is placed to avoid covering the art, Kingjira has many moments where sound effects purposefully cover objects in the world. The lettering feels like an active part of the art in these instances.
Panel outlines made from sound effects are used in multiple instances, making these moments feel big and distinct.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK
Content Warning: There are a few depictions of graphic violence that could be triggering to readers sensitive to that.
Nearly every panel features a similar color palette and tends to get repetitive over time. Some more black and white ones mixed in would have helped keep everything fresh.
A few panels have objects colored that isn’t the focus of the scene and may briefly distract from important details.
Fontanili's last name is spelled incorrectly on the cover of the comic sent to us for review purposes – hopefully, this was caught before going to print.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Contrast reigns supreme in Kingjira. The book is a masterclass in how to use vastly different styles to stir emotions and shock readers. While the majority of the book is in a thick, cartoonish style, it is constantly interrupted by gruesome acts of horror featuring sharper pencils. This back-and-forth makes one splash page towards the end wonderfully intense. Fontanili’s use of bright colors against the sepia tone background only heightens these contrasts.
Alongside the great art is some immensely creative lettering. Being a silent comic, the sound effects were always going to feature a prominent role, but this comic turns it up to 11 and exceeds expectations. The sound effects stick out without taking away from the story and in many ways feel like an essential part of the actions depicted by the pencils. Fontanili’s masses of repeated letters do an excellent job of depicting repetitive and loud noises.
The book’s story is complete without being demanding. Its simple premise creates a fun sandbox to show off expert comics craft. This book is essential for any kaiju fans.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Tales from the Grave by Marco Fontanili
Moth by Marco Fontanili
Kaijumax by Zander Cannon
If you like the art:
Home by Marco Fontanili
Atmosphere of Terror by Marco Fontanili
X-Maschina by Steve Urenas, Misty Graves & Lane Lloyd
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Marco Fontanili (@fontanilimarco) – Writer/Artist
Active in the European comics scene, Kingjira is Fontanili’s debut in the states. His work has been published by multiple small publishers and self-published on his Etsy store.
He has also served as illustrator and comics artist for the media studio Necrostorm and was the graphic designer for the Italian tv series The Reaping.
Fontanili hails from Italy.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.
All Kingjira characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright of Scout Comics or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.