For a youth whose intuition is to search out power and desire it for himself, stress and anxiety tend to puncture hopes and dreams a little too easily. Does he have an emotional fulcrum over which he might pivot his despair? Does he have a logical anchor to which he might affix his crumbling sense of self? KINGS OF NOWHERE #1 views these questions as largely rhetorical. Because Bili, the son of a drug kingpin, is on an ever-narrowing trajectory toward destruction.
Life on the street makes use of the boy as a punching bag; familiar locals steal his soda, knock out his teeth, and threaten worse. Life at home is restless and hopeless; mother is strong, but her strength is waning, and father is devoid of empathy. Again, an ever-narrowing path.
The rage Bili feels when cornered. The fear that nips at his heels when he realizes nobody is in a position to save him. The disgust that roils in his gut when he realizes that violence, abuse, and human ignorance are the only three recurring beats on the sun-scalded streets of Lo Divino. These are what feed Bili's transformation from boy into beast.
KINGS OF NOWHERE #1 is an intense book. The simplified, linear narrative of a kid in a crummy town, living a crummy life, earns a fair treatment here. The skies are hot and fuzzy, bracketed by aging, mismatched infrastructure and palms growing out of cracks in the pavement. Readers feel claustrophobic from page one. It's easy to dismiss the pregnant pauses stuck between each and every bout of human wickedness when wickedness is so common, but here, beasts shed tears, beasts quiver with shame, beasts resent the darkness they've been made to inhabit.
And as Bili crawls into the light, a new world emerges. His new allies include an intensely, almost terrifyingly confident guy named Hamed and his buddy, Zatoichi, who may or may not be blind, funnily enough. Zatoichi doubts they can call themselves a crew, at a mere three, but a lust for the truth and a heart in search of revenge tends to embolden the disadvantaged. If Bili and his new friends are going to take out his corrupt father, then they'll need to tap into their baser instincts.
KINGS OF NOWHERE #1 crinkles with extraordinarily fresh character designs, detailed and efficient coloring, and art so broadly expressive that it's fair to say no two emotions are ever the same. There are deeper, darker questions to ask of cities like this, of children like this, of how far one will go in search of justifying reciprocal violence, of how many father figures one needs to figure out who one wishes to be. But again, these questions are largely rhetorical. Because for now, for Bili, the name of the game is survival.
It was amazing. Love the attention to detail in the art. Usually I just breeze through comics but I had to stop and admire each pages lighting, color, and facial expressions for a good while. Excited to see where the plot goes. Good job not over explaining "Beasties." You show us that they are outcasts, and they are strong, without having some dope explaining all the lore. Looking forward to volume 2.
"Volume one was illustrious and beautiful. It captured my attention the moment I opened it and the KON world is unique and fresh. Each panel is emotional and beautiful and the best stories make you reflect on your own life and that's what this book does for me."
"Holy shit. First of all just from opening the book it's just completley different. I read plenty of comics but just the artwork and colours felt different... man I wish there was more."