When I first saw Klaw: The First Cycle, what immediately drew me in was the cover. While being immensely minimalistic, there was just something captivating about the sharpness of the tiger and the young man. There was a magic behind it that lured me towards its contents with great interest. When I was offered an advanced copy of the title for reviewing, I jumped on the opportunity with great vehemence. I am so proud to say that not only was I not disappointed, I was genuinely shocked with how far it surpassed my expectations.
We have Angel Tomassini who’s a young kid getting bullied within the first few pages of the book. While being abused in such a terrible fashion, something within him comes to life, something extraordinary and enchanting. We see young Angel transform into a tiger, where he is then able to defend himself. From here, an intricate story starts to unfurl.
Klaw is a graphic novel series that creates a vastly unique, fantasy-infused tale with a superheroesque scrim. When you start reading, the visual narrative feels like it’s going to revolve around a lonely child growing up in a difficult predicament with a dad who just doesn’t seem to have enough time for him; a simple account about growing up, however. It quickly mutates into a complex and brilliantly stimulating fiction about self-identity, friendship, and the lines in between the black and white of right-and-wrong, human-and-monster. It makes for an effortlessly riveting storytelling experience.
If that isn’t enough to draw your attention, then let me discuss the artwork. Joel Jurion’s glorious expertise as an illustrator truly brings this entire project to life. I felt as if I was watching a fantastic piece of animation rather than reading a book. The art is a modern-day homage to the classic comic book panels, utilizing a style that is aesthetically pleasing, as well as perceptibly beguiling. Every line, every shadow, every expression–it’s all clean, crisp, and sharp. Profuse attention to detail with refined drawings and colorfully meticulous environments causes the reader to feel like they are in the story themselves.
I adored Klaw: The First Cycle in its entirety for all that it is worth. An astounding and original story coupled with breathtaking visuals makes for a supremely satisfying ride for the imagination. I am so completely addicted to this series that I will be counting down the days until its next installment; four and a half stripes out of five.