Sometimes stories stick with you because of a particularly well turned phrase. Sometimes it’s the characters. With Kissing Chaos, like a lot of the great noir films, it sticks with you because of the murky atmosphere and slowly built feeling of tension about to explode. Three teens get caught up in dangerous circumstances, and for much of tale you can’t tell who may be a perpetrator or victim. The story begins as if someone flicked on the TV when the movie started fifteen minutes ago, and despite the disorientation, it works well. Arthur Dela Cruz seems to know well how to time the story, how to release each revelation to set the reader off balance just a little more. On top of that, it’s hard to imagine any other artwork accompanying this story. The lush gray tones make it seem as if everything and everyone is slightly obscured, and the sketched quality of the lines accentuate the disjointed plot. The tale is a dark one, about desperate choices and consequences, but everything, believe me, is not as it seems.

Kissing Chaos, vol. 1
ISBN: 9781929998326
by Arthur Dela Cruz
Oni Press 2002

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

    View all posts
Liked it? Take a second to support us on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!