Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant: swashbuckling graphic novel

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant is a new graphic novel extending the adventures of Tony Cliff's beloved, swashbuckling webcomics heroine Delilah Dirk. Set in 1908, this volume opens with the hapless Lieutenant Erdemoglu Selim reporting to the sultan about the new prisoner he's just gotten through questioning: a woman adventurer who claims to be the daughter of a British diplomat, skilled in many of the world's swordfighting techniques, fearsome fighter and adventurer, and expert escapologist.

The Sultan is contemptuous when the Lieutenant reports that she's allowed herself to be imprisoned for the express purpose of breaking out and stealing some of his valuable scrolls, but he's alarmed when she does break out. He decides that Salim is in league with the prisoner, and orders his execution -- an execution that is stopped with moments to spare by Delilah reappearing in the Sultan's palace, killing several guards, rescuing Salim, and whisking him away on her flying boat. She has rescued him because he seemed like a good egg, and had made her a truly remarkable cup of tea.

So begins a marvellous and exceptionally lovely graphic novel that ranges far and wide, buckling titanic quantities of swash as it goes. Salim and Delilah rob pirates, survive artillery charges and bombings, endure long and arduous crossings over hostile terrain, and drink a lot of tea. This the the pure, distilled essence of adventure, and features an extremely likable pair of heroes, as fine as you'll see in any comic, novel or film. The whole book is on the web, and you can read it to your heart's content, but as with all of publisher First Second's books, the printed object is particularly finely made and makes a handsome trophy and an even better gift.

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant

Notable Replies

  1. The hell it is not either. Bite your tongue. It's Kirby perspective, and it's a totally legit style choice.

    See how this guy's right fist is huge 'cause it's close to the camera, and his right foot is tiny 'cause it's far away? Kirby perspective.

  2. They are both terrible. Look at Captain Glory's right arm. Can you honestly say that's proper anatomy?

  3. I think you're still seeing anatomy instead of perspective. Delilah's legs are disproportionately large on the cover because a deliberate fisheye-like distortion making near objects appear even nearer (and far objects even farther) is a time-honored stylistic trick. I'm not saying you have to like it, plenty of people find Kirby's style grotesque and off-putting, but it is nothing like Liefeld drawing wildly misproportioned limbs in flat perspective because he's a terrible artist and doesn't know any better.

  4. That is just awful. How can someone not be embarrassed submitting something like that?

  5. What really makes it hilarious is looking at the original page and realizing: Liefeld didn't even draw Enchantress that way on purpose. He started drawing at the top of a full-page-height panel, realized somewhere around the hips that he was only a third of the way down, went "welp, gotta fill that space with something" and just drew legs until he hit the bottom of the panel.

    Just...just think about that.

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