Zwick! Fwoomp! Choom! Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant is one of the most enjoyable graphic novels of the year!

Delilah Dirk is an 1800’s, Turkish, female Indian Jones. She’s beautiful, passionate, strong, funny, quick witted and is the master of more than 47 sword fighting techniques. While she is markedly one of the strongest characters in the book, she doesn’t take on masculine qualities which is often the case when a woman is a warrior in graphic novels. Her side-kick, Erdemoglu Selim, although not as spry as Delilah is not a complete fumbling idiot (unlike most GN side-kicks), and more than once is responsible for presenting the solution for their escape.

Even the most jaded graphic novel reader will undoubtedly be warmed to this book. If not due to the painterly perfect sea and sky illustrations than to the thrilling chase and fight scenes. Author/illustrator Tony Cliff has invented or re-utilized unique action words throughout. (Paff!, Fl-Clack, Thamp, and Pak! are some examples). They’re not only fresh, but also refreshingly effective.

The battle scenes are quite clean, no blood or obvious body counts and there is no sexual relationship in the book so it is appropriate for all ages from grade school to adult. It is written in a way that grade school children will be thrilled by the adventure and adults will enjoy some of the underlying humor.

This book is pure joy and one of my favorite books of 2013.

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