Book Review: Gabriel Hardman's Kinski

Kinski by Gabriel Hardman

*I received a free digital ARC of this title via NetGalley and Image Comics in exchange for an honest review.

Digital ARC via NetGalley
Publisher: Image Comics
Pub. Date: 11/18/14
Page Count: 156
ISBN: 9781632151797
Genre: Graphic Novel, “Quirky Crime Thriller”

Publisher Summary:
A salesman’s self-styled mission to save a puppy from its neglectful owners escalates into a righteous crusade in this quirky crime thriller written and drawn by Gabriel Hardman. Collects KINSKI #1-6.

My Review:
Oh, Kinski. You have so much potential. Let's focus on the positives first. The description of the plot sounded like something I'd really be into since I'm a huge animal lover, and I was immediately drawn to the sweet cover art (PUPPY!). The interior artwork, done in black and white, is moderately intricate in style and is characterized by gray shading and thick line definition. I liked the art-- that isn't the problem. It's the plot that has issues (pun intended).

The story is interesting but strange, and not in a good, thought-provoking way.  More like strange in a “this would make more sense if Hardman put a little more effort into making the plot fluid and detailed” kind of way. The quality of the writing leaves much to be desired. The weird, disjointed, overly bare dialogue does the overall story a disservice.

It would make more sense if Joe, the traveling salesman obsessed with saving the puppy, had a valid reason for being so possessive over Kinski, the dog in question. He literally loses his job, gets beaten up, breaks the law on multiple occasions, gets arrested, gets evicted, and completely alienates his friends all for the sake of saving a puppy who already had a family. And the irony of it all is that he causes more harm to the dog's life than if he would have just left the poor thing alone with its family. Don't get me wrong, irony is good-- if it's intentionally done by the author. This just ended up being a plot hole.

The only reason provided by Joe for his crusade is that he's afraid the dog would get loose again. Joe is asked repeatedly by different characters if there is more to why he's so hellbent on ruining his life to rescue the dog, but he gives no pressing reason, making his actions and the plot feel shallow and trivial.

Apparently Gabriel Hardman also penned some Hulk, Heathentown, and Planet of the Apes comics. I'm guessing that superhero stories are more in his wheelhouse.

My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Have you read Kinski? Maybe some of Hardman's other works? What did you think?


  1. Aaww, it's too bad that this one fell short for you. It's not currently on my TBR pile, but I was tempted to request it via NetGalley because of the cover. Oh wells, it's probably for the best, I'm not a big graphic novel reader anyway. Thanks for the honest review!

    1. Hey Carmel :) I'm hoping the low rating I gave this title doesn't negatively affect any future approvals on Netgalley. I guess we'll see if publishers mean it when they say they want an honest review.


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