Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Ambiguity of Excellence: Kazu Kibuishi's Daisy Kutter


The first Daisy Kutter book, The Last Train, was pressed into my wife's hands by a good friend and I finally read it yesterday. I knew very little about the book before reading it other than the gushing praise it inspires (example).

So I liked it. Yes. How could I not? I love his art, I love Daisy --- she's beautiful and spunky and wry. I love steampunk and these are some nice robots. Timewise, it's more Cowboy Bebop than Wild Wild West, but tone wise is much more purely classic western. The first page:

Daisy Kutter

She's a gunfighter, one of the great train robbers, she is retired.

The Last Train is the story of how she gets back into the game. It's got poker and gunfights and giant mechs --- what's not to love?

But wherefore all this gushing? Don't get me wrong: I liked this book and I would be happy to read the others, but what are people finding here that makes them rank it among the greatest comics ever written? I don't see it, can't find it, don't know.

Is excellence ultimately a matter of personal taste? Or is it something more than that? Is there an objective standard to excellence? I feel there must be, but from where I stand, the sands seem purely subjective.


Spencer Ellsworth said...

Can you extend this a bit--just give it a little bit more of a plot summary in the middle--and send it to me for Fantasy?

It's not paid, so you're fine having it there and on the blog.

Th. said...


Sure. I didn't think this was the sort of thing you wanted, but I can do that.

(I've been thinking about reviews I can do for you; just didn't think this was one.)