Little Bat Koku Volume II by Jim Kilpatrick

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Little Bat Koku Volume II
by Jim Kilpatrick

koku.jpgOne of the finer aspects of attending events like WonderCon, is the chance to meet creators who are still flying just below radar, but are churning out solid work. Such is Jim Kilpatrick, creator and self-publisher of Little Bat Koku, which is the tale of Koku Katsuragi, a young girl who discovers a magic ring while collecting seashells on a beach. The mysterious ring does more than provide lovely hand ornamentation – it attracts the attention of a dark cult that sends its demon-agents after the plucky protagonist. In the ensuing chase, Koku’s ring activates, transforming her into a mystically-enhanced novice hero with bat-like abilities.

Little Bat Koku Volume II, which collects issues three and four of the series into one book, delves into the origin of the ring and introduces Koku to Kita, her bat guide and apparent familiar of sorts. Kita, ironically, represents the one problem with the book: pacing. By the time Kita finally finds Koku in chapter four of Volume II – you’ll wonder why it took so long, considering that the story is pretty straight forward. Kilpatrick, who utilizes a cute anime-by-way-of-America art style, frequently maxes his panel count to three or four per page, which gives the book an artificial sense of length. During action sequences, the sparse paneling assists in taking in the scope of battle, but in quieter moments it would’ve been nice to linger on a page and absorb its content rather than speed read through.

Fans of fun, supernatural adventure in the vein of Hellboy Animated, will probably take a liking to Little Bat Koku Volume II. Kilpatrick has created solid groundwork for future stories that we hope will provide more in-depth looks at the characters and better utilize page space.

–Jeffrey Wilson

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