Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant
& Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling
by Tony Cliff (First Second)
Tony Cliff is a decades long veteran of the Canadian animation industry, and three times nominee for an Eisner award. The first of his Delilah Dirk novels, Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, is a mad adventure story set in Istanbul, 1807.
A female intruder is found in the Palace grounds, and Erdumoglu Selim, a Lieutenant in the Turkish Janissaries — and excellent tea maker — is tasked with her interrogation.
He reports back to the Khan that the prisoner is an adventurer, connected to three royal families, familiar and expert in 47 fighting styles, an excellent swordswoman, explorer and treasure hunter, and has a flying ship. It was at this last point that the Khan baulks, spluttering “She can’t fly a ship, she’s a woman!”.
As expected, she breaks out of her prison cell, and with Selim’s help — after she saves him from execution (for letting her escape) — escapes the Palace.
The beautifully clear, simple graphics and clever dialogue (and sound effects!) provide a delightful tale of fantasy adventure. The King’s Shilling continues their adventures, as Delilah returns to England and her family to clear her name. We also discover how little Delilah cares for social conventions back home.
It’s not surprising that the series from First Second comics has become a best seller.
Lots of fun! Three volumes so far. ❦