Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant (First Second)

A delightful tale of adventure, derring-do, thievery and a flying ship! Also tea.


167 pgs. full color; $15.99
(W / A: Tony Cliff)
Delilah Dirk is the heroine of a series of stories set entirely in 19th century Constantinople. She claims to be the master of forty-seven sword techniques, a member of no less than three royal courts, and commands her very own flying ship. But Delilah’s quest to take a scroll from His Majesty results in unfortunate punishment for Selim, a Janissary lieutenant with a peaceful nature and large vocabulary. The ever-resourceful Delilah manages to save Selim from being beheaded, and in gratitude for this debt he swears to follow her as her companion. Poor Selim is not very well suited for the wild life Delilah lives, or the wild company she often runs across. This includes, among other things, the entirety of His Majesty’s army, angry mobs, an angry town, and the Evil Pirate Captain Zakul. He much prefers the quiet life of soft beds and excellent tea that he hand-crafts himself. What will Selim sacrifice to repay his debt?
Tony Cliff, Dirk’s writer and artist, is a 10-year veteran of Vancouver’s animation industry and contributor to the Flight series of anthologies. He has also been nominated for the Shuster and Harvey awards, and has been nominated for an Eisner three times. This graphic novel is the product of his work accumulated over five years.
Cliff has designed Delilah Dirk’s stories to be completely self-contained, yet has managed to stitch them all together for this graphic novel. While each story is lighthearted fun that can be read by pretty much all ages, Delilah is a girl who can hold her own and there do tend to be a lot of dead bodies in her wake, so make sure to keep that in mind if you’re planning to pick this compendium up for a younger person. As for the art, Cliff’s style is warm and endearing, with a sort of cartoonish realism that I personally quite enjoy, and his years of being in the animation industry are apparent from the seamless point-of-view narrative and engaging action shots. If Delilah Dirk ever gets made into a movie, this book could almost be used in lieu of storyboards. His colors are equally impressive, lending the right mood, time of day, and landscape to every panel.
If you couldn’t already tell, I am very much sold on Cliff and Delilah Dirk, and would happily continue the adventure with her and Mr. Selim. I recommend you become her travelling companion as well, and see if wildness doesn’t just sink into your bones a bit. | Elizabeth Schweitzer
For more information, visit!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply