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“PIXU: THE MARK OF EVIL” (Comic Book Review)

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Slow burning comics aren’t very common in our world of Disney-owned Marvel and re-hashed ’80s franchises. Demands for bigger, better, and faster works often times force story build up to fall on the way side, leaving a flashy but ultimately forgettable comic (though with the price of comic books, who can blame them?). Of course, that’s what the indie and creator-owned comic market is for. While PIXU: THE MARK OF EVIL is not necessarily an independent work, it delves deep in the well of small press creativity, crafting a work that is more focused on atmosphere than chucking ideas on a wall and seeing what sticks. What it accomplishes is a heavy, dark work about the evils that lurk in us all and houses that are forced to watch.

The comic focuses on the lives on five tenants who share a house-turned-condo with each other. The work hops between each of the characters as it explores the lives of these people as a strange, unknown evil begins to spread through the house. Effecting each person differently, it begins to manifest into what the individual is struggling with the most, be it mental illness, broken family, or starting a new one. Soon, they each become consumed with the violent images in the house and slowly begin to self-destruct in their forced isolation.

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Not a lot can be said about PIXU without giving away the work, but that’s the appeal in it. It’s a good comic to go into blind but be prepared for a quick read that is heavier in visuals than actual dialogue. It uses cinematic pacing reminiscent of art house horror, trapping its key players in an increasingly sinister house as they wander around trying to figure out where they went wrong in life. It’s as much about human error and desire as much as it is about scaring the pants off you. Like many slow horrors, it does have a payoff eventually, but it may not be quite what readers are hoping for. Without giving anything away, it’s honestly a bit of a quick ending, but it’s a good ride on the way there. Also, character development seems to falls to the wayside in favor of creating a ‘mysterious’ vibe and it’s really hard to care about any of the tenants. You don’t wish them harm but when harm comes, you don’t necessarily care.

Despite any problems, the creators Gabriel Ba, Becky Cloonan, Vasilis Lolos and Fabio Moon, manage to make a collected work out of PIXU that feels like it was done by a single pair. They managed to make a work that was visually stark, with each creator contributing both words and art to the pages. As stated, the layout and use of movement is very art house, creating increasing paranoia that explodes onto the panels with gusto and with the smart placing of visual cues, they create a well-rounded work. PIXU is definitely worth a look for fans of weird haunted house stories and anyone who is already a fan of the creators.

About the author
Svetlana Fedotov http://facebook.com/vladkicksass

Svetlana Fedotov hails from the wild woods of the Pacific Northwest. She loves horror and comic books, and does her best to combine those two together at any cost. She also writes for the horror site Brutal as Hell and sometimes for the magazine Delirium. Svetlana has recently released her first novel, Guts and Glory, under the pen name S.V. Fedotov on Amazon digital.

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