The Goodreads rating average for this book is 2.92, and Sam Quixote hated it, but taking a cue from his playbook, I am going to play contrarian and say y all haters are wrong and like the heck out of it The 2008 Eisner Awardwinning team for Best Anthology Gabriel B and F bio Moon Daytripper , Becky Cloonan By Chance, Providence , and Vasilis Lolos The Last Call return with their latest collaboration, Pixu The Mark of Evil It s a horror comic and it s what I will call a tone poem, a graphic rendition of four interlocking stories whose purpose is to creep you out than anything else A mark appears on a wall Pixu, the mark of madness and evil and death Confusion, chaos, terror, gruesome violence in places, with anger, loneliness, grief, and rage reigning I liked it Horror is bound explanation at times, it s a feeling, a chill up the spine, it operates outside reason Even after three times of trying to make sense of it which is too much work for a short book, maybe I was still working it out, but then it occurred to me that the plot was beside the point It s a series of repeated images of horror, nuanced, done by master artists The images are the central tool for accomplishing the goal, it ain t about the facts If you are reading this one for the story, about a satisfactory explanation of exactly what is going on, then you may be okay, than a few actually were confused and annoyed And most horror requires lots of words, Stephen King reminds us with his various tomes But this one again I say accomplishes the chills through images, with restraint, through a very few words, and repetition across each of the four sections It s a comic, not a King It operates like a spare poem than a novel And the sketchy spare art is appropriate to the subject matter I dunno, maybe it s not their best work, but I d say it s still really good, and as a collaboration they work to speak to each other through each other s images. This graphic novel had potential, but the execution of the storyline was confusing and messy Having several characters who were focused on in such a short space of time really let this novel down The amount of things happening in the building and the amount of people who s point of views were shown was too much and most of the time brushed over quickly, making it confusing The art in this though was great, but this novel might have done well with some colour, for example darker tones of reds, blues etc to keep the horror feel, but to allow the reader to really get immersed in the housing block. It s hard for me to give a harsh review to a book written by artists whose work I ve very much enjoyed in the past That said, this book really didn t satisfy me as a reader This story was certainly atmospheric, with disturbing imagery and emotional scenes But honestly, I have no idea what was going on in the comic There are 4 5 people living in a house, and shit starts to get weird and I just don t know Someone s assaulted Someone s engaging in self mutilation Maybe There s a arcane practitioner doing something Maybe there s a guy being haunted too Not only am I not really sure what s going on in each of these individual storylines, but I don t see how they fit together either I m fine with leaving space for the reader to form their own opinions I tend towards the implicit in my writing I get that But this was too much space for me to enjoy as a reader I didn t feel like I was filling in the gaps in the narrative I felt like the story was mostly gaps Your mileage may vary, of course If you re really into post modern literature, you ll probably dig this than I did. Reading Pixu I found myself often wondering how the collaborative process of making the book worked, exactly Did the creators work on the plot together Did they draw their sections in isolation Who was responsible for the direction of the book Despite my huge respect for each of the collaborators, I found the book to be unfocused and ultimately unsatisfying.The premise of Pixu is dynamite the residents of an apartment building suffer some sinister experiences, with each artist handling a different character There s some overlap but, for the most part, each story is mainly self contained This is both a good and bad thing it plays to the strengths of each artist but the overall story is pretty disjointed It never really became clear what was going on and how the events a possession a haunting a curse related to each character In the absence of a clear plot, I really focused on the art Moon and Ba s art was predictably beautiful if a little cartoony in the horror context but the real star here is Becky Cloonan her sections are easily the most successful i.e creepiest portions of Pixu As a horror comic book, Pixu is just okay it s mildly scary with some nice disturbing art As a collaborative exercise, it s successful it s an interesting product of four pretty different artists As a showcase for the talent and imagination of Becky Cloonan, it shines. It takes a lot to shake me I am not some mousy librarian who can t hang, but there is something about Pixu that got to me After I read this I was completely creeped out Having all the horrible things in the world pedophiles, weird old guys who practice the occult, a psycho chick carrying the spawn of some kind of demon, and living in one building was enough to set my danger Will Robinson meter rising Add to that the general disjointedness of the storyline and some pretty graphic violence, and what you end up with is one librarian sitting back in her chair feeling 50% confused and 50% spooked Thankfully, I bounce back quickly Ba and Moon are doing something pretty interesting here, and I like it The choice of using black and white illustrations was a wise one They are sharp and detailed enough to convey the absolute magnitude of how horrible the violence is without turning the panels into some red and pink meat montage As a plot they give you just enough content to let your mind wander, which works because we all know that whatever you imagine is always significantly worse than what s really out there Horror also has a terrible habit of spending a ton of time building up the scary bits, only to wrap it all up in a nice neat bow where the virgin somehow survives even though she ran around like a fool for a few hours Pixu gives you none of that This is a story that is truly terrifying, because there isn t a single character to root for and there isn t a scrap of closure or clarity in sight What you get is something evil and inexpiable You get reality It has always been the unknown that is the most frightening thing of all, so while some might feel let down by the vague nature of this graphic novel, I relished the mystery I would like to thank Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review PewNo idea what was going on, and although the art was decent, the story was too convoluted to follow. This Gripping Tale Of Urban Horror Follows The Lives Of Five Lonely Tenants Strangers Whose Lives Become Intertwined When They Discover A Dark Mark Scrawled On The Walls Of Their Building The Horror Sprouts Quite Innocently From A Small Seed And Finds Life As Something Otherworldly, Damaged, Full Of Love, Hate, Fear, And Power As The Walls Come Alive, Everyone Is Slowly Driven Mad Defenseless Against The Evil In The Building, Stripped Of Free Will, Leaving Only Confusion, Chaos, And Eventual Death The Eisner Awardwinning Team For Best Anthology Gabriel B The Umbrella Academy , Becky Cloonan American Virgin , Vasilis Lolos The Last Call , And F Bio Moon Sugarshock Return With Their Latest Collaboration, Pixu The Mark Of Evil The Story Telling Here Is Beautiful, Creating A Real Sense Of Dread And Supernatural Menace Smart, Subtle And Genuinely Disturbing Mike Mignola, Creator Of Hellboy Freaky Builds mystery an suspense the old fashioned way by just telling you a story without narrating every step of the way Just shows you what s happening and lets you fill in the details as if we have a few spare brain cells to rub together or something I don t really understand it, and I m not sure if it s meant to be understood I mean, I follow what plot there is, but motivations and backstories are hard to infer from so little.Is it a literary success Probably It was an experience The end. a haunted house story told with the wonderful art of Ba, Moon there is some pretty disturbing content in here great read. Pixu The Mark of Evil is not a great horror comic, but it s not horrible either It has flaws, but it has strong points too.The best thing about Pixu is the art But when you realize that the creative team behind this book is made up of 4 great artists, you understand why the art is so good Pixu has an amazing atmosphere, you get scared by some imagery and some moments are really good in the emotional department.However, as I said at the beginning, Pixu has flaws The worst one The story and the characters.The story itself isn t that hard to explain 5 people live in a giant house, when weird things start to happen Ok, pretty simple premise, but hey better than a convoluted plot.But the characters bring down the comic for me.First, we have a guy who is crazy about cleanness He s the worst character of this whole book He awaits for a phone call We don t know why does he wait for that phone call or from who it s supposed to be That s the problem with him we don t know anything about him, other than the fact that he loves cleanness.Next on the list we have one of the better characters she actually does something important First thing we see when she s introduced cussing at her boyfriend, kicking him out, and cussing at Gunther Next, she goes into the basement classic horror cliche and she gets attacked and possessed Then, she eats some hair and serves her boyfriend some delicious fingernail soup.Later on she kills the boyfriend and buries his head in the garden She gets shot by another character and she starts a fire So yeah, she actually does something.The next one is the professor Actually, the next character is Gunther, the landlord His plot if you could call it that goes nowhere He goes around to the characters for his rent and that s it.The professor is a bit better than the first guy, but he s still meh He lives alone and he s depressed His wife is dead or maybe she just left, who knows and he s friend with a little girl which is kind creepy said friendship concludes into a very weird scene Oh, about the wife we don t know if she was killed by the professor or she just died another way.And the last characters are the same as the others, confusing First, the grandfather the creator knows about magic and does the normal stuff that you see in bad magic movies cooks weird things and control his granddaughter or creation with a magical seed.The last character is the granddaughter The story hints that she s either the professor daughter that makes that weird scene even creepy or that she s a being created by the grandfather which would explain the whole magical seed part Again, she doesn t do that much She get pissed at the grandfather and at the professor and then she kills herself That s it The problem with most of this characters is that we don t get to know them that well Most details about them are only hinted at or in the case of the first character, not even hinted at and the characters really get affected by this.In conclusion, is this book worth buying Yes, but only if you can get it for cheap I got it for less that 3 Again, it has flaws and it has good points.
Gabriel B is a Brazilian comic book artist.
- 128 pages
- Pixu: The Mark of Evil
- Gabriel Bá
- 13 August 2019 Gabriel Bá