Kuzimu #1

A comic review article by: Felicity Gustafson
Kuzimu isn’t quite like any comic I’ve come across before. One part science fiction, one part horror and one part psychological mind-blower. Personally, there was too much narration in a poetry format that it made it difficult to follow, but it did add a mysterious nature to the main character, Pt’eros.

Pt’eros is an alien that was thrown into the depths of a place called Kuzimu, a dark world of spirits. The spirits reside in Kuzimu until they’re forgotten. I’m not sure where the forgotten spirits go or if they simply fizzle out of existence, but Pt’eros is on a quest to find a way out of the maze-like depths.

Kuzimu sounds almost like a form of purgatory -- a limbo of sorts, where the spirits are placed until they can be judged. Except, as far as I know, there’s no way to escape purgatory. I suspect that Pt’eros will eventually find a way out or some kind of enlightenment that will allow him to be happy. Despite the fact that this comic isn’t supposed to be religious in nature, I find it hard to not compare the afterlife in this story to the various mythologies and religions around the world.

That actual plot points, the idea of an alien in an underground world trying desperately to escape its confines, is pretty well thought out. Quite frankly, I’m in love with the basic plot. When I read the summary, I was instantly intrigued. It’s a perfect combination of the genres I adore. Not as much horror, but the science fiction and the psychology behind Pt’eros’s movements and thoughts are something to really ponder.

After reading it, I will admit to being put off by the writing format. Like I said above, Uren wanted to blend psychology into the mix and I think he went a little overboard with the narration. It came off more like whining poetry than Pt’eros’s actual thoughts. Though, finding himself in a strange place with no idea how to return home would put anyone’s thoughts into a tail spin. There was a bit of a slow start to the comic because of his chaotic thoughts that made it difficult to follow, but eventually it started to make sense.

The creativity behind the appearances of the spirits made up for the slow start. While they all seem to be humanoid, there are vast differences between them beyond a mere color change. Head shape, number and placement of eyes and limbs were all different. There was even a greenish colored one with long, curled fingers and tentacle hair. As for the surroundings, Uren did a great job presenting the desolate, abandoned areas of Kuzimu. I really got Pt’eros’s feelings of being cold, alone and frightened.

Overall, I’d say Kuzimu wasn’t my type of comic, but I did read the summaries for the next four installments and it definitely looks like there are big plans unfolding for Kuzimu. This is the type of comic that will need you to think a lot -- mostly ask the question: why? It requires the reader to work out miniature puzzles and look beyond the literal meanings of things. Kuzimu relies heavily on symbolism and to understand the full meaning behind it, you have to be willing to read.

Felicity Gustafson was born in Ohio and, after the astounding realization that there was more to do than look at trees and cows, she decided to become a nerd and got into comics, anime and video games. New to Comics Bulletin, she sticks mostly to reviewing things out of the horror and comedy genres. She spends most of her time working in the manufacturing industry, finishing her computer degree and steadfastly avoiding ham fat at all costs.

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