Review - Kuzimu

There are some comics that don't follow the traditional, capes and tights mantra. Typically, these are indie and small press books and their stories delve deeper into emotions and themes more than the standard superhero stuff. Kuzimu is an excellent example of that delving.

The title is written and illustrated by Brett Uren, with additional design and concepts by Fae Harmon.

The book is broken into four chapters: Yowa (Fear), Syoma (Hope), Lu-Se (Kindness) and Ci-Wa (Face). These chapters tells the story of Ku-Zimu, the East African name for the forgotten world of spirits.

It's here that Pt'eros is a lonely, repitilian traveler, haunted by visions of the young Masai boy that he was. Essentially, there are those in Ku-Zimu who seek to harness his powers for whatever reason.

That's the series in a nutshell. There are different entities seeking Pt'eros for different reasons. Some seem to need him for the smallest things, while there are others who have seemingly grander ambitions.

There's uncertainty following Pt'eros wherever he goes. There are all manner of creatures who inhabit the world. And there are dangers lurking everywhere. All of these components are giving room to breathe by Uren.

There's dialogue yes, but the story is told more from the perspective of a narrator. It's as if the reader is following Pt'eros along as he makes his way through the indelicate soup that is Ku-Zimu. It gives the tale a sense of omnipotence in a way and it really gets the reader involved.

Uren pulling both writing and art duties was the probably the best thing for Kuzimu, simply because trying to convey to an artist what was in Uren's head would be next to impossible. The world Pt'eros inhabits is jarring for a multitude of reasons.

Uren's imagination is on full display here, as the characters he and Harmon have come up with are both frightening and intriguing at the same time. These aren't conventional beings, but what exactly is conventional in a spirit world.

There's a lot to like in Kuzimu. It wears this sense of foreboding proudly, almost daring the reader to get comfortable. It's similar to Jan Strnad and Richard Corben's Ragemoor, both in story and art.

Both are somewhat eerie tales which awaken a realization that there are scary pieces of our imaginations that we don't often travel to. When we do though, the result is a strangely rewarding and surreal experience.

Kuzimu is available now as, with the collected TPB due out soon (Diamond Order Code JUN121309).