Pixie Dust is a kickstarted graphic novel from Russell Nohelty and illustrator Nicolas Touris. It’s a chaotic adventure with twists, turns, and a whole lot of stabbings. It’s not perfect, but it is an incredibly fun, frenetic read.
The story follows Akta, a pixie and bounty hunter. She is renowned throughout the kingdom for her fighting prowess and ferocity. The only thing stronger than her skills is her temper. When she is frustrated, she cries tears of rage. When she is angered, she swiftly promises vengeance. And she delivers it. She has very little chill.
The book starts off, as any good fantasy story should, in a tavern. Goblins and orcs get rowdy and threaten the human patrons with violence. Just as they are about to begin causing mayhem, Akta arrives to put an end to their shenanigans. She finishes the beasts, and leaves a trail of blood and overturned tables everywhere.
Akta then returns to the human King Odgeir to notify him of her successful quest. But all is not as it seems, and plans unbeknownst to Akta are set into motion that will change her life – or, rather, her very existence – forever! It’s a tale of adventure, discovery, and more than a little vengeance as Akta discovers new lands, meets new people, and cuts a desperate path of destruction through whatever stands in her way. And it’s a damn fun ride.
Pixie Dust is a pleasure to read. The characters are unique and engrossing. The bad guys are bad, the good guys are, well, also kind of bad, and everybody else is slain in highly entertaining fashion. Amidst all the action and drama, the book also touches on some thought-provoking ideas. The villains and heroes each became, in their own ways, the very monsters they hate in order to destroy their rivals. This makes for a clever parallel.
The book is fun to look at. When I finished it, I immediately went back and looked over the pages again – not to relive the story, but to take in the art. The lineart has a very loose, easy-to-read illustrative feel that makes the book very kinetic. The colors are awesome. The panel layouts and “camera angles” are really cool – each panel is framed so well, it could be its own Instagram post. In the image below, for example, Akta fights a cyclops. Her pose and distance from the “camera” remain relatively the same, but the cyclops transitions from standing sideways at “camera” height to lying on his back beneath it. This conveys a lot of motion in just three panels, and it makes the action seem swift and dynamic.
The book is not perfect, however. The dialog could have used some editing. There is a typo on Page 14. And there are numerous inconsistencies: On Page 46, Akta is referred to as a fairy for some reason, but this identifier is never used again.
Similarly, it is never made clear why the humans simply ignored Akta’s words when she tried to hail them. She was their celebrated hero while she was alive. And she announced her name when she hailed the men. Did the humans simply not believe her? Did they already forget about the pixie who saved their lives from a goblin attack just weeks ago? There is no language barrier between species. The humans’ reasons for attacking Akta are unclear. Granted, each of these issues are minor, but too many small niggles can cloud the lore and confuse the reader, or at least dilute their immersion.
Pixie Dust was a whopping 92 pages long, but it was incredibly quick. Reading it felt like watching a Saturday morning cartoon – and I mean that in the best possible way. The characters were bold and pulpy, the art was bright, and the story was bombastic and chaotic. I was thoroughly entertained by every page.
For more information on Pixie Dust, check out its Kickstarter page, or buy it online.
Thanks to Russell Nohelty for providing us with digital review copies in exchange for our honest reviews!
- The characters are all likeable – or at least easily identifiable
- The art is easy on the eyes
- The story is pulpy, and it moves at a rapid pace from Page 1 until the very end
- Minor grammatical issues
- Minor plot holes and inconsistencies