Pullbox Reviews: The Art Of The Kill

The Art of The Kill #1

Writing: James Maddox
Art: Jen Hickman
Letters: Ryan Ferrier

Currently at select retailers or through the creators.


Juno is an artist; Ari is his muse. Together, they discover the mysteries of the human body, but not in the way you might think. The book opens to a naked Juno choosing his tools before addressing his medium. In this case it’s knives, and the medium is the man strung up by his hands before a canvas with tape over his mouth, sweating profusely. He explains to his object that being naked allows him a greater connection to his work. He begins, with an equally naked Ari watching from a nearby bed as she smokes a cigarette.

Besides the devoted artists, Maddox introduces us to a group of gangsters as well as a couple of detectives trying to find out where this third dumped body came from. This isn’t procedural at all – it’s a thriller from the criminal’s point of view, and they don’t see themselves as criminals at all. Art is all around us in the natural world, including the human form, intact or not so much. This ride is just beginning but Maddox has already taken it around some interesting turns.

Have to admit that the cover drew me over to this book in the store, so kudos to Jen Hickman for a gorgeous cover painting. I looked at it, walked away to hunt for other things, came back to it, read the first couple of pages, put it down, picked it up, and finally gave in. It’s just so stylistically cool. All of the main characters had their own quirky look to them without it being a gimmick. It reminds me a little of Gabriel Ba’s work on Daytrippers with all of its heartbreakingly real people. I would love to see this in full color, and painted like the cover, and really anything else that Hickman is working on.

Talking briefly with the creators on social media, I found out that this was a special thing they did for Emerald City Comic Con, and that a person from my area bought up a bunch of copies for their local store. I’m so glad that they did because this is a real find. Hope that this book finds a publishing home soon so that this and the other parts of this story can be presented in a way that they deserve. We need more of this.

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