Rita and her daughter Deb are an odd pair. If they’re not causing a ruckus in their apartment, they’re disappearing at all hours, only to return spattered in blood. They also seem to have a strange connection to The Stepsons, a rock band whose bass player died under mysterious circumstances years before. Their recently-widowed landlord Steve knows they’re hiding something, a secret that threatens the lives of both Steve and his son Rob, who’s own infatuation with Deb may be blossoming into something infinitely more dangerous.
At the heart of Purr Evil are the complicated family dynamics, with Rita’s love for her daughter seeping into just about every aspect of the book, from the older woman’s odd behavior to the mysterious link to The Stepsons they both share. Likewise, there are some unanswered questions about Steve’s own past, as evidenced by an aggressive interaction with his mother-in-law during his wife’s memorial service. But that’s just another of the many ideas that ultimately derail the book from being truly great.
As a creator, writer Mirka Andolfo has one of the more unique voices in comics who excels at a wide range of themes and ideas. Here though, her writing is just all over the place, with a narrative that borders on nonsensical and dialogue that is stilted and melodramatic at best. Each character is unique with their own personality and style, thanks mostly to artist Laura Braga’s gorgeous designs, but with so much mystery surrounding them, it’s truly hard to care about any of them. And for a book called Purr Evil, there’s a disappointing lack of cats, although the ones that appear briefly definitely make an impression.
Together, Andolfo and Braga have managed to produce a strange, yet beautiful comic with a lot of potential that gets bogged down by too many ideas. With any luck, future installments will shed more light on the proceedings so readers will have something to latch onto. Until then, Purr Evil will likely leave you grasping for something that’s not yet within reach.