The Picture Of Everything Else #3
Vault Comic 2021
Written by Dan Watters
Illustrated by Kishore Mohan
Lettered by Aditya Bidikar
The Paris Ripper—the artist of deadly paintings—has completed his masterwork, and the city stands poised to change forever. But he is about to be confronted with what every artist truly fears…a critic who knows what he’s talking about.
This is a surprisingly complex, interesting and creepy story where Alphonse has been lured away and the man who, secretly, loves him more than life itself was left behind devastated after almost being murdered. I like how we pick things up this issue after Alphonse has retrieved Marcel and brought him to their home in Paris. This was so interesting right off the bat and the murders that took place were literally the stuff of nightmares and while they’ve eased, unfortunately and yes I know I’m sick, the story itself seems to ramp up on simply the strength of the story & plot alone. Dan is writing a masterpiece here and this is no exaggeration because this is the kind of storytelling that will stay with you for an extremely long time. There’s awe, wonder and disbelief that goes hand-in-hand with idea of death and destruction and that tightrope balance is astonishingly well balanced.
The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceptionally well. I mean damn and for that to go into such synchronicity with the character development that we see is astonishingly well achieved. The dialogue between these three men with the focus on Marcel and Basil has been so extraordinary. The sheer amount of characterisation as the two men go back and forth each firm in their beliefs is an absolute delight to see unfold. The pacing here is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of the story it really draws you in on such an intellectual level.
How this is being structured and how the layers within the story grow, evolve and strengthen as does Marcel’s resolve. The way that everything works together and how it creates the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is phenomenal to see. You will come away from this changed in some way, shape or form and if you don’t believe me then you need to be reading this for yourself and tell me otherwise.
The interiors here are astoundingly good. The watercolour painting style in a book about painters is that kind of ironic that fits so perfectly. The linework we see and how it’s utilised to create the detail work is utterly gorgeous. The way backgrounds play such an integral role in the book and how they work within the composition of the panels to bring us depth perception, a sense of scale and that overall sense of size and scope to the book is masterfully done. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkably talented eye for storytelling. The colour work is amazing. I love how watercolour is able to be different shades, hues or tones depending how the amount used and how water can thin it out. So to see the shading, highlights and shadow work as we do shows such control, talent and skill when it comes to painting.
This really is one of the more spectacular series that is available today. Vault really finds some of the most interesting versions of science fiction from all realms and bring us some of the most surprising and finest stories around. This is as visually stunning as it is cerebrally stimulating while simultaneously being creepy as all hell.