We delve once again into the ever growing vault of … well, Vault, who seem to be intent in their (apparent) goal of world conquest with yet another awesome new series. This time around it is Dan Watters and Kishore Mohan’s The Picture of Everything Else, a haunting portrait of the late 19th century art scene. Is this series a masterpiece, or will the canvas need to be reused?
Publisher: Vault Comics
Writer: Dan Watters
Artist: Kishore Mohan (art), Aditya Bidikar (Letters)
Price: £3.19 from ComiXology
The Picture of Everything Else tells the story of Alphonse and Marcel, two French artists and close friends who attempt to fuel their artistry in very different ways as the 20th Century draws near. While Marcel will paint when the spirit takes him, Alphonse’s view on art is a lot more hands-on, as he moonlights as a thief, stealing from artists and their benefactors. However, things take a very surreal turn when the pair learn of a mysterious Englishman whose art is never sold but hoarded. Feeling a score is in the offing, Alphonse visits this recluse’s home to learn more of the treasures inside, but discovers a secret far more chilling about a man, one the sharing of which may be far too tempting.
Dan Watters has written an exceptionally intriguing story within The Picture of Everything Else, one which gets more captivating the deeper it goes. ‘Picture’ (to give it a shorter name!) does struggle at the beginning as the story struggles to find momentum. Also lack of context from the outset made it confusing to understand what was going on. However, this ended up being a minor quibble as the plot started to coalesce as it progressed, giving more of an insight into where Watters was planning to go. From then on the intrigue really steps up a notch as he firmly plants roots in the more horror tinged aspects, with a very Dorian Grey inspired concept that is as chilling as it is engrossing.
Meanwhile, Kishore Mohan offers up some unusual but beautiful artwork in this issue. Mohan’s style, which looks very reminiscent of watercolour paintings, feels perfectly fitting for the world in which this tale takes place. On top of that, the colours which Mohan utilises feel equally perfect to the pencils as they give the world a very aristocratic look at the start before seamlessly morphing into some far more haunting by the end.
While it has a bumpy start Dan Watters, Kishore Mohan and Vault Comics are on to another winner here as the The Picture of Everything Else tells a captivating tale about the price of succeeding at your art with chillingly good art of its own. While this issue leaves you with many questions in the air, rest assured you will want to be back for the next issue in need of those answers.