Thanks to Vault Comics for the review copy!
You may remember The Picture of Dorian Gray from high school English literature class. Dorian Gray had a painting of him and when he did horrible stuff, he stayed young but his painting bore the scars of what he did. THE PICTURE OF EVERYTHING ELSE #1 picks up where that story left off, giving us a look at the guy who painted that infamous portrait. Spoiler alert: He’s not such a nice guy.
The issue begins with two artist friends, Alphonse and Marcel, crashing a fancy party. The party serves as an introduction to the two main characters, but it also drops some key information that is essential to the rest of the story. From there it uses a letter narration technique that lets you know something bad is going to happen, but holds back the details until you keep reading.
THE PICTURE OF EVERYTHING ELSE is a slow burn, until it explodes about two thirds of the way through the issue. From that point on, it takes an unexpected but satisfying turn. While I must admit I don’t remember all of the details of the original story (and there’s also a movie I’ve seen), this story seems consistent in tone and execution from what I can remember.
The art gives off a vintage vibe, with colors that look a bit faded by age and more impressionistic than crisp line work. In some panels, you can see texture as if it was printed on old paper. It fits the tone and setting of the book quite well. The character costumes and hairstyles also feel authentic. My only critique is it can sometimes be a bit difficult to tell Alphonse and Marcel apart.
THE PICTURE OF EVERYTHING ELSE is an interesting follow up take on a classic story. The first issue, while setting up future exploits, tells a fairly self contained story, so it is worth checking out. Given some violence and the subject matter, I recommend this story for anyone old enough to have read the original story. I don’t think it is necessary to have read the Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray to understand this story, but it is worth a quick read of the summary if my introduction isn’t enough.
THE PICTURE OF EVERYTHING ELSE #1 is set for release this week (December 23rd, 2020)
Are you going to pick up this issue? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!