Writer: Dan Watters / Artist: Kishore Mohan / Vault Comics
A good time skip can often provide the necessary narrative leeway to really accelerate a fascinating pitch. The Pictures of Everything Else #2 successfully catapults the story in time and with great gusto. #2 jumps just far enough to the future to have a slightly altered status quo and lets the ramification of the Faustian deal made last issue slowly reemerge into the present context.
Watters’s hop skip to have Marcel being an art critic is a smart decision as it now puts him at a philosophical odds with his counterpart Alphonse who has started to lean into the dark magics surrounding the art of painting/murder. It is an interesting dynamic that is explored throughout the issue as Marcel also very clearly fears the knowledge he possesses. It creates a lot of organic tension and neat exposition for the different story beats.
There’s a lot of soft, kind moments that happen in conversation with the more horror-oriented ones. This idea of taboo is reiterated on in several different ways, and it makes for a very compelling story. The pacing is a lot tighter than its predecessor, and overall, the story feels like it has found a steady groove.
It helps that Mohan’s artwork is absolutely stunning and that various panels incorporate stellar artistry, fitting giving the subject matter. The depictions of the different socioeconomic tiers in Victorian era Paris are incredible, and Mohan does a lot of suggestive work with the horror elements of the series, obfuscated shots of paintings in process, ominous close ups, misdirecting imagery. It’s all done with a magical touch that has such a unique aesthetic to it.
The Pictures of Everything Else #2 successfully catapults the story in time and with great gusto. The writing is strong, the artistry is amazing, and the larger myth arc is shaping up to be a wonderfully wild ride that I hope keeps escalating.
8.8 “[Quip]” out of 10