By Ben Snyder
Wow, that’s really all I can say about the first issue of Beautiful Canvas. Beautiful Canvas #1 totally subverts any expectation for normalcy you may have for the book. What starts out as a seemingly traditional story turns into something much more interesting and clever, bound to offer a very entertaining story arch filled with plentiful twists and turns.
From the opening page of the story you’re introduced to a character, Lon that is sitting next to a dead body with a bullet through its head. Eventually the body speaks. The story continues for a while at least as a seemingly traditional revenge story. Lon is hired by a billionaire, who believes she owns everyone, to kill someone for reasons unknown. Intersecting with the main script is Lon’s inner turmoil made explicit by a small girl with a bullet through her face. Eventually super humans are introduced. While all of that seems like it could be too much and an overflow of information, it is a testament to writer Ryan K. Lindsay that it never seems like too much. It all flows organically and never feels unnecessary. The characters all grow more complex as the story continues on and Lon becomes increasingly likable throughout the issue. Story wise, Lindsay does a fantastic job of laying a solid foundation while introducing a series of interesting questions that feel like they will receive their due payoff.
Sami Kivela and Triona Farrell handle the illustration and coloring respectively, and although I wasn’t a huge fan in the beginning, by the end I felt the art did the story justice. What really sets the art apart is the scenery in the scenes, the half splash panel of the ferries wheel with a half buried animatronic clown head look beautiful and reminiscent of something that was once vibrant. The blood splatters and stains are particularly vibrant and stick out. And the character designs for the super humans are particularly clever and grounded in reality.
At first glance, I wasn’t that excited to read Beautiful Canvas #1. But upon finishing the book, I can say that I was very pleasantly surprised and I am very excited to see where and how the story continues.
Beautiful Canvas #1
Black Mask Studios