Review: ART BRUT #1 – Paint Brush Man – 71Bait

Out of ice cream vendor Creators W. Maxwell Prince and Martin Morazzo tell a story of art conspiracy, murder and the madness behind the paintings Artbrood #1. With colors by Mat Lopes and Chris O’Halloran and lettering in Good Old Neon, this opening chapter is a clear homage to Silver Age adventure comics, but with Prince and Morazzo’s personal brand of modern absurdity. For fans of ice cream vendor – or just inventive comics in general – this is an absolute must.

“The world of fine art is falling apart and only ART BRUT knows how to fix it. Working alongside the Bureau of Artistic Integrity, Arthur Brut, the insane dream painter (and his trusty sidekick, Manny the Mannequin), must delve back into the paintings that drove him insane…or reality itself might just fall to pieces. A colorful gonzo spree through art and art history, ART BRUT is equal parts police procedural, hyper-fantasy and psychological thriller – a veritable Pollock splatter of comic book genres thrown onto a giant, pulpy canvas! “

Writing & plotting

Lovingly familiar yet wonderfully creative, the screenplay was written by W. Maxwell Prince for Artbrood #1 is gloriously absurd in the most compelling way. Like a sequence of Johnny search After dumping acid in the Louvre, Prince’s story pays homage to the classic Silver Age adventure, told with a very clever plot set around the world of gallery art. Art Brut, a maniac “dream painter”, is called in to help solve a series of art-based murders happening around the world. His caretakers know little about the mysteries behind the world of fine arts – and the worlds that exist behind the canvas. As readers of Prince’s work would expect, his screenplay walks a tightrope between utter insanity and genuine humanity. At the heart of this abstract adventure comic lies a compelling story about a man whose sanity lies on the other side of the painted picture. Prince’s humor lands consistently and fits the tone of the story perfectly. While Artbrood has its gory bits, it’s no horror comic and remains light-hearted throughout – with a few melancholy scenes in the more intimate character moments. Brut is a character I can’t wait to learn more about, and his adventures with his sidekick Manny the Mannequin will no doubt be a ridiculous ride as Prince explores the mysteries behind this world of art.

art direction

Artbrood Probably #1’s biggest draw for many is its distinctive style Pencils by Martin Morazzo. before ice cream vendor became a modern classic, Morazzo honed his unique sense of animation and character design in this eccentric indie comic. For those who may be concerned because Brutally is an older comic, the quality may not be up to par, don’t worry. Morazzo’s work here looks like it could be one ice cream vendor successor instead of its predecessor. His signature style might be divisive to some, much like Frank Quietly’s work – after all, their pencil approach is similar. However, for those who are okay with the uniqueness of this comic and can accept an exceptional art style, Morazzo’s work here is an absolute treat. His work here is perfectly complemented by the colors of Mat Lopes. The color artist behind it the dreaming and Ka-Zar brings his dynamic and dreamlike visual approach to this strange take on the art itself, and does so with a spectacular finish. Each panel smacks the reader in the face with vivid color work, and Lopes nails the transitions from the ‘normal’ world to the weird artistic world with a smooth but harrowing finish. His work makes the pages appear as if they can be reached, much like the paintings Art and Manny examine. Visually, Artbrood is an even more amazing feat than ice cream vendorand brilliantly captures this strange world of artistic conspiracy.

Verdict

Artbrood #1 is a delightfully weird and utterly unique comic that openly wears its influences but is still its own beast. W. Maxwell Prince’s screenplay is often hilarious, but also deeply human, with a sense of lightness conveyed through its clever dialogue and Silver Age sensibility. Visuals by Martin Morazzo and Mat Lopes bring out the familiar style that fans love ice cream vendor will be happy to see, but with a completely different tonal approach due to the coloring. Get this remastered edition when it hits shelves on December 14th!

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