When it's King, you know it's going to be just the tip of the iceberg...
Art Brut #1 (w: W. Maxwell Prince, a: Martin Morazzo)
Publisher: Image Comics
If those creator names sound familiar, it's because they're the minds behind the critically acclaimed and absolute Cover B Certified Fresh series "Ice Cream Man." Art Brut is actually a remaster of sorts of this teams first collaboration, which was originally named The Electric Sublime and published through IDW. What we're getting now is a book with new covers, new lettering, new design and delightful Silver-Age styled backup stories.
Much like Ice Cream Man, Art Brut is wildly inventive and astoundingly fun. The story focuses around a man name Arthur Brut, who is referred to as "the Dream Painter." He is contacted by the Bureau of Artistic Integrity after a spate of tragic murders/suicides/terrorist attacks all surface surrounding a similar image and culminates in the Mona Lisa suddenly winking. As things come to a dramatic head in the investigation, we finally see exactly what makes Arthur so special in the world of art. At the center lies mysterious artistic powers, the nature of art and mental health, and a creative look into the history of some of the greatest works of arm mankind has ever produced.
While tonally very different from Prince's other works like Ice Cream Man and Haha, which both take a very bleak perspective on their various messages, Art Brut still drips of the magic and whimsy that is common among Prince and Morazzo's work. It's an adventure on par with some of the most popular stories out there, be it Sandman or Umbrella Academy or whatever else might tickle your fancy. Morazzo's blending of various art styles not only gives credit to their skill as an artist, but also gives the story such incredible depth and beauty. It's a wonderful book and absolutely deserving of a revival.
A Vicious Circle #1 (w: Mattson Tomlin, a: Lee Bermejo)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Let me just start by saying that if you've never read a book with art by Lee Bermejo, then you are in a for a treat. Bermejo's art is so incredibly visceral at the best of times, and this book is a prime example. Bermejo takes some risks here, splashing in a bunch of different uses of color and bouncing his style around, borrowing from various different styles to absolutely magical results. It's a wonder to behold page after page.
This isn't to say Tomlin's story isn't holding its own. A dark, neo-noir tale about a pair of time travelers locked in an endless struggle. It's fatalist, it's existential and it's captivating.
I can't think of the last time Boom! did a magazine sized issue, if ever, but this is an absolute homerun. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up before it becomes impossible to come by.
Danger Street #1 (w: Tom King, a: Jorge Fornés)
Publisher: DC Comics
Look, when you pick up a DC book from Tom King, you know there's going to be a LOT more coming from underneath the surface. This interesting little title definitely has that, but also has some very classic charm we haven't necessarily gotten from his other titles in the same vein. The internal pages are printed matte, like an old school newspaper run. The story has a narrator (Dr. Fate's half-helmet, to be exact) who tells of intertwining tales of princesses and ogres and knights...
... when in fact, we're watching a man try to break back into the news industry after clearly becoming a pundit, a bunch of kids stuff up traffic with a 15mph forerunner, and a group of heroes who want so badly to be a part of the League of Superheroes they can't see their bad decision making as it happens. When I say it's a lot, I mean it. But I'm also very, very excited to see what sort of uncomfortable, timely commentary King is bringing to us this time.
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