Comics: Beautiful Canvas TP - Reviewed

If you’re seeking out an insane action-packed thrill ride that combines Leon: The Professional, John Wick, Firestarter, Scanners, and Star Wars style bounty hunters, then you need to get your hands on a copy of the new trade paperback Beautiful Canvas from Black Mask Studios. This book has it all: a compelling and unique story, interesting and flawed characters, violent action, and terrific art and colors.

Lon Eisley is a hitwoman who has just been hired to kill a young boy. After recently learning her own girlfriend is pregnant, Lon makes the decision to go against her boss’ wishes and saves the boy. There is clearly more to the boy than meets the eye, which leads Lon to battle her emotional and mental conflict as both a creator and destroyer. Throughout this process she takes on animal hitmen and various people with pyrokinesis, and eventually discovers her boss’ dark motives for wanting the boy dead. Ryan Lindsay creatively melds so many different genres into a dystopian crime tale, while also creating a host of interesting characters that could easily have their own individual books. Lon Eisley is a deeply flawed character, struggling with the fact that she destroys lives and now she is set to bring her own child into this messed up world. Lon may be a great character, but it’s her diabolical boss Milla Albuquerque that steals the show. She is one of the darkest and most sadistic villains to grace a comic book page and she truly believes in her craft as an art form.

The art by Sami Kivela is fantastic. His choices in page and panel layout enhance the story and are slightly different that what you might typically see in comic books. The action is dynamic and full of violence. Death is a reality in this world and it isn’t shied away from. Like a good film, he alternates between extreme closeups of the characters to medium and long shots of the characters and the environment. The colors from Triona Farrell perfectly compliment the style of the book, and are reminiscent of the color palette of the 80s TV series Miami Vice.

Beautiful Canvas is a violent, yet thoughtful journey of a hitwoman coming to terms with herself and humanity. Featuring an engaging and entertaining story, great characters, and superb art and colors, this is a must read for any fans of the films listed above.