Just arrived, a large, beautiful hardcover collecting four of the Neil Gaiman short story adaptations that Dark Horse has been publishing since 2001. The book style and format is just like DC Absolute Editions with excellent oversize reproductions of each page on thick, matte finish white paper. The only cost-cutting I can see is that the binding is glued rather than sewn.
I lettered two of these and own three, I look forward to reading the one I haven’t seen, “How to Talk to Girls at Parties.” There are ten books in the series that I know of, probably enough for three volumes if they include a few other things too. They’re all well done with excellent art, in this case by P. Craig Russell, Rafael Alguquerque, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, Rafael Scavone and Shane Oakley.
First of these collections I’ve received in a while, this one contains BATMAN #455-465 and BATMAN ANNUAL #15. The Batman issues are all written by Alan Grant, penciled by Norm Breyfogle, inked by Steve Mitchell and lettered by me. The Annual is written by Grant, penciled by Jim Fern and inked by Steve Leialoha with letters by John Costanza. A nice package, fun to see them again. I have no idea when it will be available or how, but at least we know it exists!
Years in the making (fifteen according to Kurt Busiek in his afterword), this four issue series is collected in a hardcover that should be out soon. Kurt’s idea was to create an Elseworlds type Batman story that is as resonant and compelling as his SUPERMAN, SECRET IDENTITY, my favorite Superman story, that we worked on more than those 15 years ago. I like this one nearly as much, though I can’t say it’s my favorite Batman story, I would have to give that nod to BATMAN: YEAR ONE. It’s quite good all the same, with the Batman of this story a creepy, supernatural partner to a young Bruce Wainwright as they try to solve the mystery of his parents’ murder, and then to find a place in the world. But what exactly is this Batman, and where does it come from? That’s the real story, and it’s a good one. John Paul Leon’s art is perfect for this book, too, full of mood and shadows. It’s unlike any other Batman story I’ve read, and I highly recommend it.
Two deluxe hardcovers arrived together, one holding material from the recent past, the other a few years ago.
The Jack of Fables book is the final third of the series, issues 36-50. It was a fun ride, though I have to admit I never warmed to Jack as a character. I enjoy tricksters usually, but Jack had some unpleasant traits. Mostly I liked the writing and art, and it’s hard to beat those Brian Bolland covers.
This seems like at least the third collection of White Knight in the last year. This one has the deluxe treatment, so the art is a little larger. It’s a fine story, and fine art.
I don’t know when these hit stores, it it should be soon.
I’ve often wondered if DC would ever reprint the OMEGA MEN comics I wrote, and here they’ve reprinted numbers 31 and 33, the two issues that were slightly involved in the vast “Crisis on Infinite Earths” storyline that affected all the DC titles in 1985 and 1986, along with the similarly involved LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #16 and #18 as well as GREEN LANTERN #194-198. I don’t know how well this will read as part of the whole event today, at the time it was kind of annoying to insert Crisis elements in my storyline, but on the other hand I and the rest of the team knew it would boost sales, and the book was sliding downward toward cancellation, so that made it worth doing, and we gave it our best shot. I suspect the longer Green Lantern storyline written by Steve Englehart and the Legion issues by Paul Levitz will hold up better. Not sure when this hardcover is due out, look for it soon if it’s not already.