I’ve just received copies of this new version of the 1996 award-winning series I lettered. It’s 392 pages, and seems to include all the extras from all the previous versions including the 20th Anniversary edition. Not bad for $19.99. I’m a little sad that they redid all the design work and eliminated nearly all the uses of the Kingdom Come font that Alex and I created for the original run, replacing it with the small bland one seen on the cover, but on the other hand, that does leave lots more room for art in some cases, so not such a bad thing. Amazon shows it on sale May 7, comics retailers may well have it sooner, but I can’t find a release date. Coming soon, anyway.
Never has the word penultimate been so fraught with meaning! One more issue after this, and the 20-year saga of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is complete. I’m working on it now. It’s amazing. This one should be out next week.
Yet another print version of Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN, this time in three large “Omnibus” editions. I haven’t seen the first two, but received copies of the third one recently. Measuring 7.5 by 11 by 2.5 inches and weighing six and a half pounds, it includes the two DEATH mini-series, SANDMAN MIDNIGHT THEATRE, SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS, both versions of SANDMAN: THE DREAM HUNTERS, SANDMAN: OVERTURE, and the three all-art GALLERY books. Cover price is $150.00. I haven’t opened the shrink-wrap, but I expect the art size and paper quality will match the PROMETHEA Deluxe Edition I looked at recently, so not as large and high quality as the Absolute Editions, but better than the regular hardcovers. Release date is March 27th. If you want a three-volume set of Sandman, this is for you. I think the only possible remaining version is a one-volume edition, which would probably be too heavy for me to lift!
Just arrived is this thick, heavy collection of Volumes 1 and 2 of LOEG plus THE BLACK DOSSIER. There’s no page count, but approximately 600 pages I think. It’s the Deluxe size, so about 10% larger art than the regular hardcover and trade paperbacks. The paper quality is quite good, the binding is glued rather than sewn. Without looking at every page, I think it’s complete with a few minor changes on credits/indicia pages. The bound-in 3-D glasses are not as good as the ones in the original versions of BLACK DOSSIER (also in issue 3 of the current series LOEG: THE TEMPEST), but they will probably work well enough. The cover starts with my cover design for the Absolute Edition but puts the title at the top instead of the bottom, covering some of the art. Looks okay, I like my design better.
Of course the Absolute Editions of these three collections are the best, much larger page size, sewn binding, and on volumes 1 and 2 a second book of Alan Moore scripts. Buying those now, if you could, would cost hundreds of dollars. This one is quite a good deal at $75, I think. I’m all for keeping the material in print, and DC has done a good job with this book. I’m currently working on the last issue of THE TEMPEST, the last LOEG issue ever, and of course that will eventually be collected as Volume 4. Volume 3, CENTURY, has been out for some time, and then there are the three NEMO hardcovers as well. It’s been a long road, and a great one. I’ve just lettered a very satisfying resolution to a storyline that began in BLACK DOSSIER, the first series I lettered (most of). I will be sad to see it end, and have enjoyed every moment of working on the League.
Not sure when this is out in shops, but I’d put an order in now if you want it. Amazon has it available on April 9th.
This is the fourth version of the collected first twelve issues of PROMETHEA. First there were the original hardcovers, Books 1 and 2. Then there were the original trade paperbacks, Books 1 and 2. Then there was ABSOLUTE PROMETHEA BOOK ONE, now this Deluxe Edition.
As the designer of the original hardcovers and softcovers, I have to say I still prefer the design work on those, but since DC has decided to remove all traces of the America’s Best Comics brand, which I used throughout, I can see why they haven’t used my designs. Putting the first twelve issues into one book makes good sense, as was done for the Absolute editions, I like that. The Absolutes are much larger and on better paper, I can’t imagine how you could get better reproduction of the material, so that’s my favorite version, despite some redesigning inside. At least J.H. Williams III and I designed the covers and slipcases together.
The new hardcover is in the Deluxe format, meaning it’s larger than the original collections, but not by a lot, and definitely smaller than the Absolutes. The paper quality is better than the originals, very white, but not as thick as the Absolutes, and the book is glue-bound rather than sewn. It’s still a nice package, though I don’t like the design work much. At least they brought back the brief introductory poems/text that ran before each issue in the first versions. I wrote most of those. There’s even one on the back cover. The front cover looks pretty good to me, but it takes the art from the Book 2 softcover and changes it, something J.H. would probably not be happy with. The additional material includes Alan’s script for issue #3, which is something I’m sure he wouldn’t be happy with.
In all, I’m glad to see the material continue to be made available in a handsome edition. It’s a terrific series. Retail price is $49.99, hefty, but half that of the Absolute Edition, which is probably long out of print, so not a bad way to go if you missed that. Should be out soon, if it isn’t already.