See, now I wish I had a hard review copy of this. Normally I appreciate the digital format more, especially for comics, but an oversized hardback of this particular Hellboy collection just seems like it would be gorgeous.
In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and state that if you are a Hellboy fan, the library editions are the way to go to have the complete story in your collection. In my digital review copy of Hellboy Library Edition Vol. 5, I could tell exactly how amazing an oversized, high quality paper version of it would be, though I didn’t get a tactile experience first hand.
This collection spans both “Darkness Calls” and “The Wild Hunt,” so you get intense, beautifully drawn parts of Hellboy’s story, but not quite the end of it. What I liked most about this collection was the introduction and the vast sketchbook pages, because I already knew and loved the Hellboy story (I have a particular connection to kooky old Celtic fairy tales), and so liked the large window into its backstory, if you will. I appreciated the discussion about how on earth one goes about finding an artist besides Mike Mignola to draw this stuff. I can only imagine how rough it must have been to find someone to echo Mignola’s style without copying so much he’s not drawing with his own artistry. This collection epitomizes the success of Duncan Fegredo at doing just that. And the sketchbook pages with wry commentary back and forth from Mignola to Fegredo is not only amusing, but inspiring. I guess even incredible artists can be self critical, can’t they?
Bottom line: highly recommended. In fact, I plan on seeking out the other Library Editions as well. ~Prof. Jenn