Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Classics - A Fall of Stardust

So, before the review, a confession (of sorts): every couple of years I tackle the job of filing my comics, which I keep in (more or less) alphabetical order by title, each comic bagged and stored in a comic box.

It generally takes several months, because I just file a little at a time - so I figured I'd draw on comics for the classic reviews from whichever box I happened to be filing that week.

Oh, and I file in reverse order - from the end of the alphabet to the beginning - because it's easier to add additional boxes at the front of my storage area.

That's why, if you look back over the past several months of "classic" reviews on this blog, you'll note that (aside from a brief diversion into Treasury Editions), it runs from "Z" to "A."

So as I wrapped up my filing, I thought I would review the first comic book in my collection, which happens to be A Fall of Stardust by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess.

I had quite forgotten, until I opened the bag, that this isn't actually a comic book. Published in 1999, it's a collection of 29 plates by different artists depicting scenes from the excellent Stardust illustrated novel by Gaiman and Vess.

It was created as a fundraiser for Charles Vess' wife, Karen Shaffer, who was badly injured in a car accident (and was making great progress toward her recovery at the time).

I imagine it might be difficult to track down copies these days, because I can't imagine anyone giving up their copy (yet there it is in Amazon's catalog - for $125? Wow.)

It's a pure delight, with wonderful, frame-worthy, full-color art by such notables as William Stout, Michael Mignola, Bryan Talbot, Jill Thompson, Paul Chadwick, P. Craig Russell, Terry Moore, Dave McKean, Jeff Smith, Gary Gianni, Stan Sakai, Michael Kaluta, Moebius and Geoff Darrow.

It also includes two prose sections including work by Neil Gaiman and Susanna Clarke.

Just an outstanding package - what a delight to look it over again. Oh, and Stardust is a great illustrated novel and a fun movie, too. All well worth tracking down.

Grade: A+


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