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$8.96 $5.90 list($9.95)
1. The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days
$11.16 $8.88 list($13.95)
2. Hellsing Volume 6 (Hellsing)
$9.71 $9.14 list($12.95)
3. The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles
$13.57 $11.85 list($19.95)
4. A Game of You (Sandman, Book 5)
$12.71 $9.28 list($14.95)
5. Nightmares and Fairy Tales: Once
$12.56 $9.00 list($17.95)
6. Hellboy Volume 1 : Seed of Destruction
$12.21 $11.55 list($17.95)
7. Hellboy Volume 2 : Wake the Devil
$11.55 list($16.99)
8. Essential Tomb Of Dracula Volume
$10.46 list($13.95)
9. Berserk Volume 6 (Berserk)
$10.16 $7.90 list($11.95)
10. Lenore : Noogies
$12.21 $11.20 list($17.95)
11. Hellboy Volume 5 : Conquerer Worm
$16.47 $12.50 list($24.95)
12. The Sandman: Endless Nights
$9.71 $7.80 list($12.95)
13. Death : The Time of Your Life
$10.46 $8.65 list($13.95)
14. Hellsing, Vol. 2
$23.10 $19.95 list($35.00)
15. FROM HELL
$19.99 $13.39
16. 30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow
$10.46 $8.70 list($13.95)
17. Berserk, Vol. 2
$9.71 $8.62 list($12.95)
18. Death: The High Cost of Living
$29.74 list($29.95)
19. The Doll's House (Sandman, Book
$17.95 $11.73
20. Dr. Strange: A Separate Reality

1. The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye
by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582403589
Catlog: Book (2004-06)
Publisher: Image Comics
Sales Rank: 7451
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. Rick Grimes finds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars You'll love this book.
I borrowed this from a friend... now I HAVE to get my own copy. I can't wait for volume 2.

This book is that good people. Run... don't walk to get this little gem.

5-0 out of 5 stars the epic zombie movie we always wanted to see
i am a huge zombie fan and i love romeros work among others, and there was always the problem of not having the best actors possible and the budgets being next to nothing, but i had in my mind a epic zombie tale..this is it!

we have great writing that makes us grow to love the characters and feel for them, there are plenty of moments with just people being people, it's not all gore and zombies, that is why so many non horror fans love this.

but worry not horror/zombie fans, there is plenty of attacks, cities full of zombies living dead horror, no budget worries here, the artist can simply fill the page with as many as he wants, and the art is fantastic, very realistic with a ever so slight cartoony edge that never takes away from the impact of the story, and these are some of the best zombies i have ever seen.

it's all balanced out so well, it keeps you coming back for more, i hope they release more since the series is at issue 8 now and this collects the first 6.

4-0 out of 5 stars One of the best of the year.
This is an excellent graphic novel that collects issues 1-6 of the Walking Dead series. Robert Kirkman has written a great story here, and Tony Moore's excellent black and white artwork brings it all to life (or should I say, brings life to the dead?). The story unfolds like a well written movie. The characters are well defined and their struggles come across as very human. This is more of a survival story than it is a zombie story, but don't worry...there are plenty of nasty zombies to go around, too. In fact, this is one comic story that I would very much like to see put on the big screen...and I wouldn't change a thing. I enjoy horror comics, but this was different than most. This comic is very intelligent, realistic (for a zombie story) and has a good message about working together to overcome adversity (and what adversity it is here!). Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Walking Dead rule the earth...
Rick, a small town Kentucky police officer, awakens from a gun shot induced coma to find the world a very different, and very horrifying, place. The dead now walk and attack the far out numbered living. While he slept, the world had ended...

While the opening was a tad too close to 28 Days later for my taste (wouldn't it have been more interesting to start at minute zero and progress through the erupting zombie plague?) the story quickly grew on me and, in the absence of a fourth Romero zombie movie, it satisfies. Required reading for any zombie fan.

4-0 out of 5 stars Best Graphic Novel of 2004
Brilliant artist Tony Moore takes a superb script by Robert Kirkman to give us a fresh retelling of the "zombie world order" horror story. Inkwash over pen and ink works perfectly to convey a human tale of survival at the end of civilization. This book is a character study with examples of courage, cooperation and compassion balanced by equally well rendered paintings of human fear and envy. I usually walk by black and white comic books, but this one wouldn't have been as good in color. 2004 is not quite halfway over, but I doubt I'll read a work of fiction this year I'll enjoy more. ... Read more


2. Hellsing Volume 6 (Hellsing)
by Kohta Hirano
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 159307302X
Catlog: Book (2005-03-09)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Sales Rank: 10192
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The war between three armies of vampires, humans, and those in between is in full swing. The Hellsing organization is embattled as London is falling to Nazi vampire forces, turning the city's citizens into rivers of blood and a population of ghouls. It looks like it might be the end of Sir Integral Wingates Hellsing and her henchman, Walter. But what's this? The Vatican? But that means the Vatican is unprotected. If you haven't figured it out yet, Earth is in chaos of a World War like no other. New forces will rise up, surprises of undead power will surge forth, guns will blaze, and blades will sing. There's no telling how this will end, as Hellsing clamors forward with a seething wit and a frantic pace, and style that passes beyond gothic grace. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Has its own merits
Granted, there was a lot of setup going on in this volume, but I also thought that it had quite a bit in it that made it good on its own. There were several parts that I thought were absolutely hilarous, as well as parts that were awesome and others that were downright disturbing. There was some great action going on. I was sad that Alucard wasn't really in it much, but at the same time I think this allowed some space to develop the other characters. Alucard kicks some serious butt, but some of the other characters can be cool in their own ways, and Volume 6 really shows that. You have to keep in mind that this is part of a SERIES and that Volume Seven will undoubtedly continue what was begun in Volumes 5 and 6.

4-0 out of 5 stars hopefully volume 7 will be better.
let me just get this out of the way, this volume was pretty much (at least, i sincerely hope), created just to set up volume 7. it doesn't really get interesting until the last couple chapters. the rest is just kind of meh. also, alucard is in this for about 5 pages. not even in a row, just spread out because he is still on the ship that he destroyed in volume 5. so overall, this book is merely ok. not the best, not the worst. i suggest this only to people who are fans of the series and want to know what happens to the hellsing crew. otherwise, this book won't interest you a whole lot. now, to count down the days until volume 7 arrives. ... Read more


3. The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us
by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582404135
Catlog: Book (2004-12)
Publisher: Image Comics
Sales Rank: 4073
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Book Description

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living. This volume follows our band of survivors on their tragic journey in search of shelter. Characters live and die as they brave a treacherous landscape littered with packs of the walking dead. ... Read more


4. A Game of You (Sandman, Book 5)
by Neil Gaiman, Bryan Talbot
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
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Asin: 1563890895
Catlog: Book (1993-09-03)
Publisher: DC Comics
Sales Rank: 6826
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

You may have heard somewhere that Neil Gaiman's Sandman series consistedof cool, hip, edgy, smart comic books. And you may have thought, "What the helldoes that mean?" Enter A Game of You to confound the issue even more, while at the same time standing as a fine example of such a description. This is not an easy book. The characters are dense and unique, while their observations are, as always with Gaiman, refreshingly familiar. Then there's the plot, which grinds along like a coffee mill, in the process breaking down the two worlds of this series, that of the dream and that of the dreamer. Gaiman pushes these worlds to their very extremes--one is a fantasy world with talking animals, a missing princess, and a mysterious villain called the Cuckoo; the other is an urban microcosm inhabited by a drag queen, a punk lesbian couple, and a New York doll named Barbie. In almost every way this book sits at 180 degrees from the earlier four volumes of the Sandman series--although the less it seems to belong to the series, the more it shows its heart. --Jim Pascoe ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great story of identity and finding your inner child
Neil Gaiman does it again! He takes Barbie, a marginal character in the "Doll's House" storyline and makes her into a 3 dimensional character. He also introduces some other great characters like Hazel, Foxglove, Clarissa, and my personal favorite in this volume, Wanda. After reading this tale, I was struck by how the characters matter so much in Sandman stories. How Neil cares about them so much that they keep popping up again and again in unlikely places. Even when someone mentions another person, I can tell that Neil has a character description written up for that person and they will appear in another story. Clarissa will appear again in "Kindly Ones", while Hazel and Foxglove are in both "Death" mini-series. (Also Foxglove is mentioned by another character in the "24 Hours" chapter in "Preludes and Nocturnes.")

That aside, "A Game of You" is probably the most personal story of the entire Sandman oeuvre. It's primarily the story of Barbie and her childhood dreams that become very real. The heart of the story is Barbie's relationship with Wanda which is both funny and touching. Dream doesn't appear much in this one, but the story is so good and the main characters so interesting that you won't mind at all.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best of the Sandman
No other volume of the magnificent Sandman series so perfectly captures the darkly magical essence as this one. Many people dislike it, and many will say that you should read other tales first, but for me personally, I think that if you like "A Game of You" then you will like all others, and if you dislike it, you probably will dislike many others as well. It is not as important to the story overall as some arcs, and the Sandman himself harldy interacts with the human characters until well into the story. Also absent are most of the Sandman's family, with Death being regelated to a cameo. However, this is what makes the issue so special. It uses the Sandman mileu to create a unique fantasy world of its own, one which uses archtypes to allow readers to identify with it and yet be startled around every turn. If the "death" of the world is not heartrending, then perhaps you lack the imagination that fuels such a world. Read this and enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Magic
Never content with telling Sandman from one fixed perspective for too long, Gaiman again turns the collection on its head and has yet another character (this time 'Barbie,' a supporting player in the Doll's House), provide the orientation to the text for us. Gaiman seems to be at his best when Morpheus plays more of a supporting role in the narrative. As was the case in the stellar Doll's House, A Game of You focuses on human relationships. Although Morpheus is certainly an interesting character, in the end he is, as his sister Death previously remarked, "an anthropomorphic personification:" an idealized abstraction. Gaiman's human characters, however, are fully rounded: capable of the myriad -and often contradictory- emotions that make us flesh and blood. It's Gaiman's probing exploration of humanity that really sets the series apart from other graphic novels that choose to focus on the wearisome 'superheroes and bad guys' formula. How many other graphic novels, for example, detail the ups and downs of a lesbian couple or the anxieties of transvestism? This is ground breaking stuff, to be sure, and provides much needed realness to the medium.

Barbie's adventures in dreamland bear an eerie resemblance to Frodo's in the Lord of the Rings and Dorothy's in the Wizard of Oz, and for good reason. All three works are manifestations of what Joseph Campbell terms the "hero cycle:" a rite of passage that chronicles the hero's departure and eventual return. The hero cycle is a fundamental aspect of mythology, and Gaiman's skilful usage of it affords the tale a feeling of timelessness, a structural connection to the process of myth making.

The art in this series is fantastic and probably the best in the collection to date. Shawn McManus does a wonderful job of bringing out the mood of the text: note McManus' usage of nearly pure white and black cells in the first chapter to underscore the starkness of Barbie's "dream country." Somewhat jarring, however, is the fact that Colleen Doran drew the art for only the third story. Her less detailed style essentially interrupts the atmosphere created by McManus in the five other stories.

Although this is the fifth text in the Sandman series, Gaiman demonstrates he has plenty of gas left in the tank. His imagination continues to propel him to new and strange places, and I'm more than willing to sit in the passenger's seat and enjoy the view.

2-0 out of 5 stars great author overrated story
I have never read Sandman before this story but from what I have heard each story can stand alone. I also want to say I read neverwhere and "Sandman: The Dream Hunters" and loved them. This story though just wasn't his best work or really that good. This is my problem with the story. A lady has dreams that continue every single night like an unending story. Suddenly, one of the animals in her dreams finds her in real life. Creative? Original? This idea is all of those things? However, by the end of her story, every single one of her characters in her dreams that she likes die, you are left to wonder, what is the point??? She lost her battle to keep the creaturs in her dream to stay alive and you aren't sure if you care because they are only creatures in a dream.

On another note, although I don't like this story I have a feeling this sandman series gets better as it goes along, however this one just wasnt good, might want to skip it and read a different book in this series

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally something different
In an age where almost all comics are aimed towards mass media entertainment, such as X MEN and the rest, it's refreshing to read comics with more depth and content to them. A Game Of You is one of my favorite books in the Sandman series. It showcases amazing characters, great storytelling, and a main character who is almost not in the book at all, which I enjoyed because the King of Dreams has always personally annoyed me with his pride and arrogance. However, on a lighter note, this book is amazing, but I would not recommend it as the first book for one to read in the Sandman series. ... Read more


5. Nightmares and Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time
by Serena Valentino, FSc
list price: $14.95
our price: $12.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0943151872
Catlog: Book (2004-03-31)
Publisher: SLG Publishing
Sales Rank: 12639
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This haunting first collection of Annabelle's memories are filled with frightening stories and dark fairy tales about her various owners . Featuring the first 6 issues, as well as some other spookirific surprises, including an introduction by Tommy Kovac (Skelebunnies, Stitch and Autumn) as well as a guest page by Jhonen Vasquez and other SLG creators. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Annabelle Speaks.....
Annabelle is a doll who seems to always be present when things go awry. Whether she is part of the cause or merely an unlucky bystander isn't quite known, but either way her luck seems to have run out long ago. "Nightmares & Fairytales" is a string of her memories, all of which seem to be morbid takes on various fairytales we all know and love. This particular collection includes the first six comics collected into one exquisitely done graphic novel at an unbeatable price.

The stories, though varied versions of well-known tales, manage nonetheless to be original and quite unique. No two tales are even remotely the same. With a cast of characters that includes lesbian vampires, evil-harboring nuns, and monsters in the closet/walls, Serena Valentino clearly puts her amazing imagination to work with an array of tales that never ceases to amaze, and never leaves the reader bored. I love the anime-style artwork tinged with a dark twist that can be, at times, rather graphic. Yet, the artist (FSC) accomplishes this without ever being too gruesome.

I definitely recommend this collection to fans of comics such as "Lenore," "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac," and "Squee." Though more morbid and certainly not as humorous as the aforementioned comics, Annabelle Speaks won't disappoint those with a taste for stories and artwork that dance on the darker side of life.

As Tommy Kovac says in the introduction: "Curl up in a big chair with this book, and if it's not raining outside, pretend that it is."

5-0 out of 5 stars dark fantasy at its best
People familiar with Slave Labor Graphics usually think of the authors that write for it: Jhonen Vasquez, Roman Dirge, Evan Dorkin, the list goes on. Some of them turn out incredible works like "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac", and others turn out rubbish like "Outlook: Grim". I didn't know about SLG's hitandmiss record when I went into my comic book store and bought a handful of different titles. Most of them were disappointing, with the exception of a couple. "Nightmares and Fairy Tales" was the best one I picked up that day.

The series is written by Serena Valentino, the writer of the rather prolific "Gloomcookie". I've never read her other work, so I can't pretend I'm an expert, but in "Nightmares" she's extremely competent. As the title suggests, she takes fairy tales (most of which are already pretty nightmarish in their origins) and adds a little bit more oomph.

The thing that keeps the series from just being a bunch of random stories is the constant presence of a doll, named Annabelle (hence, Annabelle Speaks for the trade title). The doll serves as the connection between all the stories, whether as a character or a narrator. At first glance, I was worried that the doll technique would get irritating, but its done with a light enough touch that it doesn't feel forced. Illustrations are done by FSc (Zeet), and they are one of the main reasons I continue to read. There's definitely a Japanese influence in the artwork, and sometimes it works better than others, but it always looks good.

As for the stories, they're all pretty bittersweet. Some end happily (kinda), and others end on a real down note (notably the first storyline in the series (ish 1 and 2). For me, the best story was from issue number 5. In it, little Gwen has just moved to her new house with her less than appreciative parents. She is convinced that something is lurking in the walls, but her mom and dad refuse to take her seriously. The only time she feels safe are when she meets her next door neighbor (a kindly witch) and is talking to her doll (Annabelle, in the only instance where a human can actually hear her). Its a storyline that begs to be made into something larger. This trade consists of the first six issues of the comic, and at a price under eleven dollars, that's quite a bargain. If you're someone who's into fantasy, but who loathes "happily ever after", this is the collection for you. ... Read more


6. Hellboy Volume 1 : Seed of Destruction - NEW EDITION! (Hellboy)
by Mike Mignola, John Byrne, Mark Chiarello, Dave Stewart, Matthew Hollingsworth, Robert Bloch, Barbara Kesel, Scott Allie, Kevin Nowlan, Gary Grazzini
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1593070942
Catlog: Book (2004-01)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Sales Rank: 6216
Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Hellboy is one of the most celebrated comics series in recent years. The ultimate artists' artist and a great storyteller whose work is in turns haunting, hilarious, and spellbinding, Mike Mignola has won numerous awards in the comics industry and beyond. When strangeness threatens to engulf the world, a strange man will come to save it. Sent to investigate a mystery with supernatural overtones, Hellboy discovers the secrets of his own origins, and his link to the Nazi occultists who promised Hitler a final solution in the form of a demonic avatar. ... Read more

Reviews (16)

3-0 out of 5 stars GREAT concept and AMAZING art, not so great dialogue
I am not very familiar with Byrne so I don't know if this is typical for him but he writes a little too mundain and run-of-the-mill for such a fantastic story with great art like Hellboy. His dialogue and monologue for the villain in this book are horrible. It is completely boring and skippable. In fact that's the worst part, it is ENTIRELY skippable. This is even worse because at points there's PAGES of it. This villain just drones ON AND ON about a bunch of ..., and you can literally skip those whole sections and not lose ANYTHING. The stuff is just barely relevant and Byrne does nothing to it to make it interesting or write it with any originality. One could argue that Hellboy is a very "pulp" comic and that as such, the sort of writing and dialogue can be expected to be of a certain (read DULL AND TRITE) nature. But it's too much to be asked of the reader to settle on the writing when the story and art are so compelling.

Recap: Hellboy = original, Byrne's dialogue for it = horribly plain and done.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well done
Okay, I just read picked this up because the movie was coming out, and I'm one of those people who does that (as probably are many of you reading these reviews). But I found myself thoroughly enjoying Mike Mignola's HELLBOY.

This first HELLBOY book is a little on the short side, and at times, Mignola probably gives too much attention to the mythology rather than the characters, but all in all it's a fun read.

It's not my favorite comic I've read (definitely not in the Alan Moore category) but it's fun and well worth your time.

The artwork is definitely top notch. Even if the story were no good (but it is good) it would be worth getting to look at.

Now that the movie's out (which was also very entertaining and worthy of your time) I'm sure I'll keep reading the rest of the series.

Happy reading!

5-0 out of 5 stars Hell on earth with a snappy attitude
In 1944, a team of specialized German Nazis gathered together with a powerful sorcerer on a strange mission to raise seven demons, while at the same time a group of rangers led by Sgt. George Whitman gather in an old church in East Bromwich, England with a team of paranormals, determined to discover what it is the Nazis are up to.

The Sorcerer, wearing some odd apparatus on his arms, powered by an electrical generator, casts a spell from a rocky hilltop resembling Stonehenge. A bolt of lightening-type power issues from the rod he holds in his hand, and strikes the church where the rangers are gathered along with their special forces. When the smoke and debris clear, a small being is hunched down on the floors, looking as though he were part demon and part little boy. It is Trevor Bruttenholm who names him: Hellboy.

Skipping many years into the future, Hellboy comes to visit Trevor, now an old man. Trevor, who had been like a father to Hellboy all these years, tells Hellboy of the failed "Cavendish Expedition" he has just recently returned from, way up in the Artic Mountains. He and the Cavendish "Boys" had found some ruins high up in the frozen cliffs, older than old, and inside beneath a mammoth carved pillar is a statue of a sitting man so perfect it seemed to be alive.

But Trevor has no further memory of what happened, though the Cavendish brothers did not return with him. During Trevor's narration of the expedition, Hellboy notices that Trevor's house is infested with frogs. When Hellboy mentions the frogs, Trevor freaks out and backs away from the frogs, out onto his balcony, from where he is suddenly and unceremoniously tossed back into the room at Hellboy's feet; quite dead. His body seems to be covered in odd marks that were not there mere seconds ago.

Hellboy brings in his friends to help him investigate the death of Trevor; Elizabeth Sherman and Dr. Abraham Sapien. Liz has highly advanced pyrotechnic abilities, and Abe...well, Abe is a really cool fish-man. Beginning their investigation at the old Cavendish mansion, which is slowing sinking back into the lake it was built over, the three friends are quickly separated and all hell breaks loose; pun intended. The nameless Sorcerer who originally summoned Hellboy is back to claim what he believes is his, but by now we know that Hellboy can't be forced to do anything he doesn't want to do.

This first Hellboy book reveals Hellboy's origin, and shows us the loyalty between him and his friends, and the lengths they will go to for each other. This was actually a very difficult review for me to write because I liked it so much, it is hard to describe in a non-gushing way just how much I enjoyed this book. The storyline is very intense and fast-paced, even for a graphic novel; the illustrations are superb, the cells formed and drawn just right, so that the eye follows the flow of Mignola's inspired tale of this devilishly good guy without staggering or stopping to search for the correct sequence.

I have only recently become immersed in the world of graphic novels, and Hellboy is the absolute crème de la crème of the lot. A brand new type of hero; ultra powerful, intelligent, witty humor and saucy quips, demonic appearance, and as icing on the cake, from Hell itself.

As a bonus, there are some added chapters at the back of the book that illustrate the evolution of Hellboy as he was created and drawn to life, plus some enjoyable Hellboy artwork to examine and appreciate.

Hellboy is a perfect graphic novel, and I am greedily looking forward to pouring over the rest of the series. Not to mention I'm dying to go see the movie now. Enjoy!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Not Your Average Comic.
Hellboy is one of the most original and interesting characters created in the visual magic of comic books. Mike Mignola is simply a genius to create such a complex and unique protagonist that so easily returns for new episodes again and again (without becoming formulaic or falling for any of the usual clichés that many comic characters do). Here, in SEED OF DESTRUCTION, Hellboy's first adventure, the audience not only has some light shed upon his origins - this is also a great starting place for any Hellboy newbie (it was for me!).

Hellboy, as a character, is simply delightful. He's a big red devil (literally), with his horns sawed down to two lumps on his forehead. He has a giant stone hand (yes, it's stone, yet it moves like it's flesh) on his right arm, and more than often uses it to give the final blow to end a fight. He also carries a really big, really cool-looking revolver (with a rosary hanging on it), but surprisingly, he doesn't use it all that often. Hellboy struts around in a simply bada** way that is easily appealing to many "tough-guy" fans, and yet is often as goofy and sarcastic as a teenager. He has his own fears, and is definitely not unstoppable (he gets hurt - a lot). Oh, and his favorite curse phrase: "Ah, crap." Here he is, the spawn of evil forces (Satan?), absolutely tough and bada**, but he gets just as distressed and apprehensive as any person can. That's part of why he's so cool; he isn't 100% perfect, but he's likeable and tough enough to be considered a hero.

Now, for a little bit about his origins...

Hellboy's Origin:
On the night of December 23, 1944, the Nazi regime hired the work of a sort of mystic/sorcerer, named Rasputin, in order to summon up the forces of hell (in the abandoned ruins of an ancient castle in England). They titled this operation "Ragna-Rok" (after the Norse myth of the end of the world).

Meanwhile, that same night, a group of American scientists (protected by a U.S. army and led by a certain Professor Trevor Bruttenholm - pronounced "Broom") were conducting paranormal research amidst another set of ancient ruins, over in Scotland. A medium there started feeling strange and powerful forces at work, and realized something was going on.

Back in England, the Ragna-Rok experiment built up. Rasputin spoke ancient, archaic words, summoning ancient and cosmic forces onto earth. Suddenly, in the Scottish ruins, there was a terrific explosion, and amidst the fire and debris crouched a form...a small, red being with little horns and a tail, and a giant stone hand. The soldiers protecting the scientists were almost quick to kill the thing...but Bruttenholm stopped them, for this little creature almost looked like a boy...one guess as to what they called him.

And now for a little bit about this particular episode.

SEED OF DESTRUCTION:
Fast forward to 1994. Hellboy is fifty years old, and has been a member of the government organization, the B.P.R.D. (the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense), for quite some time. Professor Bruttenholm is troubled about something, and Hellboy is curious to find out what. Bruttenholm reminisces about a recent arctic expedition that he had been a part of earlier that year, and how they had run into some giant temple or shrine. Inside that shrine, they discovered a giant, immaculately carved statue of something straight out of H.P. Lovecraft...and crouching before it was a statue of a man that looked "almost...alive." Then Hellboy noticed that there were frogs hopping around inside the room, and Bruttenholm panicked and ran out the door, yelling for a very confused Hellboy to run for his dear life - and a heartbeat later, the Professor's dead, scarred body gets thrown back in through the doorway, and the adventure begins.

I've been reading the Hellboy/B.P.R.D series for almost a year now, after hearing about Guillermo del Toro's plans on directing a movie based on them. I finished reading the last official trade paperback collection of straight-out, Mike Mignola-penned Hellboy/B.P.R.D. comics about a week prior to the movie's release, and was more than excited to see it. However, I was a bit disappointed by the movie's straying from the original plots and characterizations in the comics (not to mention very anticlimactic battle/fight scenes), and so I will say it right now, plain and simple, THE COMICS ARE BETTER. You want to know how much better? Read this comic and find out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cool book.
I'm not very big on comics, but this was a good book. In 1940 something, Raputin( evil wizard guy), tried to open the gates to hell. But only this little baby demon came out. The demon was adopeted by some guy and was tought to be a follower of Jesus and an F.B.I agent. But the evil wizard is now back and is trying to get Hellboy to aid him on having Satan take over the world during the apocoleps. He kills his step father with this evil demon that can turn into a frog. Hellboy fights the demon and the wizard in the book alot. This is a cool book. Fans of sci-fi sould buy this book. It's more sci-fi demonic that geeky super hero comic bookish. ... Read more


7. Hellboy Volume 2 : Wake the Devil - NEW EDITION! (Hellboy# 2)
by Mike Mignola, Alan Moore, James Sinclair
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1593070950
Catlog: Book (2004-01)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Sales Rank: 9861
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A murder in a New York wax museum and a missing corpse lead Hellboy into ancient Romanian castles on the trail of a sleeping legend: the original nobleman vampire. Nazi scientists prepare for the return of their occult master and the end of the world, and Hellboy confronts his purpose on earth. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nazis and vampires and ghosts, oh my!
This is the second Hellboy graphic novel. It is an improvement over the first one, as we get to know the old characters better, and interesting new characters are introduced. Creator Mike Mignola's Kirbyesque artwork is terrific, and this time he handles the writing himself (the first graphic novel was scripted by John Byrne). I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but I will explain that Hellboy is a paranormal investigator who appears to be a demon. This book is dedicated to Dracula, which should give you a clue as to what he encounters this time. This book should be especially appealing to people who like The X-Files or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I would encourage anyone who is a fan of sophisticated comic books to check it out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hellboy's hurly burly
With "Hellboy: Wake the Devil" Mignola again shows his strength in weaving together unconnected folklore and his own inventions, creating a seamless fantastic reality that grows with every story. Darker, more confident than "Seeds of Destruction," the mythology comes together.

Nazis, Imperial Prussians and Greek and Russian goddesses make for strange bedfellows, but here we have a Napoleonic vampire Commander, Vladimir Giurescu, the delightful Nazi scientists Ilsa Haupstein and the Ragna Rok Project, Rasputin the Mad Monk, the Baba Yaga, the Greek Goddess Hecate and of course a living Head in a Jar, all conspiring against our heroes. Fighting for the good guys are the usual cast of Abe Sapien, Hellboy and the BRPD. If that isn't enough to get your appetite wet, then you are reading the wrong customer review.

More than most series, "Hellboy: Wake the Devil" advances the overall plot of Hellboy's story, uncovering key points of his origin and destiny. The epilog, only available in this trade paperback, adds an interesting element to the story of the Baba Yaga and Rasputin.

5-0 out of 5 stars Homunculus + Horror, Adding To the Cast
Wake the Devil is a superb second take on the Hellboy saga and is just as good, if not better, than Seeds of Destruction (its hard to compare the two because both are so good). Its a bit more bleak/darker than its prior, introducing even odder concepts and distortions of myth to weave a story all its own. Yes, it seems there are Nazi plots galore for everyone's favorite paranormal investigator to deal with, not to mention the addition of Roger, B.P.R.D.'s first "contact" with a human-sized homunculus. Also included is a five-page epilogue dealing with Baba Yaga and The World Tree, a concept introduced in the comics but only added to the in this graphic novel forum. The graphic novels also clean up the coloration, giving you more crisp images than the comics could ever dream of.
A word of caution to those thinking that the numbered books can be taken out of sequential order without hurting the storyline. It can indeed be done, but Wake the Devil should be a second step taken in the reading "evolution" of the Hellboy saga because of some of the characters/events/plot lines started have either been groomed or are birthed here.

5-0 out of 5 stars The fabulous Hellboy series continues.
I found this book to be every bit as enjoyable as the first book (Seed of Destruction). I also found that this book had a couple of weak points to the plot, and in the pacing of the storyline, just like the first book.

However, those where the only weak points. The rest of the story was very enjoyable and well crafted. The art is simply stunning. I will continue to read more of "Hellboy" in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars praise mignola
yet another wonderful hellboy tale. great stuff if you're into sci-fi and old legends and things. a good mix of characters and the best darn visual storytelling in the industry today, care of mike mignola. ... Read more


8. Essential Tomb Of Dracula Volume 4 Tpb
by Marv Wolfman, Steve Gerber, Doug Moench, Gerry Conway, Gene Colan
list price: $16.99
our price: $11.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0785117091
Catlog: Book (2005-04-13)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Sales Rank: 74111
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Book Description

The Essential Tomb of Dracula series continues featuring tales of Dracula through the ages - from when he first became a vampire and eventually Lord of the Undead to his resurfacing in modern times. Collects stories from Tomb of Dracula Magazine #2, 4-6, Dracula Lives! #1-13. ... Read more


9. Berserk Volume 6 (Berserk)
by Kentaro Miura
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 159307252X
Catlog: Book (2005-01)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Sales Rank: 123363
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Book Description

Back in the day, Guts the Black Swordsman was a top slayer for The Band of the Hawk, an elite mercenary unit led by Griffith, whose calm demeanor and callow beauty belied his fighting prowess and steel will. While in a king's employ, the attraction between the king's daughter and Griffith and the growing favor of the king towards the Hawk leader raises the hackles of the king's jealous son, who plots to have Griffith summarily assassinated. But if the plot fails, the king's son will likely have to deal with Guts and his titanic broadsword, and the results of such confrontations are rarely pretty... or easy to clean up. ... Read more


10. Lenore : Noogies
by Roman Dirge
list price: $11.95
our price: $10.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0943151031
Catlog: Book (1999-07-11)
Publisher: SLG Publishing
Sales Rank: 54787
Average Customer Review: 3.97 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A collection of the first four issues of the popular Lenore comic book series. Lenore: Noogies is a romp into the dark, surreal world of a little dead girl. Featuring stories about limbless cannibals, clock monsters, cursed vampire dolls, taxidermied friends and obssesed would be lover and more fuzzy animal mutilations than should be legal. Lenore is one of the funniest, darkest comic books on the marketplace today. ... Read more

Reviews (32)

4-0 out of 5 stars Ewwww Cute!
A lot of gothic humour comics have been flooding the market recently, but Lenore is one of the best. Lenore is basically about a dead little girl who neither ages nor matures and is filled with oodles of innocent curiousity about the world around her. This often leads her to do gross things (she has had a long line of dead pet cats), and she is very amoral in her childlike innocence, but she is so damn cute you just can't help but forgive her for the sick things she does. Seeing her throw a tea party and invite all the nearby walking-dead or doing a happy little dance at a funeral will leave your mind conflicted over whether you should retch or sigh. And unlike most recent goth comics, this one doesn't take itself at all seriously. Not great art or literature (Gorey and Sala still reign supreme at dark humour comics), but a fun little diversion.

5-0 out of 5 stars Adventures of a cute little dead girl
Lenore: Noogies is about a little dead girl (Lenore) with a gruesome sense of humor. I took this book to school once and everybody loved it, even teachers. Although this book has some gory scenes I would gladly recommend this to ANYONE. Roman Dirge is a comic master mind.

4-0 out of 5 stars Gotta love the adorable little dead girl!
I must admit that I am not usually one to enjoy many comic books. But who can resist such an adorable little dead girl? I flipped through my first Lenore comic in a local store, and was instantly amused. When I found this little gem on-line (the first four issues compiled into one nice, neat book) I decided that I just had to purchase it.

Lenore is a dead little girl who doesn't quite understand the living around her. She doesn't mean to do some of the things she does, she's just trying to find her niche. The humor in this book is dark, yet definitely not for the serious personality. But for those of you who can enjoy the lighter side of the dark, gothic subculture, this book will have you rolling on the floor laughing. Some highlights include:

"Babysitting," "It's magic," "Lenore's Scientific, don't even question it facts," "A walk in the city," "Little Miss Muffet," "Mr. Puffy," and "A New Toy."

So why did I give it only four stars? Because I found a couple of the strips to be a bit cheesy. The second installment, "Wedgies," is better in my opinion. However, you shouldn't read issues 5-8 without first picking up this book and reading 1-4. If you can enjoy vampires-turned dolls, things returning from the dead (Mr. Gosh is hilarious!), and a little girl's penchant for accidentally harming cute, small, fuzzy things (watch out for those hamsters!), then this comic is a must-have, as is "Wedgies!" I can't wait for the next four-issue book (9-12) to come out!

2-0 out of 5 stars Sadly - Lenore is all hype and utter tripe.
This book seemed to appeal to me from the outside but once I "read" the strips... To say these books are overated is an understatement judging from the praise bestowed upon them by various reviewers here and elsewhere.

The good:
The only decent thing about Lenore is the artwork. In particular, the front covers are excellent - they really grab you. A minus point is that "Roman Dirge" is obviously ripping off Tim Burton's art style here - but does it well enough for me to forgive that fact.

The bad:
The stories are total and beyond crap and contain nothing I would say was funny. I'm certainly not offended by the subject matter - I'm only offended by the pure crapness of the so-called "stories". It's like the ideas are there but the creator's obvious lack of imaginative storytelling kills the whole premise totally.

The Lenore character is a great idea but the strips are some of the most boring tripe I've ever read - the sort of stuff doodled by bored, suicidal teenagers.

Don't get me wrong - I was really looking forward to reading Lenore but there's actually little to read and the "jokes" are just unbelievably bland and unfunny. My advice is that "Roman Dirge" finds someone who can write decent stories for the characters because, as an artist, he shows a lot of promise but sucks big time as a writer.

I give this product 2 stars (average) because I really like the art. If the quality of writing matched the art I'd give it a 4 or 5. Shame that it just isn't to be. As it is, the only people who will enjoy Lenore are those looking for exceedingly simple, childish comic strips of little substance or intellect.

One more thing: People go on about Lenore being "dark". Well, it's not dark, it just tries hard to be funny in a sick way (and failing miserably). For a real dark comic book, check out Chester Brown's classic "Ed the Happy Clown" (or any other of his Yummy Fur stuff for that matter). Chester knows how to write and draw stories which are funny, dark, weird, disturbing and sad all at once.

2-0 out of 5 stars Too cute and too insipid for me
I think the first thing I found annoying about Lenore was the fact that I was lured in by the word "dead". I like dead things, I like squishy things, I like bloody, bony, and crusty things. But I don't like Lenore.

Lenore is booked as being a cute little dead girl, but she does nothing to act dead. She is more like a cute, wide-eyed Dennis The Menace, doing mean spirited things to small animals and her friends, while playing leap frog and having parties and taking bubble baths.

It only took maybe fifteen minutes to read the entire book, most of the comic cells being sparse of images and words, and to make matters worse, the images are below the standards I have become used. Consider other graphic novels like Slave Labor Graphic's masterpiece, JTHM, the many graphic works of Neil Gaimen, and even Junji Ito's Uzumaki series.

I did not laugh once, and give Lenore two stars only for the two short skits that made me smile a bit, "The Boy With His Heart In A Box" and "Things Involving Me", neither of which featured Lenore at all.

There is nothing gothic, spooky or even very dark here, kind of like twilight settling over a pig farm. A few poorly remade nursery rhymes, a lot of blank or minimally drawn cells, and no plot to be found at all.

With "Lenore: Noogies" being too adult for children, and too childish for adults, my recommendation is to leave it on the shelf and go grab Uzumaki or JTHM. ... Read more


11. Hellboy Volume 5 : Conquerer Worm - NEW EDITION! (Hellboy)
by Mike Mignola
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1593070926
Catlog: Book (2004-01)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Sales Rank: 36707
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Book Description

At the end of World War II, American costumed-adventurer Lobster Johnson led an Allied attack on Hitler's space program, but not before the Nazis were able to launch the first man into space. Now, after sixty years, Hellboy is partnered with an artifical man - a Frankenstein's monster implanted by Bureau scientists with a bomb - to travel to the ruined castle in Norway to intercept the returning capsule, and its single passenger. . .the conqueror worm. ... Read more


12. The Sandman: Endless Nights
by Neil Gaiman
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401200893
Catlog: Book (2003-09-17)
Publisher: DC Comics
Sales Rank: 23334
Average Customer Review: 3.85 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Featuring the popular characters from the award-winning Sandman series, THE SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS reveals the legend of the Endless, a family of magical and mythical beings who exist and interact in the real world.Born at the beginning of time, Destiny, Death, Dream, Desire, Despair, Delirium and Destruction are seven brothers and sisters who each lord over atheir respective realms.In this highly imaginative book that boasts diverse styles of breathtaking art, these seven peculiar and powerful siblings each reveal more about their true-being as they star int heir own tales of curiosity and wonder. ... Read more

Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great gift for SANDMAN fans
ENDLESS NIGHTS is, well, a dream come true for fans of Neil Gaiman's comic book series THE SANDMAN. Endless Nights is a collection of 7 short stories written by Gaiman and featuring fan-favourite artists such as Glenn Fabry, Bill Seinkiewicz, Frank Quietly, & P. Craig Russell among others.

Each of the 7 stories focuses on one of the 7 members of The Endless (Death, Destiny, Dream, Despair, Desire, Delirium, & Destruction) beings which came before anything and will be around after all the gods are dead and gone. My personal favourite was the story about Dream. It offers a lot of history on The Endless and has more than a few surprises for fans of THE SANDMAN series. A let down was the story on Death. Gaiman himself has written somewhat similar stories for Death so it had a "been-there-done-that" feel to it. A big surprise is the Desire story, which reads like an old Norse legend. Great twist ending, too.

Bottom line is this is a must have for all SANDMAN fans. Buy this book now!

And for new readers I wouldn't say Endless NIGHTS is the best jumping off point to the SANDMAN universe (that would be vol 1) as people who've read THE SANDMAN series will get more out of it. However, it's not necessarily a bad starting off point either. If you know Gaiman's work from novels or other comics, ENDLESS NIGHTS will intrigue you as they are stand-alone stories that have aspects that do blend in to other SANDMAN stories. Just be sure to come back to it for a 2nd reading after you've read the other 10 vol. of SANDMAN.

4-0 out of 5 stars Up and Down
Gaiman goes for diversity here, made especially clear by his choice in artists. And as with any mixed bag, you'll like some more than others. I prefer the clear lines of Milo Manara, P. Craig Russell, and Frank Quitely, and found Gaiman's storytelling more to my liking there than the abstract episodes (art by Bill Sienkiewicz and Barron Storey). The Delerium story is told in a delerious style, yes, I get it, but I'm not blown away. Glenn Fabry does the art for a tale that reminds me of those old EC science fiction stories - no real explanation, just an anomaly and human reactions fused in. I liked it. Miguelanxo Prado provides some Sandman backstory and depicts the Endless back in the day.

Would I recommend this book if you haven't read other Sandman books? No. But if you have, want more, want to see some beautiful art, and don't want to miss one of Gaiman's best stories ("What I've Known of Desire"), definitely take the time for this collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy the hardcover version if you can
For those of you ready to take the plunge in making purchase of this excellent graphic novel, do yourself a favor and spend the few extra bucks on the hardcover version. For starters the hardback is slightly oversized and the thick, glossy paperstock wonderfully frames every panel of this diverse and beautifully illutrated book.

Fans of Neil Gaiman will find much to be delighted about in this return to his beloved, 'Sandman,' series. Made up of 7 chapters, each chronicles one of the Endless (Death, Desire, Dream, Despair, Delirium, Destruction and Destiny) in a self-contained story superbly illustrated by a different artist. Particular standouts are Milo Manara's contributions in 'Desire,' the subdued tones of Miguelanxo Prado in 'Dream,' and Barron Storey and Dave McKean's gritty work in 'Despair.' As a volume of bonus material post-Sandman, this book is a wonderful treat for fans and certainly lives up to the quality we've come to expect from Gaiman and company.

3-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable for the most part
First, let me say that I am a big fan of Neil Gaiman. That having been said, I enjoyed Endless Nights, but couldn't stay with the stories about Delirium and Despair- the artwork was just too distracting. Not that it is bad, mind you. For me, it's just too abstract to work with following graphic stories panel after panel. I would still recommend this work for Gaiman fans. My satisfaction with most chapters easily outweighs any disappointment in a few others.

3-0 out of 5 stars like visiting old friends, & they don't have much to say
As a whole, this Sandman collection is weak. Death & Dream have the strongest stories by far. The Delerium & Despair tales are tepid & confusing. Desire & Destruction have so-so appearances & Destiny's story is pretty much redundant.

It's hard to give this collection 3 stars- I was really looking forward to it. The first 10 Sandman books are beautiful. I treasure them. And this was the first 'spin-off' (as in not directly, sequentially linked to the others) that appeared promising. It was fairly enjoyable- it just wasn't on par with the others storywise (the artwork is lovely).

If you've read everything else, by all means read it. I'm just happy I checked it out of the library.

If you're new to Sandman start at the beginning, with 'Preludes & Nocturnes'; I doubt you'll regret it. ... Read more


13. Death : The Time of Your Life (Death)
by Neil Gaiman, Chris Bachalo, Clare Danes
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1563893339
Catlog: Book (1997-12-01)
Publisher: DC Comics
Sales Rank: 31018
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (25)

4-0 out of 5 stars Revisitation is a comforting thing.
While "Death: The High Cost of Living" had a more intriguing storyline, I still loved "Death: The Time of Your Life." The story features Foxglove, a minor character in the first Death graphic novel, and her lover, Hazel. Their trials and tribulations--including Foxglove's sudden rise to fame and the dynamic of having a son, Alvie--are illustrated (no pun intended.)

While the story isn't fleshed out as much as it could be, it was still a very enjoyable, engrossing read. The illustrations are beautiful and the emotions were dead-on and lacking in cliche, usually a given in Gaiman & co's work.

Foxglove must have been modeled on Ani DiFranco (another reason to love her!) but we don't really learn enough about Hazel. And as mentioned in other reviews, Death is far from the main character here. However, as I've stated, there is a lot to like here, and I do believe this qualifies as a must-have for Death--and Sandman/Gaiman--enthusiasts.

(Also an excellent introduction for those not familiar with Gaiman's world, or the world of comics at large.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Live each day as though it were your last.
A spin-of from DC/Vertigo Comics wildly sucessful "Sandman" books about the kind of dreams, this is one of two paperback collections featuring Death of the Endless, the Sandman's sister, a the deceptively youthful looking personification of Death in the form of a young woman.

Reminescent of the old adage, "live each day as though it was your last", herein Death comes to take a young child, but instead allows a young mother to make a deal for extra time, and the young mother's companion is forced to decide whether to continue pursuing a lucrative but draining and ultimately unsatisfying career as a pop star or, well that would be giving away too much. Like it's predecessor, "Death: the High Cost of Living", this is a mildly cautionary tale about the necessity of figuring out what's most important in your life and pursuing it in the time you have. Recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic art, average writing
You see, it's not that this is a mediocre work - it's definitely above average (hence the 3 out of 5 star rating) - it's just that we've been spoiled silly by the brilliant standard of writing, plotting, philosophy and character that Neil Gaiman so generously gave us through the epic run of his, 'Sandman,' series and when we come across a spin-off graphic novel that doesn't quite live up to that standard, of course we're going to be just a wee bit disappointed. With that being said, if you were a fan of the, 'Sandman,' series then you certainly dug the character of Death, and with that of course you have to read this volume as well. While the artwork is brilliant throughout (almost taking on a japanese manga look at times) the writing, sadly, just isn't quite up to snuff. Still, it's a slim enough book to make breezing through quite an effortless and pleasing experience.

3-0 out of 5 stars At least Death isn't as dumb in this sequel
I wasn't particularly impressed with "Death: The High Cost Of Living", which is the prequel to this book. The only reason I read this sequel is that I purchased both at the same time. Actually, I wound out liking this "Death" book better than the first, though it is less about Death and more about living.

Death has a little more power in this book, and is not as silly or giddy as before. Taking the side characters Foxglove and Hazel from "THCOL" and centering on them, this book continues with Foxglove's career taking off at a phenomenal pace. Hazel's baby Alvie is now born, and Hazel stays at home while Foxglove is out making appearances and records. On top of which, Foxglove has been advised by her manager not to reveal the nature of her lesbian relationship with Hazel.

But unknown to Foxglove, Hazel has made a deal with Death in her attempt to save Alvie's life. Foxglove is now not only going to have to choose between her family and her career, but also between life and death.

Three stars is still as high as I can go for this tale, and that is purely out of respect for Neil Gaimen. In all honesty, I dislike "touchy-feelie" books and this one has "syrup" written all over it, along with more cheesy song lyrics to be subjected to trying to finish the storyline. Gaimen's other works are much better, and if you like his books and his Sandman series, save these little "Death" graphic novels for last. They are not worthy of his other works and should be purchased only to fill in the holes in your collections.

3-0 out of 5 stars I had bagels and hot dogs..
This is definitely not the best Gaiman work, nor is it even close to the standard of Sandman.

While it is quite a good read, it is very quick with little depth, with a completely bizarre introduction from Tori Amos, and the character of Death is not quite the powerhouse woman I imagine from Sandman. Lets not forget the unusual end section regarding unsafe sex..of all things. The graphics are generally below the standard of Sandman, and the supporting cast are very poorly explored.

Both she and Sexton are quite cute characters, and her brief offering of life is nice touch. Cute again, even. This is what Death; the cost of living remains...one of the shallower cuter parts of the Sandman. I am suprised Gaiman did not expand the story, it definitely had the potential. ... Read more


14. Hellsing, Vol. 2
by Kohta Hirano, Tim Ervin-Gore, Fred Lui, Duane Johnson
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1593070578
Catlog: Book (2004-04-07)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Sales Rank: 35611
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Hellsing continues with more blood, guts, ghouls, and gothic murder. Created by Kohta Hirano, and making its way into an incredibly popular anime, Hellsing pushes the boundary of horror, yet looks so visually stunning and graphically cool that instead of being scary, it's super fun. Certainly not intended for younger readers, this series follows the Hellsing Organization, an old institution created by English royalty to squash the ghoulish undead of the world, as they face an insurgence of murderous monsters running rampant across the isles, fueled by...could it be...Nazi's? Watch the dark story unravel as Dark Horse Manga presents Hellsing volume 2. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Art with an Original Storyline!
I first came along Hellsing in the anime series, and I absolutely loved it. It was interesting and original, with wonderful animation and drawings. So, naturally, when I heard that the anime was once first a manga, I went out and bought it. The money was well spent. The manga goes a little differently than the anime, but if you've never seen the anime, then there's no problem. Basically, if you like vampires, guns, and cold-hard fighting with no romance, this is definitely for you. It's fast-paced with an interesting storyline, so get comfy and enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you liked the anime...
I saw the anime series recently,and liked it.BESIDES THE FACT I ORDERED A ---NEW--- BOX SET FROM THIS SITE AND THE DISKS CAME SCRATCHED UP,LOOSE,AND OBVIOUSLY USED.Thanks alot, Amazon. -_-0 Anyway,I decided to get the manga after listening to some of the interviews on a DVD.quite frankly,I like the manga as much as the anime.It lacks the character development of the anime,but it never takes itself too seriously.It has some details that the anime never goes into,such as what determines who's turned into a ghoul or vampire.
There's a neat bonus comic that's amusing in its own right.And the note from the author's kinda funny too.(cosmo guns that hold a billion rounds...)Nice job,Dark Horse.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hellsing - a winner
HEllsing was the first anime video that I saw, it was the gateway to my anime viewing experience. Once I finished the series on DVD I was looking around for a "season 2" when I found out that there series was based on comic books. I went to a store and bought vol 1 and read through it really fast. It draws you in and entertains you, and keeps you in suspence with its great illustrations and dialog. The irish and germans in the story are noticed as their accents just jump of the page at you. COnsequently I bought vol 2 + 3 and I am eagerly waiting for volumes 4, 5,6 and however more there might be in the works

If you are new to manga comics this might be a bit of a learning curve (as it was for me) but I did not mind as I was quite entertained.

Kudos to the author and the team that brought it to us in english!

5-0 out of 5 stars This series is great
When I first saw the Hellsing Anime I just had to get the Manga.
Boy was I right. The Manga is 100 times better then the anime and more violent too I might add.

I'm in love with this series. It's got action with style and of course, VAMPIRES! Alucard Rules!

This is one of those mangas that I'll probably read more then 3 times. This series is awesome.

Check it out.....

5-0 out of 5 stars But first, the manga!
At first, I saw the Hellsing series on DVD. But when I heard it had originated from a mamga, I knew I'd be in for something good. And here's the first volume. It is a combination of funny, witty, bloody and definitely cool. I could stop talkin about it for weeks. Definetly one to buy. ... Read more


15. FROM HELL
by Alan Moore, EDDIE CAMPBELL
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0958578346
Catlog: Book (2004-02)
Publisher: Top Shelf Production
Sales Rank: 6723
Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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The mad, shaggy genius of the comics world dips deeply into the well ofhistory and pulls up a cup filled with blood in From Hell. Alan Moore dida couple of Ph.D.'s worth of research into the Whitechapel murders for thiscopiously annotated collection of the independently published series. The web offacts, opinion, hearsay, and imaginative invention draws the reader in from thefirst page. Eddie Campbell's scratchy ink drawings evoke a dark and dirtyVictorian London and help to humanize characters that have been caricatured intoobscurity for decades. Moore, having decided that the evidence best fits thetheory of a Masonic conspiracy to cover up a scandal involving Victoria'sgrandson, goes to work telling the story with relish from the point of view ofthe victims, the chief inspector, and the killer--the Queen's physician. Hischaracterization is just as vibrant as Campbell's; even the minor charactersfeel fully real. Looking more deeply than most, the author finds in the "greatwork" of the Ripper a ritual magic working intended to give birth to the 20thcentury in all its horrid glory. Maps, characters, and settings are all asaccurate as possible, and while the reader might not ultimately agree with Mooreand Campbell's thesis, From Hell is still a great work of literature.--Rob Lightner ... Read more

Reviews (79)

5-0 out of 5 stars Jack the Ripper: Serial killer, Serailized Thriller
From Hell is not a book just anyone can pick up and get into. There i've said it. Not that it is an overly cerebral story, however it is such an oppresively dark comic that it really isn't just about Jack the Ripper, but it's also about the dark side of Britain as a whole (of course a dark side of over a hundred years ago, but...). The true meat of FROM HELL has very little to do with the murders...other than chapter ten, of course...By that I mean the act of the murders. The murders are, of course, at the center of the comic; however the comic seems to be telling the story of how an overly uncaring, and oft-times hellish, society seemed to simply LET the killer go.
If you've seen the movie, and expect to read the story of Inspector Abberline and Marie Kelley as they discover their romance for each other as they are led into the seedy and darkly crafted(heh... inside joke, Mason's and buildings play a role in this too...it's a pun...never mind...) society of 1880's england by Abberline's psychic visions... then be careful pickling this book up. That's a different FROM HELL.The book is the most starkly and frightening depiction of reality filtered through a researched fiction that I can think of.
And if you have a problem with Eddie Campbell's uniquely simplistic dark and sparse artwork, than you have to open your eyes. Look at how the art relates to the depiction of the times as a whole, Victoria's London wasn't exactly the gloriously beautiful empire that history books would have you believe, now was it?
Last note, after reading the book through once, go back, and read it while reading the appendices together. Still a highly entertaining read.
Fun and disturbingly and brutally upfront.(in an educational way. Hey, I convinced my !2th grade lit. teacher to let me use it for a book report AFTER she flipped through it. Read it you'll see why that's an accomplishment.)

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece
From Hell is Alan Moore's brilliant fictional interpretation of the Ripper crimes of 1888, told mainly from the perspective of the murderer himself. Moore's meticulously researched work - almost every major event can be attributed to one or more historical sources, some more trustworthy than others, and all listed in the fascinating endnotes - operates within the framework of the theory known as the "Royal Conspiracy", which suggests that Jack the Ripper was actually a deranged physician, Sir William Gull, operating to silence a group of East End prostitutes trying to blackmail the royal family. That's a sensational suggestion, and Moore makes things even more extravagant with his literary interpretation of the crimes as a symbol of the era's sexism and oppression; in the world of From Hell, Gull uses the murders as an opportunity to create an enormous work of ritual magic, with the purpose of keeping womankind enslaved for all eternity.

In so short a summary, a premise of that sort sounds like typical comic book fodder - in the worst possible way. But From Hell is no penny-dreadful account of a mad doctor slashing wildly at buxom streetwalkers. Moore refuses to exploit any of his characters: the prostitutes who are to become the Ripper's victims are shown as strong-willed individuals trying to make a living under truly hideous conditions; Gull is a brash, brilliant man, typical of the Victorian upper classes, whose underlying prejudices are grotesquely brought to the surface after he suffers a stroke early in the novel. No character here is a caricature - they're all real people, right down to relatively minor supporting figures like Gull's harried, ambitious coach-driver Netley. And the novel's depiction of Victorian London, aided immeasurably by Eddie Campbell's stark, scratchy black-and-white artwork, is so horrifically authentic and immersive that while reading the book it's hard not to get lost in the world it creates. Moore avoids simple exploitation of the shocking story by populating his utterly convincing world with heartbreakingly believable characters.

What distinguishes this work from most historical fiction is its bold use of fantastic elements to create a work of a much broader scope; they transform it from a mere exercise in historical research into a commentary on the nature of history itself. Gull wants to use his acts of murder to magically shape the course of the following centuries, and sure enough, as he begins killing he also begins to experience increasingly vivid and disturbing visions of the future he is in the process of creating. With this notion - the "architecture of history" - Moore matches form to content; using his powers of historical dot-connecting, he shapes a London full of eerie synchronicities and coincidences, reflecting the Ripper's belief in an overarching shape and symmetry of time.

From Hell's only real weakness is simply the logical conclusion of its main strength - Alan Moore is so dedicated to his vision of London that at times he overindulges his passion for historical pattern-finding, describing his discoveries in long passages that, while consistently fascinating, could occasionally stand some trimming down. Gull's visions begin as fleeting supernatural experiences and vague senses of deja vu, but they rapidly spiral out of control until he is almost completely immersed in them, seeing everywhere the history he has created with his work. From Hell's brilliance is obsessive enough that one must wonder whether its author had a similar experience.

4-0 out of 5 stars Credit to whom credit is due ...
In light of the applause given to this particular author, the Freemason research - "a couple of Ph.d's worth" - was done by Stephen Knight in his 1988 book on the Whitechapel Murders. Knight died subsequent to proving the Freemasonic nature of the murders - and why there were only five of them. The book is now out of print (not surprisingly) but nevertheless, it is Stephen Knight to whom credit should go, for proving the freemasonic ties.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing
I was absolutely amazed by the depth and quality of Alan Moore's FROM HELL. I've been reading graphic novels for a little over a year now, and in terms of subtlety, nuance, and overall storytelling, FROM HELL is head and shoulders above anything else I've read. I'm currently reading Moore's WATCHMEN, which also seems to be of equal quality.

I've never experienced anything close to what FROM HELL delivers in the admittedly short time that I've been reading comics. Alan Moore writes with the ear of a novelist and the eye of a portraitist. He packs this well-researched story of the Jack the Ripper murders with a wide and observant representation of life.

This graphic novel isn't just a retelling of the facts of the Jack the Ripper case (though it does an extraordinary job of that). It takes it all to the next level, and examines the reasons for examining such things.

It's not so much a suspense story (you know who the killer is right from the beginning) but rather one of internal discovery. A fascinating work of art and work of literature that should be read by anyone who wants to see just what comics are capable of.

4-0 out of 5 stars Stellar
The pages can get quite ugly; ink splotches, grotesque dissections et al. All this was very necessary, but the story, however, was homogenous- it was a dark and intelligent epic, and one that has numerous elements of realism, so this doesn't step in that "fantasy" category with truculent elves and other Dei ex Machina. In short, I loved the book. Here was a story which dared to stick it's thumb up at the comics establishment (published in the '80s, wot.) and it did it remarkably well.

Truly, this book told its tale like a movie, and the numerous mises-en-scene were deftly handled, and the royal chaps were masterfully portrayed. It had a fine start, and good closure too, quite unlike many money-churning comics you see on the shelf today with issues running into the hundreds. Definite start, definite end, definite masterpiece.

'Tis a shame pop culture so mangled the movie, and if you hated the film (as I did) and want to read the book nonetheless, please do. ... Read more


16. 30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow
by Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith, Jeff Mariotte, Alex Garner
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
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Asin: 1932382364
Catlog: Book (2004-10)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Sales Rank: 180963
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Book Description

30 Days of Night was one of the undisputed success stories of modern comics, spawning a bestselling trade paperback, a major motion picture deal, and the attention of thousands of fans longing for an innovative tale of terror. Now the same creative team revisits Barrow, Alaska, the town where it all began, as the long night creeps once more over the tundra.Some things may have changed, but the horror remains... ... Read more


17. Berserk, Vol. 2
by Kentaro Miura
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
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Asin: 1593070217
Catlog: Book (2004-01)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Sales Rank: 32272
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The evil Count uses his dark powers to transform a defeated guard captain into an inhuman horror to combat Guts, the Black Swordsman. Puck, Guts' pint-sized fairy sidekick, is captured when he attempts to stop an old doctor's execution, and he is given as a gift to the count's daughter, a sweet girl in a gilded cage, imprisoned by her father in her own room. Guts, determined to make mincemeat of the Count, assaults the castle and carves a swath of blood-soaked destruction through the Count's minions. Face-to-face with the Black Swordsman at last, the Count reveals his true form, and even Guts' super-sized sword may not be big enough to contend with this demonic monstrosity! ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for any fan of manga
If you have seen the Berserk anime released by Media Blasters then you have only scratched the surface of this story. The anime only covers about a third of the manga (which is currently 27 volumes and growing). I do not recomend this manga for those faint of heart, or those that felt the anime was too violent. The manga is much, much more graphic than its anime counterpart.

Aside from a few very minor editing/spelling mistakes (In the first volume there is a minor spelling mistake in reference to a castle) I have no problem with Dark Horse's translation of Kentaro Miriua's Berserk.

Highly Recommended

5-0 out of 5 stars GUTS - nuff said.
Wow. I LOVE this series. As we delve deeper into Guts' journey, the characterization is superb: Guts the Master Swordsman who's raw fury and power comes at the cost of his humanity(?). Plus, Puck the Elf is hilarious and never fails to get a laugh. He is a great balance to Guts' demeanor. Kenturo Miura's artwork is so effective in creating this chaotic world that you'd almost swear something moved in the background :) This continues to be a dark tale and I don't expect it to lighten up anytime soon - which is a good thing! The only bad thing was the cliffhanger ending....I want more BERSERK!!! PLUS, we haven't even gotten into where the anime took place.

If you've seen this anime, get the manga...you won't regret it. For those who haven't, read if you dare...the Behelit awaits.... ... Read more


18. Death: The High Cost of Living
by Neil Gaiman
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
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Asin: 1563891336
Catlog: Book (1994-06-01)
Publisher: DC Comics
Sales Rank: 10452
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (51)

5-0 out of 5 stars Death becomes mortal for a day.
This is arguably one of the best comic book stories ever written. A must read for any fans of Neil Gaiman and his Sandman comic book series. Originally appearing in three separate issues with the same title, "High Cost of Living" follows Death as she spends a day as a mortal. Along with her is Sexton Furnival, a boy who is filled with depression and hopelessness. He is a perfect compliment to the perky and smiley Death. Together they venture on a search through a big city for a lost heart. However, this is more than just a day-in-the-life story. It presents everyday life, and everyday activities, as something fun, exciting and worth living for. In essence, it shows just how precious life is -- all of life, the good parts and the bad parts.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very special Death.
After becoming one of the most beloved of the Endless family of characters from the incredible Sandman comic series, Death finally gets her own special 3 comic series. Neil Gaiman has created possibly one of the greatest concepts in modern literature...the idea that Death is not a robe-wrapped skeleton waving a scythe around, but a young, beautiful, endlessly perky Goth girl just wanting to have fun while she reaps her harvest of souls.

In this adventure, however, Death is not out to take a soul but to save one. In The High Cost of Living she guides a young, potential suicide case around Manhattan. She's partly on a quest to find an old witch's heart, but mostly she's out to show her escort that life is just too damn interesting to throw away.

Gaiman yet again gives us a fantastic morality tale that meanders around seemingly aimlessly but hits its intended targets with awesome laser-like accuracy. An absolute must-read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Could Death really be this bovinely mindless?
The story begins in an alley where Mad Hattie is searching for her heart, and quickly moves to an urban apartment where fifteen year old Sexton Furnival lives with his "slightly off" mother Sylvia, an aging Earth Mother type.

Sexton is sitting at his computer typing out his suicide note when his mother obliviously sends him out for the afternoon because she has taken the day off to spring clean their apartment. When he literally falls into a garbage dump, he meets a cute and saucy Goth girl named Didi, not knowing that she is Death walking in flesh for a day. She takes Sexton back to her apartment to mend her torn jeans, and now the story begins its long slide downhill.

Mad Hattie confronts Death and threatens to cut off Sexton's nose if Didi (Death) does not go out to find her missing heart. So Didi and Sexton set off into the city at night, to have some fun and search for Mad Hattie's heart. And unexplained thread unravels as Didi (Death) continually is offered free goods by kind people. I didn't get it, and Gaimen never explained it. They go into a "hot" club (for free), and once inside with them, we are subjected to some extremely cheesy lyrics sung by lesbian acoustical guitarist.

Outside the club, a strange blind man and his minion do unexplained things to find Didi in the club, and when the minion lures them out, Death follows as bovinely as a cow does into the slaughtering pens. It gets worse. Once Sexton and Didi are trapped in the cellar, the story becomes even more aimless, filled with pointless conversations which all build up to a ridiculous and anticlimactic ending.

For me, Death lost her charm as Didi when she became so naively helpless and stupifyingly frivolous in her actions and speech. I was interested in Death presented as a charming Goth girl, but I expected her to have more power, more intelligence, more drive, and something more to say. Oh, and I have never met a Goth girl who babbled like a Valley girl...another disappointment.

To top off my disgust, this unsatisfying story is followed by a brutally inane short in which Didi (Death) lectures us on condom usage. I never thought that I would be subjected to a cartoon character putting a condom onto a cartoon banana, but it happened and I shudder every time I think of it.

I love stories of Death, and if you do too, I would caution you to glance through this particular graphic novel in the bookstore before laying your hard earned cash down on the table. This was very disappointing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Quality industrial-strength, sub-plots by the pound
Neil Gaiman truly is the consummate storyteller able to weave first-class storylines and memorable characters seemingly at the drop of a hat. In this 3-chapter collection, Gaiman expands on his epochal Sandman universe by focusing on the Dreamlord's fetching younger sister - Death. Those who already follow the Sandman series are already familiar with this sassed-up, Goth personification of Death and will surely be remiss not to indulge in this graphic treat. Those completely new to the Sandman saga will still be able to dive straight into the story without missing a beat, enjoying the full brunt of Gaiman's genius.

The strangest thing about this volume is a 6 page, Public Service Announcement of sorts found at the very end. In this PSA, Death gives a full blown lecture on safe-sex, AIDS, and even gives a demonstration of proper condom insertion utilizing a banana! A bit weird, no doubt and in the end very much dates this book as somewhat of a relic from the mid-90's.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not the usual Sandman-esque story
This story follows Death after she rescues a teenage boy with a strange name. A very old homeless lady tells Death to find the heart she hid, but can't remember where it was placed. Death and the boy go to various places, and Death gets to experience the life of a human for a day. One of my favorite graphic novels. You don't have to be familiar with the Sandman books too well either, unless you want to know about some of the characters that also show up in this book. It's a fun book to read and Death is quirky as always and true-to-character. ... Read more


19. The Doll's House (Sandman, Book 2)
by Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg
list price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1563892251
Catlog: Book (1999-03-10)
Publisher: DC Comics
Sales Rank: 236766
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (27)

4-0 out of 5 stars The vortex, immortality and "cereal"
In the second Sandman collection, the reader starts to realize that Gaiman has some long range plans for this series. The tale of Rose Walker, the dream vortex who must be killed to save The Dreaming, is a complex one. The Doll House introduces the reader to many of the characters who would have a major effect on Gaiman's plans for the series. Particularly excellent is the tale of Hob Gadling, who becomes Dream's friend when he becomes the man "Death will not touch." Their meetings each century are little history lessons so well executed they make you wish for more. The "Cereal" convention, with special guest lecturer the Corinthian, is a scary look at the fascination with serial killers and the final twist involving Desire gives the reader some insight into the relationship of Dream with his siblings. This book really shows what a truly original creation The Sandman is.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best arc of the decade's best series
THE DOLL'S HOUSE is the arc that Gaiman himself says is where he realised what he wanted to do with the characters and where he wanted to go with the SANDMAN story. This edition begins with two stories that both stand apart from the rest of the series, but that also both have significant influence on THE DOLL'S HOUSE storyline and beyond. The first, "The Sound of Her Wings" introduces Dream's big sister in a profound and moving tale about the value of spending a day with Death as she goes about her business sending people to their next life. The next tale introduces Nada, Dream's doomed mortal love, who will play a significant part in a later arc, SEASONS OF MISTS. Then, THE DOLL'S HOUSE begins, a tale involving escaped dreams and nightmares, a human vortex and her granmother who had spent the bulk of her life asleep (see the previous PRELUDES AND NOCTURNS), and Dream's quest to prevent the dissolution of his kingdom. What makes Gaiman's writing so unique is that not only does he reject the comic book obligatory of big fist-fights to SAVE THE WORLD (and all that), but that Dream is not even the central character in these stories. Instead, Rose Walker is. It is she, not Dream, who is threatened and who goes on the emotional roller-coaster and it is to find out what happens to her that the reader keeps reading. In fact, Dream - the "hero" of this title - at what point nearly kills her to save his kingdom! Magnificent writing, magical artistry, this story is an absolute must. Buy it. Buy several. It makes a great gift.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Sandman develops
It's never too late for a good story, and the Sandman saga is very good. This collection moves that story forward, mostly in the person of Rose.

This book compiles a sequence of regular-sized comic books. The first story here stands by itself - a tribal tale of a place that could, some day, descend from our own time.

The rest of the book takes a very ordinary young woman and puts her in an extraordinary world. Taken part by part, it sounds fragmentary and disorganized: a nursing home, a bizarre convention, befriending a place, and facing mortal threat in an immortal world. The pieces all fit, though. They sustain a pace and a visual variety that makes this book hard to put down.

Best, however, is the glimpse of intrigue in the Sandmnan's world. We see a little of his own realm, and the plotting of his own minions. We also see his larger world, his sisters, and their covert push against the walls of his domain. This is just the second of a dozen or so collections - there is enough material here to drive that many volumes or more.

If you're new to comics, or just new to the Sandman, give this a try. If you already know the Sandman, you're in for one of the best books in the series.

5-0 out of 5 stars How wrong you are...
I am having a hard time understanding the motives of people who claim that The Doll's House is too "rough around the edges", and "not as brilliant as later volumes". These people are not only wrong--they are completely misguided.

You want to know the truth? The Doll's house is probably the best volume of Sandman that there is.

I have read it four times. Yet there are moments in The Doll's House, where I find myself literally sweating from tension as my eyes follow the words on each page. When Dream finally catches up to the Corinthian, I still applaud. Whenever Barbie and Ken share the page, I still laugh, and then shudder as I think of their future. When I see the horrible things happening to Rose Walker's brother, I still have to look away, and when The two siblings are finally reunited, I still shed a tear. It's that good.

All of you people calling it "unfocused", and "flawed" have completely missed the boat, and need to do some serious swimming to catch up to the rest of us.

Doll's House introduces us to so many memorable characters, so many fascinating insights of humanity, and so much memorable dialogue, that it cannot be labeled as anything less than the pinnacle of the series. Whether it shares this spot with the likes of "Brief Lives" and "Season of Mists" can be debated, but no other episode of the Sandman series can capture every human emotion and channel it so perfectly.

Please do not start with this. Wade through Preludes and Nocturnes first, and consider this one your dessert.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very confused
I don't understand why people consistantly refer to this title as the weakest entry in the Sandman series. I have read all ten volumes, and have to say that it is in fact one of the best. Of course, finding a bad Sandman book is like finding a bad Beatles album. It's really not about which one is the "worst", but which one is the least memorable; the one you are least likely to refer to over and over again and re-read just for the hell of it. And Preludes and Nocturnes is certainly one of the more memorable episodes.

Gaiman was new to his series, and he did not have very much direction. Preludes and Nocturnes leans towards classic horror, whereas other volumes, such as The Wake, and A Game of You, are closer to fantasy. So Preludes and Nocturnes is different then all the others. So what? There are so many classic moments that are contained within its pages, moments that stick in your mind and don't leave. Moments such as Dream's escape from his prison and the logic that followed, the introduction or Cain and Abel, John Constantine and his quest to find the pouch of sand, Dream's journey to Hell and his battle with Choronzon over the helm, the ENTIRE FRIGGIN CHAPTER OF 24 HOURS, and the final introduction of Death at the end--the sweet, good natured goth girl who just happens to be the same person we often see personified as a dark cloaked figure with a scythe. The list goes on and on and on.

Of course the same could be said for any of the other volumes, but that is exactly my point. Preludes and Nocturnes is not better then Brief Lives, nor is it worse. It exists to advance the story to its eventual conclusion, and it does a great job. There are some flaws--but everyone will find something they don't like in each of the volumes. Don't listen to those people who say "if you read this one first, you'll get the wrong impression of Sandman". Bull. If you don't like this volume, then Sandman is not for you, end of subject.

The worst thing you can do is skip this volume in favor of another, later chapter, such as Season of Mists. Start at the beginning--Gaiman did, and his work turned out just fine in the end. ... Read more


20. Dr. Strange: A Separate Reality Tpb
by Steve Englehart, Frank Brunner
list price: $17.95
our price: $17.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 078510836X
Catlog: Book (2002-06-01)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Sales Rank: 212701
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful art, overdone plots and a lack of cohesion.
The obvious selling point of this volume is the MAGNIFICENT and unique art of Frank Brunner, who worked in comics only a short time (Why do so many of the talents who come into comics with a nearly complete style seem to stay such a short time, ala Brunner, James Sherman, Mike Nasser, even Barry Windsor-Smith for a long time). Brunner's art was simply a decade ahead of it's time, at least, and this is probably the first time it has even been showcased on paper that befits it.

The stories are a mixed bag here. To be sure, the plots are about as cosmic as cosmic gets, but the execution isn't always. It always seemed to me that the best Dr. Strange stores (which are invariably the Steve Ditko ones) succeed because the emphasize the humanity of the hero, even if only through the mechanism of stressing how INHUMAN his opponent is. That's not really the case here, as he is very detached from his humanity during this era. There is some nice interaction with the Ancient One, but even that isn't as emotional as it ought to have been for someone who was Strange's de facto "second father".

The plots themselves borrow a bit from Lovecraft and even Michael Moorcock at times, which seems logical for Doctor Strange, I suppose. The only really weak story here is the one with a magician who essentially "becomes God" (or becomes absorbed BY God, depending on how you read it). The tales seems to jump about ten magnitudes of cosmic at the last minute without any natural flow. One minute the guy is a ho-hum villain, the next he's becoming God. Huh?

That aside, this is a really fine collection of Brunner art and, certainly, some of Steve Englehart's most...innovative... stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Magnificent
Dr. Strange is one of Marvel's most original and unusual superheroes. The stories represented in this volume are some of the best in his almost 40 year career.

This collecton presents Engelhart and Brunner's tales from the early seventies, reprinting the tail end of Doc's run in Marvel Premiere and the beginning issues of his second solo magazine. Englehart spins tales of the sorceror's most difficult times where he must make incredibly painful choices. You will read as the doctor must choose between killing his mentor or allowing evil to overtake the planet, travelling back in time and witnessing history with a being who will become God, and finally, realizing that all things come to an end and even he will not win every battle. Dr. Strange will die, only to be reborn more powerful than ever.

The dialog is as spectacular as the inspiring plot. The Doctor's lines show him as somewhat disconnected and aloof, without being ridiculous like the Roy Thomas days of the late sixties. This is as believable as comic fantasy gets.

Brunner's artwork is breathtaking. He gives us a solid view of reality and manages to incorporate the weird and fantastic seamlessly. It is truly a shame that these two are not working on the title today. Barring the Stern/Rogers/Austen run in the early eighties, this is the best since the original Stan Lee/Steve Ditko stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dr Strange Gets Cosmic!
This is the pinnacle of 1970s "cosmic comics." Along with Jim Starlin's Warlock and Captain Marvel, this defines the brief but wonderful period when comics dared to tackle such weighty matters as Death, God, Religion, Life and the Occult. The writing was combined with an art style that straddled the line between the stream-of-consciousness style of the undergrounds and the ultra-polished mainstream look these comics broke new ground and expanded both the medium and the minds of its readers.

The early 1970s were a time of experimentation, both personal and artistic-in music, movies and even comics and nowhere does that experimentation bear more fruit than with these issues of Dr Strange. This slick, but affordable reprint is the perfect way to read these stories. Reprinted here are Marvel Premiere #s 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, and Dr Strange (2nd Series) #s 1, 2, 4, 5. The missing issues were reprints that had nothing to do with the story line (common in those days), and so this flows as one continuous tale. It was co-conceived and plotted by Frank Brunner and Steve Englehart (during long of sessions of "getting cosmic" and hashing ideas out). Brunner is the artist and Englehart is the writer. Both are masters in the comic field and at the top of their game. Brunner's art is absolutely stunning-on the slick pages of this full-color reprint his beautiful poetic imagery is even more sumptuous than on the faded pages of my originals. His art is smooth and flowing and yet eye-popping. Englehart's writing is top-notch. His Dr Strange has his own voice which may sound a bit stilted, but then, the "Master of the Mystic Arts" shouldn't sound any other way.

The story provides a lot to chew on, Dr Strange's mentor, the Ancient One dies (actually he becomes one with the universe) and passes the mantle of "Sorcerer Supreme" to Strange. Soon he finds himself pursuing a powerful magician backward through time. This particular time traveler has a curious scheme to go back in time absorbing all the magic until he himself is...God. Before it is all over Strange experiences death and takes a trip through his own personal Lewis Carroll-esque unreality before confronting mortality.

My only complaints with this compilation are that the wonder Brunner covers (nine in all) are crowded onto two pages. There is a one page introduction by comics historian Peter Sanderson, but little else to give this the deluxe treatment it deserves. Last, but not least, there is (GAH!) an ad page in the very back! Still, this is a slick, cheaply priced, convenient way to read some of the best comics of the 1970s-and I read it cover to cover and enjoyed every moment of it! ... Read more


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