- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Gallery Books; Special ed. edition (July 26 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1451627254
- ISBN-13: 978-1451627251
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 1.3 x 25.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 635 g
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #36,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Crow: Special Edition Paperback – Jul 26 2011
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About the Author
James O'Barr is a writer and accomplished painter who resides in Texas. Visit JamesOBarr.typepad.com.
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Top customer reviews
I would recommend this product to anyone who enjoys the story of The Crow, with this layout of the story.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I was not disappointed with my choice at all. I might not know how exactly the special edition differs from the original edition, but the additional material and the various front- and back-matter that came with the special edition enhanced my passion for the movie and the overall story. If you get this special edition, read everything between the front and back covers. It helps to set the tone of the narrative and provides fantastic insight into what James O'Barr bled into his story from his own unfortunate life experiences.
The disparity between O'Barr's original illustrations and his special edition exclusive illustrations was not at all jarring to me. Sure, there is a notable quality and experience gap, but the familiarity with his style helped to bridge that gap and provided a welcomed variety to the style choices.
A great buy overall. A definite treasure in my collection.
"The Crow" is one of the best selling comic trade paperbacks ever and this particular edition has been rumored for literally half my life. I'm 29 now and talk of the "Author's Edition" has been circulating since I was in junior high school. I still have my original copy but its in tatters from being carried around in my backpack constantly through high school. It no longer has the front cover.
I almost broke down and replaced it a few times over the years but I always held off in hopes that this edition would materialize. If I would have known how long it would take I probably would have repurchased it long ago. Now I have this Special Edition and its flaws aren't worth buying the original version again but I feel anyone who has a perfectly good copy of the TPB may want to make an informed decision re: the "upgrade".
For starters, one of the selling points on the jacket is "LOST SEQUENCES RESTORED USING THE ARTIST'S ORIGINAL TECHNIQUE". Per his introduction James O'Barr claims that the original art for these deleted scenes was lost and/or given away over the years and has been faithfully recreated using low-quality photocopies as a guide. I guess we'll have to take his word for it because these poor-quality versions are presented nowhere in the book. I hate to sound paranoid but the reason I'm not quite convinced is because they show an advanced technique not present in the surrounding material. I say kudos to James O'Barr for improving as an artist over 30 years but I don't know how I feel about the dishonesty in regards to the historical nature of the art.
Secondly, the two major sequences are good but not great. The "An August Noel" scene is like most deleted scenes in movies where you can see why it didn't make the cut in the first place and the case could definitely be made that the second one "Sparklehorse" is redundant in regards to the first dream sequence with the horse. At least O'Barr had the decency to be honest in his introduction about the fact that this is a new sequence as opposed to something that has supposedly been sitting on a shelf for 30 years. Neither one is actually detrimental to the story but again, they're hardly essential either.
My third objection is my biggest one: there are at least two instances where O'Barr's charmingly-amateurish art in the early issues is replaced by the aforementioned modern art. Going back to that blurb about "THE ARTIST'S ORIGINAL TECHNIQUE" this revisionism really rubbed me the wrong way. I may upload two examples into the Amazon.com customer images here tonight. I've always felt that O'Barr's poorer art in the early issues had an endearing quality and I also enjoyed seeing him improve over the relatively-short period of time it took for "The Crow" to see completion but the two examples I saw are incredibly incongruous. To see the modern art between panels of vintage/period art is very distracting. The first example (the Crow with Gabriel on his shoulder carrying a wine bottle and flowers) was always admittedly been one of the more-memorable examples of being less-than-great but I'm at a loss as to why O'Barr singled the second instance (a scene with Albrecht in Gideon's Pawn) out. The original art is no worse than the other panels left as-is on the very same page and some dialogue is even dropped as a result of the new composition which actually creates a small continuity error on the next page as Albrecht refers to a now-deleted line while recapping his encounter over the phone to Hook.
My final objection comes right down to cheapness. If you liked some of the lyrics and poetry included in previous editions you're going to be sorely disappointed. Basically anything that would have involved royalties being paid to bands like The Cure and Joy Division has been axed. Its hard to even give the publishers the benefit of the doubt in regards to this being an artistic decision when its so blatant. "The Hanging Garden" by The Cure has been replaced, for example, by an original piece of poetry written by O'Barr. Its the literary equivalent of when you watch a TV show on DVD and the pop music used in the broadcast has been replaced by cheesy soundalike music for the home video release.
Ultimately having this edition of "The Crow" is kinda like when a movie you enjoy is only available in its directors cut or unrated cut on DVD. When you're done you can't really say that it didn't satisfy your interest in watching/reading/listening etc. but for every little change that you enjoy there's probably something in there you wish they wouldn't have messed with in the first place.