The Vertigo Encyclopedia Hardcover – Sep 1 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is great, but not perfect.
It is indeed the only complete Vertigo Resource available.
It gives in-depth articles on characters, is page after page of great illustrations and art.
It is a "must have" for any comics fan, and at this price it really can't be overlooked!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
To wit, consider the imaginiative 100 Bullets, the poetic Sandman, Y (the Last Man), Madame Xanadu, Testament, Scalped, Preacher, Lucifer, and Jack of Fables. What genre haven't they touched?
The encyclopedia format works well for Alex Irvine. Listing each title alphabetically with spin offs as a secondary entry, and then including the one shots at the back was the only way to do this. Pertinent story lines, artwork culled from the books, and character bios where necessary make this a fantastic guide to almost every Vertigo title. Unfortunately, the space required to properly document the longer running titles is not possible. I guess we have to buy the comics (sigh).
The slick paper and presentation make this a volume every collector should have. The Vertigo experience is remarkable, share it with your friends.
Each of the main ongoing and major limited run series are listed with the following information: First issue date, series run, artists/writers, main storyline, creation notes, and key characters. Some of the more major titles also list outstanding moments, trade paperback collections, spin-off publications, and any awards the title may have won.
If you think it's just a fluff piece, think again. The information is quite detailed. The Fables and Hellblazer sections run a full ten pages each. If you are not already a reader of these titles, this would be a great way to get up to speed and a heck of a lot cheaper than going out and buying a slew of back issues. The Hellblazer listing takes you through the entire history of the character from the tragedy at Newcastle, to his meeting Swamp Thing, to his battles with Nergal, and the incredibly numerous and diverse cast of characters.
The other major selling factor of the book (and for DC consequently) is that it will certainly generate interest in the Vertigo line whether it's with current and on-going titles or those titles that have ended. I am now very interested in picking up titles like "The Un-Men" and "DMZ".
Now the book simply can't cover everything released in the Vertigo line which includes over 200 one-shots and limited series. For those titles the book includes the Gazeteer. The Gazeteer runs through these titles in a thirty-page section that features capsule listings. The capsule listings provide the series run, creators, and a description of the series or one-shot. The titles here include original graphic novels like "Deadboy Detectives", one-shots like "Doctor Thirteen" and limited series like "Flinch". A comprehensive index rounds it out.
The material is accompanied by hundreds of pieces of art taken directly from the comics. DK did a nice job with their previous encyclopedias but this one is the best yet. In some ways it's an easier task because there is only fifteen years of history but on the other hand, these are titles which have much smaller yet often more faithful readerships so they had to do a good job. Neil Gaiman provides an introduction.
It sums up the main characters and story lines for Vertigo publications. Good thing to have when you like graphic novels and comics.
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