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Abe Sapien Volume 1: The Drowning Paperback – 30 Sep 2008

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Abe Sapien Volume 1: The Drowning + Abe Sapien Volume 2: The Devil Does Not Jest and Other Stories + Abe Sapien: Dark and Terrible and the New Race of Man
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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse (30 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595821856
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595821850
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 0.9 x 25.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 240,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER on 1 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Set during the years when Hellboy was AWOL, Abe Sapien sets out to investigate the claims of a haunted fishing village. Enter pirates and buried treasure, zombies, voodoo and witches, large sea creatures and rough seas. The art on offer here is fantastic. Jason Shawn Alexander brings Mignola's script to life with vibrant pictures of doomed pirate vessels from the 18th century, lonely coastlines caught in the last glow of a sunset, and the empty, chilling stare of a soulless creature. Mignola's challenge is to make Abe as capable as Hellboy of handling the supernatural threats without resorting to out and out violence and pulls it off admirably. A pitch perfect and engrossing read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Finn on 11 April 2011
Format: Paperback
I've always liked Abe as a supporting character but he's no Hellboy. There is a slight theme reflecting that running through the book. For me he's best used as a quiet contrast to the big red guy. Still there is some nice Mike Mignola writing here. It's very spare as always but Mike lets the myths & legends colour them selves and shows that you don't need lots of exposition for a mood piece like this. The art is pretty good but it isn't Mike's art - his stuff only appears on the covers - shame. Jason Shawn Alexander's art is pretty good but for me I'd rather have had Mike do the honours. Oh and there are some design sketches from Mike at the back. It would have got five stars if Mike had done the art or there had been more of the big guy
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By tallmanbaby TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 July 2011
Format: Paperback
Abe Sapien is refreshingly vulnerable compared to Hellboy, and this is his first solo outing. Generally the more Mike Mignola there is about one of these stories, the better it is. Here we have Mignola scripting but not doing the art work.

The art is decent enough, and actually quite eerie and effective in parts, the story fair belts along too, it is one of those books that you really want to read in a sitting. Having said all that, there is not actually a huge amount to it, it does not add much to our understanding of Abe or the overall continuity. Abe Sapien is a wonderful character, but this falls a bit short. He acquits himself well in the Hellboy titles and in BPRD, so with luck he might earn himself a solo return with a stronger story.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Most Amazing Art for a wonderful comic! 20 Aug. 2009
By Luke R. Zwanziger - Published on
Format: Paperback
The story is a five issue arc following Abe Sapien's first solo mission after long being assigned on many cases with Hellboy.

This story is inked by my now favorite comic book artist, Jason Shawn Alexander. His wonderful art style is created by inking straight away with little or no pencils. His art drips, and oozes with an edge, giving a clear sense of emotion, relying heavily on the dark shadowing to convey the images. The art gives a sense of foreboding, exhilaration and excitement. I was completely taken, absorbed in the pages, soaking in the images, and when I was done, I went back to page one. Alexander's art tells the story just as well as Mignola's words, which often are sparse letting just the images tell the story. In the end it is beautiful.

The coloring by Dave Stewart was amazing too, winning the 2009 Eisner Award for Coloring on this run.

Whether you are a Hellboy fanboy/girl, or just want some of the best comic book reading, I definitely recommend you pick up this book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Never Trust a Priest on Fire - No Matter How Good His Sermon Is. 1 Dec. 2008
By TorridlyBoredShopper - Published on
Format: Paperback
Abe Sapien, the lexicon of knowledge and the dispatcher of Rasputins the world over, has not always been the way we know him. In 1981 he was, in fact, a field rookie and nobody knew how he would perform. His first mission carried him to a little island called Saint-Sebastian (not to be confused with the one off the coast of Spain), to recover a ritualistic dagger from the body of a warlock named Vrooman because the BPRD thought the dagger could be inherently valuable to them. The thing they didn't count on was the fact that Vrooman had secrets of his own, they the island had a horrid past, and that Abe would be walking into something that would ultimately hit the island like a plague and consume souls like moths in flame.

Personally, I was happy to see a little more Abe out there to look at because I have long wondered what the Ictho-Sapien's past was like. In Drums of the Dead we saw a little piece of what he was, and in the Hellboy Companion it talks about Abe in a bit more detail. Still, Abe is an enigma and enigmas are fun to watch unravel - and especially so when Mike Mignola is doing the frame-by-frame. As the mission comes to a head and Abe finds himself confronted with a few oddities, we see the "thing" from his past and are reminded again of the name he had for a time. This is what I like about Mignola's presence - first, anything that he wants to happen can happen and, secondly, he makes great pieces of literature. Mignola actually said that he never considered himself a great writer because he tells his stories with pieces. If only he could see the thing in the mirror.

One thing I was a little torn by was the guest artwork. I liked Jason Alexander and thought some of his characterizations were quite good, but I did not like the things he did with Abe. When he constructed the body profile, for instance, it looked too gaunt and too - I hate to use this word - normal for my tastes. This happens when you have quests, however, and when you get accustomed to a specific way of doing things. Since Mignola is the mind that brought us Hellboy and the others, it is hard to shake the people he gave life in his way. Still, Alexander did good work and did not disappoint by making things too cartoony or too bland.

Anyone reading along with Hellboy might like this, anyone taking in BPRD will like this, and anyone that is interested in adding on will enjoy it as well. A newcomer's book this may not be - I'm not sure because of the movies and all plus the story is about Abe and maybe you like Abe. I recommend it highly, enjoyed the read, and say "buy it but know it as well."
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Good Story, Great Art 13 Oct. 2008
By Uthor - Published on
Format: Paperback
Another great story from Mignola, but not drawn by him. He abandoned drawing BPRD a long time ago, brought on a new artist for Lobster Johnson, and finally gave up drawing Hellboy itself.

The story follows Abe on his first solo mission and, of course, things get FUBAR. Ancient wizards, demons, witches, and sea monsters all appear. The story shows Abe resolve to get the job done right even when he is given an easy way out. It shows the tough job the BPRD crew has keeping the world safe paranormal foces.

With Abe Sapien, Mignola brings aboard another great artist to help him out with telling stories. Alexander has a very loose style (straight inking with no pencils) that almost looks painted in black before being expertly colored by Dave Stewart. If Mignola continues to use amazing artists, I'm fine with him giving up art duties in favor of fleshing out the Hellboy universe.

It is a little more wrapped up in its own mythologies than the looser and more action oriented Lobster Johnson and the latest Hellboy and BPRD stories. A little more action and cutting the back story down a bit (almost an entire chapter, alone) would have quickened the pacing a bit.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A nice abe story with incredible art 20 April 2010
By JR Gumby - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book really isn't as good as some of the other 5 stars I've given out, but I absolutely love it. It focuses on one of my favorite characters from Hellboy who I always felt got shortchanged as a sidekick. Even though Mignola stepped down from illustrating this, I feel like the artist did an amazing job and if anything his attempts to include the thick block shadows that make Mignola so notable sometimes overshadow his own style. Still, it comes out beautifully and most pages are simply stunning.

The story in and of itself is similar to a lot of the earlier hellboy stories: epic evil, brief fistfight, final conclusion. This feels a bit more cerebral and lacks a lot of the punchy humor that pops up so much in Hellboy (and makes it so loveable) but I think it's a wonderful reflection of a more serious and thoughtful character. It's also a chance to watch Abe come into his own as an agent, and it does that fairly well.

Overall I think this is an excellent addition to any hellboy collection, and my only wish after buying it is that the print quality was as good as the Library Volumes. Still, the print quality is very good, and the binding feels a bit more solid than some of the early Hellboy TPBs.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Severely disappointing. 27 Mar. 2012
By BK - Published on
Format: Paperback
As a disclaimer, I enjoy the Hellboy series and absolutely love B.P.R.D. so was excited to finally grab a copy of a solo adventure of Abe.

Luckily, I'm a big enough fan that this muddled story will not alter my high opinion of the character.

I found the story to be completely uninteresting and although it touches up on a few points from Abe's beginnings, its attempts at adding more depth to him get lost within the uncompelling plot. It follows the straightforward formula present in the earlier Hellboy stories but as this book proves, just because it works for Big Red doesn't mean it works for the rest of the group.

The only positive aspect of this book was its art. The artist's loose, dark style fit the story's mood perfectly and it definitely makes the book stand out from the other work of the Mignola universe.

Ultimately, this book is shallow and has almost nothing to offer beyond its art.
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