This volume of work by Manara published by Dark Horse contains truly wonderful art by the italian master, which, but for the completely misguided and misjudged decision of the editors/publishers to publish the work in black and white, would have made for a truly essential volume to own. As is, the publishers have issued a volume which is likely to be consigned to the status of a mere curiosity, and hardly to be regarded as a truly "definitive" hardcover collection. What's perhaps more annoying is the apparent justification provided in the book's overlong and somewhat meandering introduction (it spends almost half it's time talking about other people's work and repeating a basic point about changing social attitudes to sex in Italy; something which it could have been more economical with in order to focus on Manara and the stories themselves, but alas...) In any event, the introduction alleges that editors felt that printing in black and white simply provided the best opportunity to truly enjoy Manara's line work, a decision which strikes as both paradoxical and perplexing since the introduction admits the stories were originally *printed in color!!!* If a concern arises about the quality of the original prints, that's not something to avoid by publishing without color. That's something you deal with by whatever means you need to!!
It's an insane decision for a reasonably pricey hardcover volume ostensibly designed to celebrate the work of clearly one of the most accomplished artists and erotic storytellers in comics, and arguably borders on epic stupidity. The editors appear to forget that these stories are available elsewhere, however hard to find, and in color, as originally intended, so that releasing an all black and white volume in 2012, immediately relegates the importance of this volume to "non-essential" or "easily overlooked." Which is unfortunate. The content here is superb, and definitely worth five stars. But you might wish to wait until Dark Horse fires the editors of these Manara collections or someone else collects and publishes Manara's incredible work.