Like many, I was introduced to Hellboy by way of Guillermo del Toro's fabulous films. I've watched them many times and often considered dipping into the comics. When I finally decided to take the plunge, I went top-shelf and got the Library Edition.
The most obvious first impression is its size, which is far larger than a standard comic trade. Granted, Hellboy contains the equivalent of two trades, but the most impressive dimensions here are the height and width of the book; which, of course, translates to the page size as well. And this is a good thing for the art. It's for this larger size and better presentation of the art that I selected the Library Edition. The panels are huge and the colours are brilliant ... the art pops off the page very nicely. And due to the larger page-size, I don't find myself needing to bend over the book to see everything or to be able to read each and every word. It's a very relaxing read.
I'm no expert on paper selection, but the pages here are made of a high-gloss, thick stock; the stock is of the sort you'd expect to see in something like a high-quality Broadway programme or perhaps poster stock. It's almost like a thin card stock.
This, of course, adds physical depth/thickness and weight to the book, which some may find off-putting. I wouldn't want to hold this in a one hand for several minutes, but it sits very comfortably on my lap.
There's little point in covering the story content in great detail at this stage. Hellboy is no secret, and you generally know what you're getting into. You'll either like it or you won't. But it's worth noting that this particular volume contains "Seeds of Destruction". This is the first Hellboy story, on which the first Hellboy film was loosely based (along with bits and pieces from other stories). Reading the story now as Mignola originally wrote it, and seeing the film again makes me see very clearly the appreciation that del Toro had for the original work. He didn't do a Zack Snyder and try to translate the book panel-by-panel to the big screen. Instead, he took the original story seeds (pun intended) and gave them a substance all his own...while at the same time keeping true to the overall flavour of Mignola's original. This makes the final result of the film all the more impressive.
It is also worth mentioning that there are around 33 pages of "bonus content" at the rear of the book in the way of Mike Mignola's sketchbook and some 2-page short stories which really got Hellboy started. these are a nice addition which you supposedly won't find in the standard trades.
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This is an amazing collection of an amazing story. The book quality is breathtaking. The hardcover is tough and the binding is of high quality. The pages are thick and the artwork looks amazing. I have always loved Hellboy and its expanded universe, I am glad to own it in this version.
NOTE: This is only Vol.1. There are another 5 more volumes + The 'Hellboy In Hell' volume that concludes this amazing storyline.
This is how you do a library version! The binding is incredible, the book itself is huge and looks great on my shelf. The pages are thick and the spine of the book is made in such a way that you can easily read it without bending the paper. As for the comic itself - the art is unique and I've heard some describe it as too stylized. It's definitely weird looking but I think that reflects the strange story and universe of the material. The stories are interesting and the characters are cool, this book definitely got me hooked. This is by far the best hardback comic collection I've ever seen.
I think Hellboy is one of the best comics of the last decade, and these hardbound volumes are a fabulous way of collecting this title. Included here is the complete Seed of Destruction and Wake the Devil, plus more. If you like Hellboy, buy it!
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Took me ages to find this! When I first ordered it from somewhere else it tried telling me it would be with me in a month but then three months later I got the hint haha. However, found it again here and it arrived in good time!! THANK YOU!!