Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Review - José González Vampirella Art Edition Hardcover (@DynamiteComics)

"Why do you brood, Vampirella? Are you not happy here?"

Vampirella is a character who is more powerful than most realize. She's also been around for longer than most people realize and part of her longevity has to do with the work of José González. José González Vampirella Art Edition Hardcover from Dynamite Comics collects his earlier works on the character and it's a fitting homage. The hardcover includes Vampirella #15: "The Resurrection of Papa Voudou," Vampirella #16: "...And Be a Bride of Chaos" and Vampirella #37: "She Who Waits" written by Archie Goodwin, Vampirella #19: "Shadow Of Dracula", written by T Casey Brennan, Vampirella #21: "Slithers in the Sand" and Vampirella #23: "The Blood Queen of Bayou Parish" written by Steve Englehart, Vampirella #27: "Return Trip?" written by Josep Toutain, Vampirella #28: "Curse of the MacDaemons" written by Mike Butterworth, Vampirella #61: "An Eye for an Eye" written by Bill DuBay and Vampirella #108: "Spawn of the Star Beast 6" and Vampirella #112: "The Walker of Worlds" written by Rich Margopoulos. All original artwork by José González.

Celebrate the extraordinary work of Jose Gonzalez, an unparalleled master of horror illustration, with this gorgeous hardcover collection, presenting for the first time actual storyboard artwork spanning his years as the preeminent Vampirella artist! Eleven captivating and creepy tales appear in their entirety, stories ranging over ten years from Vampirella Magazine #15 (January 1972) to issue #112 (March 1983). Scanned in high-resolution color and printed at original size, Jose Gonzalez's Vampirella Art Edition preserves every detail of the artist's meticulous skill and hard work, a true treasure for longtime Vampi fans.

Each of the stories in José González Vampirella Art Edition Hardcover and all the scripts reflect her as a character from early in her career. The character originally appeared in 1969 and the stories included very much embrace the prevailing mood of the time. Vampirella is a character who's fiercely independent and capable of protecting herself, but that didn't stop the writers from still putting in her relatively precarious situations as a means of progressing the plot. These situations feel a little too damsel in distress in their approach and it's refreshing to see that Vampirella as a character has grown even more self-sufficient since her inception as a character. There's also much more of a horror vibe in José González Vampirella Art Edition Hardcover that--again--is reflective of the direction of comics at the time, with horror books being one of the better selling types.

The real selling point of José González Vampirella Art Edition Hardcover is likely to be the artwork itself and the presentation here doesn't disappoint. The pages included offer the storyboard artwork González, giving readers a glimpse into not just the approach taking for illustrating, but the approach taken in the 1970s particularly. Scanning the original pages lends the book a sense of nostalgia and makes the reader appreciate how talented González is--especially when it comes to Vampirella. The linework is very concise, effectively highlighting characters and the details that differentiate them from one another. And the relatively simple black and white approach by González further imbues the work with a refined elegance that exemplifies González work overall.

José González Vampirella Art Edition Hardcover is a beautiful collection focused on a character who many will recognize but likely isn't as appreciated as she should be. Vampirella was created at a time when social morals were transitioning to one era to the next, giving her a sense of freedom that matches up perfectly with her vampire roots. The stories in José González Vampirella Art Edition Hardcover all conform to this vision of her as a character. González is clearly a master of his craft and his exquisite work is given plenty of room to shine in this collection. José González Vampirella Art Edition Hardcover is a fantastic collection paying tribute to both a renowned character and a renowned artist.

José González Vampirella Art Edition Hardcover is in stores now.


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