The Book of Ballads and Sagas Comics from Green Man PressDebbie Skolnik wrote this review. How do you add a new dimension to and perhaps the enthusiasm of a new generation for the wonderful world of folk ballads and sagas? One solution is to use an art form that is not usually associated with such things. In this case, I speak of the comic book, or as it is more usually known these days, the graphic novel. Charles Vess, an extremely talented graphic artist, has done just that. They tell the stories: he does the illustrations. The ballads are English and Scottish; the sagas are, as their name implies, Norse in origin.
The Book of Ballads
For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. After a five year hiatus we are treated to a second Original Art Edition from Titan, this time a wonderful collection of Charles Vess doing what he does best. The introduction by Vess provides a comprehensive history of the work and its path to this edition. From there we get a table of contents, thirteen stories of original art, an extras section and to close it all out short biographies of the artist and writers. The extras section includes scripts, thumbnails, alternate art, all with notes. Blacks are fairly consistent with no gradients, but we get an endless array of cross hatching. Pages have aged well, showing off white to light tan.
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