Comic Review: P. Craig Russell’s Strange Dreams Artist Edition HC (IDW)

P. Craig Russell’s Strange Dreams Artist Edition HC, from IDW, is a joy to hold and behold. The newest (#55) in their Artist Edition series, this volume reproduces a long […]

P. Craig Russell’s Strange Dreams Artist Edition HC, from IDW, is a joy to hold and behold.

The newest (#55) in their Artist Edition series, this volume reproduces a long story of Marvel’s KillRaven, Written by Don McGregor for Marvel Graphic Novel #7 in 1983. It’s followed by a 1996 Dr. Strange story, “What is it That Disturbs You, Stephen?”. In addition to these 2 self-contained complete stories, there are many extra covers, full-page illustrations, and notes from P. Craig Russell.

As in previous Artist Editions, this volume’s artwork is oversized, that is, larger in size than the comic pages were originally printed. It’s the actual artwork size.
So you see the brush and pen strokes, the notes in the borders, the lettering corrections, everything. It’s as if you are looking at the original black and white line art. This results in superior line quality, so you can really revel in the work done by Russell. It’s most evident in the later pages where he has progressed in anatomy and storytelling.

The KillRaven story is a tough read, frankly. The dialogue and exposition is so wordy for today’s reader that I was tempted to skip along to the great artwork, ignoring some of the weightier word balloons. The Dr. Strange story fares better. According to Russell, he redrew large parts of it in 1996, to extend the story and improve his drawings. It pays heavy homage to the work of Steve Ditko and is fascinating reading.

Check out this hardcover volume if you are a fan of the highly detailed drawings of P. Craig Russell. His faces, figures and imaginative backgrounds make for hours of pleasurable browsing!

IDW P. Craig Russell’s Strange Dreams Artist Edition HC, 144 pages Hardcover 11″ x 17″, $125.00

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!