Den Édition Brute

Den Edition Brute cover

We’ve obtained the agreement of the rights holders to offer you a “raw” edition that you can also order during this campaign: in large format (28×37.5 cm), this will be a limited edition of 550 copies (+15 Hors Commerce), offering the most discerning fans the chance to discover the original DEN plates in their raw state, with a minimum of apparent restoration and only lettered in French, so that they can appreciate Richard Corben’s work at first hand.

These plates are mostly in B&W, with a limited number in direct color. They will all be printed in full color, so that you can appreciate all the subtleties of the author’s work and retouching, as well as the textures and materials used.

The book will be supplied in an individual protective box and 500 copies will be offered as part of this campaign.

The raw edition contains the story of DEN Neverwhere with all the original pages (B&W and colors), artist edition style, with French lettering. We should hopefully receive them in November or December depending on the printer’s availability (the end of the year will inevitably be busy).

  • Delirium, December 2023
  • ISBN 978-2-493428-31-8
  • 28×37.5 cm (11″ x 14.75″), 120 pages, hardcover
  • €150
  • Order online: eBay
  • Den Édition Brute interior 1
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As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc.), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index. This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

A complete collection of original art for Corben’s first Den story Neverwhere. The solicitation text above is from the Kiss Kiss Bank Bank French crowdfunding, and it appears they printed 550 copies instead of 500. My copy is 356. Delirium was licensed to produce this work in French only, and they offered a hardcover collection and this original art or raw volume. The copyright information on the colophon is the only English in the book. For the campaign in English this volume was labeled as the Raw Edition, but I prefer to use the French title since that’s what is on the book.

The art pages are clear and well presented: no visual issues. Even the crinkles show! Page 33, going by the numbering along the top left of the artwork, is where the three-hole punching begins. Pages 25-32 are fully coloured, while the rest are a stunning mixture of mediums: marker, paint, and a lot more. Margin notes, but mainly numbering and the occasional production note. No visible pencils. Correction fluid for panel corrections. Blacks show no gradients. The pages have all aged to about the same light tan to yellow. A lot of the caption boxes show they were glued or taped, especially in the earlier pages. It appears Corben made space on the art for the lettering throughout.

The design is straight forward, with the pages presented with white borders. The endpapers are the same enlarged image, an atmosphere piece. The cover as only the painting is brilliant, since the spine and back cover contain the book’s information, as does the slipcase. The introduction using a tan similar to the original art works well. No table of contents or page numbers, simply the introduction and the story.

Production is excellent: a sewn binding of matte pages with no gloss. The binding is a little tight, with no pages laying flat, but there is no gutter loss. The book comes in its slipcase and is shrinkwrapped in a cardboard case that has a black and white sticker with the UPC, title and handwritten edition number. The title on the sticker is Edition Alternative Den Corben.

Breathtaking. That’s the only word that comes close to doing justice to this presentation of Corben’s original art. None of these pages should ever have colour applied, and those that Corben coloured can’t compare to the rest of the pages. I haven’t been a Corben fan, but once again seeing the original art pages makes me see the true talent that was applied to paper. I have a digital version of the latest Den Neverwhere from Dark Horse and can’t believe how much the colour takes away from the art. We can hope that Dark Horse will produce an English version of this volume and publish every Corben Library volume as an AE format book.