Frank Cho’s Savage Wolverine Artist’s Edition

Frank Cho is a modern comic art master. Influenced by the great American illustrators (Like Franklin Booth and Joseph Clement Coll) and comic book artists (Frank Frazetta and Al Williamson, to name a few), Cho has incorporated these great talents and developed his own, unique style, one that has made him a fan-favourite sensation. This Artist’s Edition collects the first five issues of The Savage Wolverine in all its glory. And, like all Artist’s Editions, at full size of the original art. Fans of Cho will be mesmerized by his gorgeous art and intense action scenes—this will be an Artist’s Edition you will treasure for years to come!

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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.

The first five complete issues of The Savage Wolverine, including covers. Frank Cho doing it all, at 14″ x 21″, just shy of twice-up. Also included is a gallery of preliminaries and designs, closing out with a one-page bio of Cho.

The Table Of Contents has this note “Savage Wolverine was lettered digitally. We have added the lettering to enhance the full experience of the story and art.” Lettering is credited to Cory Petit. Not sure how it was done but Petit was the letterer for the comics so perhaps they used his digital files and enlarged them for these pages.

Scan quality is quite good. The art is modern, with no visible ageing, and appears to come from Cho and his art dealer so that allows for consistency. I found a few pages to have a slight blur but it could have been a trompe-l’œil because of the sharpness of the word balloons. Very little use of correction fluid. Quite a bit of dialogue in rough pencil on the pages either for layout or for the letterer. Blacks show gradients to a varying degree.

Dahlk’s design is simple in its staying with the colours and textures of the cover and working that throughout. The title page, colophon and table of contents use large images while the chapter dividers use a reduced image. The use of lines as a visual reference is quite nice. The table of contents indicates page numbers but the pages aren’t numbered.

The IDW standard has been followed: sewn binding of heavy matte paper stock. Most pages lay flat after smoothing the center, except where the signatures meet and are glued. The book comes shrinkwrapped in a cardboard case with a small colour sticker showing cover and UPC.

Wow, Cho’s art certainly shines in this format. Those double-page spreads are incredibly detailed and Cho gives them his all. Wonderful page and panel layouts throughout.

It’s wonderful to see IDW embrace this is a comic book first and foremost and add the lettering digitally. With the word balloons all white it’s a stark contrast to the art.  The Graphitti Designs method of having some transparency lets the added word balloons better integrate into the page and let the reader see what lies behind.

Frank Cho Savage Wolverine Artist Edition HC

from Things From Another World