P. Craig Russell’s Murder Mysteries and Other Stories Gallery Edition

This gallery edition features high-quality scans of master illustrator P. Craig Russell’s original art, printed at art-board size, in a collection of stunning, complete adaptations of works by Neil Gaiman, H. P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, Mike Mignola, Clive Barker, and Oscar Wilde; the Spirit story “Art Walk”; and much more stunning artwork by this legendary graphic storyteller.

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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 is a massive collection of material from across P. Craig Russell’s career, curated by Russell and representing his art and style in one go. Ten stories from a variety of writers. The material is as follows.

  • The Spirit: Art Walk from The Spirit 17
  • Murder Mysteries from Neil Gaiman’s Murder Mysteries
  • Isolation And Illusion from Epic Illustrated 9
  • Human Remains from Tapping The Vein 1
  • The Insomniac from Night Music 2
  • From Beyond from Heavy Metal 150
  • Command Performance from Hellboy: Weird Tales 6
  • The Birthday Of The Infanta from Fairy Tales Of Oscar Wilde 3
  • The Golden Apples Of The Sun from The Ray Bradbury Chronicles 1
  • The Gift Of The Magi from Within Our Reach

Story Notes opens the book and is a recollection of Russell about each of stories; it’s a great insight into the work and whets your appetite.

Russell has held onto his original art for all content that he owns, and as such is able to draw from this considerable reserve. Scanning quality is excellent, with blacks richly detailed. Not a lot of aging visible on the pages, even the oldest material from 1981. Ryan Jorgensen is listed as digital art technician so we have him to thank for the detailed scans.

Russell is a clean illustrator so there are few corrections, but they do stand out with the correction fluid. Zip-A-Tone is also present in earlier works, as are duplications pasted into panels.

One item I’m thrilled to see is pages numbers in the bottom right corner; the pages all have a slight border and it was put to good use. Not so thrilling are the two title pages: one with “Art and cover by P. Craig Russell” and one without.

Production follows the Dark Horse Gallery model of a standard cover design, tan endpapers, and a line patterned border for the indices and chapter dividers. It’s neat, clean and creates uniformity and continuity for the line.

The book has sewn binding of heavy paper stock. The binding is tight but allows for mostly flat reading. Packaging was a brown cardboard case, opening down the center, with the shrinkwrapped book inside. The case sticker had no illustration, just text. The price and ISBN bar code are on a sticker on the back right bottom of the book.

The cover and spine show the title as P. Craig Russell’s Murder Mysteries and Other Stories Gallery Edition, as does the product listing online, but the indices lists Murder Mysteries and Other Stories Gallery Edition. Odd.

Closing everything out is a one page biography and photo of Russell. No Gallery this time around; no covers at all in fact.

P. Craig Russell’s Murder Mysteries and Other Stories Gallery Edition is a wonderful necessity for fans of his art and a recommendation for all fans of art and illustration.