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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

The Crow: Special Edition


Author: James O'Barr
Artist: James O'Barr
Titan Books
RRP: £16.99, US $18.00
ISBN: 978 0 85768 795 1
Available 26 August 2011

When James O'Barr poured the pain and anguish of a personal tragedy into the drawings that comprise The Crow, his intensely cathartic story of Eric - who returns from the dead to avenge his and his fiancee's murder at the hands of a street gang - resonated with readers around the world. Now his tale is rereleased in an expanded version. This is The Crow like you've never seen it before - the powerful journey of an avenging angel and a celebration of true love... as fierce, intelligent and unforgettable as when it was first conceived...

I've got to admit that I'd never read The Crow before, nor seen the movie, and so I was coming at this special edition fresh. And, in all honesty, I can't say I was that impressed.

Creator, James O'Barr, offers a new introduction where he reveals the story behind the origins of this graphic novel. And, as tragic a tale as this is, I have to take the graphic novel on its own merits and not on an emotional level just because the guy used a terrible incident in his life and used it for the foundations.

I felt that on some levels the writing was a little self indulgent and immature, but this is mainly due to the included poetry that feels like a last minute thought in a bid to pad out the pages. But then this is a personal opinion as I hate poetry with a passion. I've yet to hear a serious poem that doesn't make me roll my eyes and let out a little sigh.

The artwork is fine, but didn't exactly stand out as anything overly special.

I suppose fans of the original will welcome this collection, as it contains additional pages that were cut from the original, but personally I can't see what all the fuss is about.


Nick Smithson

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