‘The Collector’ by Sergio Toppi review

The hardcover cover art for The collector by Sergio Toppi
The hardcover cover art for The collector by Sergio Toppi

“The Collector” By Sergio Toppi Review

By Hank Van Hawkins

  As soon as I signed into Boom! comics with my fresh sparkling new press pass, I saw a lot of titles that piqued my interest. But, the one that drew me in right away more so than any of the others initially was The Collector. Despite the fact it is an entire graphic novel, I know I could have started off by choosing a few single issues of something else first but I had to sink my teeth into this one right upon seeing it.  It is a translated work by Italian artist Sergio Toppi.  With the basic plot and cover art it was speaking to my personal tastes, so I dove right in. The premise of the character alone is enough to get my imagination in gear.  The art work has a surreal undertone, almost immediately exposing the artist’s love for impressionism.  It is bare bones drawing at it’s most poignant. If anything, his art organically inspires the artist in all of us to not worry about coloring outside the lines or worrying about every little mark having to be exactly perfect. Honestly, the art is transcendental.

I usually take in the art work before diving into the writing as a matter of fact. I didn’t get too far before my curiosity couldn’t hold it’s rabid thirst for The Collector’s story, and believe you me, there is a lot of depth to the tale. It obviously speaks out about the collector in every collector out there, somehow leading to this guy as one of the original purveyors of a practice that is all too common in this day and age whether it is comics, cards, games or antiquities for that matter. There isn’t alot out there that isn’t collected in some capacity. 

 He is a well rounded and well financed eclectic eccentric with his hand in many creative business ventures.  He is a worldly gentlemen whose interests push through to many facets of the finer things in life. And in turn, keep him on the move to the next piece of his “collection.”  In order to collect, one must have monetary means to feed the habit so to speak. Of course, I love westerns and any story seemingly set in anywhere in the 1800’s. So it is an easy and interesting read and again, the art work is very eye pleasing and the story line plays up the primitive look of the drawing as well. He has a vigilante streak to his persona that comes in handy when he finds many characters as obstacles that are in the way of his pursuit. He is a gentlemen about his rogue means. His power of persuasion is pervasive as he uses his manners to ask many a stranger for his next clue to the object of his current affection. 

 I really love how he comes across famous historical figures and heads to historical places, all while on the hunt. It is at the least a page from the “who’s who” of tribal chiefs and Native Americans during the first arc. An entertaining tale with its roots in reality. Anytime you can have Crazy Horse as one of the characters, of course I am going to buy this book ! It holds up tremendously well considering it was first released in the sixties. His drawing style is actually very similar to Jack Jackson, a famous illustrator of many underground comics from the 60’s . He is one of R. Crumb‘s peers. Jack himself drew and wrote many historical stories about outlaws and lawmen from the roots of The Republic of Texas and it’s as if both of these guys prayed at the same art altar at one time or another. 

 Anytime archaeology and artifacts are woven into a story line it seems to appeal to history buffs, lit freaks as well as comic book readers. This is a all round great read.  It portrays the rough hewn grit of the old west as the Collector moves on from artifact to artifact which keeps each arc in the story stirring enough to keep your attention.  He is part Jonah Hex and part Indiana Jones . A great culmination which I only wish there was more to read. It also reminds me of the french comic hero Blueberry, but with the added angle of the search for each artifact and its back story, all the while shifting nicely into the current pursuit of the next piece. He lives on the edge during each of his crusades where he constantly flirts with disaster during each of his pursuits. He extinguishes any one who happens to stand in his way. Nothing nor anyone stands in his way. A relentless collector.

If you have never read a graphic novel before and the form is new to you, there would be no better place to start than the collector.

Please read on for a preview of ‘The Collector’ by Sergio Toppi

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Have you read the collector? How about any of Hank’s references in the article? Leave a comment and discuss.

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Crack the Code with Justin Jordan’s First Original Series with BOOM! Studios, ‘Deep State’

Just got this delicious tidbit of news from Boom! Studios, one of my favorite comic book companies. They have a huge and diverse selection of comics that includes Clive Barker’s Bestiary, which is in the 3rd issue of 6. Go by and have a look at their comics if you haven’t already. We’re looking forward to getting some reviews and some samples up real soon. So, no more jabbering-here’s the news!

boom deep state 2

For Immediate Release
Crack the Code with Justin Jordan’s
First Original Series with BOOM! Studios, ‘Deep State’
   Deep State #1 Main Cover by Matt Taylor

Deep State #1 Retailer Incentive Cover by Artyom Trakhanov

October 16, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA – Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory. Whether you want to believe it or debunk it, stories of the faked moon landing, government-sanctioned assassinations, and brainwashing have been around for generations. This November, award-winning publisher BOOM! Studios asks: What if those conspiracy theories were planted to cover up an even darker truth? Discover the conspiracy behind the conspiracies with Deep State, a new ongoing series that kicks off the first of three original series from one of the emerging voices behind hard-hitting and intelligent stories, Justin Jordan (Spread, The Strange Talent of Luther StrodeJustin Jordan (), and talented artist Ariela Kristantina (Death of Wolverine).

“Justin is a writer we’ve been dying to work with,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “His stories are visceral, smart, and they just bleed cool. With Deep State, Justin is setting up a little patch of land for himself at BOOM! and we’re excited to have him. Ariela Kristantina is teaming up with Justin and turning in some spectacular artwork on this series—she’s definitely an artist on the rise. Get ready for them to introduce you to John Harrow in November.”

In Deep State, John Harrow doesn’t exist, and his job is to make sure that other things don’t exist, too. At any given time, the government is running dozens of black book operations, experiments that aren’t on any official record and are never acknowledged to exist. Some of these are innocuous. Some of them are monstrous beyond reason. And most of the time, they go as expected and the public is never the wiser. Most of the time. John Harrow’s job is to handle them when things go wrong, and do anything to make sure the government’s secrets stay just that—secret. If you’re interested in conspiracy theory stories from comics like Planetary and Sleeper to films like Enemy of the State and Three Days of the Condor, you’ll be gripped by Deep State!
Deep State #1 arrives in comic book shops on November 12th with a main cover by Mondo print illustrator Matt Taylor and a retailer incentive cover by Artyom Trakhanov (Undertow), with a cover price of $3.99 under Diamond order code SEP141117. The Final Order Cutoff Date for retailers is October 20th. Not sure where to find your nearest comic retailer? Use comicshoplocator.com or findacomicshop.com to find one! It’s also available for pre-order directly from boom-studios.com.

ABOUT BOOM! STUDIOS

Founded by Ross Richie in 2005, Diamond Gem Award-winning “Best Publisher” BOOM! Studios (boom-studios.com) generates a constellation of best-selling Eisner and Harvey Award-winning original and licensed comic books and graphic novels with the industry’s top talent. BOOM! Studios is comprised of four distinct imprints. The original Studios imprint is home to Mike Carey’s Suicide Risk; James Tynion IV’s The Woods; Mark Waid’s Irredeemable; Sons of Anarchy; and Big Trouble in Little China. Steven Grant’s graphic novel 2 Guns was released as a feature film from Universal Pictures, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. BOOM!’s all-ages imprint KaBOOM! publishes Charles Schulz’ Peanuts; Jim Davis’ Garfield; Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, and Steven Universe; Mike Kunkel’s Herobear and the Kid; and Natasha Allegri’s Bee and PuppyCat. BOOM!’s experimental imprint BOOM! Box publishes The Midas Flesh and Lumberjanes. In June 2013, BOOM! acquired Archaia Entertainment (archaia.com). Archaia is the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning graphic novel publisher of Mouse Guard, Cow Boy, Gunnerkrigg Court, Rust, and Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand. In October 2013, BOOM! Studios entered into a unique first-look relationship with 20th Century Fox, giving the studio access to its library of titles and giving the publisher access to Fox’s vast catalog of films. In August 2014, BOOM! Studios began a similar first-look relationship with 20th Century Fox TV to develop properties for the small screen.