Now this is a beast of a book, in term of size, weight and of course content!
|the debossed taped-spine|
|Marv on the electric chair glossy illustration can be spotted o the background|
Dated August 2016 in the credit page, the limited signed edition of the book was issued in September 2016 by Dark Horse Comics through its Kitchen Sink Books imprint (ISBN: 978-1-50670-069-4, 15.5 x 22 inches or 40 x 55 cm, $275, 224 pages). This limited signed edition (500 copies, mine is #9) comes with an alternate cover and is signed by Frank Miller in pencil on a special tipped-in image not included in the regular edition. Notice that this story is referred as Curator's Edition Volume One.
|the exclusive signature page|
Below are pictures of the regular edition cover, and binding of this limited edition. Sadly the illustration used for the regular cover is not included in the limited signed edition. There is also a picture for size comparison with the (now not so) Big Damn Sin City (to the left), The Hard Goodbye regular TPB (lower right hand side), and the first volume of the Sin City Library Edition set I (upper right hand side).
|a picture of the seams, the book is printed on high quality thick mat paper|
Here is how all versions of this book are described on the Dark Horse website:
You’ve seen Sin City, but never like this! Frank Miller’s Sin City: The Hard Goodbye Curator’s Collection showcases the entire graphic novel scanned from the original artwork in Frank Miller’s archives and reproduced at full size. Introduction by Robert Rodriguez, with an afterword by Mike Richardson and an interview about the artistic process with Frank Miller!
* Reproduces the original artwork—at full size—directly from the originals in Frank Miller’s archives!
* The first volume in Kitchen Sink Books’ Curator’s Collection series, featuring acclaimed graphic novels reproduced from the original art, shown alongside text pieces, unseen artwork, and ancillary material.
I have highlighted the "first volume" mention!
Second and third of cover features different illustrations. The books is edited by Randy Stradley and Diana Schutz, and designed by John Lind (the full credit and © page is placed at the end). It opens with quotes from comics artists and the Robert Rodriguez introduction.
|second of cover|
|third of cover|
|credits page at the end of the book|
|notice this mention|
|to the right, Robert Rodriguez introduction|
The main section of the book, i.e. Sin City The Hard Goodbye, was originally published in Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special (April, 1991), continued in issues #51–62 from May 1991 to June 1992, and serialized in thirteen parts. In this edition, as we get the original art pages, we are able to see this initial thirteen part serialization by Frank Miller pages numbering.
As stated in Dark Horse description of the book, they have chose to reproduce the original art at its full size, thus the size of the reproductions varies throughout the book. Frank Miller gives insights about this topic in the interview section of this edition:
Only nine pages of original art are missing, and have been replaced by B&W scans with yellowed margins (it is a very good idea as it helps these pages blending with the others). They are listed below using the 9 parts chaptering of the story used in every collected edition (in brackets I have added Miller's original numbering as it appears in this edition):
- chapter one, opening page 1 (issue #1, opening page 1)
- chapter three, page 6 and 16 (issue #3, page 6 and 14)
- chapter eight, page 4, 7, 11 and 18 (issue #11 page 2, 5, 9, and issue #12 page 4)
- chapter 9, opening page 1 and page 33 (issue #13 opening page, and page 29)
|left hand side, John Lind presentation of the book, right hand side B&W scan of the opening page of chapter 1|
Below, the third page of chapter one (to the right) was originally planned as the opening page of issue #3. In all collected editions, Marv's text blocks have been erased.
|we clearly see how the blacks were put on the pages by Miller|
|B&W scan from chapter 3 (page 6)|
|these full spread pages are usually not numbered|
Below is an example showing traces of pencils, and some whitening.
|we can spot the original serialization in 13 episodes|
|another one of the B&W scans (chapter 9, page 33)|
Another zoom on a pannel where we can see original pencils.
The main part of the book finishes with a reproduction of all Dark Horse Presents covers, and the Mike Richardson's afterword.
It is followed by eight pages of original cover artworks, all listed below:
The book ends with an eight pages interview section of Frank Miller by John Lind dated February 2016 (about his art and techniques), with original art illustrations listed below:
- cover to Dark Horse Presents #62 (1992)
- pencils for page 9 (out of 20 pages or so of existing penciled pages according to this interview)
- pencils for an alternate opening panel of the first page of The Hard Goodbye
- artwork for the Sin City inserts on Dark Horse Presents covers #52, 53, 56, 58
- slipcase cover art for the 1993 Sin City Tour Edition
|a few bits and pieces of these original pencils have been published in the 10th Anniversary edition slipcase|
In addition to this article, and for more detailed insight about the production quality, don't hesitate to read this Comic Book Daily review by Scott VanderPloeg.