"Twelve Singular Mindscapes"
This thick deluxe edition caught my attention for the sole reason that it featured Adam West' wacky Batman in his most iconic pose. I was definitely more than intrigued and I knew even before I ever found out about its contents that I must possess it, sooner rather than later. When I did get to purchase it, I was stunned by the range and depth of this collection which featured a promising roster composed of talented men who are said to be 'twelve of the greatest artists in comics'.
The body of work that is featured and scrumptiously presented in SOLO: The Deluxe Edition does not disappoint at all. If the aim of this anthology is to provide even the most novice of readers an array of self-contained stories featuring their own original characters and some DC icons, then I think it had exceeded such expectations in more ways than one. Furthermore, the noble intention to help any curious newb to appreciate what the comics medium has to offer has really impressed me. I only recently started consuming comics about five years ago myself, but my life has never been enriched the same way ever again because this medium is not just kid stuff, no matter what mainstream media tells you.
The twelve artists, accompanied by well-known writers like Jeph Loeb, Neil Gaiman, Brian Azzarello and many others, have been given 48 pages of their own canvass--and anything can happen. A few sets are hard to get into upon initial reading, but most of them are accessible and completely riveting to read. These twelve singular mindscapes have a lot to offer and gain from, and it would be a shame not to travel them.
The best thing about SOLO is that it's a banquet and you are welcome to try all samples and decide which one satiated your tastes. With its impressive range, you can get engrossed with whatever floats your boat; that could either be Western, romance, horror, psychedelic surrealism or superhero parodies. They're all kinds of ridiculous, heartfelt, exciting and baffling. And if the stories don't do it much for you, the breadth of tantalizing artwork that encompassed this large container of creative endeavors might just do the trick. Each page of SOLO is rife with a stylish variety of color palettes, artistic techniques and unforgettable landscapes.
I came for Batman foremost (and he is featured in at least eleven stories) but what I got in the long run was something more than a stroke of luck or easily attainable pastime reading, and I was left with a newfound appreciation for the comic medium once again. I enjoyed the servings by Darwyn Cooke, Paul Pope, Damion Scott and Sergio Aragones the most, but all twelve distinct voices have made SOLO such a special enterprise and I'm really pleased that DC pursued such an invigorating project. Granted, the bulk of this anthology can be slightly intimidating, but therein lies the most promising challenge. Unfortunately the deluxe edition is quite pricey but there are hopefully online copies by now that you can download.
* A unique and visually intoxicating experience that certainly expands the limits of imaginative writing for a sadly overlooked medium