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4.4 out of 5 stars
Frank Frazettas Death Dealer Deluxe HC
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
This is the lowest rating I've ever given any book and even I'm suprised by how much I dislike this collected series. Even more suprising is the lip service being given this substandard series by people who appear to be fans of Frank Frazetta but have not the ability to critique for that fandom. In essence, anything the Frazetta's approve/endorse is good enough for them and this is the very reason why fandom is a bad way to eye any effort, good or bad.

In summation all I can ask of people who are considering buying this book or the comic series to really look at other comics and the graphic medium. Look at the artist Cary Nord and writer Kurt Busiek's run on the Dark Horse Conan series. Look even at the current people on that book who still deliver far better fare and for a lot less money than this series. Tomas Giorello's art and Tim Truman's scripting on Conan have this series beat hands down. Ask yourselves why creators of at least this caliber are not on the Death Dealer series? This is Frank Frazetta's Death Dealer after all. These are among his most dynamic and iconic images. They deserve better.

When I saw the advanced solicitations for this Death Dealer series I confess, my heart sank. Who were these guys and why does it looks so bad, so colorless? Despite that I still bought them. the premise of the Death Dealer rising in a time of need in the midst turmoil between wrongheaded kingdoms is good enough but it quickly lapses into one excuse after another to pit the Death Dealer against bigger and bigger demons menacing the Death Dealer's cohorts. References to, and the use of druids is useless since they either never bother to place them in actual time line in prehistory, or it was such a poor reference that it's easily forgotten, so what's the point in using them? Modern swearing styles are a biut offputting but worst of all is the Death Dealer apparently is just a force to be reckoned with and has no real personality. I get the whole "he's a catalyst" thing. But does he have to be portrayed as just a bludgeon for "good"?
The art itself requires little comment. It's boring, over-textured, with no character on the character's faces and no physical dynamic. It's a lot like the Death Dealer's portrayal, superficial, lackluster and uninvolved. (And I hate the sad, clown eyes the artist instists on drawing on his characters)

As for the much vaunted Frazetta endorsement: remember, the Frazetta's have been routinely conned into giving endorsements they later regretted (even as they were warned that they were entering into bad deals where Frank's talent would be exploited by fauning, spending "fans").
In this case notice all the Frazetta ads and that will tell you all you need to know about the family's endorsement. Seriously, if this series was that great why is every comic/colection in the Frazetta series married to multiple ads for other Frazetta products and promoting the museum (which is only open the summer months)? The work would speak for itself and the ads would be minimal. Overkill is not and endorsement. These books are vehicles to keep the Frazetta name out there.

My opinion stands, never again will I waste my money when my eyes tell me it will not be worth the effort.
If you need to read Frazetta art inspired fare go back to the books that were graced by his covers (Wagner's Kane books, Silke's Death Dealer, Robert Howard's books, Michael Moorcocks Eternal Champion o and others series or Edgar Rice Burroughs' tales). you could push for the re-release of the James Silke novels (Frank had a very active part in the way those stories were crafted).

Above all else, buy the art books featuring Frazetta's art like ICON, LEGACY,TESTAMENT, Rough Stuff or Telling Stories: the Comic Art of Frank Frazetta. At the very least, by a couple of the posters and stare at them a while. I gaurantee they'll tell you a much better story than twice the money will get you buying this collection.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
One star for it being the minimum and another for the gallery and short bio in the back.

I would suggest looking into the SIMON BISLEY rendition from 1995 or so.

I have been a fan of Frank Frazetta's art since i learned who painted The Death Dealer years ago. I am not sure what the writers and artists for this Graphic Novel were thinking when they took on this project. It is understood that many are attracted to Frazetta's work. It exudes power, makes you think of the emotion behind it and makes us fantasy fans wonder the whats and where and many other ideas about the pictured characters he works on. The Death Dealer became an icon that has been followed and imitated. Unfortunately i don't understand the take on this book as it doesnt do justice to what F. Frazetta's work portrays.

I have read the books by James Silke. I am participle to their criticism as them not being complex books, but they do portray the grittiness and many aspects of what The Death Dealer could be about. The story line in this graphic novel, however, doesn't go anywhere and doesn't study the death dealer itself and the art, while nice for other stories, doesn't come close to what other artists have done these days in the comic book world. I am very disappointed.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This big and beautiful book is sure to please fans of Frank Frazetta as well as lovers of comics or great fantasy art. Although it does not contain original Frazetta art, Nat Jones and Jay Fotos bring Frazetta's most iconic character to life like never before while sticking to the style that makes Frazetta paintings so powerful. Together with Joshua Ortega, these artists have created a strikingly vivid atmosphere with mystery, adventure, and beauty that I'm sure Frazetta himself is happy with. This deluxe hardcover edition is of the highest quality, with tight binding, glossy, full-color pages, and a red ribbon page holder. It comes in a black slipcase with a certificate of authenticity stating that it is part of a limited edition and will never be reprinted. Hopefully future Death Dealer stories by this team are produced in a similar format.

The story here is good but short. Even though this volume is over 190 pages, the actually comic story takes up little more than half of that space. It tells the tale of the rebirth of the Death Dealer, who comes to save the lands of Isparia from the menacing Mirahan, a sort of daemon bent on destroying all of life. The Death Dealer himself remains much of a mystery here, never uttering a word, but facing the darkness with grim determination. Other characters in the story are more developed and bring the human emotions of love, fear, bravery, and sacrifice. The story primarily revolves around them.

This deluxe edition also contains a number of very nice extras. A bio about Frank Frazetta written by his son is very good and highlights Frazetta's amazing life so far. Lots of additional art (including finished work and sketches by Nat Jones) fill out this volume nicely. A large portion of this book is dedicated to this extra art making this volume desirable even to those who already own the comics contained within.

Overall, this is an excellent tribute to Frazetta's creation, full of breathtaking art and containing a good story. This limited edition is sure to be a highly sought-after collector's item.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I don't have much to say about this graphic novel. So I'll try to be brief.

The quality of the book in terms of production value is of the highest caliber. It is a spectacular-looking oversized hardcover with Frazetta's iconic artwork gracing the front. It is encased in a sturdy, engraved slipcase, and comes with a ribbon bookmark. The spine of the book is top-notch. The pages are appropriately thick and glossy. In other words, the outer dressing to this hefty graphic novel is as good as it gets.

I was completely enamored with the artwork in this book. Jones and Fotos do a wonderful job providing the the right ambience for this story. Jones' pencils and inks somewhat remind me of Richard Corben. It's not exactly the same, but it's similar. The coloring of Fotos is gracefully gloomy and powerful. Together, they make a splendid team.

The back of the book contains a bevy of bonus features that are a large part of why I gave this book 4 stars. From Jones' handsome pencil sketches, to his and Fotos' exquisitely sublime alternate covers art, to Frazetta's own legendary, ravishing paintings of the Death Dealer, the bonus artwork here is probably worth the money itself. Then, there is the short but interesting biography of Frazetta, and an exceptional script to ink gallery. When it comes to added features, this book has them in spades! This is how a deluxe hardcover should be.

But then, there's the story itself. The story, which I would normally consider to be the most crucial element when reviewing graphic novels, just isn't very good. If it weren't for the artwork, I would have struggled to make it through this thing. It lacks any real character development, and relies on an extremely weak plot. I'm not sure what Jones, Fotos, and Ortega were thinking when they came up with this story. Maybe the story was better than this, and Ortega just failed to deliver in the writing department. I don't know. All I know is that I was very disappointed with the story(or lack thereof) and would give it only 3 stars - AT BEST! It's probably really a 2 star story. Normally, I would say that no matter how good the artwork is, the story is the key to any good graphic novel. But despite the 2 star story, I'm making an exception and giving this 4 stars because of how amazing the artwork is, for all of the cool bonuses, and for the quality of the book.

If you want a beautiful-LOOKING book, get this. I think it's worth it. But, however, if you're looking for a really good story, and don't care to own something that just LOOKS gorgeous, then I'd say pass on it.
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on June 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I understand the other reviewers' points and agree; the story here is okay and the art less than it could be. But I give it five stars because it includes all the Frazetta death dealer paintings some of which I have not seen in other books and it includes what I thought was an insightful write up by Frazetta's son on his style of art and attitude to life. Plus, it is only available in this edition. I also thought it is an interesting take on who the death dealer is. I'd say buy it if you are already a fan for the paintings frazetta included and to be complete in your collection.
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Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The artwork in this book was unbelievable. Very nice case for the book included. Only gripes would be that the book is rather short. But in reality, for a comic book it is rather long. I'd recommend the book as something to keep for display as a fan of the series, and I'd also recommend reading the 4 books in the series written by James Silk.
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on December 14, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I got this for my husband for Christmas, when I sall it I was so excited I gave it to him early. We have been married 18 years, he said this was the most amazing gift he was even gotten. He now wants a closed in book cast to keep it perfect and show it off. I'm so happy!!
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on December 3, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I liked this story and the fact that it is Frank Frazetta art on the cover. The artist is good, but doesn't hold a candle to Frazetta. I have a hardcover version and it is worth adding to my collection, even though I wish it had been Frazetta that did the art.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I was very pleased with this product... keeping in mind that this was a comic book. I have read the death dealer series by silke and had to take my expectations down for the writing... but once again this was a comic book... the oversized hardback collection came in a hard outer cover sheath embossed with the title that is very impressive. the collection includes all six original paintings of death dealer by frank frazetta as well as a two page bio by his son. there is also original art by nat jones. superb product worth every penny.
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on January 15, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
this book is a collectors idem for those of you who are frank frazzetta buffs.
the book was in great shape and like new... thanks
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