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Amazing collection, but nothing new
on November 22, 2011
This is a collection of every comic and comic-like-thing that Valve produced up through around August. For Left 4 Dead, it contains The Sacrifice (duh?). For Team Fortress 2, it has everything through the comic for the replay update. For Portal 2, it has the entire Lab Rat comic. In addition to all of the above, there are few pieces of artwork, mainly postcards and various other random things (such as some of the Saxton Hale magazine covers). All of this is collected in a full-color, hardback collection that's a lot bigger than I thought it would be (it's kinda hard to understand just how massive the book is from the dimensions that are given).
So yeah, it contains a lot of good stuff. However, it lacks anything new. I expected this, but didn't quite plan for it. Everything in this book is available for free online. When the package arrived, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. I immediately ripped it open and flipped through it. Then... nothing. As soon as it dawned on me that I'd already extracted just about all of the entertainment I could get from this book several months earlier, there really wasn't anything left I could enjoy. Plus, half of this book (The Sacrifice comic) was designed for a digital widescreen display. Each digital "page" is printed two per physical page, so there are plenty of gaps. That kind of kills the traditional comic book feel and gives the impression that it works a lot better on screen than on paper. Even if I were to reread this in the book, I'd still feel like it would be been better to read it online, which is free.
Don't get me wrong. These are all ridiculously entertaining comics. I got plenty of enjoyment out of 'em when I read them through at release online. But, the only thing I gained from purchasing this book was having them in paper instead of digitally. At the end of the day, this is nothing more than a collector's item.