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Sharaz-de: Tales from the Arabian Nights Hardcover – January 1, 2013
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Italian artist Sergio Toppi had a singular, unique voice. His sense for layout has been "invoked" by many, but never imitated.
And now, thanks to Archaia, american readers will be able to know and enjoy it. Do yourself a favor and get this book, but do yourself a double favor and get it somewhere else if you want it in good condition. I tried three times and Amazon's terrible packaging service managed to ruin it all three.
Amazon's answer to this too frequent problem? Putting the book under review, as if there were something wrong with their stock, when what they should be "reviewing" is their unprofessional and highly inefficient packaging department.
As for the story itself, it is essential a sample of tales taken from the The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1,001 Nights: Volume 1 (Penguin Classics), which I haven't read yet. It's the same source as the popular story of Aladdin and while that story doesn't appear in this book, there are a fair number of malevolent djinni's that make appearances. These are basically similar to Grimm's Fairy Tales, made more exotic to most Western readers by their setting. This isn't a book to give kids who loved the Avengers films, but rather something for more mature readers who love strange literature that isn't plot or character driven. Probably the most similar thing I know of in "mainstream" comics is what Mike Mignola is currently doing with Hellboy in Hell Volume 1: The Descent.