- Series: Star Wars
- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Dark Horse Books (November 18, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1616556757
- ISBN-13: 978-1616556754
- Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 1.8 x 15.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,165,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Star Wars: Dark Times: The Path to Nowhere Gallery Edition Hardcover – November 18, 2014
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First off, let’s cover the physical format of the book. The Dark Times Gallery Edition is larger than a standard comic book at 9″ x 13-1/4″ compared to a normal comic’s 6-3/4″ x 10″. It’s 248 pages long with a thick hardcover and good quality binding. The pages are thick, too. The book is setup so each left hand page is the script for each page of the comic. Each right hand page is the corresponding uncolored pencilled artwork with no word bubbles or text. There are some extra pages whenever Doug needed to do a panel that would get layered on top of another. The book also includes the pencilled artwork for the covers of each comic. Dark Times #1 through #5 are covered in the book. There’s also an intro from Sue Rostoni, Randy Stradley and Doug Wheatley.
As for the content, this book is stunning. The artwork looks magnificent. It’s easy to get lost in Doug’s drawings, studying the detail and realistic depictions of the characters. On top of that, Dark Times #1 through #5 is one of my favorite chapters of the saga. It focuses on a Jedi who survived the purge, his little dinosaur companion, and the band of misfits they hook up with. Along side their journey is Darth Vader and his struggle to make a life for himself when there are no Jedi left to hunt. But the gut wrencher is Bomo’s quest to find his wife and daughter which leads to one of the darkest stories ever told in the Star Wars Expanded Universe (now Legends).
Of even greater interest is the story that’s not told. By seeing the original script side-by-side with Doug Wheatley’s artwork, we can see the differences in interpretation. On one side is Randy’s view of the story, and on the other is Doug’s. The creation of the story is a collaborative effort, and throughout this book you’ll see where Doug chose to do something different from what Randy suggested. You’ll see notes from Randy on source material, reference images, even notes to Sue and Leland Chee. One of the coolest things I noticed was how much Randy drew upon existing material, be it novels, films or other comics. It’s a tremendous insight not only into how comics are made, but to the lengths Doug and Randy went to to create Dark Times.
Like any good comic, half of this story is told through the text and the other half is told through the visuals. In this case, they’re both outstanding. If you’re a fan of the Dark Times series, Randy Stradley, Doug Wheatley or the comic making process, this is an outstanding book to pick up. Having read it cover-to-cover, I thoroughly enjoyed it. But best yet, the amount of information that’s revealed in this book lends itself to numerous re-reads and closer study. One of my only complaints about the book is not having another two pages showing the colored artwork and then the final page so that the entire process can be compared and contrasted. Nevertheless, the Dark Times Gallery Edition delivers a lot of fun and entertainment for the right kind of fans. I say that because this book does run at a high price point and is not your standard comic. It’s a different kind of experience and a different kind of story. For what it is, I give it a five out of five metal bikinis and shall cherish it as one of the centerpieces of my Dark Horse comic collection.
I am a fan of the Artist Editions of comics, where you get to see penciled pages prior to their inking and color -- and at full drawing size before it is shrunk down for printing. That is what I thought I was ordering here. I did not realize that there are no word balloons, which makes it different from the others that I have as you will process this differently when reading.
I still loved it, it just surprised me. To make up for the missing word balloons, the main change is that you get to read the entire script on the facing page. Picture reading an annotated edition of a famous book, that's what it looks like. Or a grown up version of a children's book where a huge drawing is accompanied by a limited amount of text. It's an interesting behind the scenes look; like watching a theatrical cut and a director's cut of a movie but at the same time.
If you already know and love the regular \ previous copy of this comic, then this will be a very nice new way to appreciate it. If you have never read the series before at all (like me), it still makes perfect sense and is a fun way to experience the gorgeous work. If you are wondering why it is not as huge as some other artist's editions -- it is still a big, oversized hardcover though -- that is because this specific artist actually drew it at this size. It was never reduced down, according to the supplements I read inside.
I feel like this information could've been included in the description, so that potential buyers could be more informed about the difference between a Gallery Edition vs an Artist's Edition. I would say it is like a larger version of a DC "Unwrapped" book, minus any color at all inside. Hope this helps