Sunday, August 07, 2005

My Collection - HELLBLAZER [1988 Series]

Hellblazer [1988 series]
43 issues [1988 - 2000]
10 - 40, 49, 56, 62 - 63, 70 - 71, 84 - 88, 151

HELLBLAZER is the still-running DC/Vertigo series starring John Constantine, the character created by, I think the official line is, John Totleben, Steve Bissette, Alan Moore, Rick Veitch, Jamie Delano and John Ridgway, spinning out from his introductory stories in SWAMP THING (first as a random background bit drawn by Bissette and Totleben and later as an actual character).

I started buying the book around #23, after I started reading SWAMP THING and picked up a few of his earlier stories. Read it through Jamie Delano's original run, and kept with it through most of the Garth Ennis run, which I found to be inconsistent at best (but really good when it was good, which kept me going), and finally dropped it. I've tried it a few times since then, but have rarely been that impressed, although I did like Delano's one-shot (#84) and Eddie Campbell's brief run (#85 - #88). Used to have a lot more issues, but I got rid of all but a few of the Ennis issues and most of the later stuff (not sure why I still have #151).

For back-issues, I picked up a few back then, but I found them kind of hard to find and overpriced. I did have the #1 and #2 for a while, but eventually they came out with the ORIGINAL SINS collection of the first nine, so I could get rid of those. For the longest time I hoped they would come up with a follow-up, but they never did, so I finally picked up everything back to #10 when I found them at a fair price.

Lots of good stuff in there, though it's been a while and there's a lot of long-running stuff so I don't really remember individual issues of the Delano run as much as overall impressions. I did like the issues drawn by Mark Buckingham and Sean Phillips a lot, although to my mind none of the regular artists ever quite matched John Ridgway's work. Two issues drawn by Dave McKean, #27 (written by Neil Gaiman) and #40 (written by Delano) are notable, as are those drawn by David Lloyd, although the writing on those wasn't as good.

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