THE UNEXPECTED (DC/ Vertigo, 2013; Softcover)
Collects The Unexpected No. 1 and Ghosts No. 1 (cover dates December, 2011- December, 2012)
Writers: Paul Pope, David Lapham, Dave Gibbons, Cecil Castellucci, Mary H.K. Choi, Josh Dysart, Al Ewing, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Alex Grecian, Selwyn Sefu Hinds, Geoff Johns, Mat Johnson, Neil Kleid, Joe Kubert, Toby Litt,, Jeffrey Rotter, G. Willow Wilson, Gilbert Hernandez, and Brian Wood.
Artists: Paul Pope, Dave Gibbons, Lelio Bonaccorso, Mark Buckingham, Emily Carroll, Denys B. Cowan, Farel Dalrymple, Rufus Dayglo, Rahsan Ekedal, Phil Jimenez, Joe Kubert, David Lapham, Jeff Lemire, John McCrea, Amy Reeder, Robbi Rodriguez, Victor Santos, Jill Thompson, Don Hudson, Gilbert Hernandez, and Andy Lanning.
Colorists: Lovern Kindzierski, Angus McKie, Chris Chuckry, Andrew Dalhouse, Andrew Elder, Lee Loughridge, Dave McCaig, Cris Peter, and Jose Villarrubia.
This collects both 80 page one-shots, and it is all over the place in terms of quality. This follows the EC anthology style tradition of late '60s/early '70s DC Horror/mystery titles, albeit with a modern twist. A “fresh coat of paint”, if you will.
Dave Gibbons turns in a great story in The Great Karlini. The legendary Joe Kubert's last work, The Boy And The Old Man, is presented here in it's rough penciled form. Kubert had a long, storied career at DC, and it is nice that he was able to do good work until the end. Look Alive is probably the freshest take on the undead that I've read in years. I had lots of fun reading that story.
Most of the stories have their tongue firmly planted in cheek, making the occasional violence and mild gore somewhat endearing. I really like well done Horror anthology stuff, and this book hits the mark for the most part.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.75 out of 5.
The OCD zone- DC's trade paperbacks of modern material are pretty darned nice these days.
DVD-style Extras included in this book: The Unexpected #1 variant by Michael Wm. Kaluta.
Ghosts #1 variant by Phil Jimenez & Andrew Dalhouse
The Great Karlini breakdown by Dave Gibbons. (2 pages)
The Great Karlini pencils by Dave Gibbons. (2 pages)
Paper rating: 4.5 out of 5. Good weight glossy coated stock paper, perfect for material with modern computer coloring. I am so glad that Vertigo is done passing off that recycled toilet paper in their books.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 5 out of 5. Nice thick waxlike lamination which will provide years of enjoyment.