Review | The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Kevin O’Neill Gallery Edition

Last updated on February 9th, 2017 at 08:53 am

The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol 1 Kevin O'Neill Gallery Edition coverAs the Victorian era draws to a close, Allan Quatermain, Captain Nemo, Hawley Griffin, Dr. Henry Jekyll, Mr. Edward Hyde and Mina Murray have been gathered together to save their nation. Now, the original adventures of this group have been collected and sourced from the original art for the first time ever in THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: KEVIN O’NEILL GALLERY EDITION.
This Smythe-sewn hardcover edition includes all of Kevin O’Neill’s artwork from the original six-issue THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN miniseries Vol. I, scanned in full color from the original art boards. Also included are the covers and various League artwork that showcase Kevin’s incredible craftsmanship.

As with all original artist’s gallery editions this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index.

The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Kevin O’Neill Gallery Edition interior 1

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This is the complete package: all pages and covers present, scanned from the original pages. Nothing missing. Plus a large gallery of extras from later collected editions. All wrapped under the “Volume One” label promising future editions.

Eleven individuals and two auction houses are thanked for providing material so it certainly seems to have been a task to collect and scan. Most of the pages are slightly yellowed with no significant aging present.

The six issues are presented in order with their cover prefacing each issue. Following those is the Kevin O’Neill Gallery, with endpapers, collected edition covers and such. Then comes the Allan And The Sundered Devil gallery, showing full size the images that accompanied Moore’s prose tale.

This is a shadow and black heavy book and it comes through wonderfully. There are gradients in the black but that’s more from O’Neill’s inking; it’s there, just not strikingly so. Lots of pencil still visible around the inks; a great look and feel to the pages.

It seems William Oakley had some trouble with Allan Quatermain’s name in the first issue (or perhaps Moore’s script) but his name is spelt Quartermain until issue two. Another nod to the original pages as a moment in time.

And as a Gallery Edition tradition one overlay is included, putting the cover text over the painted cover of issue four.

Unfortunately most of issue three suffers from a slight blur. It’s hard to tell if it was the scans or the post production, as there is pixelation in several spots, especially pages 13-15. It’s quite detracting but not alarming, and stands in stark contrast to the crispness of the rest of the book.

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Another great design by Brainchild Studios (seems NYC has been dropped). The repeating pattern endpapers give the feel of a Victorian book, and the chapter dividers feature a main character portrait on a Union Jack background. A minimal use of colour and prudent choice of original art present a clean and concise package.

Production design is excellent: heavy paper stock with reasonably tight sewn binding that allows for the book to lay mostly flat. It comes shrinkwrapped in a cardboard case with black and white illustrated label with price and UPC. No introduction or biographies included.

Along with Bob Chapman Joseph Melchoir is listed as editor, with production as Gayle Blume, Richardo Carbajal and Gina Chapman. The cast is expanding as Graphitti Designs completes its fifth Gallery Edition.

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League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Gallery Ed HC – $100.00

Retail Price: $125.00
You Save: $25.00

Scott VanderPloeg Written by:

Editor-In-Chief. Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans. Joe Shuster Awards Harry Kremer coordinator.

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3 Comments

  1. mel taylor
    March 29, 2016

    Nice piece Scott. League of Extraordinary Gentleman always fulfilled my love of team groups and Classics Illustrated all rolled into one. I cherish the old absolute editions of the first two serials, and they are serials. Lovely stuff. And, by the way, if you ever find anymore E.H. Shepard drawings for your art showcase, I would be eternally grateful. I actually have some of his Punch cartoons in the same bound edition that In Flanders Fields appears. Anyroad, long and short of it me ol’ mucker is keep up the great work.

    cheers, mel

  2. April 14, 2016

    I just picked up this publication and I’m happy to say the photos I’ve seen of the interiors do not begin to do O’Neill’s art justice. There is simply so much to look at in the panels, filled with gags and illustrator’s “business” as we call it in animation. Although I was holding out on buying this, it’s instantly one of my favorite AEs. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for volume two. That’s where O’Neill really goes over the top with his re-vision of Wells’ vision. Faultless production on the book itself. Only one gaff with a panel that gets lost in the gutter. Those who are denying themselves this book because they have the Absolute Edition are doing just that: denying themselves of something pretty special and unique in the modern age of sequential illustration.

  3. May 1, 2016

    I count 17 pages in chapter 3 with pixilation. It’s most noticeable when the lettering is affected. really unfortunate because this isn’t the type of book Graphitti can just reprint and offer replacement copies. All they can say is tough luck.

Make It Good.