| || |
The Jewels of
3-issue mini-series, from a Robert Howard story.
May to June 2005.
Preview for issue 1, issue 2 and issue 3.
Collected in December 2005.
Craig Russell is working with one of his favorite writers, another dead
one of course, and I must say that, even if I have no fondness for the
character, he makes it look fun and highly readable.
story, Conan tries to put his hand on another hidden treasure and finds
himself in the middle of a religious rivalry. The interesting thing is
that a character I associate more with brawls than brains is here
manipulating people and only resorts to violence when he has no choice.
Russell does not shy away from showing violence and corpses. It's
rather shocking to see the combination of Russell's very elegant line
with gruesome subject matter, and it works very well. Conan is here a
young man in his prime, and, well, he's really cute in a stocky kind of
way. As you can see from the pages on the left, Russell also gives us
some of his famed highly detailed narration. All that made for a very
entertaining read, even more than I thought it would be, and I'm sure
it's going to become a favorite among Conan fans.
| || |
A 190-page adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel for kids.
Harper Collins (a 38-page
here is another collaboration with Neil Gaiman, this time for a weird,
horror story for the young readers.
Coraline is a young girl
who moves into an old house with her parents. She soon discovers a
door, seemingly walled, but which in fact leads to another world where
copies of her parents welcome her--copies with black buttons instead of
eyes. And her Other Mother, as she calls herself, doesn't have any good
Craig Russell gives us a wonderful
interpretation of Gaiman's novel, blending real life and fantasy
elements in a way that makes the reader empathize with Coraline's
feelings as she explores her new worlds, the usual, boring one, and the
hidden, at first exciting one. Gaiman has written a story that
resonates probably more with kids (there are missing parents, dead
children's ghosts, a talking cat, etc.), but since he never looks down
on his young audience, older readers can get on the train and enjoy
Russell hasn't drawn a lot of horror, and even
though this isn't full of blood and dismemberment, some of the panels
are filled with unease and disrturbing imagery. There's much atmosphere
here, and it shows again that fiction intended for kids can be
enthralling for adults.
The Vampire of Prague.
19-page story written by Mike Mignola.
The Troll Witch and others (vol. 7 of the collected Hellboy),
Dark Horse, 2007.
site for another preview page.
Craig Russell has drawn this story pitting Hellboy against, well, a
vampire in Prague especially for the collection.
It's a fun
little tale with Hellboy chasing a vampire card player who drinks the
blood of whomever loses against him. Yeah, weird. It's full of humor,
done in the cartoony style of PCR, and the storytelling is, as usual,
very impressive. And you get PCR drawing famous places and statues in
Prague. It can't get any better than that!
The Deam Hunters.
four-issue mini-series, DC/Vertigo, 2008-2009.
has been published.
has already worked with Gaiman on The Sandman, for
the fiftieth issue
of the series, and for the Endless
graphic novel. This time, he adapts to comics a prose story
written by Neil Gaiman ten years ago, starring his famous character and
set in medieval Japan. I must admit this story wasn't my favorite at
all, when I first read it back then: Gaiman obviously has fun with this
doomed love story between a young monk and a female fox spirit, but it
seemed to me far lighter than the Sandman series.
But as usual, Russell manages to enhance the writing with his
imaginative layouts and his delicate, expressive art. What's more,
since this is a story told as a Japanese legend, he gets the chance to
bring to the front one of his old influences, classical Japanese art.
The combination of classical aesthetics and modern storytelling is,
The Spirit: Art Walk.
An eight-page story in Will
Eisner's The Spirit #17, DC, October 2011. This
short story, written by Will Pfeifer, is one of three black-and-white
homages to Eisner's creation by top artists and writers (the other
contributors to this issue are Howard Chaykin, Brian Bolland, Paul
Levitz and José-Luis Garcia-Lopez). Pfeifer has written a clever story,
where the Spirit chases after a criminal in a museum where world-famous
artworks are collected. The narrative device of having a a cleaning
employee comment on the works while the Spirit and his prey are
wrecking havoc on them has a humorous effect that Russell's realistic
and dynamic style enhances. It's obvious both Pfeifer and Russell had
fun working on this.
whether this will be collected later on.
|66 Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde - The Happy Prince.
A 30-page story
included in The Fairy
Tales of Oscar Wilde Vo. 5, published by NBM in April 2012
(endpaper design on the right).
P. Craig Russell finally
completes his adaptations of the fairy tales of Oscar Wilde, begun back in 1992, with The Happy Prince, the most famous
of those tales. In this story, in this story, a metal statue of a
prince feels for the poorest inhabitants of the city, and with the help
of a swallow, gives of himself to help those in need. But it is winter,
and swallows should fly away to warmer lands...
Russell's style is
extremely well suited to this story, which blends scene of blinding
beauty and abject poverty. The prince is as handsome as any young man
drawn by Rusell, and the swallow looks like he's come right from a
classic Disney cartoon. Recommended for kids and open-minded adults.
A three-page story in Fables #113,
DC/Vertigo, March 2012.
This will be included later in the
next series collection, entitled Inherit
the Wind, which will be published in July 2012.
Fables is a
long-running series written by Bill Willingham, about characters from
fables living in the real world. Issue #113 is a stand-alone collection
of short stories, and the first one is drawn by P. Craig Russell. It
concerns a magic-wielding king who's learned of his queen's infidelity,
and the way he punishes her. It's a morality tale and it's suitably
poetic. In only three pages, PCR doesn't have much room, but he gets to
draw fantasy settings and it's a lot of fun.