Unlike single-issue floppies or trades, omnibuses present an interesting challenge for the reviewer. Most of you reading this, if you are anything like me, aren’t looking for a review of the content of the book. You already know what’s inside. You’re looking for an excuse to spend what is a large amount of money on a collection of stories you love. And depending on what you’re looking for in your omnibus, you’ll either find this book perfect or a little lacking. IDW/Top Shelf has done a great service to all Eddie Campbell fans by creating this book. While I have only read the digital copy of Volume 2, I’m going to assume it is the same quality as Volume 1. You’re going to be buying a brick sized paperback with a decent cover. In addition to the stories about Bacchus, Joe Theseus, The Eyeball Kid and others, there will be a little essay penned by Campbell about each of the stories. They're short, only a page at most, but insightful. Each one a quick look into the mind of the greats of the medium.
As for the downsides of the book, there aren’t many. While I would have liked a little more extra content and maybe a cover gallery, for the price I really can’t complain. In one of the essays, Campbell states that there is at least one out of continuity story that isn’t included in the omnibus, and while it would have been nice to have, the experience of reading this book from start to finish is something special, a out of continuity piece would ruin some of that presentation. Plus, there is well over 500 pages of content here, printed in a way that presents Campbell’s crosshatching loose lines in a way that makes them clear, but never dampens their rugged charm.
I do have to say that this omnibus isn’t essential for every Bacchus fan. If you’ve managed to collect all of the trades already I don’t see why you would buy this book. When lined up on my shelf, I happen to prefer the look of omnibuses over trades, but if you’re just looking for new content, I would pass on this one. This is a great buy for someone who loved the Bacchus books in the past but has yet to collect the issues or someone who has read a few Bacchus stories and is looking for more.
Do you feel better now? Is that enough justification to buy this book? Or are you grateful you read my piece before you pulled the trigger? Either way, I think these volumes are a reason to celebrate for any Bacchus fan. I hope they will bring more people to Bacchus and Campbell’s work in general. Everyone can all do with a little more revelry in their lives.
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Bacchus Omnibus Vol. 2 Writer: Eddie Campbell Artist: Eddie Campbell Publisher: IDW/Top Shelf Price: 39.99 Format: Omnibus; Print/Digital