Between this and the previous volume, the editors of A1 seem to have worked out that good things truly do come in small packages. Less than half the size of book 2, this one returns to the standard promised by the anthology's beginning. Starting off with a brilliant Actress & Bishop cover from Brian Bolland, we're given the now-expected treats of a story with them, an Alan Moore/Steve Parkhouse Bojeffries Christmas tale, another Eddie Campbell Bacchus piece and a kind of pointless Bricktop episode from Glenn Fabry. On top of that goodness: Dom Regan departs from his previous 'Morelli 9' saga to illustrate Grant Morrison's lyrical 'The House of Heart's Desire'; Philip Bond pulls off a surprisingly touching little tale in 'Endless Summer'; John Bolton gives us another alternate-history-artist from Graham Marks' 'Point of View' (I won't give away who the subject is this time); John Kaiine (who?) and Dave McKean present 'My Closest Friend,' which is creepy and lovely, though suffers from the usual transition from McKean's gorgeous work to low-grade black-and-white reproduction; and the Pleeces Gary and Warren appear here with a spaghetti-Western tribute called 'Leone Ryder,' which I won't pretend to really get but I like anyway. Even the weakest link, 'The American' from Mark Verheiden, Doug Braithwaite and Chris Warner, is a better version of the typical haunted-by-'Nam comic tale. The back cover's beautifully given to a single full-colour panel by the now-late Moebius with text from Jean-Luc Coudray, called 'Monsieur Mouche.'
This is an absolutely solid book in the series, and fulfills the promise of A1's beginning.
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