“The Finder Library volume 1″ by Carla Speed McNeil

I recently read Voice, the latest collection of Carla Speed McNeil’s long-running comic book series Finder. It reminded me how I loved the series. Even though I own all the single issues cected in it, I picked up the recently published Finder Library volume 1, put out by Dark Horse, a comic book publisher known for respecting artists’ rights. The first four story lines, all 22 issues, are included in this volume, as well as covers of individual issues and previous collections, plus pages and pages of notes. Kudos to Dark Horse for recognizing a quality series, and for packaging it in a smart, attractive edition.

At $24.99, this is a bargain for what it includes (coming out to slightly more than $1 per issue) yet a steep ticket to entry to those who don’t know the series. Here’s what I recommend. Check out McNeil’s website, on which she has art samples and a webcomic of the ongoing series. Or buy or borrow the Talisman graphic novel. It’s a great example of the kind of art, humor, complex fantasy world, and characters that populate Finder. I’m trying to think of something to compare it to, as in “if you like x, you’ll like this” but I’m drawing a blank. I can’t even come up with “it’s x crossed with y.” McNeil calls it aboriginal science fiction. I call it a solidly plotted, well-drawn fantasy comic book series with characters I love.

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