4 out of 5
“Preview” issues are a crapshoot. For some publishers, it means giving you literally just a few reprinted pages from something forthcoming you’re going to buy anyway, with maybe a brief foreword from an editor or author; sometimes you actually get some unique material. In both cases, based on the cover price, it’s a curiosity: who’s the audience? Are you trying to lure in new readers – that would seem to be the purpose of a preview, to me – or trying to hype up your existing audience, in which case, why? Aren’t they already hyped?
My confusion aside, this is a pretty snazzy preview. It’s more of a sketchbook for visual concepts for Spugna’s Fingerless, with some alternate images and lineups of character models, some with clear pencil lines inked over, some done in full washes of blacks and greys. It’s on thick paper stock, and so looks and feels very polished, but being that it’s a narrativeless set of about 12 pages for a fairly pricey amount (5 euros), it’s surely more of a collectors thing, which is really the only knock – unless you’re shopping this in person, if you’re buying it online, as I did, you’re still left with the crapshoot question as to whether or not it’ll be worth it.
Me: I love Spugna’s art, and so I haven’t minded spending a bit to see some formative examples of that – especially in such a professional feeling / looking package – but it definitely doesn’t “add” anything to Fingerless itself.