5 out of 5
I read it monthly, and so I hesitated to pick this up, but… worth it. Not only simply for the oversized presentation, but inclusive of the extras and Zander’s page-by-page commentary, it absolutely earns its price.
Collecting the first two “seasons” of Kaijumax, the Deluxe Edition is presented in an 8.5″ x 13″ scale, allowing Zander’s bright and energetic designs / art to be appreciated that much more, which really shouldn’t be undervalued: as, perhaps, one of the main selling points, I guess I figured that Cannon’s somewhat simple style didn’t need this treatment, but it really does allow for study of a master draftsman’s efforts, absorbing how cues and details and considered in his art, and just the overall flow from page to page. Alongside this, of course, are Zander’s comments, included at the bottom of each page, excepting maybe a couple splash pages. While these are generally only a sentence or two, and have some crossover with the backmatter, they’re never filler – I do sincerely feel like they enrich, and not distract from, the reading experience.
After this, we get about six pages of character bios on all the main wardens / kaijus, again with some development notes; all of the movie reviews from the individual issues – this was something I was worried we were going to lose! – the original pitch document and accompanying Ryan Browne (!) art, alongside a post-mortem with Browne; and a full rundown of the covers of these 12 issues.
So for those with the individual books, that means you’re missing some mentions of Grubbzo, as well as the letters and Cannon’s responses, which are all valuable bits, but I do like that – each version should present some kind of value, whether it’s convenience, or bonus features. I am kinda salty that there’s not a guide to find Grubbzo in the deluxe… but there is a page with a Grubbzo blurb, which kind of adds to the trolly nature of that and made me smile.
Includes a stitched in bookmark, and some detailing on the page edges, adding a design for when the book is closed, just completing how super cool this thing looks overall.