4 out of 5
Collects the first five issues of PHL – see here for that review, whereas this review the quality of the trade.
Which is: pretty good! While we’re lacking one of those QOL features I prefer – page numbers – the table of contents (another QOL feature…) does not list page numbers, so at least that’s in sync. And I’ll admit that there’s something about Loo’s humble tone throughout, and the rather standalone nature of the issues, that seems okay with this setup.
The chapter divisions are otherwise handled by an interstitial page that nicely matches the book’s overall color (black / light blues / orange) and design schemes (a hexagonal shape), and though there are two other designers credited here – Cindy Leong for production & design; Rielle Samonte for in-house design – I would note that superstar Rian Hughes has his name in there as well for trade dress design, and the book does have his clean, poppy sensibilities at play.
The price point is acceptable, given that it matches exactly what you would’ve paid for this five issues individually ($19.99 US), plus you get the bonus of “material from” some ‘Made in Chinatown’ mini-comix Loo made, which I’m having trouble finding exact info on, but take the form of 2-ish page shorts that are set before and between the issues of the book, and are exactly the same storytelling style. You also get the black and white ‘The Grizzly Biker,’ a pretty funny tale, lots of covers, and a few design pages. All the extras are, y’know, extras, I just would’ve preferred some context on the mini-comix so we know – for the completist in me – if we’re getting everything, or, indeed, only “material from.”