The Collected Toppi, Volume 5 (Book Review)

Wow! Any effort to say something meaningful or insightful about this book (and the collective body of work Sergio Toppi gifted the world) will be dwarfed by the sheer scope and brilliance of the stories themselves. That being said…

The Collected Toppi Volume 5 is yet another staggering, magnificent collection of stories masterfully expressed through thoughtful words and expert draftsmanship—this time with a focus on war folk tales that take place in Eastern Europe and Siberia. Each panel, page, and story is remarkable in its composition, characterization, humanity, draftsmanship, pacing, tone, and design.

As with the stories in previous collections of Toppi’s works, these tales are a resplendent blend of magic, horror, trickery, discovery, and pride.

In his foreword to this volume, Jason Shawn Alexander writes:

“As artists, it’s easy to consider our line as our voice…our language. Sergio Toppi had a much more expansive vocabulary than most. And you can see it in every page.”

-Jason Shawn Alexander

If you’re interesting in learning how to write and draw your own comics, check out my book Let’s Make Comics! An Activity Book to Create, Write, and Draw Your Own Cartoons.

A light-hearted interactive guide to comics and cartoon-making that uses an activity book format and creatively stimulating prompts to teach the fundamentals of cartooning in a fun and easy-to-follow fashion.

From a working cartoonist and comic book making instructor, this all-ages activity book uses humorous and informative one-page comics and exercise prompts to guide young readers (and readers who are young at heart) through easy-to-master lessons on the skills needed to make comics.

The activities cover a range of essential comics-making tasks from creating expressions for characters to filling in blank panels to creating original characters and placing them in adventures of their own. Each exercise can stand on its own or work together with others in the book to stimulate creativity via the comics medium.

In the end, readers who complete the activities inside the book itself will have created several comics of their own, and will have generated many ideas for more sequential art creations.

If you’d like to read my next graphic novel for FREE and before it’s published, sign up for my First Readers Club here.


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