What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the Image Giant-Sized Artist Proof Oblivion Song #1! The Giant-Sized Artist Proof series continues, and this time around they have decided to treat us to the oversized 11′ x 17′ format for Oblivion Song. Imagine the surprise when you open up your mail to see this? It’s not a sight you get to look at often if you’re a reader, so this was something to appreciate. In case you don’t know what they mean by “artist proof”, that means these are the first ones off the press and assumed to be the best impressions. Not the original by any means, but this is what the issues look like in their raw form.
Getting back to my first impression of this giant-sized artist proof, I was blown away by the size of this thing. It’s one thing to read that this is 11′ x 17′, but another thing entirely to understand that when it is in your hands. The minute I pulled this out of the packaging, I was also impressed by the quality of paper that was used for it. If there is one thing that ever concerns me about a purchase like this, it is wondering how they plan on producing something like this. You will want to flip through it, but as something that you would hold for the purpose of collector’s value, it matters that you can flip through this book and not worry about damaging it in the process. Fortunately, the pages for this book are pretty thick. When I flipped open to that first page? I almost thought I was grabbing at multiple pages clumped together, but to my amazement that was just the kind of paper they used. That is something that I would say stood out to me more than anything else I took notice of.
With that said, if you haven’t read an artist proof before, then it goes without saying that there is text and dialogue to go with the interior art. This is the complete issue in your hands (excluding colors). Honestly, I wouldn’t have minded if there wasn’t words. If we’re being honest with ourselves, it is the art which tends to be the main pull for something like this. Everything else comes secondary.
As an artist proof, you will also notice that everything is black and white. I wouldn’t call that a problem either, because it gives you room to really appreciate just the pencil work and inks that went into every panel and page. I was actually impressed with how this turned out because I have seen some Italian work, and they sometimes take to a different style than what we are used to. That isn’t to say that Lorenzo De Felici doesn’t have a uniqueness to the way he draws, but even when they say American comics debut, you still find yourself expecting something that might vary from what you would call traditional.
Now since the actual #1 issue came out LONG AGO, I’m not going to waste your time talking too much about the story and try to sum this up the best I can. As they said, this first issue introduces us to our main character in Nathan Cole, and the apocalyptic hellscape that they call Oblivion. The introduction to this series is interesting because they throw you right into the middle of the disaster this world barely survived. Everything you needed to know about who our main character is, and the kind of world he lives in is a progression through encounters. 300,000 citizens of Philadelphia were suddenly lost in Oblivion, and Nathan Cole is that one guy who risks it all to rescue them from what could be a horrific fate. If that was it, I might say this book would easily run dry. However, the added twist of questioning what he is actually trying to find there creates investment.
Overall, would I say that the Image giant-sized artist proof of Oblivion Song #1 is worth the buy? It surely is. If you are a fan of Oblivion Song and collect the issues already, there is no reason not to add this to your collection. Not many people are going to get the chance to show this off. Let’s call it what it is, it’s like having a limited- edition poster that you can actually flip through.