cover image Bacchus Omnibus Edition, Vol. 1

Bacchus Omnibus Edition, Vol. 1

Eddie Campbell . IDW/Top Shelf, $39.99 trade paper (560p) ISBN 978-1-60309-026-1

High mythology in low places is the order of the day in this thick-as-a-brick saga of gods and monsters in the modern world, originally published in the '80s. Not the roly-poly half-goat of cartoons, this Bacchus is grizzled and worn, looking like an elderly Robert Mitchum. The heart of the saga is wrapped inside his 20th-century travels: tales of long-ago heroes and villains are recounted with matter-of-fact sagacity and the tart wisdom of age. This celebration of storytelling by Campbell (From Hell) is at its most comfortable when Bacchus pours a glass of spirits and begins to reminisce. (Campbell's tongue-in-cheek suggestions of a wine pairing for each chapter make even the table of contents effervescent.) The art is fine-lined and immensely detailed, especially in the craggy face of Bacchus, whose sardonic grin and Greek fishing cap hide his otherworldly nature. Loose, fluid pencils and inks delineate a world and a history. New notes and annotations by Campbell make this the definitive edition of a major work by a master of words and pictures. (July)