(2006) Rick Veitch and Alfredo Alcala, Titan Books, £12.99, trdpbk, 168pp, ISBN 1-845-76260-6
Still collecting the post-Moore tales from 1988, this volume reprints issues 71-76, the final two tales being the excellent "The Thinker" and "L'adoration de la Terre". This was about as good as Veitch's run got and things started to snowball downhill from here on in, despite the best efforts of horror writer Nancy Collins who, if memory serves, was next up on the title. Sadly she, and even Veitch, was no Alan Moore and it's only really the lovely art of the late Alfredo Alcala that made the title bearable (though there were some nice covers from Dave McKean, John Totleben and Mike Kaluta). Presumably DC/Vertigo will continue to publish further volumes (perhaps bringing us right up to date), but my own enthusiasm is waning now and I wouldn't be surprised if sales started to dip - I know many who haven't even bothered to go past the sixth volume (the last containing Moore's work). In this book Swampy continues to try to incarnate the Sprout (created when he was off-Earth) with little success until, having been used by him often in the past, he decides to co-opt the help of John Constantine. I'm not sure the undoubted nostalgia of reading these 18 year-old stories is enough reward for readers to continue to shell out their hard-earned cash. Time will tell.
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