So just finished Volume 2 and first off its absolutely brilliant, it really. Bacchus truly deserves his place amongst the very best, Cerebus, Grendal and Mage, Concrete, Jack Kirby's 70s writing. The very very best...
I don't think this is quite as strong a voilume 1. For a start much of the art isn't inked by Eddie Campbell and I just don't think his work is as good inked by others. I mean its still good don't get me wrong, but not as good. Eddie Campbell's inking is just devine.
The story more consistantly refined that volume 1, its quite excellent. The short stories of 1001 Nights are great, as ever with these things some gell more than others. But those that gell are quite brilliant. Both Hermes vs The Eyeball Kid and The Picture of Doreen Grey keep the epic storyline that pops in and out of the first volume, again really being focused on Joe Theseus. The last two stories while entirely captivating show that the series had probably run its natural course.
Its fitting that in a series when storytelling has been so central and so often the same story is returned to with different truths hidden in it that these last two follow a similar tale to one told on a Greek Island earlier in the series. As people give themselves over to Bacchus and all he represents anarky descends. Both are very simalar and yet have the same wonderful thread through them. King Bacchus feels a little indulgent as it examines the comics industry, but hell I love this stuff and it is fantastic. Burnside and Tosh Lyon two of my Bill favourites making a cameo is just the icing on the cake.
Banged Up sees a tired Bacchus slip further out and well it shows slight singles of the series being tired and so when it reaches it quite beautiful ending we felt as ready as ol'Deadface.
Truly even if this volume is marginally weaker than volume 1 (and it really is only marginally and most of that is the art) its still better than 99.9% of over comics out there.