This 296 page hardcover collects – at last! – the entirety of the "Blood of the Virgin" saga that Harkham serialized over the course of a dozen years in the pages of his long running series, Crickets. It was worth the wait. The production of this edition gets as close to perfection as is possible. Beautifully designed (by Sammy himself and Norman Hathaway), its heavy, sturdy cloth covers tightly bind the pages of heavy off-white, flat stock upon which the work has been sharply and clearly printed, with crisp, solid black lines, rich colors and delicate tones; simply beholding this book is an æsthetic delight in and of itself. And then there's the work it contains and presents.
An intergenerational epic that primarily takes place during the 1970s, set largely in Los Angeles – with narrative forays to Europe and Oceania – and centered on the collision of demands brought about by simultaneously maintaining a family life, raising a child and making a low-budget genre film (the title of which is the source of the title for book), Blood of the Virgin is a work that is thoughtfully conceived, deeply felt and rigorously produced. Each chapter has its own particular focus and the stylistic approach clearly evolves over the course of the book as a whole. This evolution representing a synthesis of the materials of Harkham’s own life experiences and the comics he has read and studied, a synthesis that is by turns consciously applied and organically evolved.
This work is at once a great achievement by Harkham and a testament to the communicative capacity of the comics form.