What: B.P.R.D.: The Soul of Venice and Other Stories

Who: By Mike Mignola, Miles Gunther, Michael Avon Oeming, Brian Augustyn, Guy Davis, Geoff Johns, Scott Kolins, Joe Harris, Adam Pollina and Cameron Stewart.

When: Originally published as a series of oneshots by Dark Horse Comics and collected in August 2004.

Where: Major comic and book stores.

Why: If you’re a fan of the growing mythology behind Hellboy, then this is, of course, a must read. With Hellboy quitting the B.P.R.D. it’s up to Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman and others to do the paranormal investigating.

The downside of this collection?

The fact that it’s pretty much an anthology featuring unconnected stories written and illustrated by talents other than Mignola. It feels like obligatory reading before the B.P.R.D. got it’s more stable creative team that would take the characters through 12 subsequent volumes.

I enjoyed the stories and creators, but it just made me want to hurry through it and get to the next book.