Page 45 Review by Stephen
Rarely have I been so immediately, directly and profoundly touched by a work of art.
There is a purity here both in the content and the lines which depict it: sixteen pages of shared domestic intimacy between Philippa Rice and fellow comicbook creator Luke Pearson, bound in a card-stock cover and sealed with a scarlet envelope to send to your loved ones. So youll need at least two, wont you?
See them trudge through the rain hand in hand, Ps hoodie high while Luke buries his chin in his scarf! Oh, but theres grumpy old pout on Philippas rosy-cheeked face! I defy you not to emulate it the second you see that page: it is infectious! Once home with Luke working late, Philippa pops her head round the door of his study then returns wrapped in an enormous, brightly spotted duvet. The next and final panel sees her face-down on the floor, sunk into the thick, billowing folds of the duvet which looks a big, furry carapace, only the top of her head poking out, tortoise-like, to read a graphic novel, hands-free.
Everything is so perfectly placed: the two of them shifting round their bed at night, back-to-back then wrapped round each other in rotating combinations. The curves there are delicious: the contours of Lukes pants round his bottom and Philippas night shirt round her waist and chest. She has an incredible sense of form and body language. Its actually very brave of both of them to bring such joy to the world by revealing so much of themselves. Though there was a bit of a misprint which revealed far more!
Far from cloying, this is above all gently comical. You might think you know all there is to know about Philippas craft from MY CARDBOARD LIFE, ST COLIN AND THE DRAGON and now RECYCLOST, but this is cut from completely different cloth, and it is absolutely beautiful.
Heres Luke and Philippa on the couch in front of their television set which is filling the late-night living room with the most lurid scenes of gore and evisceration. Philippa shrinks into Lukes shoulder, hiding behind his knee.
If I got zombied, would you shoot me? asks Luke later, his arms wrapped around her.
No, she replies looking up into his eyes. Id let you bite me.
Luke presses his forehead into her hair, blissed out by the answer, but its the expression on Philippas face which does it: utterly aghast and taking the question quite, quite seriously.