Page 45 Review by Stephen
My Clopsy got burnt!
Wheezing myself into extinction over that line, Im still salty-eyed with laughter. Clopsy, by the way, is one of the many sturdy steeds issued to the Kings chump champions including MY CARDBOARD LIFEs own Colin. Theres Stormcloud, Captain, Bully, Dynamite and wedding-cake-coloured Clopsy who makes My Little Pony look like a Shire on steroids.
Another comicbook collage created from cardboard, variously patterned paper, cloth, gold/silver foil and I dont know Wheetabix or something, this is Philippas first relatively long-form foray into her unique brand of cut-and-paste comedy and, liberated from the need for a succession of instant punchilines, it is on fire! Err, as is everything and everyone else here.
A dragons egg has descended from the heavens like a comet cross the sky, and we know how well that omen bodes. Acutely aware of how badly a bad-breathed, bad-tempered dragons presence can wreak havoc with property values along with the properties themselves the local wizard / wise man recommends treating it like gold for a year, feeding it up so itll then fly away:
Food for dragons:
Dutifully our peasants bring the beaming beastie sheep after fluffy white sheep and our dragon is delighted! Absolutely delighted! It loves sheep. But after four seasons pass, there are no sign of wings and the dragon is gutted when no longer wanted and doesnt react well to eviction. Its time to teach the world to singe; and you can forget the perfect harmony.
That, then, is merely the premise. What follows is a life-lesson about making friends, playing nice, and appreciating what youve got while youve got it. All of which potentially saccharine sentiments are undercut beautifully by Philippas uncontrollable mischief whilst enhanced by an exuberance that takes it beyond all measurable levels of cute. Its too, too funny, and there will be all manner of unexpected metamorphoses as Cardboard Colin finally takes charge and actually gets a result. Well, several results.
As to the craft involved the pageant of paper-play that in itself is what will bring so many smiles. The original dragons egg is a work of wonder. I think its the wit with which Rice has interpreted whats in her head using the full potential of materials repurposed for her vision, and I love the way the gaily coloured king dances across the page to his knights, like Rick Mayall in Black Adder II only way camper still and almost in jim-jams.
Bonuses include a Celebrity Clopsy one-page short and four alternative covers. Also: Philippas signature on each and every copy. The punchline, by the way, is right up there with ASTERIOS POLYPs. Youll see what I mean when you get there.