Includes Una’s On Sanity and exciting Page 45 News underneath! *squeals*
You Belong Here h/c (£13-99, Compendium) by M.H. Clark & Isabelle Arsenault.
You really do.
The publication of this quiet poem of profound truth could not be more timely.
For many weeks now we have, all of us, been assaulted by words, images and deeds seeking to divide and to destroy; to alienate individual human beings from one other. The isolationist emphasis has been on expelling and expunging.
Partly because of this ramped-up rhetoric of outright racism – and the long-term homophobia within the UK Independence party and elsewhere – lives have been destroyed, followed by confidence, a sense of security, physical safety and hope.
Here is a brightly shining beacon of hope just when we need it the most, and it is beautiful to behold.
It is in part a love poem with a gentle lilt whose personal refrain of constancy and commitment is interspersed by an ode to the natural order of things.
Free from fuss, it relies instead on its simplicity, its eloquence and its truth.
Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault with an empathy for both its embracing sentiment and its quiet, comforting tone, the book’s colours glow gently, warmly, whether it’s light emanating from a window on a cold, wintry day or the sandstone shades of senescent leaves blowing past summer to fall.
You’d expect no less excellence from the artist of the equally tender JANE, THE FOX & ME but this is far more joyful throughout. The landscapes are all fully populated for a start, and not just by single species but by different creatures coexisting in tranquil harmony.
Why the animals are a silvery white will be revealed towards the end, and it’s ever so clever.
Each line of verse is artfully placed within the images, especially on the very first page whose final promise – and it is a promise – is set apart for maximum impact in a very specific location. It begins thus:
“The stars belong in the deep night sky
and the moon belongs there too,
and the winds belong in each place they blow by…”
we are told
“….and I belong here with you.”
What follows is an assurance that every living creature is in its right place, wherever it happens to be; for we all belong wherever we roam, and you all belong here with me.
Scarlet vol 1 s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev.
Racism is one of them, so South Africa under Apartheid was a double whammy, and Congressman John Lewis has some arresting history for you in MARCH Book 1 and MARCH Book 2 when it comes to policing in America.
Because when individuals, corporations or entire state institutions abuse their power and successfully get away with it through powerful connections, political indifference, mass-media collusion or wholesale capitulation, most of us get pretty steamed.
Welcome to Scarlet’s world: it’s just come crashing down around her.
A bent cop, high on drugs, stops and searches Scarlet and co. who are doing nothing more untoward than laughing and drinking coffee in an urban park in Portland. Wisely they attempt to deflect their own sense of violation and diffuse a volatile situation with humour, until the cop frisks Scarlet way too personally and her boyfriend Gabriel smacks him one.
They run, and it’s the most romantic moment in Scarlet’s life. Unfortunately by that point the cop has Gabriel’s wallet.
“Oh my God. He – he knows your name.”
“I’m in a lot of trouble.”
And that lone cop shoots defenceless Gabriel dead.
Days later when Scarlet wakes up in hospital, she reads the Portland Press front page. It’s complete fabrication.
“Teen Druglord Gunned Down
“Police Say Bloody Showdown Saved Lives”
A hostage situation…? I don’t think so.
“Deputy Commissioner Ashley offered this statement to the press: “I applaud the outstanding and brave work of the officers involved and promise the people of the city that this is only the first of many moves made by us to keep the city clean from any and all predators that think that this city is their playground.”
Imagine reading that after your boyfriend’s being murdered by a cop in cold blood.
“Everything is broken. Everything.
“Good people are victims. Bad people are heroes. Dumb is virtue, food is poison. Corruption is a national pastime. Rapists rape. The poor are left to rot. Religion is business. No one is safe, and everyone thinks that it’s funny.
“Why is the world allowed to be this way? Why doesn’t anyone do anything? Why don’t we fight back? Why is it like this? Why did it happen?
“And then it hit me. It doesn’t matter why.
“”Why” is the cloud. The redirect. The shell game. “Why” is bullshit. “Why” makes you feel better for just thinking the question. The question is… what am I going to do about it?”
Calmly and methodically Scarlet sets about rectifying the situation.
We’re not just talking revenge; we’re talking flash-mob revolution, which will indeed be televised.
Public opinion must be courted and won. That public most emphatically includes you, for Scarlet breaks off from time to time to talk directly, conversationally, to camera, with a calm, open honesty which is endearing, evaluating her progress and emotional involvement as she goes along. She won’t be alone in that.
Bendis and Maleev provide some additional, exceptional start-stop, flash-title timing which wrings humour from even the direst of circumstances. The first one focussing on a compressed history of Scarlet is the one I have for you here.
But there’s also the pivotal moment when she meets up with Brandon, Gabriel’s best friend, for the first time since she left hospital and Gabriel died.
“Now I know everyone has to automatically tolerate their best friend’s girlfriends. That is an unwritten rule of the world,” she confides in us.
“So I’m not entirely sure if Brandon likes me of just tolerated me…. because that’s what you do.
“I’m about to find out.”
The sweet thing is this:
“As for Brandon here, he was in love with Gabriel too.
“Not romantically, or maybe he was a little, who can say…”
What follows is that second compressed history reminding us just how romantic true friendships can be.
The art from Maleev is exceptional. That initial urban park with its pedestrians and skaters throwing long, long shadows is lit and coloured to perfection, whilst the watercolour washes round the Hawthorne highway lift bridge melted my heart. You’ll find that it at the bottom of Scarlet’s three-page bullet-point background.
The expressions are subtle and subdued, and the faces are full of humanity (or inhumanity) with unexpected, mottled flesh tones both warm and cold. When our bent cop sweats under pressure it’s almost as if he’s submerged in an aquarium.
The urban street fashions are immaculate, which is ever so important because as tensions rise and civilians take to the street it is their very individuality and vulnerability which stands out – even en masse – against the uniform wall of uniformed police in black-Kevlar riot-gear.
You’ll be satisfyingly surprised at the schisms within the system as the vested-interest powers-that-wish-to-perpetually-be wake up to the scale of Scarlet’s challenge and the public’s reaction both to it and to her, and Maleev rises to that challenge with half a dozen eye-dazzling, double-page spreads which celebrate those oh so brave folks opposing the phalanx.
For earlier Bendis crime please see JESSICA JONES: ALIAS, my favourite comic ever published by Marvel, each of the four books reviewed without spoilers, as long as you’re over 18. I’m delighted to announce that Brubaker and Phillips now have some serious competition when it comes to crime, and if you crave more CRIMINAL then this one’s for you.
Extras include Bendis’ script to issue #1 with its covering note to Maleev and the script to #2 with Maleev’s exploratory doodles upon it.
Final quote (because who doesn’t love an encore?):
“I’ve been watching so much internet porn I think I learned German.”
On Sanity: One Day In Two Lives (£4-99, Becoming Press) by Una.
These finally and substantially inform the whole, but before you reach this long, winding road of remarkable recovery which no one expected let alone dared hope for, you’re in for a haltingly stark experience articulated ever so eloquently with complete candour.
Told by both Una – the creator of the widely acclaimed BECOMING UNBECOMING – and her mother, now aged 72, it’s an illuminating, autobiographical aperture onto a very specific aspect of madness and one extraordinary, critical morning, after which the afternoon was all too inevitable.
On that afternoon we find Una and her mother sitting in the kitchen at the back of her mother’s big house, drinking tea, eating biscuits and reading the day’s newspapers.
“One of us waited anxiously for the medical team that assessed my mother under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act to decide whether to detain her. The other was relaxed in the knowledge that she’d been proved right about the global conspiracy against her (which the doctors were clearly in on), so neither of us was surprised when a doctor’s face appeared round the kitchen door to explain what would happen next.”
This house – originally Una’s grandparents’ – is almost a co-star of this comic. It’s the sole setting for its centrepiece and far more of a prison than the place where she is actually detained once liberated. Specific rooms play key roles, as does its layout and some sequences use its very floor plan as narrative panels. Another uses its staircase with its elaborate, angry red, wrought iron banister for a moment of conflict I suspect was imaginary. Others present full portraits of the hallway seen through doorways or of the rooms themselves and what is seen through a window. What you will find in the billiard room, presented with such sense of scale, will astonish you.
“After the brace of doctors had left, we waited for the police and ambulance to arrive. There were still four people in the house, but only one of us did not know that.”
So, what happened that morning?
The sad and unnatural schism between mother and daughter during her mother’s mental illness is quietly emphasised throughout. It’s there on that afternoon when one knows more than the other, but also during the entire main body wherein her mum is recalling that day and the world as she perceived it back then – the one she effectively inhabited.
The entire scenario was painfully familiar to me for reasons I touch on during my review of Darryl Cunningham’s PSYCHIATIC TALES which is an equally honest and important work and which sits proudly in our Mental Health Awareness Section alongside this, Terian Koscik’s WHEN ANXIETY ATTACKS, Allie Brosh’s HYPERBOLE AND A HALF, John Cei Douglas’ SHOW ME THE MAP TO YOUR HEART and so much more. That the section is proving so popular – that our customers care – I find immensely moving.
This comic is divided into three distinct chapters: the first few pages originally created in 2008 when there was no hope to speak of; her mother’s side of the story based on an oral history recorded over tea and biscuits (never underestimate the palliative power of tea and biscuits); then finally the Afterword and Afterthoughts. In the latter Una’s mother shares her current perspective including an episode which, again, ticked my own recognition box, and in the former Una herself provides context and makes an astute observation on what was not observed that day.
The thing, of course, is to cure mental illness. And if the drugs work then they work (eventually).
But understanding is everything in all aspects of life, and if we had more people in this world like Una who seek to understand, then we’d all be a lot closer too.
Love Addict – Confessions Of A Serial Dater (£18-99, Top Shelf) by Koren Shadmi.
Outright deceit aside, that’s actually not a bad adage for so many aspects of life.
Long-term facades are high-maintenance and I’ve certainly no time for fakery in friendship otherwise you make all the wrong friends. But if I’m ever feeling a little down in the shop I force myself to smile – which itself releases endorphins – and within minutes a customer’s shared enthusiasm rubs off on me and I’m glowing again.
Slightly trickier is courage, which is only gained after finding some first.
Similarly what we’re talking about here is the chicken-and-the egg confidence conundrum when it comes to success with scoring. And I am specifically talking about scoring. Not love, not romance, not relationships, but picking up men or women and getting beyond second base. The more you succeed, the more confidence you gain, the more likely your chance of a conquest.
But if love is a drug then sex is far more addictive.
Our narrator, K, is actually quite chipper as this all kicks off. His flatmate Brian is carefree and confident and ridiculously successful at scoring. But on the first few pages without any front or finagling, K manages to turn a casual, earnest enquiry into an honest romance.
They move in together!
It doesn’t work out.
It’s at this low juncture, on K’s winter birthday, that he’s caught all melancholy, brooding over snapshots of that failed relationship, despairing at remaining single forever, and Brian introduces him to Lovebug. Lovebug is a dating website. Brian schools our reluctant naïf in the art of securing dates not through openness and honesty but by working the system to maximum advantage.
There’s nothing wrong with putting your best foot forward – it’s important to focus on all your positive aspects it’s sometimes difficult for some of us to recall – but there are those pitfalls I touched on in lying: you attract all the wrong people. And, to begin with, K attracts all the wrong women.
Now wait! This was where I too was worried. I was worried that what I was seeing paraded in front of me, as well as K, were women with fault-lines deeper than San Andreas’. I’m a big fan of the foibles we share which is why I love Adrian Tomine’s OPTIC NERVE so much. We’re none of us perfect. But I have a massive aversion to blanket misanthropy.
But trust in the creator of ABADDON! That’s not what this is about, and everything in my introduction will be addressed here including chauvinism. What this is about is dating sites, addiction, superficiality and self-esteem: because things grow much, much worse when K begins to succeed.
“A new, insatiable greed started growing in me.
“I had already wasted all this time either being single or in monogamous relationships.”
If your eyebrows just arched as antagonistically high as mine at the term “wasted” either in conjunction with the words “monogamous” or “single” then welcome to my ceiling-split world. Sex is fab – I’m reasonably keen – but self-validation through sex alone…?
“I became arrogant and cocky. My attention span dropped to zero.
“And the weirdest thing was, the more arrogant I became, the more luck I had with women.”
Also: the happier he becomes! He’s finally in a place where he feels he can quit therapy because he doesn’t feel so much of a loser. You can’t begrudge him that! That has to be good, doesn’t it? Yes, it does, if how you treat others is of no consideration to you what so fucking ever.
K’s self-woven web becomes increasingly tangled personally and professionally as an animator – though not necessarily in the ways you might expect.
There is a glorious physicality to the art which revels in all sorts of female forms including in the more muscular like Robert Crumb did. And this is equally, sexually explicit in places. The forms are soft and round and fleshy – well, the women’s are. K’s a stick insect, and there is a masterful full-page panel when Taylor – who herself falls for Robert Crumb’s work once introduced – reveals herself.
“So, what do you think?” she asks, proudly.
And he sits there, as slack-jawed as he is lank-limbed, timidly on the bed. Better still, the composition is such that the shot is seen from the floor where both Taylor and K’s feet rest horizontally, while she rises up so far above him that his line of sight’s at eleven o’clock, totally dominated by both her confidence and physique. The quadrilateral is completed on the left and right by their vertical bodies.
Joe Matt is a fan and I can see why. K’s eyes behind glasses are never more than a dot, dazzled by almost everything he encounters.
The colours are a warm combination of purples, pinks, browns and terracotta. Structurally this is set up in seasons and when summer arrives, you can sure feel the heat. Whatever the time of year, however, neither the internal nor external environments have been skimped on: where dates take place tends to play a very large role in what transpires, doesn’t it? Brian will provide his own knowledgeable masterclass on that issue too.
Each date is numerically catalogued at the beginning of each chapter, then introduced by one colour-coded text each from K and whoever he’s meeting because that’s how their contact’s been developed after the initial site’s hook-up.
I love the final page’s ellipsis. I think that will make you smile.
Monstress vol 1: Awakening s/c (£7-50, Image) by Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda…
No, not a new Page 45 recruit receiving last-minute instructions before entering the mail order salt mines on the upper floors, but advice offered to Maika as she arrives, bound in chains, at the palatial headquarters of the Cumea, an order of human witch-nuns who seem to like nothing more than vivisecting the Arcanics, magical creatures who are part-human, part-animal, and of which Maika is one.
Once upon a time humans and Arcanics co-existed peacefully, but that was before a bitter war erupted resulting in the deaths of one hundred and forty six thousand Arcanics at the decisive battle of Constantine. Since then the remaining Arcanics have been in hiding, gradually being hunted down and handed over to the Cumea for their vile experiments, but perhaps it’s not too late… Maika certainly thinks so, which is why she has arranged for her own capture.
She’s convinced it is the only way to get behind the formidable defences of the Cumea headquarters, for she believes there is a mystical artifact the Cumea are looking for and have no idea it is hidden right under their very noses. When she acquires said artifact, though, and goes on the run, well, that’s when her problems really begin bifurcating off in all sorts of unexpected directions. But then, what precisely did she want the artifact for anyway…?
Well, this was an unexpectedly dark blend of fantasy and horror. Let me make absolutely clear: it’s certainly aimed at a mature audience, not kids. Exceptionally well written, including an intriguing sub-plot about Maika’s late mother, with an extremely broad cast of varied and fantastical characters, but I suppose we should expect no less from a published fantasy author, Majorie Liu, and just as beautifully illustrated by Sana Takeda. They have worked together before these two, on an eminently forgettable few issues of X-23 for Marvel, but they’re clearly both operating well in their respective comfort zones here. This is outstanding work for its particular genre.
As I say, it’s certainly not one for the squeamish, but both the writing and the exquisitely clean art have the feel of a Humanoids publication. If you liked say THE SWORDS OF GLASS, therefore, I think this would very much appeal.
Invisible Republic vol 1 s/c (£7-50, Image) by Gabriel Hardman, Corinna Bechko.
Life on the colony-moon of Maidstone isn’t the gleaming, frictionless future which certain science fictions promised us. Grindingly exploited by its mother-colony, it’s a place of food-stamps, indentured servitude, and political unrest. Recovering from its second violent regime change in living memory, no one can agree whether Maidstone’s deposed dictator – Arthur McBride – was an inevitability, a hero, or a monster.
So when journalist Nicholas Babb finds a diary recounting the untold history of McBride’s regime, he thinks it’ll resurrect his career. Especially when he learns it was written by McBride’s own cousin, Maia Reveron: a woman methodically erased from history. But Babb is about to learn that Maidstone’s past is buried in a shallow grave, and it doesn’t intend to rest in peace.
INVISIBLE REPUBLIC is as much political thriller as it is space opera; part Fatherland, part Star Wars. McBride seems built from secrets. Even Maia, the person who knew him best, has to suppose his motives, and piece together his schemes. Like the best science fiction, INVISIBLE REPUBLIC treats its future like history: intricate, contradictory, defiant.
Bechko, Hardman and Ponsor are meticulous world-builders, rendering Maidstone with such intimacy that it’s difficult to believe the place is invented. Bechko never allows her rigorous excavation of its daily life to undermine the dense plotting, while Hardman’s compositions are startlingly generous. He can pack an improbable amount of detail and incident into a single, clear panel. Ponsor’s colours conduct the worn, lived-in Maidstone atmosphere, but grow suddenly rich to highlight moments that are genuine and warm. Check out the jars of honey in issue 5, so thickly golden they’ll make you salivate.
INVISIBLE REPUBLIC is the good stuff: compelling, convincing, and complex. Strongly recommended to anyone who enjoys politics, history, messy science-fiction, or restless, developed characters.
Wolverine: Old Man Logan vol 1: Berzerker s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Jeff Lemire & Andrea Sorrentino with Marcelo Mailo on colours.
A tasty little number deliciously drawn with some relish by Sorrentino, this is actually the third OLD MAN LOGAN but please do not worry for I will explain.
Let’s get my only problems with the book out of the way now, shall we, so I can go out with the prime punchline I’ve already planned: it’s the packaging.
Not the cover – also by Sorrentino – but the chapter breaks which crudely and rudely shatter your immersion which the artists, both line and colour, have gone to considerable, spellbinding trouble to successfully achieve. A black page followed by Sorrentino’s own covers to each subsequent instalment would have saved the day by preserving the atmosphere but instead of the black page Marvel reprints, directly opposite each episode’s cliffhanger… a montage of other artists’ invariably inappropriate variants including, most insultingly, a plastic dolly of Logan because you are aged three.
In addition, the last 30-odd pages are actually a reprint of the finale to the original OLD MAN LOGAN so however thick the book looks, you’re only getting four issues. They just cannot help themselves, these greedy little bean-counters.
On we go, then!
Third series of this title following Bendis and Sorrentino’s OLD MAN LOGAN: WARZONES which was itself a sequel of sorts to Mark Millar & Steve McNiven’s original OLD MAN LOGAN which is completely self-contained and highly recommended as the finest Wolverine solo series of all time.
The original was set in an arid future when the heroes had lost and the villains have carved up America between them. Something so traumatic had happened to Logan that he’d become a pacifist, refusing to pop his claws for anyone or anything. When you learn what that was, you will completely understand why. Half the fun was wondering – then discovering – what had become of those you once loved. Those few left alive, anyway.
OLD MAN LOGAN: WARZONES saw that same survivor dropped into Marvel’s SECRET WARS world composed of various domains all ruled over by Vicky von Doom, each playing out alternate versions of key Marvel crossovers from the past or whatever else the writers came up with. It’s kind of difficult to explain, sorry.
“AT LEAST YOU TRIED, STEPHEN!” Thank you.
I adored its colours by Marcelo Maiolo which at times made you feel like you were travelling through the nocturnal section of a zoo’s ultra-violet tropical house under the influence of LSD.
Maiolo is back to colour Sorrentino’s Jay-Lee like art here with suitable gnarled and jaggedy lines as the by-now thoroughly bewildered, battered and indeed naked Old Man Logan surfaces groggily on Marvel’s new post-SECRET WARS Universe which is almost identical to the one left behind but, since that’s years in Logan’s past, it’s going to take some adjusting to. Trust me: when you get to a certain age, your memory isn’t what it used to be. And then there’s the fuzziness that comes with any transdimensional travel of which I also have some considerable experience.
Presumably his old pals are going to need to make some adjustments too given that they thought their friend dead after the DEATH OF WOLVERINE. Will he tell them what becomes of the poor sods in their future? Will they even believe he is who he claims to be?
Regardless, once he realises where and when he is, Wolverine’s main motivation and most pressing concern is this: changing the present so that the horrific future he lived through in the original OLD MAN LOGAN never comes to pass. Also: avenging some serious slights to his family that haven’t yet happened.
Expect memory flashes which will be new to you, a checklist of those who need to be taken out in order to divert the course of history, spectacular landscapes and a startling double-page homage to Frank Miller’s DARK KNIGHT RETURNS in the present. By “spectacular landscapes” I mean breathtakingly misty-blue, oceanic vistas whose horizons are bleached by the sun and whose crystal-clear waters seem so pure, belying what lies beneath. Contrast that with the rusted, battle-damaged hulk of a vast S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier under whose shadow has sprung and spread a shanty-town market, trading on the gutted carrier’s cargo and technology, all executed in the sort of colours you associate with old, frontier photographs.
Lemire directs Logan’s trajectory with an impeccable logic derived from the character’s now much longer past which still allows for grin-inducing surprises – for the reader, Wolverine, and those he tracks down – while Sorrentino and Maiolo will make you yearn so hard for the safety of those long since lost. Which is a pretty tall order and massive achievement, I think you’ll agree.
However, there’s one enormous, incontrovertible and insurmountable snag to Logan’s reasoning and for his new-found campaign which lies ahead.
I wonder if you’ve worked it out, already. Either way, it’s quite the moment.
Wonder Woman By Greg Rucka vol 1 s/c (£22-50, DC) by Greg Rucka & various.
This is all I’ve got, sorry, from a dozen or so years ago:
Attractive, J.G. Jones-like art accompanies a solid story revolving around the Erinyes, or Furies, and a Greek supplication ritual used by a woman who pledges herself to Wonder Woman, who in turn is then duty-bound to protect her.
In this case from Batman.
Why does he want her? What crimes has she committed, and why was she encouraged in this by the Erinyes? And is Diana prepared to make herself an accessory to murder after the fact?
Yes. Yes, she is.
Arrived, Online & Ready To Buy!
Reviews already up if they’re new formats of previous graphic novels. The best of the rest will be reviewed next week while others will retain their Diamond previews as reviews.
Goodnight Punpun vol 2 (£16-99, Vis) by Inio Asano
Paradise Lost (£20-00, Jonathan Cape) by John Milton, Pablo Auladell
Time Clock (£14-99, Fantagraphics) by Leslie Stein
Cloud h/c (£18-99, Archaia) by K. I. Zachopoulos & Vincenzo Balzano
Hip Hop Family Tree vol 4 (£20-99, Fantagraphics) by Ed Piskor
Doom Patrol Book 2 (£22-50, DC) by Grant Morrison & Richard Case
Huck vol 1 s/c (£10-99, Image) by Mark Millar & Rafael Albuquerque
Four Eyes vol 2: Hearts Of Fire s/c (£9-99, Image) by Joe Kelly & Max Fiumara
Miami Vice Remix s/c (£9-99, Lionforge) by Joe Casey & Jim Mahfood
Plutona s/c (£12-99, Image) by Jeff Lemire & Emi Lenox
Green Arrow By Kevin Smith s/c (£18-99, DC) by Kevin Smith & Phil Hestr, Ande Parks
Joe Golem Occult Detective vol 1: Rat Catcher And The Sunken Dead h/c (£18-99, Dark Horse) by Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden & Patrick Reynolds
Cursed Earth Uncensored (£25-00, Rebellion) by Pat Mills & Matt Wagner, various
Fruits Basket Collectors Ed vol 1 s/c (£14-99, Yen Press) by Natsuki Takaya
Fruits Basket Collectors Ed vol 2 s/c (£14-99, Yen Press) by Natsuki Takaya
Captain Marvel vol 1: Rise Of Alpha Flight s/c (£11-99, Marvel) by Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters & Kris Anka
Star Wars Obi-Wan And Anakin s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Charles Soule & Marco Checchetto
Rocket Raccoon And Groot vol 1 :Tricks Of The Trade s/c (£13-50, Marvel) by Skottie Young & Filipe Andrade, Various
Spider-Man: Brand New Day vol 2 s/c (£29-99, Marvel) by Dan Slott, Joe Kelly, Various & Chris Bachalo, Marc Guggenheim, Various
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl And The Great Lakes Avengers s/c (£22-50, Marvel) by Steve Ditko, Dan Slott, Various & Will Murray, Matt Haley, Various
X-Men Trial Of Gambit s/c (£25-99, Marvel) by Scott Lobdell, Various & Joe Madureira, Various
American Vampire vol 8 s/c (£10-99, DC) by Scott Snyder & Rafael Albuqerque, Dave McCaig
Injustice Gods Among Us Year Four vol 1 s/c (£10-99, DC) by Brian Buccellato & Bruno Redondo, Mike S Miller, Juan Albarran
ITEM! Page 45 Makes The Top Ten in the Nottingham Independent Business Awards 2016! THANKS TO YOUR VOTES!
Goodness but I hope they’ve announced that by the time this goes to press! I’ve been bluffing my ignorance of the outcome on Twitter since Monday!
To win the award again, highly cherished by Page 45, we will be assessed along with the other nine qualifiers by the Judges, deep undercover as Secret Shoppers! I love Secret Shoppers! I hope they were given a big budget.
Thank you again for your votes!
What may have swung it was my last-minute plea on Twitter declaring that, if you didn’t vote for Page 45, you’d find Boris Johnson at the till and Donald Trump providing shop-floor recommendations!
AND YOU WOULDN’T LIKE THOSE
That’s quite the coup, and a perfect match for this relaxed, town-wide festival which is like nothing else in this country and far closer to European model for comics celebrations.
ITEM! I love these two pages of THE SHORT CON (you can pre-order there – we have to place our own pre-orders by 26th July) by Pete Toms & Aleks Senwald.
ITEM! Huge thanks to Chris Gardiner for the guest review this week. It’s years since we had a guest review. We don’t encourage guest reviews because this isn’t a democracy and we think trust and consistency is vital – “Jonathan / Stephen loved my last favourite and they’re also recommended this, so I’m definitely in!” – but it was so fine I was tempted to put my own initials on it. Cheers, mate!