Page 45 Reviews October 2010 week four

Vertigo Resurrected #1 (£5-99, Vertigo) by Warren Ellis, Brian Bolland, Brian Azzarello, Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis, Steven T. Seagle, Peter Milligan, Bill Willingham, Bruce Jones & Phil Jimenez, Andy Lanning, Brian Bolland, Essad Ribic, Frank Quitely, Jim Lee, Tim Sale, Eduardo Risso, Pamela Rambo, Berni Wrightson.

Ho, yes! They better keep this one in print.

The main but by no means only attraction here is the first publication – finally after all these years on the censor’s spike – of Warren Ellis & Phil Jimenez’s ‘Shoot’, the HELLBLAZER story tackling child-on-child gun crime. Written and drawn before whichever the massacre was back then, it was deemed too topical to print which is precisely why it should have been printed in the first place. That, and it’s one of the finest John Constantine appearances ever.

A woman is reviewing video tapes of school shootings, in order to address a Senate Committee with her judgement on why they are happening but she just can’t see it, and keeps going back to the audio tape on which Reverend Jim Jones persuades his congregation, all nine hundred and fourteen men, women and children, to commit mass suicide.

“…It’s deciding what to blame, you know? Blame the parents for keeping a gun in the house? Not without blaming the constitution and pulling the NRA’s chain.”
“The movies, the video games, the comicbooks…”
“More killers fixate and draw inspiration from the Bible than any other piece of culture.”
“So if I did a Nintendo thing called “Flying Chainsaw Jesus” I’d be rich?”
“Ew. And you’ve got kids.”
“And that’s how I oughta know. You oughta see the little bastards playing their video games. Eyes bright, teeth bared, like wolves tearing up a sheep.”
“It’s not the games that do it, Brian.”

No, it’s not. Nor, can I assure you, does it have anything hocus pocus to do with our John or anyone else. That would have made this an awful Constantine story. The only uncanny thing about John’s involvement is that he’s there at the site of every recent child-child slaying, but he’s only there to see for himself why they’re doing it as a favour to a friend whose own boy got blown away, and I think John and Warren are both absolutely on the nail. Jimenez and Lanning own this story as much as Ellis: without his pitch-perfect expressions, particularly the last one, it couldn’t have worked. Now please see Andrew Vachss’ HEART TRANSPLANT if you want to learn the truth about early self-esteem and bullying.

The rest of the 100-page anthology is made up of reprints from obscure series like STRANGE ADVENTURES, WEIRD WAR TALES, HEARTTHROBS and FLINCH. Morrison and Quitely’s Action Man at war story sees the fuzzy-topped hero recuperating at a hospital where he falls in love with Barbie. But then Barbie’s taken away and when he tells his fellow soldiers they’re next, the just won’t listen. Garth Ennis and Jim Lee deliver a nasty little number set in an off-roader during a fishing trip to Scotland as four soldiers swap photos of their time during Desert Storm. Three of them are in for a revelation. But amongst all the quality here Peter Milligan and Eduardo Risso’s ‘The Death Of A Romantic’ takes the biscuit for sheer inventiveness. A woman whose job is to research the Romantics and rescue writers from obscurity is ditched by her boyfriend, losing every last shred of dignity by begging him to stay. Her friends say they always knew he was a rotter. But as she begins investigating a seemingly unpromising poet called Adrian Fury who died in 1829 aged twenty-five she discovers he really was a romantic and died a virgin on account of idolising women. Gradually as she uncovers more of the mysterious man’s history she starts falling in love with him and talks to her friends as if they were really dating. Ah, but just you wait… Again, nothing supernatural about it all, I promise you. But she’ll handle being disappointment in love by the unfairer sex much, much better this time round.

X’ed Out h/c (£14-99, Jonathan Cape) by Charles Burns.

“I’m sorry… I really am. I’m sorry things didn’t work out.”

This is the sort of work that terrifies me.

It’s the nightmare scenario of things being beyond your control: wandering around in your pyjamas, no money to pay for a meal you’ve just eaten, not knowing where you are or where to go and being alone in the company of deeply unsettling strangers. And that’s just the nightmare, the images, thoughts and scenarios that Doug can’t shut out in spite of his diminishing number of pills: embryos in eggs, putrescent meat riddled with giant, outraged maggots plucked then gobbled by a cowled figure whose nose appears eaten with syphilis; terrified creatures clinging to driftwood as they’re carried helplessly downstream by the rapids. Yes, that’s just the nightmare. It seems Doug’s real life took a turn for the worse as well.

The book begins with Doug, his features simplified to a Tintin cartoon with two crossed plasters stuck to his temple, waking up in bed not knowing where he is. There’s a hole in the far brick wall his black cat climbs through into the darkness beyond. He’s sure his cat is supposed to be dead. Doug dons a dressing gown and follows…

When Doug wakes up in bed, he hasn’t a clue where he is. His temples have been shaved, giving him the look of a dark-haired Tintin, and a bandage is taped to one side of his skull. Evidence lies on the covers: a basic tape recorder, a graphic novel, a photograph of a girl holding a giant heart to her naked breasts. There’s a flick-knife embedded in the heart. The sound of the door buzzer terrifies him. Why? Some of the answers to this series of puzzles – why he perceives himself to look like Tintin in his dream, who the girl in the photograph is, where the hole in the wall came from and why that buzzer might terrify him – are slowly revealed by Doug’s memory. But not where the bandage came from, not yet, though one can easily infer.

This, you should be warned before you pick the book up, is but the first instalment of a far longer work, brought out French-stylee in hardcover episodes. The production values are beautiful, unusually for Burns it’s in colour, and although he’s breaking new personal ground, readers of BLACK HOLE will still be in familiar territory. There are disaffected teens indulging in drugs, alcohol and extreme art projects involving the body; violence threatens to break in from outside, and raging hormones may well prove the source of much trouble. Oh yes, holes. There are lots and lots of holes.


Heart Transplant h/c (£18-99, Dark Horse) by Andrew Vachss, Zak Mucha & Frank Caruso.

Bullying explored in fiction by Vachss then explained in reality by Mucha.

If I had only known as a child what I’ve just learned today then my early teens would have been a whole lot smoother; I have never read anything in my life that has made so much sense as Mucha’s detailed essay in the back.

I don’t have kids, though obviously I know a fair few: I have some seriously cool second cousins and I work behind a till in what I consider a warm and friendly environment. You get to know people if you can listen long enough. So I’m buying this for a fair few as Christmas presents for parents and teens, and a copy for myself so that if any parents or teenagers want to borrow it from me, for free, all you have to do is ask. I’ll keep a list of who wants it next and then let you know when it’s back.

Rarely have I been so surprised by a work of fiction, which I could have sworn was heading straight into the territory of sexual abuse, yet nothing could have been further from reality. But then rarely does reality offer you true altruism which is what Pop displays here: altruism, a sense of honour and another chance to get it right.

Young Sean lived with his mother and a succession of unofficial step-fathers: scroungers and parasites his mother took in because having someone younger and good-looking around fulfilled her self-esteem issues. She didn’t care if they were piss-head thugs towards Sean – there was too much TV to watch. So no, “brought up by” is not a description I’d use. The last boyfriend was Brian who tried to get Sean to burgle houses for him because he was too much of a coward to do it himself. Sean refused and took the consequent beating. But Brian was the last one because Sean came home to find them both dead.

“The cops said nobody had heard the shots, nobody had seen anything. It was like Nobody came in there and killed them.”

This is where, a hair’s breath away from being shoved into the system, Brian’s father comes in. Through the front door. It’s also where I thought the sexual abuse was going to come in for Pop urges Sean to acknowledge him as his grandfather, and does so under his breath. He spirits him away under the watch of the Welfare lady who’s simply relieved at fewer forms to fill in. Nor is he some kindly, sentimental old man: he acknowledges his son was both a dosser and tosser, and a total waste of bullying space. He’s stern, he’s not into anything post-1950, but he has no pretences at being a saint or a cook or a particularly good father, nor does he make emotional demands on Sean. Instead, over the months, he earns Sean’s respect with his straightforward candour and respect for Sean’s personal privacy. It’s the first time the boy’s ever had a bedroom. Their first Christmas is interesting.

Make no mistake, though, this is no happy ending, it’s just the beginning for the bullying comes next, at school. And it’s funny how everyone else just stands round and laughs if it’s physical, or sniggers if it’s verbal. They’re relieved it’s not them so condone it instead with their complicity, signalling approval to solicit the bully’s own approbation. Keep that ego tank full and maybe its bottomless demand won’t make you the next target.

“It didn’t hurt me,” I said.
“Yeah, it did.”
“It didn’t, Pop. I didn’t cry or –”
“I’m not talking about you taking a beating, son. No man goes through life without catching a few of those. But a beating ain’t the same things as being made dirt of. Being humiliated. So don’t be telling me it didn’t hurt you, ’cause it hurts me. Inside me, it hurts. So I know it hurts you, too. I even know where it hurts.”

Yes, bullies require – nay, demand – an audience; otherwise the public humiliation inflicted in order to increase their hegemony is not complete. And this is where both Vachss and Mucha have it so right: the psychology of it all. The difference between a fighter and a bully is that a bully doesn’t expect his actions to cost him anything. She or he is never stood up to by their victims or by others in their place, so it costs them nothing.

“Once he finds out it’s gonna cost him something, he’s going to do his shopping someplace else.”

Which sounds a little harsh until you get to the part of standing up for others. Think what would happen if bullies were actually social pariahs rather than almost universally appeased, and chased off the prairie by all.

Pop turns out to be quite ingenious, by the way, his only deception being one that stands Sean in good public (but more importantly personal, self-esteem) stead at the expense of his own reputation. Had Sean known the truth, it would have secured Pop in his affections forever, but some positive actions and their desired effects are more important than being rewarded for them. I think that’s the definition of altruism.

And so it is that we come to Zak Mucha’s contribution where he punctures the prevalent notion that bullies have low self-esteem. No. They have a disproportionately high opinion of themselves and little regard for others: their desire for self-gratification comes well above any pain they inflict on others. And the victims of emotional abuse, made to feel as if they’re in the wrong for being bullied. “Must be something wrong with me if I’m being picked on” – coming to a cyberspace near you! Adjusting your own behaviour to accommodate or mollify the bullies.

“That perceived lack of worth is evidenced in the victim’s dismissal of his pain: the victim learns to not trust his own feelings. He ignores his own flushes of rage and shamefully swallows words he wished could be spoken. Never feeling safe from criticism or safe to tell the truth, the victim remains vigilant for the slightest sign of disapproval, waiting for the whisper of collusion among peers…”

Basically, it erodes individuality. Enforces conformity to the bullies’ point of view.

“None of this is done in the light of day. The injuries start off as testing measures, small slights, ignored phone calls, text messages, and blog entries. The attacks are sweet-voiced whispers in a world where a “friend” qualifies with one mouse-click and an attack spreads like a virus through an entire social network, becoming both spectator sport and Internet mob action.
“If the victim defends herself or “confronts” the aggressor, the recriminations being: “Well, it’s not like she hit you,” “Oh, you’re too emotional,” “You shouldn’t feel like that,” or “That’s not what I meant.” This is a vital component of the culturally acceptable bullying: the victim is at fault for misunderstanding the acts of the aggressor.
“The victim feels guilty for making the aggressor angry, even guiltier for feeling his own anger. The victim dislikes himself for being in pain, then uses that pain as proof he is inadequate. The injury, he is told, consists of “only words”.”

Tip of the analytical iceberg, I swear. I finally understood the term passive-aggressive too and, in this context, narcissism.

The art puts me in mind of Ashley Wood. It provides atmosphere more than anything else because the illustrations unfortunately aren’t integrated with the words, but you can’t always have everything.

Andrew Vachss is a child abuse lawyer acclaimed for his writing all over the place including here (see HARD LOOKS in particular; no review, sorry, read it twenty years ago); Zak Mucha, LCSW, is the supervisor of an Assertive Community Treatment programme, providing services to persons suffering severe psychiatric and substance-abuse disorders in Chicago.


Absolute Promethea book 2 of 3 slipcased h/c (75-00, Wildstorm/DC) by Alan Moore & JH Williams III.

One of my favourite three Alan Moore projects of all time (FROM HELL and VOICE OF THE FIRE, since you ask), and one of the rare fictions whose metaphysics had me glued to the page thanks in no small part to JH Williams III. It’s one long tribute to the nature, power and achievements of the human imagination. For more on the series, please see the relevant softcover reviews.

This the second of three ABSOLUTE editions, this time rounded off with a wealth of extra material in the form of preparatory work annotated by the artist focussing on – but not limited to – the covers. There are alternate versions, pencil versions and black and white inked versions, particularly useful if you’ve trying to identify the ghost people, negative white on blue, on the cover to the tenth issue. There’s promotional artwork, unused designs, and the COVERS BOOK page of story that only ever saw print previously when released with the limited poster edition to thirty-second issue.


Arthur Rackham: A Life With Illustration h/c (£25-00, Pavilion) by James Hamilton & Arthur Rackham.

Nearly two hundred pages of biography illustrated throughout with Rackham’s distinctive, early 20th Century pen, ink and watercolour fantasies that surely inspired Charles Vess to such great heights. Mermaids, sea creatures, goblins, dragons and valkyries; Alice In Wonderland (if I was going to relinquish Tenniel for anyone it would be Rackham), Siegfried And The Twilight Of The Gods, Peter Pan, the Stories Of King Arthur, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, A Christmas Carol, The Tempest etc: those are the sort of illustrations you’ll probably be most familiar with, but I was taken aback by the pure watercolour pastorals like Landscape With Stream And Cows, so much more tranquil and delicate than Cuyp’s. Here’s the biographer James Hamilton:

“In this brief address to his author colleagues – to him partners, not masters – Rackham underlines points that concerned him throughout his career, that illustration was literally as its name described, the adding of lustre, of light, to a text, a means of giving it a new dimension, a kind of road sign to help the reader around the ‘environment of the stories’.”

A perfect description, that, of J.H. Williams III’s contribution of Alan Moore’s PROMETHEA.

In addition to discussing the life and works of Arthur Rackham, the book reprints excerpts from his letters and speeches he made along with contemporary reviews from peers and journalists alike. Time is also set aside for technical explanations like the three-colour printing process, an economic assessment of how Rackham actually earned his living, a timeline and family tree. But mostly you’ll just be swooning, won’t you?


American Vampire vol 1 h/c (£18-99, Vertigo/DC) by Scott Snyder, Stephen King & Rafael Albuquerque.

Mein Gotte, I’m so hungry… Let’s get someone to eat!”

The American vampire is a rather different beast from the pretty young posers the genre’s been reduced to, and so is the cracking first book here. It’s horror novelist Stephen King’s first original work for comics and he is ridiculously modest and self-deprecating during the introduction in which he places all credit at the feet of Scott Snyder, the series creator and author of the first half of each chapter set in July 1925 on the cusp of the advent of talkies. Here two young friends, Pearl and Hattie, are playing extras on a Hollywood film set and receive their instructions:

“Okay, extras! Into character! Action in 5! And remember — we want terror!”
“Terror, take nine. Say something scary, will you?”
“The rent’s due tomorrow.”

The rent’s for their women-only boarding house where, for the last three days, a “creepy cowboy man” has been accosting them from his chair across the communal swimming pool. He’s handsome as hell but ragged round the edges and more than a little cocky. Back on set Pearl finds herself in the right place at the right time to act as a stand-in with leading actor Chase Hamilton which leads both ladies to be invited to a swank do being hosted by movie producer B. D. Bloch. It’s a party which “creepy cowboy man”, still there on his chair and strangely acquainted with B.D. Bloch, nonchalantly warns them away from. A few pages later they wish they had listened, and you’re going to want to turn back to the grimmest of opening pages set later that night. If there’s an element there you still can’t decipher then just hold your horses: Snyder’s got a few slights of hand up his sleeve.

Snyder’s economy is admirable, covering a great deal of contemporary territory in a tiny amount of time which in turn keeps the story rolling at an entertaining rate, whilst Albuquerque’s art evokes the period with grace and charm before the horror kicks in, at which point he lips rip with an almighty frenzy of fangs, claws and in two notably instances, one well aimed stiletto and a cactus. He shifts styles noticeably for Stephen King’s half, a western set forty-five years earlier in Colorado where a by-now familiar young man revealed to be Skinner Sweet is being escorted by train with an armed guard. It’s not for his protection. He is, after all, a notorious bank-robber ruthless enough to shoot a three-year-old child without compunction. He’s also intimidatingly self-confident. Turns out he has good reason to be, as Special Agent Jim Book and his Mexican Deputy Felix Camillo are about to find out to their cost. But if Sweet was difficult enough to contain before, one fatal error on the part of another member of the party, a bald business man with a low tolerance to daylight, is going to kick into gear over four decades of bloody miscalculations which few will survive.

“Time to meet my maker…”

Hindsight is going to play a big part in your enjoyment of this series, and paying attention here has its rewards. That both time periods aren’t readily associated with or overpopulated by vampires is refreshing, as are the two different forms they take. Stephen King doesn’t need to write comics – I don’t think he’ll ever be short of a dollar – so his enthusiasm to be a part of this project is quite the endorsement to which I can only add my own. It’s a good couple of decades since I enjoyed vampires outside of the re-release of BLOOD & WATER, but I’ve been bitten once more.

“Everything tastes better when you’re dead. Who knew?”


Cyanide & Happiness vol 2: Ice Cream & Sadness h/c (£10-00, HarperCollins) by Kris, Rob, Matt & Dave.

Dominique excelled herself in choosing the interior art to go with volume one online: two of my favourites there straightaway.

Heads above almost every other online webstrip, these feature fourth-wall trickery, immaculate timing and the worst medical practitioner in the world.

“Just point to where it hurts.”
“Well, it hurts here… ow! here… ow! and here… ow!”
“You have a broken finger.”
[Patient leaves]
“God, you are SO blonde.”


Dragon Puncher h/c (£7-50, Top Shelf) by James Kochalka.

Full-colour fantasy rampage starring Eli Kochalka (James’ son) as Spoony-e and Spandy (James’ cat) as Dragon Puncher battling James himself (James) as the dragon. The backgrounds are photographs of a verdant, copse-lined pasture upon which James has drawn the cartoon monkey Spoony-e, the cartoon robot Dragon Puncher and the cartoon dragon Dragon. He’s then inserted balaclava photos of the actors’ faces. Eli can’t act, being aged 3, Spandy refuses to act (two expressions, tops) so James makes up for it in spades.

Just the sort of delightful playschool whimsy that would be sweet selotaped to any family refrigerator, but would you actually charge your friends to read it?

Oh, you would.

Well, day-care ain’t cheap.

The Saga Of Rex (£13-50, Image) by Michael Gagné.

Love, life and transmogrification. Birth, death and resurrection. Loneliness, resilience, trials and (you thought I was going to type ‘tribulations’ next) the worshipping of prophetic idols. From the creator of PARABLES and culled from the pages of FLIGHT, this full-colour fantasy of a fox cub swept up into the cosmos and thence to strange lands, soon ditches the early sentences to go wordless. Thankfully. They’ll only puzzle a child who would otherwise love this. It’s perfectly, genuinely sweet – not half as alarming as PARABLES – but fails to signify a tenth of what Drooker or Woodring impart on a single page. That doesn’t necessarily matter, I’m just saying…

Absolute All Star Superman (£75-00, DC) by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely ~

Both volumes collected together in DC’s extra-large slipcased hardcover format with sketches etc..

Hands up how many of you have actually read a Superman comic? I know when I did read one when I much younger, the awful DEATH OF SUPERMAN, I was aghast and utterly confused. Having grown up loving the films, I just could not recognise the mindless caped atrocity fighting Doomsday for what seemed like ever. Who was this guy? Where was the soul of the icon I knew?

Because although Superman was created for comics, he became an icon through other media. A phenomenon which spread through radio, cinema serials and later TV and film, that’s why everyone knows the character, the “S”, why people refer to their weaknesses as Kryptonite rather than Achilles Heel, and why bald men are inherently evil geniuses. (Sorry, Stephen, but it’s true!)

But how many of you have read the comics? And to be honest why would you? Superman and his real power have been diluted with each incarnation until he was nothing more than a wholesome mascot for the American way. To the cynical he is a naive, empty character because of this, and attempts in comics to balance that perception with numerous gritty storylines over the years have only alienated and/or confused potential fans. It’s a crisis of identity for a seventy-one-year-old character, clearly suffering from some form of dementia, a parallel Steven T. Seagle makes in his book IT’S A BIRD…, one of a very few other Superman books we recommend.

Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely have unequivocally grasped the essence of Superman, what makes him work, and his real power: to inspire. Grant’s love for the character is utterly apparent to the point where it’s obvious he has managed to restrain himself just enough to deliver a story that has its moments of genius bordering on mad but never loses its focus. Balancing a character whom more often fights with his wit and intelligence than his fists, Grant lets Superman reflect humanity with an outsider’s eye. Being the ultimate immigrant aspiring to better understand his adoptive home, faults and all, while his own failings become increasingly pertinent now that his life is drawing to an untimely end.

For after being exposed to a lethal overdose of solar rays in volume one, Superman has gained awesome and unpredictable new powers. Unfortunately the same overdose placed too much strain upon his body’s ability to process the yellow sunlight, giving him scant months to live. Having accomplished seven of the twelve labours he was retro-prophesised to complete, Superman tries to find a way to save himself, but not before escaping from Bizarro Earth, coping with being replaced by some unexpected survivors from Krypton, growing a parallel dimension, and seeing Lex Luthor to the electric chair. All of which sounds rather ambiguous and standard silly I grant you, but I promise it comes together in the most amazing way. Besides that’s not what makes this series so perfect. It’s the little moments like when Superman prevents the suicide of a girl. After he inadvertently prevents her doctor from reaching her in time and talk her down, he steps in. There’s no fall or dramatic swooping in to catch her in the nick of time, because that would still be too late. Superman just does what anyone would do, and helps her find strength.


Spider-Man: Grim Hunt h/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Fred Van Lente, Phil Jimenez, Joe Kelly, Zeb Wells, J.M. DeMatteis & Phillipe Briones, Phil Jimenez, Michael Lark, Marco Checchetto, Stefano Gaudiano, Max Fiumara.

Michael Lark: everything he touches is made more compelling for his presence. Brubaker and Rucka benefited enormously for his work on GOTHAM CENTRAL, and so does Joe Kelly here.

The main meat of this book is by Kelly and Lark, the culmination of a long game played over the last year with the help of her daughter Ana by Sasha Kraven, wife of the deceased Kraven The Hunter. THE GAUNTLET was her doing: foe after Spider-foe nudged in Spider-Man’s direction, knocking the stuffing out of Peter so softening him up for this. With the Chameleon at their side they’ve already captured the precognitive Madame Web and young Mattie Franklin, and now they’re after the other spiders: Arachne, clone Kaine, Arana and, of course, Spider-Man himself. They’re quite literally out for his blood in order to resurrect Kraven Sr., but given that the Russian hunter shot himself in the head with a gun, what are the chances that he actually wants to come back?

The early chaos and consequent confusion is very well played, after which the roles are then neatly reversed. Plenty of twists in store. There’ll be more than one resurrection, several severances, and you know the old cliché which Marvel keep trotting out so irritatingly often that you no longer believe a word one of their hype-monkeys says: that “Nothing will be the same again”? Well I can’t recall the last time that so much did change in a single storyline. Not in Peter’s personal life, but right across his fellow spiders’.

Lark does his best to keep it moody and he would have succeeded, but through no fault of his own Marvel editorial has, not for the first time recently, made the insane decision of diluting the power of this climax by interspersing each chapter here with a dozen or so pages each of extraneous flashback by J.M. DeMatteis and Max Fiumara. It makes for a much longer read but a far less satisfying one and I humbly suggest you exercise some editorial control of your own and skip those chapters then, if you really want to, go back and read them later. Pretend they’re at the back of the book as they should have been.

Daredevil: Vision Quest h/c (£14-99, Marvel) by David Mack.

From the creator of KABUKI, the bits that got in the way of Bendis’ run. Glorious art, Echo returns, and I found it to be utter twaddle – see title. On the other hand Tom, who is more more patient than I may reappraise it because he’s definitely got the Mack Factor in his bloodstream. Self-contained Native American escapade.


Hack/Slash Omnibus vol 1 (£22-50, Image) by Tim Seeley & many.

16-year-old Cassie was forced to kill her mother, the undead murderer known as the Lunch Lady, apparently.

“Now Cassie and her monstrous partner Vlad travel the country, hunting down and killing other slashers before they can leave a trail of blood and terror.”

Keeps her off the streets, I guess. Errr…

This is the first batch originally published by another of the those publishers we largely ignore. I’m not about to read this on your behalf, I’m just happy to cater for a demand which baffles me.

Maiden Rose vol 2 (£9-99, June) by Fusanosuke Inariya.

“And suddenly all my bandages fell off! But I’m telling you the plot…”

Dear, dear Kenny Everett.

“When a mysterious train charts a path through the demilitarised (and allegedly tainted) No-Man’s Land, Taki must act quickly in order to prevent its passage into his domain. But will he protect his own boundaries from the brute advances of Claus… or is he prepared to welcome a forceful invasion?”

Dear god, the publisher’s channelling me! (Madam.)


Also arrived:

(Use our search engine – reviews may still follow for some!)

Make Me A Woman h/c (£18-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Vanessa Davis
Prison Pit Book 2 (£9-99, Fantagraphics) by Johnny Ryan
Hack/Slash Omnibus vol 1 (£22-50, Image) by Tim Seeley & Stefano Caselli, Federica Manfredi, Aadi Salman, Dave Crosland, Mark Englert, Nate Bellegarde, Andy Kuhn, Joe Largent, Sean Dove, Skottie Young, Mike Norton, Josh Medors, Mike O’ Sullivan, Matt Merhoff
Farscape: Scorpius vol 1: Let Sleeping Dogs Lie s/c (£7-50, Boom!) by Rockne S. O’Bannon, David Alan Mack & Mike Ruiz
Hatter M vol 3: The Nature Of Wonder h/c (£18-99, AP) by Frank Beddor, Liz Cavalier & Sami Makkonen
Ultimate Iron Man: Armour Wars s/c (£10-99, Marvel) by Warren Ellis & Steve Kurth
Punisher Noir s/c (£10-99, Marvel) by Frank Tieri & Paul Azaceta
Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man: Amazing (£7-50, Marvel) by Paul Tobin & Matteo Lolli, Scott Koblish
Star Wars: The Clone Wars vol 1: Slaves Of The Republic (£9-99, Drk Horse) by Henry Gilroy & Scott Hepburn, Ramon K. Perez, Lucas Marangon
Locke & Key vol 2: Head Games s/c (£14-99, IDW) by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? vol 3 h/c (£18-99, Boom!) by Philip K. Dick & Tony Parker
The Savage Sword Of Conan vol 8 (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Michael Fleisher & Gil Kane, John Buscema, Alfredo Alcala
Dark Tower vol 2: The Long Road Home s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Peter David, Stephen King, Peter David, Robin Furth & Richard Isanove, Jae Lee.
Black Widow: Deadly Origin s/c (£10-99, Marvel) by Paul Cornell & Tom Raney, John Paul Leon
Irredeemable vol 4 (£12-99, Boom!) by Mark Waid & Diego Barreto, Paul Azaceta, Emma Rios, Howard Chaykin
Conan vol 9: Free Companions (£13-50, Dark Horse) by Timothy Truman & Joe Kubert, Tomas Giorello 
Transformers: Prime (£7-50, IDW) by Mike Johnson & various
Moomins: Moominmamma’s Book Of Thoughts (£5-99, Self Made Hero) by Sami Malila & Tove Jansson
Moomins: Snufkin’s Book Of Thoughts (£5-99, Self Made Hero) by Sami Malila & Tove Jansson
Moomins: Moomintroll’s Book Of Thoughts (£5-99, Self Made Hero) by Sami Malila & Tove Jansson
Amory Wars, vol 3: In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth (£10-00, Boom!) by Claudio Sanchez, Peter David & Chris Burnham
Darkstalkers / Red Earth: Maleficarum (£9-99, Udon) by Mami Itou
Marvel Zombies vol 5 h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Fred Van Lente & Kano, Michael W. Kaluta, Felix Ruiz, Fernando Blanco, Frank Brunner
Shuddertown h/c (£14-99, Image) by Nick Spencer & Adam Geen
Astro City: Dark Ages Book 2 h/c (£22-50, Wildstorm) by Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson
Hulk vol 6: World War Hulks h/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness
Final Crisis: Legion Of 3 Worlds s/c (£10-99, Marvel) by Geoff Johns & George Perez
Victorian Undead: Sherlock Holmes vs. Zombies (£13-50, Wildstorm) by Ian Edginton & David Fabbri
Hellblazer: India (£10-99, Vertigo) by Peter Milligan & Giuseppe Camuncoli, Simon Bisley
Hulk vol 5: Fall Of The Hulks s/c (£10-99, Marvel) by Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuiness, John Romita Jr.
Cardcaptor Sakura Book 1 (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Clamp
Spider-Man: The Gauntlet vol 3: Vulture & Morbius s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Fred Van Lente, Mark Waid, Joe Kelly, Tom Peyer, Greg Weisman & Joe Quinones, Luke Ross, Max Fiumara, Paul Azaceta, Javier Rodriguez, Francis Portela
Predators (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Marc Andreyko, David Lapham, Paul Tobin & Guilherme Balbi, Victor Drujiniu, Gabriel Guzman, Allan Jefferson
The Lightning Thief (£7-50, Hyperion) by Rick Riordan, Robert Venditti & Attila Futaki
Vern and Lettuce (£9-99, DFC) by Sarah McIntyre
Dracula h/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Bram Stoker, Roy Thomas & Dick Goirdano
Wolverine Weapon X vol 3: Tomorrow Dies Today h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Jason Aaron & Ron Garney, Davide Gianfelice, Esad Ribic
Deadpool Corps vol 1: Pool-Pocalypse Now h/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Victor Gischler & Rob Liefeld, Marat Mychaels 
Sandman vol 2: The Doll’s House (New Ed’n) (£14-99, Vertigo) by Neil Gaiman & Malcolm Jones III, Mike Dringenberg, Michael Zulli
Sandman vol 3: Dream Country (New Ed’n) (£14-99, Vertigo) by Neil Gaiman & Malcolm Jones III, Charles Vess, Steve Erickson, Colleen Doran, Kelley Jones
Essential Ghost Rider vol 4 (£14-99, Marvel) by Michael Fleisher, J.M. DeMatteis, Roger Stern, Tom DeFalco, Peter B. Gillis & Tom Sutton, Don Perlin, Dave Simons, Bob Budiansky, Luke McDonnell
Wait, You’re Not A Centaur (£12-99) by Nathaniel Drake Denver
X-Factor vol 9: Invisible Woman Has Vanished s/c (£10-99, Marvel) by Peter David & Bing Cansino, Valentine De Landro
Stew Brew #3 (£2-99) by Kelly Froh, Max Clotfelter
Strange Growths #15 (£2-99) by Jenny Zervakis
You Don’t Get There From Here #13 (£2-99) by Carrie McNinch
You Don’t Get There From Here #14 (£2-99) by Carrie McNinch
You Don’t Get There From Here Goes To Oaxaca (£2-99) by Carrie McNinch
Deadpool vol 5: What Happened In Vegas h/s (£14-99, Marvel) by Daniel Way & Carlo Barberi
Wonder Woman: Contagion (£10-99, DC) by Gail Simone & Nicola Scott, Aaron Lopresti, Chris Batista, Fernando Dagnino, Travis Moore

King-Cat T-Shirt – S (£18-99)
King-Cat T-Shirt – M (£18-99)
King-Cat T-Shirt – L (£18-99)
King-Cat Badge (£1-00)
Beanworld T-Shirt – M (£18-99)
Beanworld T-Shirt – L (£18-99)
Beanworld T-Shirt – XL (£18-99)
Beanworld T-Shirt – XXL (£18-99)
Fear Of Song CD (£13-99) by Zak Sally

Gantz vol 13 (£9-99, Dark Horse) by Hiroya Oku
Slam Dunk vol 12 (£7-50, Viz) by Takehiko Inoue
Hyde & Closer vol 2 (£7-50, Viz) by Haro Aso
Cat Paradise vol 5 (£8-50, Yen) by Yuji Iwahara
Cross Game vol 1 VIZBIG Edition (£14-99, Viz) by Mitsuru Adachi
Strawberry 100% vol 14 (£7-50, Viz) by Mizuki Kawashita
Bunny Drop vol 2 (£7-99, Yen) by Yumi Unita
Chobits Book 2 (£18-99, Dark Horse) by Clamp
Kobato vol 3 (£7-99, Yen) by Clamp
7 Billion Needles vol 1 (£8-50, Vertical) by Nobuaki Tadano
Fairy Tail vol 12 (£8-50, Del Rey) by Hiro Mashima
Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys vol 11 (£9-99, Viz) by Naoki Urasawa
One Piece vol 55 (£7-50, Viz) by Eiichiro Oda
Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo vol 5 (£7-50, Viz) by Yoshio Sawai
Naruto vol 49 (£7-50, Viz) by Masashi Kishimoto
Chi’s Sweet Home vol 3 (£10-50, Vertical) by Konami Kanata
Alice The 101st vol 2 (£9-99, Doki Doki) by Chigusa Kawai
Kingyo Used Books vol 2 (£9-99, Viz) by Seimu Yoshizaki
Vampire Knight Official Fanbook (£10-99, Viz) by Matsuri Hino
March Story vol 1 (£9-99, Viz) by Kim Yang

3 Responses to “Page 45 Reviews October 2010 week four”

  1. BrianTM says:

    Any chance these posts could be truncated with a [more] tag so that the news page is a bit more navigable?

  2. JR says:

    I noticed myself over the weekend things could get a bit complicated fairly quickly once we start posting quite a bit, so you’ll see some minor tweaks to this section during this week. Thanks for the feedback.

  3. BrianTM says:

    No worries. I just like saying “navigable”!

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