Page 45 Reviews October 2010 week one

Palookaville #20 h/c (£14-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Seth.

From the creator of Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month GEORGE SPROTT, another beautiful 88-page package divided into four sections: a new autobiographical account of Seth’s visit to the Calgary Festival drawn in a much looser style to his recent fiction; selections from his sketchbooks around the middle of the last decade (conversely Seth’s ‘sketches’ are like most artist’s finished pieces!) including portraits, cityscapes and one fold-out landscape; photos of the two exhibitions and tour featuring Dominion City composed of fifty fully painted three-dimensional buildings he constructed from cardboard, some of which you’ll have seen in GEORGE SPROTT itself; and the latest instalment of CLYDE FANS, the story of a failed family business manufacturing and selling fans.

It’s sobering stuff that will resonate given the implosion of the UK’s manufacturing industry including Nottingham’s own lace industry. (See Andi Watson’s BREAKFAST AFTER NOON for the same scenario over a decade ago in the Potteries.) Here Abraham Matchcard, President of the Borealis Business Machines company which produces his own Clyde Fans, sits in his office with his lawyer and reluctantly signs the papers that will declare it bankrupt. On the wall hang photographs of more prosperous times when they could afford to develop charity funds. By contrast he’s about to make every one of his employees redundant, and as Abraham drives past the picket line he’s haunted by each individual face of those he’s just passed. They’re on strike for no more than a decent, basic living wage, but the company can’t afford even that, and by tomorrow morning they will no longer have any job at all. After that Abraham’s thoughts revert to a father whose face he doesn’t even recall; a man he hated.

The exhibition of buildings would have made Mark weep with joy and admiration, sharing as he did Seth’s passion for – and much of his skill with – cardboard constructions. Each one is a unique, meticulously crafted representation of the sort of commercial property which thrived in a bygone Canadian era, and together they form an old-school city centre which Seth brings to life both in GEORGE SPROTT and his sketchbooks which detail Dominion City’s reference books, and most buildings’ history. Seth also provides a prose account of the concept’s evolution from a personal basement hobby akin to model railways to the touring exhibition complete in one location with a fully functioning, larger-scale cinema, still made from cardboard.

Finally we come to the fourteen-page autobiographical comic which I found admirably candid, perhaps even helpful to others sharing similar traits, but genuinely upsetting all the same. That someone of Seth’s remarkable talent and accomplishment should, like Chris Ware, be prone to such profound self-doubt and even self-loathing doesn’t so much surprise me as fill me with a sad sense of injustice. Largely he’s happy discovering the city landmarks, particularly an Art Deco church, but he has no confidence whatsoever in his ability to entertain or even function in conversation.

“Ben, his wife and I have lunch with some local artists. Over lunch, I begin to pick myself apart in my head. Everything I say seems shallow and stupid. “No one could actually like me,” I think to myself. However, my surface personality is so gregarious and amiable that I doubt anyone notices my suffering. In an hour, thankfully, alone again.”

Similarly, after his last night at a club…

“I say my good-byes and split. The walk back to the hotel is grim. In the room I rehash everything I’ve said tonight and rate them in levels of stupidity. I long for a hole to crawl into. Patty, a girl I will later meet in L.A., will perfectly label this process ‘The Psychic Hangover’.”

I can certainly relate to episodes of self-laceration like that, but they’re usually the morning after when endorphin levels are low, so they rarely last long especially if I’m in the company of customers soon after. Maybe they deserve to last longer, I don’t know; or maybe Seth should open a comic shop and see how well GEORGE SPROTT sells there.

Note: CLYDE FANS VOL 1 h/c @ £14-99 collects the first half of this fiction (#10-15) which is projected to run until #22. So it’s not ideal, I know, if you haven’t been buying PALOOKAVILLE #16-19 in its £2-99 floppy format, but as Seth explains during his admirably up-tempo introduction, this shift in format was pretty much inevitable if the story was going to continue to be serialised at all. Thanks in large part to the American HQ of Diamond Comic Distributors and their imposition of a minimum dollar threshold for distribution unqualified by any artistic judgement as to the material’s merits, the non-corporate comic in periodical terms is all but dead. There are some exceptions like RASL and ECHO and, of course, the lovingly handcrafted joys from the likes of Lizz Lunney et al., but for PALOOKAVILLE and co. the ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY model is the only viable option other than full-blown graphic novels now. I’d reiterate, however, that given the cleverly chosen contents you do here get quite the self-contained bang for your buck.


Fingerprints h/c (£10-99, Top Shelf) by Will Dinski.

“Culturally, a woman is what she appears to be to others. A woman’s entire ‘look’ is crucial to her success in life.”

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger; nor Will Dinski for that matter.

FINGERPRINTS is Hollywood distilled to the crassest of concentrates, and what everyone’s concentrating on are their looks. Dr. Fingers is the go-to guy for facial renovation, but each face seems to be a work perpetually in progress. When he asks his wife, “Is that what you’re wearing to the party?” you just know he’s talking about her expression and that new wrinkle round her mouth it’s only making worse. At the party itself, celebutards of all sorts – actors, directors and diamond-studded socialites – are having their work assessed by Dr. Fingers and his faithless assistant, Dr. Yumiko Tatsu, identifying its provenance as if it is was a marble bust:

“That’s Dr. Samson’s work.”
“Yeah. You can tell by the angle of the nose. Damn he’s good.”

They might as well be marble busts for their expressions are fixed by Yumiko on site: she’s brought her own Botox and she’s not afraid to use it, building up her private client list one by one. Every action or casual enquiry there is greeted with an aesthetic assessment or surgical recommendation, every move is calculated with the paparazzi in mind:

“Aren’t you afraid a photographer will see you?”
“Not so much. It would be a good story, really. ‘Vanessa Zimba: caught smoking marijuana cigarette!” Ha! I could probably start doing some edgier roles.”

But Dr. Tatsu has only just begun. She has a far more radical idea involving a D.I.Y. kit with integrated self-gratification, and the homogenisation of the High Street is about to take on a whole new meaning.

This is fantastic stuff, brilliantly extrapolated from the top-model headlines, those head-shot photos you see in hairdressers’ windows and the seemingly inexorable rise of recreational plastic surgery. To some it’s their drug of choice. It’s told in a brisk and breezy fashion in a landscape format with entire panels dedicated to dialogue forming their very own speech balloon. Don’t think this is text heavy, either. The economy is such that then words at a time is the most you’ll hear – it’s not as if anything have got anything to say!


The Green Woman h/c (£18-99, Vertigo) by Peter Straub, Michael Easton & John Bolton.

“Writers. Isn’t a writer born who doesn’t turn into a lying piece of shit the second he picks up a pen. Being good with words doesn’t exactly make you a fucking visionary, either.
“Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Fielding Bandolier. Of course, over the years I had to use some different names. Actually a lot of different names.”

For me this is the work of John Bolton’s fully painted, photorealistic career. I don’t always get on with his colour palette, but this is intense without being so dense and there are some fantastic pieces of foreshortening framed like Neal Adams used to. With one foot in the mantrap of crime, the other in the quicksand of horror, it’s also diseased and delirious, like a bad acid trip complete with subsequent flashbacks as first Fielding then Detective Bob Steele fall under the influence of the cursed Black Galleon and its Green Woman figurehead.

As Straub’s infamous serial killer, Bandolier is no stranger to death. It’s followed him from birth, and I don’t know how much of this has been detailed in the Blue Rose Trilogy prose, but his performance between Saigon and Long Binh in 1968 marked him out for a medal and flagged him for investigation by the C.I.A.. They saw right through him yet promoted the soldier anyway, giving him his very own army in Cambodia. It was there that he was married. That didn’t last long, but it’s stayed with him forever…

As the story kicks off Bob Steele and his partner are investigating a string of murders in which women as young as fifteen are being found in white dresses, marked out as virgins married to God. This and a necklace leads Steele to St. Mark’s Catholic Church where she’s identified by the priest:

“Sweet angel Rosanna Tucci, plucked from our congregation. These are trying times for men of the faith, detective. What with the, well, you know –”
“– Buggery and all.”
“– Decline in attendance. So perhaps you can empathise with my appear for discretion in this matter.”

Is there a connection between Bandolier and the church, or is it more complicated than that?

It’s more complicated than that.

Indeed it will drive Steele abroad, then drive him mad, thence into the arms of the Green Woman herself. Rarely does a book tie up all its dangling threads so satisfyingly yet so surprisingly. Not for the squeamish, by the way.

De: Tales h/c (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Fabio Moon, Gabriel Ba.

New hardcover format for what at the time were mostly new short stories from the Brazilian twins (no, I don’t know what’s going on with the surnames), some of them autobiographical, but all of them threaded with thought. A large number of them also feel as if they could have been written by Neil Gaiman.

I’m trying to pin down what I mean by that. In one it’s the unexpected day of strange romance with a girl who seems as ethereal as she is contrary; in another it’s the summoning of a deeply missed, dead friend who spends the evening with his surviving mates down at the local bar as they celebrate companionship. It’s poignant though underplayed throughout, and in particular there’s the scene in which one of the group finally tells his mate the secret he couldn’t bring himself to whilst the lad was still alive. Conversely, there’s also the three-pager in which a young man wakes up next to a beautiful girl, but chooses to lie his way out of her bed and apartment rather than hang around. But just when you’re thinking “what a scumbag,” there’s an insight which again, to me, is pure Gaiman:

“He went towards the day, missing his “boyfriend-in-love” days. It reminded him of a song he knew. “Without love, I’d be nothing.” And the boy-nothing left the girl-nothing with whom he’d had sex-nothing the previous night and spent the rest of the day thinking about love-everything.”

The only reprint that I’m aware of here, “Qu’est-ce que c’est?”, comes from the Dark Horse AUTOBIOGRAPHIX collection, and it’s well worth the inclusion as the twins, whilst in Paris, find themselves set upon by a notorious gang who prowl the Metro whilst the resident population look the other way. The physical intrusion as they’re completely overwhelmed, every pocket searched at once, is so well conveyed that you feel their panic.

“We live in a much more violent city, in Brazil… but no matter how violent it gets, it’s home. It’s where we belong. In a strange place, surrounded by strange people speaking an even stranger language, we felt alone… as the train took us back to the hostel, where no one would be waiting to know what had just happened to us.”


Sandman: The Dream Hunters s/c (£14-99, Vertigo) by Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell:

“I shall seek the Buddha. But first I shall seek revenge.”

The afterwords by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell will tell you that SANDMAN: THE DREAM HUNTERS is actually an adaptation of an adaptation that never actually was an adaptation. Apparently, when Neil wrote the illustrated book 10 years ago he concocted a convincing back-story about an ancient Japanese folk tale which never was. How appropriate then, as Neil himself points out, that the first new SANDMAN comic for quite some years should have its roots in a fabrication; a myth, if you will. I found that little factoid quite charming!

Despite this confession however, this comic is written exactly as if it were an adaptation of a classic tale. A young monk tends his small temple while a badger and a fox strike an impish wager as to who can drive him out; the winner gaining the temple as their home. Some exuberant, over-the-top and ill-directed illusions follow but, of course, promises of riches and fame fall upon deaf ears while threats of evil and harm fare little better. The monk, serene and devout monk with peace at his centre, is wise enough to see through the glamours and even good old fashioned seduction fails to make its mark. Well, maybe it leaves a small impression… because of course folk tales are never that simple and soon a quandary arises; the fox has fallen in love with the monk and is horrified when she overhears demons plotting his demise.

This demise is to be the work of The Onmyoji; a local Yin-Yang Master and demonologist of some status in the community. Though wealthy and respected, he does not seem to indulge or flaunt. Far from being a cackling overbearing bad-guy, the Onmyoji actually lives a life strictured by a quiet fear which stalks him through his waking hours and through his dreams. What the monk cultivates at his centre – calmness and peace – the Onmyoji lacks, and it is this peace which he pursues through his ever-growing knowledge of demonology. The Yin-Yang theme is not hard to spot here; a restless, neurotic spirit contrasted with a disciplined mind. Added to this is a Shakespearean theme, as the Onmyoji consults with three witches who, of course, tell him what he wants to hear whilst leaving all the caveats unsaid. They inform the Onmyoji that he may banish the fear which shadows him by sacrificing the life of a young monk. These plans are never simple though, are they? The monk must not die by violence or in pain, he must simply slip out of this world… as if into a dream. And so it is that the smitten fox learns that to save the monk from his fate she must intervene not in the real world but in the realm of dreams.

The art is, of course, extremely pretty as you would expect from P. Craig Russell. It is also subtle and clever; the changes in the foliage behind the fox as she gazes at the monk; the tapestry behind the Dream King, morphing as he speaks; an owl catching a mouse in its beak just as the Sandman catches the monk in a half-truth about his feelings for the fox; the demise of the monks father, captured in a single picture, the elements of the panel seamlessly translating the narrator’s words. The influences Russell speaks about in his afterword are clear to see, as flame, waters, wind and cloud are rendered in woodcut-style swirls and the leaves and trees (which I am a sucker for anyway) are gorgeous. There is some lovely use of iconic Sandman imagery too. When the fox enters the realm of dreams and then meets the Dream King in fox form we know it is him by the arrangement of stars contained within his eyes (not to mention those cool, white-on-black blobule speech bubbles he gets to speak in). The sequences in the Sandman’s realm flow well, capturing the peculiar, non-linear flow and distorted sense of boundaries of a dreamscape. Even Russell’s Disney influence comes through with the fox and the badger being anthropomorphised; not in a HEPCATS or Antarctic Press way but rather through their expressive eyes and faces. It may sound like an odd combination but it works well. The colouring (by Lovern Kindzierski) is sympathetic, delicate and well conceived; bold when it needs to be, light and spacious at other times; and so overall the art holds the multiple themes and influences of the story together, bringing the tale to life in pictures.

Regardless of the source-material-shenanigans, THE DREAM HUNTERS is an adaptation of what is intended to be a folk tale in the traditional Japanese style and, for me, this is where it hits its limitations. This is purely a matter of personal taste on my part but I have never been overly keen on the narrator’s voice device, particularly when it persists throughout a whole piece. I find the constant breaking back into “And so this happened, and afterwards that” jarring and, particularly in comics, limiting. Though (as you would expect from a writer as good as Neil Gaiman) the timing and pacing of the book are good, I found I could not quite relax because I was always waiting for the next part of the tale to be doled out. For me that broke, or rather set too rigidly, the rhythm of the story. It’s a comic, I don’t need to be told that something has been done quickly, or causes sorrow or happiness; that is what the pictures are there to communicate and, to me, that is one of the great joys of the medium. With an artist as good as Russell there is no shortage of nuance or expression and I do wish sometimes that he had been left to draw the story without the exposition over the top.

Perhaps in this though I am missing the point. DREAM HUNTERS is presented as an adaptation of a folk tale, blending the modern mythology of the Sandman into the ancient mythology and style of Japanese folklore; it does this well and is very easy on the eye to boot. It’s just a little bit too predictable for me, bounded as it is by the conventions of its chosen style. As the first new Neil Gaiman SANDMAN comic for many a long year we may have liked something more open-ended, less restricted; however I did find much to enjoy here, even if the style was not completely my cup of tea.


xkcd vol 0 (£13-50, Breadpig) by Randall Munroe.

“π [pi] = 3.14159265358979helpimtrappedinauniversefactory7108914…”

Another of those web strips we’ve been asked about, this one written and drawn by an ex-NASA scientist, hence the maths, physics, pie-charts and circuit boards. Also stick figures. He’s not exactly Matt Feazell (that’d be Matt Feazell) but I laughed all the same.

There’s a sequence in which a man pulls a lever, is struck by lightning and, frazzled, stares at the lever again. The sequence then splits into two: normal person stepping well back (“I guess I shouldn’t do that”) and scientist reaching once more for the lever (“I wonder if that happens every time?”).

There’s also a chart in which various disciplines are arranged according to their increasing purity, beginning with sociologists. Psychologists: “Sociology is just applied psychology.” Biologists: “Psychology is just applied biology.” Chemists: “Biology is just applied chemistry.” Physicists: “Which is just applied physics. It’s nice to be on top.” Mathematicians: “Oh, hey, I didn’t see you guys all the way over there.”

Underneath Randall concedes, “On the other hand, physicists like to say physics is to math as sex is to masturbation”.

Book includes secret codes and puzzles.


Four Colour Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics Of The 1950s (£22-50, Fantagraphics) by various including Al Williamson, Joe Kubert, Basil Wolverton, Wallace Wood, Jack Cole and edited by Greg Sadowski.

“Lovely Spring night, Holland! And those young lovers yonder – makes me – <sigh> think of my own youth!”
“Lovers! Bah! Love is all nonsense! A delusion! You know my theories, Rigby! The will to live, to survive, is the strongest emotion of all human emotions! Stronger even than love! But I have an idea – come…”
“(A queer little duck, Holland! I feel terribly sorry for him! But he’s bitter, hates love and lovers because he is so grotesque and deformed! Sometimes I wonder if he’s quite sane!)”

Welcome back, my dearies, to a time when EC under Bill Gaines ruled the nocturnal newsstands with VAULT OF HORROR and TALES FROM THE CRYPT! When the only punctuation marks were commas, dashes and exclamation marks! Oh, but EC accounted for less than 10% of that grisly, gruesome market, and here you’ll find exhumed more monsters and maniacs – both in the case of the perverse professor above who, in his determination to prove his point, persuades a couple to spend a month in a cage so they can buy a new settee, then starves them half to death! Then he does the same to his overly critical colleague (take note!)!

But perhaps his point is proved earlier by Wally Wood in The Thing From The Sea in which one sailor wins half the wages of another by tossing dice, then tosses the loser overboard! By chance he meets his former colleague’s fiancée on the docks, tells her she’s no longer engaged then takes her straight out for dinner and a dance!

“Let yourself go, baby!”
“I’m having so much fun!”

But Eddie didn’t die on the ocean floor! No! And – fish nibbling at his nethers – he’s making his way to shore!

“No… no… no! I’ll give you back your money… I won’t see Helen ever again… Just let me go… Let me go…”
“I don’t care about money anymore! I’ve forgotten Helen, too! All I want is you, Johnny… on the bottom of the sea!”

These must be the oddest couples ever. One hen-pecked husband throws his wife under a train – or at least thinks he does – whilst another penned by Al Williamson invites his gal for their honeymoon to the castle he’s restored. And he does mean restored, not renovated. There’s no electricity, no indoor plumbing… just an old crone he found wandering the ruins and never thought to re-house.

“Good heavens, Bud — I thought she was a ghost! I’ve never seen anyone so positively ancient!”

I really don’t know why I keep feeding you straight lines like that.

This is from The Flapping Head and it’s not long before the flapping head appears complete with fangs and bat wings to make off with the bones of a skeleton the old woman was trying to keep buried, but which our witless wonders have disinterred from a blocked vault no one had thought to tidy up before putting a roof back on the castle. A few swift additions to vampire lore later and we learn exactly what happened one hundred years ago and see history repeat itself with a twist.

It’s all quite insane, as is the gallery of glossy covers in the middle, variations upon which abound and suddenly I’m rather scared to go to the dentist on Wednesday.


VerityFair #1 (£2-99, IDCM) by Terry Wiley.

SLEAZE CASTLE – that’s where you know the name from. Well, that’s probably where you know the name from; for all I know you’re one his neighbours embroiled in litigation. Mad as a bag of spiders, our Terry, as is this bit-part character actress Verity Bourneville (stage name), whose own agency was burned to the ground and who’s only just ditched the fishmonger’s to get back in the saddle again. One successful audition later, and a night on London taahn is most definitely required complete with friends, relatives and anyone else who thinks they can handle her. They can’t, but they can try. They’ll need to ladle her into that taxi. I wouldn’t have Verity on my books – she’s way too much in every respect – but she can certainly act. In fact her whole life’s an act, and the last few pages will cast one hell of a shadow over what comes before.

Terry excels on cartoon hyperactivity, and they don’t come more cartoonish than ‘Verity’ or indeed VERITYFAIR. It makes me slightly queasy, personally, all the “fick as a pig’s ‘ead an all”, and I certainly couldn’t stomach a night on the town with the woman, but the storytelling is pretty damn flawless in spite of the photographic, computerised backgrounds which, with a couple of exceptions, work almost as well here as they did in ALICE IN SUNDERLAND. It’s just lovely to see Terry back in the saddle, and in full colour.

Deadpool MAX #1 (£2-99, Marvel) by David Lapham & Kyle Baker.

Not one for the younger readers, no.

The creator of STRAY BULLETS and SILVERFISH joins forces with that of WHY I HATE SATURN and SPECIAL FORCES for something akin to Christopher Priest’s BLACK PANTHER: THE CLIENT and BLACK PANTHER: ENEMY OF THE STATE as Special Agent Bob checks in with his superiors over Operation Deadhead, which he was ordered to undertake in spite of his grave reservations regarding fellow field operative Deadpool. The aim was to assassinate Maggia boss Hammerhead by stealth and infiltration. Bob would infiltrate the bed of Bruno, whilst Deadpool… Deadpool can’t keep his trap shut for more than four seconds, so stealth was never going to happen. All of Bob’s hard knocks (Bruno’s a sadist) and creativity (the staff uniforms in Hammerhead’s tower consist of little more than a g-string or posing pouch to avoid concealing anything on their person, so copying the key to Hammerhead’s suite required a certain degree of lateral thinking) appear to lie in pieces – pieces of Deadpool’s corpse, as it happens – because of Deadpool’s reckless grandstanding and a craving for toasted crumpets, but this is a series not a one-shot so how do they get out of that?

This is Kyle Baker so the brutality in this Marvel MAX comic is actually more akin to cartoon violence than its myriad other series. The MAX label instead is used for the nudity, sex and the sexual content of the dialogue which isn’t a patch on Priest’s, I’m afraid, but still infinitely preferable to anything else I’ve read in association with this character.

Ultimate Comics Thor #1 (£2-99, Marvel) by Jonathan Hickman & Carlos Pacheco.

“And you must be the man they have sent to help me. You’re a doctor of psychiatry, I presume?”
“Among other things.”
“Then be forewarned. It is not a delusion of madness you’ll find here, doctor, but purpose and destiny. Professor Braddock will have told you that I am Thorlief Golmen — this is incorrect. I am Thor, God of Thunder, and I will be called the name my father gave me.”
“Of course, and I am only here to help you, Thor. Why don’t you tell me how I can do that?”
“May I have your pen? This one is almost empty and I’m almost finished.”
“Certainly. It looks incomplete.”
“It’s all I can remember.”
“A rather ominous place to leave off, don’t you think?”
“You can read this?”
“I can.”
“Then do so.”
“‘There is a storm coming.'”
“Yes… Yes, there is.”

Nice touch that, having Dr. Donald Blake translate the sequence of the Norse Poetic Edda written on the observation room’s floor. It allows that final extra line of quiet and genuinely concerned worry perfectly in keeping with Mark Millar’s version of Thor. Now, why is it that we don’t get a proper look at Dr. Donald Blake’s face, do you think? In the regular Marvel universe Dr. Donald Blake is the tag-team partner to Thor, exchanging places with a tap of the cane or a smash of the hammer Mjolnir. But the Ultimate Universe is renowned for its sly departures and I somehow suspect this will be one of them, especially since it’s written by the creator of THE NIGHTLY NEWS and the author of Marvel’s most original book in years, the current series of S.H.I.E.L.D..

Set in Germany 1939, Asgard a great deal earlier than that, and the Dome of the European Super-Soldier Initiative, Brussels (as seen in Mark Millar’s ULTIMATES Seasons one and two, presumably immediately prior to them), it’s evidently going to involve Mjolnir, and follows the pursuit of mystic weaponry in service to the Fuhrer by plundering Asgard. Baron Zemo has been assigned one hundred thousand men by Reichsfurher Himmler, found a gateway near Niebull to any of the Seven Realms and the twenty-four sacred runes which will, if correctly partnered, activate various sequences of the legendary Rainbow Bridge. The Aesir sequence, for example, is how they’ll reach Asgard but first another, lower sequence will dramatically improve their chances of success…

That final page will explain the opening sequence as Asgard lies in ruins and the World Tree burns, but how it will all tie in with Brussels we don’t yet know. The Poetic Edda’s the key given Baron Zemo shares that knowledge. Anyway, excellent, and Pacheco rarely lets one down so as you can imagine it’s very attractive too. Particularly enjoyed the resurrection of the stone circle near Niebull, and the early appearance of the Schutzstaffel symbol amongst the ancient runes.

CBLDF Presents: Liberty Annual 2010 (£3-50, Image) by Evan Dorkin, Garth Ennis, Paul Pope, Frank Miller, Don Simpson etc.

Another book to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, an organisation so vital in its fight against censorship and defend comic shops or creators under litigation from opportunist politicians and a puppet police force that it’s the only time I will misspell ‘defence’ in American and allow the words comic and book to be separated in a sentence written by Page 45.

Be warned that some artists contribute posters only, but there’s a new short BOYS story by Ennis, and the first MILK & CHEESE story in many, many moons is almost worth the price of admission alone. ‘CBLDF-U’ is a tale so intense it killed 3 proof-readers:

“The whole thing gets my dander up! And I don’t even know what my dander is!”
“Neither do I! But so what? So big hair what? It’s up! That’s all we have to know!”
“And knowing is half the battle!”
“The other half is kicking the living shit out of the enemy! POW!”

I love Milk And Cheese. “Educating America one moron at a time”.

 – Stephen

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