Reviews December 2010 week three

Special Exits h/c (£19-99) by Joyce Farmer…

“It’s good to be alive.”

Make no mistake, whilst SPECIAL EXITS is ostensibly a work of fiction it is very much based on Joyce Farmer’s personal experiences, and all the more emotionally powerful for it. No punches are pulled, this is life, specifically the twilight years and subsequent demise of elderly parents, told with such honesty, candour and compassion that I actually find myself welling up again as I’m typing this. If we are extremely fortunate our parents will live long and happy lives and enjoy peaceful passings. But even if that is the case, undoubtedly there will be an inevitable degradation of faculties, certainly physical and perhaps also mental.

This is one such story, tenderly telling the gradual decline in health of elderly Lars and Rachel. The story though is as much about Lars’ daughter Laura and her tireless efforts to support her father and step-mother in remaining independent in their own house in southern central Los Angeles. The various relationships between the three main characters reveal a genuine depth of heart-felt emotion as memories are relived, and the various trials and tribulations of getting older faced for the most part with good grace, humour and equanimity. Even during the 1992 Rodney King riots, when the by then blind Rachel and rather unwell Lars find themselves cut off from the outside world without power, they deal with the situation in a considerably calmer manner than Laura, frantically trying, and failing, to get hold of her father.

Actually one of the most difficult sequences for me emotionally was when Rachel goes blind from glaucoma, primarily because the somewhat laissez faire Lars has neglected to mention to his daughter that Rachel hasn’t been taking her eyedrops because they mislaid the (expired) bottle some time ago. He clearly feels somewhat guilty over the loss of Rachel’s sight and with it, her ability to undertake her only hobby making and embroidering exquisite dolls. Mind you, the bags of unprocessed uranium ore he’s been keeping in the garage as a souvenir of his time working on the railroad might yet come back to haunt him…

As the end approaches for Rachel, and with Lars now unable to care safely for his wife at home, it becomes necessary for her to move into a care facility. Unsurprisingly perhaps, the care she receives is less than adequate at times, and actually hastens her eventual death, thus making Laura even more determined to keep her father at home as long as possible, as he too begins to become gradually more frail.

What underpins this entire work and makes it bearable emotionally, is the love that all the characters clearly have for each other. Given the fact that there were probably, undoubtedly, times of frayed tempers, tears and tantrums, Farmer wisely in my opinion chooses not to document these, instead concentrating on the positive moments, which are what ultimately, after the passing of a loved one, remain as memories. And so SPECIAL EXITS becomes a testament to the human spirit and the value of a positive outlook on life, especially in one’s latter years when faced with failing health.

This is a really, really moving work, which minded me at times for various reasons of Alison Bechdel’s FUN HOME and Harvey Pekar’s OUR CANCER YEAR. It stayed with me for several days, not least because it vividly brought back all too recent memories of watching my wife struggle with losing her beloved father over three very painful years. Also because I have this yet to come with my own parents, whom I hope I can care for with the same compassion and patience that Laura shows for hers, and finally because it all too pointedly highlights the manner in which we all ultimately exit this world. Not an easy read, but one which will certainly make you pause and think.

LINK

JR

Timularo: The Complete Collected Timulo (Page 45 Special Edition, Signed) (£10-00, lulu.com) by Molly Eyre & D’Israeli D’Emon Draughtsman A.K.A. Matt Brooker.

Oh, my days!

I suspect much of this first paragraph won’t survive intact on the internet for long because, by the time you read this, the first run of this special edition exclusive to Page 45 and limited to ten copies will almost certainly be sold out. If it’s not, hit buy NOW! There will be further print runs, but this is the first and I cannot guarantee sketches in subsequent ones.

Exclusive to us: a brand-new variant cover set outside this very shop with Page 45 logos hidden all over the place. Inside, each signed and numbered copy comes with an original, hand-drawn sketch, and they are beautiful! I said to Matt, “Three lines approximating a face would be awesome” but Matt doesn’t actually do short-cuts, it seems. Let me repeat: a full-page, original sketch. D’Israeli D’one us proud and at no extra cost to you.

As to the contents, this the first-ever collection of the classic, wit-ridden TIMULO strips that graced DEADLINE MAGAZINE some 20 years ago and helped it impress upon a music-loving world previously unused to comics exactly what they were missing out on. Possibly the finest reach-out programme of all time, DEADLINE was the indie music monthly which first played host to TANK GIRL, plus Nabiel Kanan’s EXIT also featured there.

For me TIMULO was in a world of its own – as, it seems, was Matt ‘D’Israeli’ Brooker, for there are so many comedic and sly slights of hand here which I will leave you to discover for yourselves. But right from the go it warned readers that it was blurring the boundaries between reality and fiction, offering the surreal adventures of a doubtful Sheffield-based comicbook writer who’d retreated from the real world to one of his own imagination. There he was set at odds with Jehovah’s Witnesses visiting at 5am in his dreams then 7am in reality (charred) but backed up by a certain Mark E. DeSade (his pugilistic male power fantasy) and a Grim Reaper called Edgar who had “Here Is My Sting” engraved on his scythe in Runes.

Also in sporadic attendance: Hewie, Dewey and Glenys Nietzche, the same sort of Dadaist do-badders rendered in Cubism which would play so well for Grant Morrison in DOOM PATROL. They were destined to replace humanity, and dispatched only by extra-special delivery courtesy of a gun bearing the label, “In case of Darwinism, pull trigger!”

It’s like Roger Langridge (ART D’ECCO) meeting Paul Grist (KANE) in a Yorkshire coffee shop where they discover Grant Morrison serving Battenberg and that biting on a Bakewell Tart opens up an absurdist genie that no one can stuff back into the bottle. Thank God D’Israeli never cut back on the grilled cheese before bed time.

The strips are riddled with mischief, including extra text which circumscribes each individual page: first-hand advice from the artist to his individual readers making them aware of the fact that rotating the magazine (or here book) on a bus in order to read the inscriptions would make fellow passengers suspect that they were looking at pornography. Or lying about the eighth original sin. D’Israeli was a wealth of knowledge/disinformation again preying on the fine line between fact and fabrication and his own readers’ potential gulliblility.

Also, who can forget the puns? Even the earlier, cruder and previously unpublished strips (do bear with it!) before the main event boast characters like Daffers D’Maurier and a planet called Dandeyre. I mean, who can argue with a title called ‘A Fistful Of Fingers’? Exhuberance is all, and this is that personified.

At £10-00 in any format this is ridiculously good value for your entertainment money: complete with so much previously unpublished material, it is dense rather than thick, bright whilst still being stoopid, and so many years ahead of its time at the time only readers of DEADLINE would get it, but got it they did. I got it then but I’ve got this too now. Now get it, got it?

Many, many thanks to D’Israeli for making Page 45 home to this special edition. It is everything we love: playing around with what comics can do, messing about with the minds of one’s readers, and doing so with a fiercely informed intelligence we sincerely wish we exhibited ourselves.

Mr. D’Israeli, you very much are d’a man!

[Editor’s note: I’m afraid this edition is indeed already sold out. Took less than a minute after I Tweeted it as promised on Monday night. New version ASAP with a longer print run, still signed at the very least and at no extra cost.]

SLH

Ex Machina vol 10: Term Limits (£10-99, Wildstorm/DC) by Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris.

The finale to my favourite superhero series since ULTIMATES Seasons One and Two, and my favourite piece of political comicbook fiction of all time.

Hundred may find his tenure as Mayor Of New York City coming to a close more abrupt than he’d planned. He’s already declared he won’t stand for a second term so that he can concentrate on finishing his job rather than campaigning for reelection. But the power of the media is demonstrated in an unexpected fashion when a radio show compels the citizens of the city to rise up en masse and it’s not very pretty.

All of that is as nothing compared to the final issue set several months later where we witness the separate fates of Bradbury, Kremlin and Hundred himself. Not one of them will you see coming. I almost dropped the book when reading the Bradbury scene, I did drop it during the Kremlin confrontation and my mouth gaped wide after my mind had fully processed the final page and its preceding phone call.

LINK

SLH

Ayako h/c (£19-99, Vertical) by Osamu Tezuka…

Written in 1972, it will be immediately apparent to Tezuka fans from the developed art style that this is a work from the latter stages of Tezuka’s career. Along with several other works from that period it is centred on the real world, and in particular the aftermath of World War Two and the impact on Japanese society that ensued.

Here the story starts with the return home from an internment camp of Jiro Tenge, second son of the previously wealthy land-owning Tenge family who are starting to suffer from the mandatory land redistribution programme instigated during the end days of the war and continued during the period of American occupation. As their lands are distributed off to tenants who previously paid them substantial rents, the tensions within the extended Tenge family start to show. The patriarch of the family sets the tone for the moral degeneration present throughout this work, as in exchange for leaving virtually all his remaining wealth to eldest son Ichiro, he demands the right to sleep with Ichiro’s wife. At first just the once, but then he begins to get a taste for it. So upon arriving home it doesn’t take Jiro, regarded as a traitor to his country by his father for being a prisoner of war, to work out that his new baby sister might in fact actually be his niece. To avoid a scandal, it is decided at a family meeting that Ayako will be declared dead, but in fact closeted away to grow up unseen and alone in the cellar of an out-building on the family estate.

Jiro meanwhile agreed to undertake certain espionage activities for the powers that be in exchange for his freedom, and helps facilitate the murder and subsequent disposal of the body of a socialist political activist, who also happens to be his older sister’s boyfriend. Things don’t go completely to plan however, and he’s forced to go on the run to avoid the attentions of a surprisingly diligent policeman.

Over a period of many years, whilst Ayako grows up in total solitude aside from an occasional incestuous relationship with the youngest Tenge brother Shiro, Jiro re-invents himself with a different name and gradually establishes himself as a big boss in the Japanese underworld, with strong political connections. Jiro’s never completely got over the guilt of his complicity in the family decision to hide Ayako away, and has been putting money aside for her. When circumstances conspire to allow her to make her escape, she heads for Tokyo to find out who her mysterious benefactor is.

Unfortunately her time spent in isolation has rather damaged her, particularly sexually, and it is apparent her chances of adjusting to normal life are fairly slim. I don’t really want to reveal any more of the plot (we’re about half way in by this point) suffice to say, things begin to implode for the Tenge family, little by little at first, then gathering pace rapidly as all their dirty secrets, kept from each other and the world at large, begin to surface.

Clearly this is a dark work in several senses, and I could easily spend several hours analysing what Tezuka was intending to portray in AYAKO. Without getting into great detail, it’s clear he wanted to explore the effect that societies in radical flux have upon individuals and families, and their relationships. He obviously believed that such trauma could be a cause of deviant, including sexual, behaviour in people otherwise indisposed to such behaviour, and that being exposed to such behaviour could very easily result in its further perpetuation upon others. It’s a very engaging read, probably more similar to MW than any other of Tezuka’s works, in that he’s trying to express sentiments about the darker side of the human condition, whilst telling a very entertaining story. It actually reminded me very much in places of the prose book Tokyo Year Zero by David Peace, and I would love to know if that work was at all inspired by AYAKO. I suspect so.

LINK

JR

7 Billion Needles vol 2 (£8-50) by Nobuaki Tadano…

“Let’s make a bet. The terms: the winner lives on, and the loser must self-destruct.”
“A bet? So you may slay all life with no one to stop you?”
“The rules will be simple. If I can trap Hikaru with fear in my imaginary world, I win. If you manage to extricate Hikaru, you win.”
“Okay, let’s do it.”

So, somehow evil alien Maelstrom survived the cataclysmic confrontation in the school gym at the climax of volume one, and has gone looking for a new host to continue its dastardly plans of world destruction. However, now knowing the identity of the body hosting its extraterrestrial arch-foe, Japanese schoolgirl Hikaru, Maelstrom’s choice of new host is an inspired one. Meanwhile, reluctant Hikaru and her inner passenger are unaware of Maelstrom’s survival and so rather unprepared when it makes its next move and reveals itself once more. More great sci-fi fun and much like BIOMEGA is very capable of producing plot twists you’re most unlikely to see coming.

LINK

JR

Sweet Tooth vol 2: In Captivity (£9-99, Vertigo/DC) by Jeff Lemire.

“I still don’t know why we gotta leave, Tommy.”
“I told you before the TV went off, they said they were setting up a safe zone in Chicago. We can’t stay here, Louise…  We’re gonna run out of food soon, and allt he doctors and stuff are gonna be going there.”
“But we ain’t sick yet, and there ain’t gonna be no one around to get us sick!”
“They don’t even know how it spreads, baby. Could be in the air or the water… We gotta try. Louise?”
“This is our home, Tommy… I don’t wanna leave it.”
“Louise, we’ll be back.”
“I don’t think we’re ever coming back, Tommy.”
“I promise, baby… No matter what… when this is all over… I’ll bring you home.”

Hmmm… guess that title gives the ending to the first book away!

So yes, young Gus’ protector Tommy Jepperd sold him out to the scientists so desperate to work out what happened to the human race that they’re prepared to dissect living human-animal hybrids like Gus who appeared around the same time as the plague. There’s a pen full of them here, but Gus is slightly different to the others: he’s missing something.

Also, we finally begin to learn more about Jepperd, the man who took young, antler-crowned Gus under his eagle’s wing and saw off those other ugly parties trying to capture the boy and turn him in for money because, it seems, he wanted it for himself. Until now we’ve known nothing of Jepperd’s past nor the history and nature of the pathogen which swept America and supposedly catalysed the birth of children like Gus with animal characteristics in the first place. I say “supposedly” because Gus might be the first such hybrid old enough to contradict those claims.

Anyway, when news of the outbreak began appearing on the national news, it certainly knocked Jepperd’s disgrace that night off the top spot (he beat up a certain Jeffrey Brown during an ice hockey match!) and terrified his wife along with the rest of the American population. In spite of Louise’s tearful protestations that they were safer out in the prairies of Minnesota than journeying to the Safe Zone set up in Chicago, Jepperd packed their belongings and set them both on the road. But now they’re both back. He promised Louise and now he makes good on that promise in an opening chapter that will utterly floor you. After that, it’s an exploration of what they endured inbetween.

Utterly horrific, all of this, the very worst humanity has to offer; and so fragile some of the individuals Jeff Lemire depicts caught in the middle. I think I’ve written this before, but I’ve given up reading this while bagging and taping on the shop floor because it’s too affecting to be guarantee my composure. From the creator of ESSEX COUNTY and THE NOBODY.

LINK

SLH

Gonzo: A Graphic Biography Of Hunter S. Thompson (£14-99, Self Made Hero) by Will Bingley & Anthony Hope-Smith…

“Men without politics. Who know that it hardly matters what they believe. As long as they’re on top, and laughing… fuck us all.
“They’re laughing under a darkening sky. While we wait.
“For the shitrain that is coming to drown us.”

I did briefly consider attempting a Gonzo-style review of GONZO, but as long-time Thompson collaborator Alan Rinzler comments in the foreword, literally reams of awful, intoxicated, first-draft prose are submitted to him almost daily. Quite simply Hunter Thompson was Gonzo, and for anyone else to even attempt to recreate it, merely results in parody. In fact, arguably once the drugs and the booze had rendered Thompson artistically near-impotent his writing became a sad parody of itself, before he entered a painfully long fallow period where he produced very little of real merit at all. Something which Thompson fully recognized and probably rather significantly contributed to his decision to blow his own brains out. Whilst GONZO is barely more than a brilliant primer on the man and his work, it’s enough to make you realise, if you didn’t already know it, that there was probably only one way Hunter S. Thompson was going to check out of this world. By his own hand, and in an impulsive manner.

What GONZO does is raise the whole debate once more about how much Thompson’s best work was really just his creative genius given full rein, and how much of it the result of the frenetic state of mind that he fuelled with a never ending intake of booze and pills. It’s genuinely difficult to say, the answer is certainly both to some extent. What is certainly true is that he is one of the very, very few reporters who managed to break the maxim that you yourself must never become the story.

The story here never lingers overlong on any chapter or event in Thompson’s life and the dynamic art similarly conveys the restless nature of a man who was always on the move. Indeed the ‘80s, ‘90s & ‘00s are dealt with by three near-identical panels which very brutually capture the creative impasse he found himself in before deciding once and for all that enough was enough. When he was on the road he clearly longed for home, his farm in Aspen, and when at the farm he clearly felt the itch to get back on the road.

GONZO doesn’t really seek to explore what made Hunter S. Thompson tick like a bomb set to explode with bare seconds left on the timer. It doesn’t even really begin to hint at it, we just get given the impression that in the main he always was that way, which clearly can’t be the case. In that sense GONZO really is just a primer. Those that come away from this fascinated by this extraordinary character will undoubtedly want to learn more about him.

LINK

JR

Captain America: No Escape h/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Ed Brubaker & Butch Guice.

Bucky Barnes remains Captain America but what the general public don’t know is that between being ‘killed’ aboard an intercontinental missile launched by the original Baron Zemo in WWII and assuming Steve Rogers’ role as Captain America in his absence, Bucky Barnes was the brainwashed assassin known (by very, very few) as The Winter Soldier. Baron Zemo Jr. plans to have some fun with that and the Falcon, Black Widow and Steve Rogers are all caught in the middle. The final issue saw Guice pull off some stunning Steranko nods (well, more like full-on genuflections and they worked for me) in the final confrontation in which Barnes doesn’t win even the battle let alone the war. The next volume ain’t going to be pretty.

LINK

SLH

Brightest Day vol 1 h/c (£22-50, DC) by Geoff Johns, Peter J. Tomasi & Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason, Fernando Pasarin, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark, Joe Prado…

“I’m sorry about your son.”
“Welcome to the family business, eh?”
“Out of all the people that were buried six feet under, you get to live again. And I wish I could say you’ll turn over a new leaf, but I know you. I know what you’re going to do so I came here to tell you not to bother.
“Bother doin’ what, mate?”
“Trying to escape. To pull more jobs. To hurt more people. To make me run after you.”
“Why me and not my son, or Cold’s sister or your ridiculous friend the Elongated Man? Hell if I know, but I’m not going to sit in here letting that rot my brain.
“Is that a threat?”
“Naw, mate. It’s a Flash fact.”

Hmm, after the rather ridiculous slug-fest finale of Blackest Night I can’t say that what I needed next was another ‘event’, so it is a positive that BRIGHTEST DAY is most definitely not an ‘event’. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a great deal going on at all. But… that is actually what is intriguing about this title. In a way BRIGHTEST DAY is a throwback to the old team-up titles where you never really knew who was going to be in it from month to month. This is like that, but there is a fine plot thread running throughout, mostly hidden, which is very gradually starting to be revealed.

It involves an unusual selection of post-Blackest Night resurrectees, heroes like and villains alike, and a disembodied White Lantern voice directing and cajoling the various characters, but particularly the now-human Boston Brand, to perform either very specific actions, some seemingly very random, or follow very vague orders. And that, really, sums up BRIGHTEST DAY so far. It works well in that there is a genuine sense of mystery as to what is going on (I think perhaps DC learnt from Trinity that espousing the whole plot in the first few issues of a year-long event is not a good idea), but it would be nice to have a little more sense that the writers actually do perhaps have a definitive plot in mind. Having read a few issues beyond this volume already, happily I think perhaps they do.

LINK

JR

Batman: The Widening Gyre h/c (£14-99, DC) by Kevin Smith & Walter Flanagan…

“So… Alfred said a girl came over this morning. Anyone I…?”
“No one you know.”
“Alfred says she calls you Deedee. What’s all that about?”
“Business, Robin, mind it.”
“Did you guys… y’knowww…”
“If I was interested in smutty innuendo, I’d partner up with Eel O’Brian.”
“Fair enough. But if you have any questions about the feelings you’re having… or just questions about girls in general… you can always come and ask me. Okay, sport?”
“Alfred and his big mouth…”

Hmm, okay, so I am now forced to completely revise my opinions about Kevin Smith as a Batman writer because THE WIDENING GYRE is absolutely everything a great Bat-book should be: packed with action, intrigue, witty dialogue and a brooding Bruce. I’m not completely sure that Mr Smith is halfway to an Absolute edition as he coyly suggests in the afterword, but it’s certainly a major stride and flying kick to the side of the head forward from the relatively one dimensional Cacophony. I was rather puzzled why this is billed as a sequel to that book. I wasn’t by the end, but it would be somewhat churlish of me to say any more, and it’s certainly forced me to revise my opinion about Cacophony. Seen as an appetiser to the main course, it’s a rather different dish, much less bland than it first seemed.

Once again we get a look into an unknown chapter of Bruce Wayne’s past, as old flame Silver St. Cloud, aware of his true identity, unexpectedly comes back into his life, and completely prepared to share him by night with the streets of Gotham. And there’s another significant new arrival in the form of the vigilante Baphomet, who’s got all the makings of a possible ally, and whom, over a significant period of time, Bruce is seriously considering bringing into the inner Bat-fold as a trusted working associate. It’s well written stuff as we see Bruce / Batman struggling with trust issues about allowing a new person gradually into the different aspects of his life. The big difference of course is that Silver St. Cloud is already aware that Bruce is Batman, whereas Baphomet is of course unaware that Batman is Bruce. Eventually, won over by his discovery of a very significant tragedy in Baphomet’s past, he decides to bring him fully into the fold…

I can’t explain why, this is just one of those books that you have to read before someone else tells you too much about it. It is destined to become a minor classic I think, and with the impending publication of a third book which will conclude the wider arc (which becomes apparent) it is actually definitely in with a chance of achieving an Absolute collected edition.

JR

 

Metal (£22-50, Humanoids) by Jerrold E. Brown, Paul Alexander & Butch Guice…

“Really? Who am I?”
“My guess is you’re some sort of vestigial consciousness. A ghost pattern left over from a faulty memory purge.”
“So I’m a machine with a bad memory?”
“The technical term is personality echo. Usually doesn’t last more than a few seconds. But the 72 hour limit is unbreakable. Your mind would’ve been incinerated.”
“I know who I am.”
“You can call yourself whatever you want. But a human consciousness can’t survive in an artificial vessel for more than three days. That’s a fact.”

Why is it I can never think of any book published by Humanoids without the video for 1988 acid house anthem Stakker Humanoid by Humanoid popping into my head? It is just one of those random associations that no matter how hard I try not to think about, it always appears. Still, it was a classic.

Anyway, Emperor Elias, ruler in name at least, of a rather rowdy bunch of nobles each with their own planets, armies, space armadas and of course ideas on how things should be run, is unexpectedly confronted with the energy-conscious aliens, the Prime. Energy conscious in the sense that they’d prefer all matter to be reduced to a homogenous state so absolutely nothing is wasted. Gives making sure the lights are turned out a whole new meaning!

It’s up to Elias to unite his forces and repel the threat. So with the aid of their trusty combat armour into which their consciousness is projected from a safe distance, nobles go forth to engage the Prime in a surprise assault. Unfortunately for Elias, there’s a snake in his midst, and his real body is murdered by his human betrayer whilst his combat armour is nearly destroyed by the Prime who’ve been forewarned of the surprise attack. If your combat armour is destroyed in battle, then as long as you’ve got a body to return to, it’s no great hardship, akin to losing a horse, say. If you haven’t got a body to return to, then you’ve got a serious problem because in theory a consciousness can only remain housed in combat armour for up to 72 hours before it simply ceases to exist. But somehow, perhaps through sheer willpower, or let’s face it, because he’s the Emperor and he’s got better armour than everyone else, Elias ends up fused with his armour permanently, and on the run. Can he survive long enough to rally the remnants of his forces for a final desperate suicidal attack on the Prime? Possibly, but first he’s got to convince his allies he’s more than just a ghost in the machine.

I really enjoyed METAL. People who liked Universal War One, Scourge Of The Gods and of course Metabarons will definitely enjoy this. Butch Guice’s art, whilst not being the same exceptional standard as Denis Bajram’s on Universal War One, is definitely worthy of the Humanoids imprint. Overall METAL has a real epic space opera feel to it, with more than enough sci-fi to appeal to purists, and the ending definitely leaves it open for further volumes.

In fact I’ve just heard there is going to be a sequel entitled LEATHER, about a comic shop owner doomed to spend all of eternity battling his evil business partner whilst permanently bonded to his damaged… sorry distressed, leather jacket…

LINK

JR

Also Arrived:

(Shove ‘em in our search engine etc.)

The Chronicles Of Conan vol 20: Night Of The Wolf And Other Stories  (£13-99, Dark Horse) by Michael Fleisher, John Buscema & John Buscema, Ernie Chan, Gary Kwapisz, Bob Camp, Steve Leialoha, Rudy Nebres
Hack Slash Omnibus vol 3 (£25-99, Image) by Tim Seeley & Emily Stone, Kevin Mellon, Ross Campbell, Mike Dimayuga, Bryan Baugh, Dan Parent, Daniel Leister, Chris Burnham, Drew Edwards, Ken Haeser
Orc Stain vol 1 (£13-50, Image) by James Stokoe
Nemi vol 4 (£9-99, Titan) by Lise Myhre
Magic Trixie vol 2: Magic Trixie Sleeps Over (£5-99, Harper) by Jill Thompson
Superman / Batman: Big Noise s/c (£10-99, DC) by Joe Casey & Adrian Saf, Scott Kolins
X-Force: Sex + Violence h/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost & Gabriele Dell’Otto
Vengeance Of The Moon Knight vol 2: Killed, Not Dead s/c (£10-50, Marvel) by Gregg Hurwitz & Tan Eng Huat, Juan Jose Ryp
Excalibur Visionaires: Warren Ellis vol 3 (£22-50, Marvel) by Warren Ellis & Casey Jones, Carlos Pacheco, Terry Dodson, Aaron Lopresti, Randy Green, Rob Haynes
Irreedeemable vol 5 (£12-99, Boom!) by Mark Waid & Peter Krause
Sgt Frog vol 20 (£7-99, Tokyopop) by Mine Yoshizaki
Vampire Hunter D vol 5 (£10-50, DMP) by Saiko Takaki
Genkaku Picasso vol 1 (£7-50, Viz) by Usamaru Furuya

I was about to tell you which books I just bought friends and relatives for Christmas, then realised the could be reading. It’s all so different on the mintyweb, isn’t it?

 

 – Stephen

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