Reviews February 2012 week three

Cloonan’s infused the book with a sensual, sexual exoticism, most alluringly and arrestingly on the appearance of raven-haired Bêlit, the sub-titular Queen Of The Black Coast. With her eyes afire and tongue thrust out between ruby-red lips spitted with blood, she’s like a silent Siren with the seduction of a snake and our young, steel-willed stud of Cimmerian is completely in her thrall.

 – Stephen on Conan #1

 

The Life And Death Of Fritz The Cat h/c (£12-99, Fantagraphics) by Robert Crumb.

He da man! He da cat wit’ da hat! He’s hung up, strung out, uptight, outta sight! He’s whatever he needs to be to get laid. He is, in fact, one long list of learned behaviour, regurgitating what’s expected of him by his peers whilst incapable of articulating anything beyond the buzzwords of the day.

“Something’s calling me out there, Winston! And my soul is heedin’ the call…! I gotta go! The soul of a poet is forever cursed with the quest to see what’s over the hill! To discover all that is hidden behind the next bend in the road!”

Truly, he is going to “bug out”, dragging lost-suffering girlfriend Winston with him.

“Ahh, Winston! My love! At last we’re zoomin’ down that ol’ lonesome highway! Ahh, it’s wild!”
“Yes, it’s marvelous!”
“Marvelous, my ass! It’s exalting! Elating! That cool night wind blowin’ past the window… Man!”
“I’m hungry… Let’s stop someplace…”
“Th’hell with stoppin’… I just want those miles t’keep flying by!”
“I’m hungry!”
“Okay! Okay! Let’s dig one o’ those little greasy truck stops… I’d like ta talk with those truck drivers… ‘n’ hear what they gotta say about life on the road! Yeah… I bet they got wild stories of the road… drivers.. trucks… hijackers… yeah!”

Needless to say reality fails to match the irresponsible idiot’s vacant daydreams. “You’d be completely lost without me,” warns Winston, and he is. Abandoning her in a broken-down car in the middle of nowhere, it’s not long before he’s a bum, “ridin’ the rails” and imagines that to be romantic too. It isn’t. A wannabe revolutionary, at one point Fritz burns his books to liberate himself from learning; also, his flat, thereby liberating a whole tenement full of friends and neighbours from anywhere to live.

It’s satire, of course, Crumb ripping the piss out of so-called sensitive souls dissing all others as phoneys. You know what I mean. It’s rife in any subculture: cliques looking down on others as impostors for not wearing the right ankh or whatever. In the secret agent escapade the satire extends to America’s fear of communist infiltration and the prevalent reduction of the Chinese, proclaimed by our monarch’s main man to be “slitty-eyed bastards”, to cartoon villains unable to pronounce the letters ‘L’ or ‘R’. I confess laughing out loud at the names Captain Stin Ki Chin Ki and Tung Nchiki but then I’m equally prone to laugh when Harry Enfield sends up all manner of English class caricatures like Wayne and Waynetta Slob and Tim Nice But Dim. You can disappear up your fundamental orifice worrying about stuff like that.

It’s beautifully drawn, even the earliest material. Fritz’s face is as expressive as all get-out, though you may be surprised at how dainty Crumb’s line is mid-period. One thing, however, remains consistent throughout and once more it’s Winston who hits the juvenile nail on its dream-addled, sex-obsessed head.

“Oh you’re such a child! Such a self-centred, egotistical child!”

Fritz the Cat: leading sex kittens aplenty right up the garden path. Or into the bath. Or into a pond. Oh god, that’s his sister.

SLH

Buy The Life And Death Of Fritz The Cat h/c and read the Page 45 review here

San Diego Diary (£3-99) by Gabrielle Bell…

“Those guys over there are discussing some movie rights deal. Everyone here is pursuing their fantasy, confined within this hypercapitalistic world…
“Is there anyone here who believes in creativity more than commodification? Who would walk away from the temptation and think for themselves?
“Like Alan Moore when he said, “I will not allow my name to be associated with this movie. This is not what I do.””
“Maybe only people who can afford to can make such a statement.”
“I don’t think so. I think somewhere in the world someone is happily drawing pictures in the sand on a beach and when the tide comes in and washes it away he draws a new picture the next morning.”
“That person doesn’t exist, capitalism reaches every part of the world.”
“I disagree, because I believe there is magic in the world.”

Ever imagine what a comic convention must be like for a lesser-known creator? For someone who isn’t one of the slavering fan-boy favourites? Well, wonder no more as Gabrielle Bell takes her friend Tom toSan Diegoto ‘enjoy’ the delights of Comic Con in all its gaudy glory. Insightful, amusing auto-biographical material finely pencilled in a style which is what probably Chester Brown would be exactly like after 6 beers. That is, of course, a compliment.

JR

Buy San Diego Diary and read the Page 45 review here

L.A. Diary (£3-99) by Gabrielle Bell…

“In France you are expected to kiss someone you’ve only just met on the cheeks. InCaliforniayou’re expected to embrace them. I grew up here inCalifornia, in a culture of hugging but I never got used to it. And lately, I’ve realised whenever I’m hugged, I retreat inside somewhere inside myself and wait for it to be over.”

Almost as much fun as SAN DIEGO DIARY, this work covers Gabrielle’s everyday life in LA doing yoga, sketching and a fair amount of socialising, even if she’s still a little uncomfortable with the usual Californian manner of greeting each other. I really loved the two pages that cover her take on the whole meeting and greeting someone, and precisely who must have been responsible for inventing the hug as a formal greeting. There’s much anyone planning on attempting autobiographical comics could learn from Gabrielle, in particular her ability to cram in myriad events, conversations and narration without the panels and pages ever once feeling cluttered. You always come away from one of her minis feeling like you’ve just read a whole graphic novel, which is a pretty good trick to be able to pull off.

JR

Buy L.A. Diary and read the Page 45 review here

Conan The Barbarian #1 (£2-75, Dark Horse) by Brian Wood & Becky Cloonan.

Mesmerising. Cloonan’s infused the book with a sensual, sexual exoticism, most alluringly and arrestingly on the appearance of raven-haired Bêlit, the sub-titular Queen Of The Black Coast. With her eyes afire and tongue thrust out between ruby-red lips spitted with blood, she’s like a silent Siren with the seduction of a snake and our young, steel-willed stud of Cimmerian is completely in her thrall. The final six pages, coloured to perfection by Dave Stewart are disorientating as hell, and don’t bode well for Conan.

None of which would have worked half so well had Wood not successfully built the barbarian up first as a charismatic and capable man of action: a natural, gifted storyteller far more likely to do the charming than be charmed himself, and more than a match for a capital city’s finest elite guards. As the story opens, after a run-in with Messantia’s corrupt courts, Conan has made a swift exit by sea which is far from his natural element. This has made the captain and crew of the boat he boarded by force personae non gratae on those particular shores, but when they turn their trade elsewhere they hear word that Bêlit, infamous pirate and captain of The Tigress, is circling the waters off coast of Kush like a hungry shark. For Tito and his crew that means sailing those seas is an unacceptable risk; for Conan it’s an irresistible challenge. He’s young, impetuous and about to discover that he’s completely out of his depth.

Best-drawn Conan since Sir Barry Windsor-Smythe’s. Next issue there will be actual sharks. I’ve seen them and they’re petrifying.

SLH

Buy Conan The Barbarian #1 by dispatching a carrier pigeon to page45@page45.com or yelling down the gulley on (0115) 9508045.

Undertow h/c new edition (£14-99, Soaring Penguin) by Ellen Lindner…

Ahh, partly due to being a massive fan of Walter Hill’s seminal classic film The Warriors, I’m a guaranteed sucker for all things Coney Island-related. And here we have a glimpse of what life was actually like for 1950s poor working classNew Yorkyouth whose only respite from a pretty austere and rather tough existence was to head to the beaches and amusement parks of Coney every weekend and cut loose. Hard drugs, gang fights, unsafe sex all helped to temporarily assuage a general feeling of pointlessness to their lives. They could see the rich kids with all their advantages making good and moving onwards and upwards whilst they got left further behind and stuck, usually for life, in the poorest boroughs ofNew Yorkwith little real prospects of their own.

UNDERTOW’s main character is the sassy Rhonda, a smart girl already suffering emotionally and physically at the hands of her alcoholic parents, and on top of that now struggling to come to terms with the unexpected death of her best friend. At this uncertain time she finds herself strangely attracted to the rich Chuck who has come down to her neighbourhood to do some social work as part of his college education. It provides a stark contrast between the lives of the haves and have-nots at the time, and a poignant example that despite what successive governments throughout the ages may trumpet out, social mobility has never been an easy thing to achieve and if you really want to better yourself, it’s up to you to do something about it. Others may be able to provide help, albeit slightly pious and perhaps self-serving, if well meaning help, but you have to believe you can make the change for yourself. Rhonda is a typical example of someone smart enough to be able to help herself but, beaten down continuously by her surroundings, she’s finding it hard to believe she can actually do it. But as Rhonda’s budding romance with Chuck shows hints of blossoming further, is one of them perhaps using the other, or are they actually falling for each other across the social divide? Can a romance started on such shifting ground ever succeed at all or will the inevitable tides of class and money pull them apart again before it even really begins?

I loved UNDERTOW; this is great piece of period fiction, where the main protagonists all perfectly fit the time and place without feeling the slightest bit stereotyped or caricatured. Lindner expertly captures the simultaneously bleak and grubbily hedonistic feel of lower working class ’50sNew York. UNDERTOW isn’t merely a romance story, although it does deliver that key aspect of a good romance – you willing the characters to get together whilst they ebb and flow to and fro, towards then away from each other – but it’s also a great piece of social history too. Her art style is perfect for this story, as these characters aren’t people who hide their emotions but display them for all to see. She certainly does an excellent angry girlfriend and sheepish boyfriend! I loved the attention to period detail too, with the huge cars, the hair styles, the boys’ leather jackets and the girls’ skirts, and the ever-present, slightly worn but kitsch interiors. The palette of black and white with very light blue tones helps to convey the ’50sConey Islandmood perfectly.

JR

Undertow hardcover

Jim Henson’s Tale Of Sand h/c (£22-50, Archaia) by Ramon K. Perez…

Interestingly, glancing around the internet, I note I am not the only person to make an immediate connection and comparison between this work and the 1968 Monkees’ “psychedelic comedy-adventure” film Head. That film, written and produced in part by Jack Nicholson (who also produced the soundtrack) and heavily, heavily influenced by LSD, is primarily meant to be a stream of consciousness burble about the nature of free will, and most definitely has much in common, concept and content-wise, with Henson’s screenplay for Tale Of Sand.

Which makes it all the more surprising, given that Henson was pitching his screenplay to studios around the same time that films like Head were being made, that it didn’t get picked up. This is undoubtedly a far tighter single concept story than Head; in fact on the face of it, it’s just one long extended dream / nightmare chase sequence, with a psychological undercurrent that gets resolved right at the conclusion. I would have thought it would have been ideal for an experimental film. Evidently so did Henson.

Happily for us (the altogether more low-budget, though no less beautiful medium of comics),  the masterful penstrokes of Ramon K. Perez finally allows Henson’s dream to see the light of day. There’s little I can add to my comments about the plot. Instead, I’ve posted some artwork on the product page to give you a glimpse of the bizarre world Henson envisaged and Perez magically transports us to. There’s no doubt in my mind that Henson, undoubtedly a master craftsman himself, would have been absolutely delighted by, and enchanted with, Perez’s adaptation. This is a beautiful constructed work, and who knows, may start a whole new trend for adapting screenplays which have never been made. I like to think Henson would have got a real kick out of that if so.

JR

Buy Jim Henson’s Tale Of Sand h/c and read the Page 45 review here

The Invention Of Hugo Cabret h/c new printing (£18-99, Scholastic Press) by Brian Selznick —

Hugo, a boy who lives in the walls of aParistrain station, keeping the clocks correct, is also the possessor of an automaton that does not work. His attempts to mend it and solve the mystery it represents, without telling his own secrets, lead him into jeopardous contact with a bitter old man who runs a toy booth and a bookish girl, both of whom have secrets of their own. The narrative resolves their mysteries, discovers their identities and explores the ways that memory and media can be interlocked. It also acts as a celebration of creativity, and shows that in making a work of art one will live on in the imagination of later generations.

This is a clever, atmospheric, lyrical and thoughtful book that employs a distinctive combination of word and image. It does not move swiftly, unfolding like a dream rather than engaging with action, but offers a great deal to readers of any age. The main appeal is that of solving the mysteries in the narrative, but just as interesting is working out how the book works, an exploration which itself reflects the parts of the narrative that focus on the repair and maintenance of clocks and automata.  

Overall the book is dominated by text, but this is interwoven with a range of images. Some of the images are stills from films, whilst others operate as storyboards, offering a sequence of images that move the action on for key moments in the narrative. The images are one image per page, or per double page spread, so using a structure more typically associated with picture books than novels or comics. These devices set the tone of the narrative, which initially offers a cinematic movement from a long shot ofParisat night to a close up on the central protagonist, giving a sense of space and journeys within the narrative. It also gives important clues as to the root of the mystery. These images sometimes supply all the information for a part of the narrative, but also sometimes repeat what is in the text (the written text is sometimes rather directive). This combination of repetition and carrying key information can be destabilising for the reader (in a good way) and also maintains the dream-like air and the mystery and fantasy of the narrative.

 – Dr. Mel Gibson for Page 45

Buy The Invention Of Hugo Cabret h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Quest For The Spark: A Bone Novel: Book Two (£8-50, Scholastic) by Tom Sniegoski.

More prose I’ve no time to read just now (I have some short stories on the go written by MOOMIN’s Tove Jansson), but checking the full-colour Jeff Smith illustrations, everyone appears to be present and correct including the Stupid, Stupid Rat Creatures.

SLH

Buy Quest For The Spark: A Bone Novel: Book Two and read the Page 45 review here

Fear Itself: Secret Avengers h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Nick Spencer with Cullen Bunn & Scot Eaton with Peter Nguyen.

“So… you’re not fighting to stay here. You’re staying here to fight.”
“No, no… You’ve still got it all wrong, my friend. To stay here is to fight.”

While battle rages all around in a Blitzkrieg USA, while the population cowers, its soldiers barely holding the line and its heroes running out of time, options and confidence… while Fear Itself grips the nation and the wider world as well… one man in Washington D.C. is determined to make a stand, holding the political floor he struggled so hard to secure. His name is Congressman Lenny Gary, he has an empty chamber but the cameras are still running, and he will secure funding for a desperately needed health clinic forWest Virginia miners even if the walls come tumbling down upon him. Please see quotation above.

This book which could so easily be dismissed as “the Secret Avengers that isn’t by Brubaker or Ellis” will surprise you. Or maybe not because apart from one short story this is all written by EXISTENCE 2.0 /3.0’s Nick Spencer and drawn by Doomwar’s Scot Eaton, and they’ve turned it into a remarkably thoughtful series of short stories set away from the main action.

The above co-stars the Beast, while another relates how Brunhilde first impressed Odin enough with her love and defiance for him bestow upon her the mantle of the Valkyrie, ferrying the souls of dead warriors toValhalla. She’ll be doing a lot of that after this war is over.

But most nuanced of all, however, is a conversation about death between the editor and writers or an online newspaper and an initially enraged Black Widow. Her lover, Bucky Barnes, has fallen in battle during Fear Itself. He died on the front line, but the newspaper claims it’s a hoax. In retrospect – now that we know that it was indeed a hoax solving all sorts of political problems (see CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE TRIAL OF CAPTAIN AMERICA and Prisoner Of War, the CAPTAIN AMERICA: FEAR ITSELF book when that appears and the current WINTER SOLDIER series reviewed last week) – it’s laden with all sorts of additional ironies. But even when we thought Bucky dead it raised my eyebrows, the arguments flying into all sorts of unexpected territories. If death is more final for civilians and their families than it is for superheroes (in their fictional world), which feels it more? Those without any hope that their loved ones will be resurrected, you’d have thought. Well, Natasha has some very sound counter-arguments about the grieving process, one’s need to let go, one’s need to build a new life for yourself, and what it would mean for your lover to return to the land of the living when you now love another. Scott Summers.  Moreover, if you have a car accident one of the first things you’re encouraged to do is get back in the metaphorical saddle as soon as possible for fear you’re discouraged for life. Imagine getting straight back in the saddle of battle after being killed in conflict. That’s got to take some guts! There’s plenty more where that came from, I assure you.

Perfectly shiny art from Scot Eaton in the Butch Guice / Stuart Immonen / Dale Eaglesham vein.

SLH

Buy Fear Itself: Secret Avengers h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Secret Avengers #22 (£2-99, Marvel) by Rick Remender & Gabriel Hardman.

“Picking up a large blast of organically magnified energy in the Dera Ghazi Khan district of Pakistan, resulting in several hundred civilian casualties. No mutants detected on a sweep of the area.”
“Who will we vilify in their absence?”

Well done, Rick: another masterfully written McCoy. The Art Adams cover to this new creative team’s take on Steve Rogers’ covert Avengers screams, “Look! You can come back kids! This is no longer that odd Avengers title Nick Spencer made thought-provoking and Ellis turned into GLOBAL FREQUENCY II. This is much, much safer with colourful costumes, Hawkeye at the helm and even a brand-new Avenger in the form of Captain Gaudy-Pants Britain himself!”

All of which does Remender, Hardman and ace-colourist Bettie Breitweiser (see WINTER SOLDIER reviewed last week) a huge disservice for – the scenes featuring Captain Britain aside – this has so far proved plenty interesting with a startlingly unusual set-up beginning with a suicide bombing in Pakistan market place. There a young woman and her infant son have been shopping for cumrin, turmeric and bay leaves to prepare a small feast for Papa’s return. They believe they’ll eat well, but when the bomb goes off it’s the explosion she devours in an instinctive act to protect her child. It would have worked too, except when the military crowd round, only concerned for her safety, the bewildered mother reacts once more, entirely against her will, expelling the inferno she absorbed through her mouth. If that wasn’t startling enough the act appears to trigger reactions in four other individuals around the world, the nature of which I still haven’t quite figured out yet, let alone the punchline which appears to feature some pretty major Marvel characters a most unlikely meeting.

So basically stick around, at least for a while, if only to laugh at the idea that you could send someone dressed like CaptainBritaininto any arena and still remain covert. I bet his underpants are an absolute riot.

SLH

Buy Secret Avengers #22 without opening your mouth at page45@page45.com or phoning (0115) 9508045. If you melt the receiver at your end, that’s your problem.

Daredevil vol 1 h/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Mark Waid & Paolo Riveria, Marcos Martin…

Well, that was a short road trip wasn’t it? Guess it didn’t take Matt Murdock too long to realise home is where the radar-sense-detectable heart is. And obviously there’s always a need for a little cleaning up in Hell’s Kitchen, that’s for sure, which is of course the NYC locale which Matt has made his own personal stomping ground over the years. Whenever there are some local hoodlums who need a good stomping on that is, not to mention super-villains and various semi-organised shadowy plotters.

So after the events of SHADOWLAND and Daredevil: Reborn, arguably two of the weakest DD arcs for a good long while (hey it’s a personal opinion), are things back on billyclub bouncing-off-five-walls-before-crunching-head track? Yes, I believe they are. This is all about set up, in more ways than one. Various shadowy organisations have decided to pool their resources, in a manner which slightly defies belief, frankly, given how vulnerable it leaves them should a certain item fall into the wrong hands… say a certain costumed, club-wielding vigilante. Can you guess what’s coming next? Well, probably not, I suspect, which is why I think Waid’s run may already be shaping up to be a blinder. Figuratively, obviously, no imminent attack from radioactive trucks to the reader intended or implied.

We also have one of the finest fight scenes I’ve read in a while as Matt uses his brain as well as his brawn to work out exactly how to defeat his opponent. And I think I’m going to end up loving Paolo Riveria’s art too. It’s got a certain old-school flavour which may not be to everyone’s taste after the uber-gritty one-two combo of Maleev and Lark which worked us all over so effectively on the Bendis and Brubaker-penned runs. This distinct change of style is probably exactly what was required though, to take the title forward again.

JR

Daredevil vol 1 hardcover

Fantastic Four: Season One h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & David Marquez.

First of a series of Marvel graphic novels going back to characters’ earliest adventures, embellishing their skeletons and thrusting them into a more modern context. Some will be delighted at the renovation, others will be enraged at the sacrilege. I if ever do care less about something I’ll be sure to let you know.

Perfectly competent, this incorporates the four adventurers’ first flight and fight with the Moleman, their run-in with Namor, and obliterates all sense of their early, natural naivety and gradual adjustment to powers and popular attention. Boring! Next?

SLH

Fantastic Four: Season One hardcover

Batman: Time And The Batman s/c (£10-99, DC) by Grant Morrison, Fabian Nicieza & Tony Daniels, David Finch, Cliff Richards, Andy Kubert, Frank Quitely…

“How am I supposed to follow your insane leaps of logic?”
“Exactly. Maybe when you do, you’ll be good enough to be Batman. Trust me. It’ll all make sense one day.”

Honestly it will. If Dick Grayson says so, I believe him anyway. Probably the superhero question we got asked most frequently in late 2008 / early 2009 was, “So how come if Batman dies when the helicopter blows up and sinks in the harbour at the end of BATMAN R.I.P. is he alive and well until he dies in FINAL CRISIS then?” Well, finally, all is revealed with the publication of the two-parter ‘R.I.P. – The Missing Chapter’ that explains exactly what happened to Bruce between those two events. Actually, Grant being Grant, it’s quite a bit cleverer than that, as we get some snippets of information, sly nods and cheeky winks here and there, that also make segments of FINAL CRISIS and THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE clearer and more coherent as a whole too, as well as finishing BATMAN R.I.P. off properly.

Of course Grant being Grant, those two issues are prefaced by a story called ‘Time And The Batman’, featuring Batmen of several eras past, present and future which I had to literally read three times to understand. It is most definitely a proper detective story though, with a classic ‘locked room’ case to crack… if you can follow it. The story as a whole is exceptionally well put together, with substantially different art from several quality contributors to help emphasise the jumps in time, and there are loads of amusing references for the Bat-literati to pick up on.

Oh, and yes, there’s a rather good Fabien Nicieza-penned story thrown in with this volume for good measure too.

JR

Buy Batman: Time And The Batman s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Superman: The Black Ring vol 1 s/c (£10-99, DC) by Paul Cornell & Pete Woods.

“Lex Luthor! Kneel before GRODD! You have walked into my ambush! And I have brought my biggest Combat Spoon — to eat your tasty brains!”

Grodd, it should be pointed out, is a giant gorilla.

He slurps down cerebella like oysters from a shell in order to absorb their knowledge. But he’s about to bite off more than he can chew, just as Luthor is about to bite the proverbial dust and so meets his taker: Death of The Endless. Or does he? Well yes, he does meet Death but not under normal circumstances.

In or around BLACKEST NIGHT, Lex Luthor came in possession of an Orange Lantern Ring and it gave him the power he’s always secretly craved: the power of a superman. Now that power is gone but the Ring’s left its mark of avarice and what he craves now is more: the power of the Black Ring energy which reanimates the dead and seemed to have dissipated as the Black Rings disintegrated. But surely it must have gone somewhere and left tracks in its wake?

The search takes Luthor fromAntarcticaandUganda, and with him come assistants who are necessarily obsequious if they don’t want a hole in the head. Also: Deathstroke andLois Lane. Sorry…? Yes, as the book kicks off Lex Luthor is shacked up with Lois. Or is he?

Cornell likes to hide things and mess around with chronology so that you only discover later what he set up long ago. Sometimes it’s eminently satisfying like the Grodd campaign, but it can also disorientate or even alienate so I’d urge you to persevere through the first chapter where little is what it seems except that Luthor’s desires – his needs – are getting the better of him.

I’m really not sure about the telepathic alien caterpillar and I wince at “quaint” speech patterns like that prick Yoda’s or the “Urgent Decision: emergency extraction! Exclamation: now!” shit here but, as I say, do bear with it because it’s no simple A to B to C fist-fight but something quite cleverly constructed, and only round one. The art’s not bad, though setting each chapter up with a David Finch cover doesn’t do poor Woods any favours because, Hitch and Cassady aside, it’s pretty difficult to match Finch in the superhero stakes.

Oh yes, sorry. Do beware: Superman doesn’t actually appear! It’s a Lex Luthor comic.

SLH

Superman: The Black Ring vol 1 softcover

Arrived, On-Line & Ready To Buy

Reviews to follow or already up if they’re softcovers of previous hardcovers. Regardless, you can go straight to each book’s shopping page by clicking on its title. Hurrah!

 

Madwoman Of The Sacred Heart softcover (£22-50, Humanoids) by Alexandro Jodorowsky & Moebius

Hellblazer: Phantom Pains (£10-99, Vertigo) by Peter Milligan & Simon Bisley, Giuseppe Camuncoli

Athos In America h/c (£18-99, Fantagraphics) by Jason

Sonic Universe: 30 Years Later vol 2 (£8-99, ArchieComics) by Ian Flynn & Tracy Yardley

Papertoy Monsters: 50 Cool Papertoys You Can Make Yourself! (£12-99, Workman) by 25 of the hottest paper toy designers in the world!

Daredevil: Reborn softcover (£12-99, Marvel) by Andy Diggle & Davide Gianfelice

Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man vol 1 h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli

Uncanny X-Force vol 2: Deathlok Nation s/c (£11-99, Marvel) by Rick Remender & Esad Ribic, Rafael Albuquerque

Astonishing X-Men: Joss Whedon Ultimate Collection vol 1 (£22-50, Marvel) by Joss Whedon & John Cassaday

Marvel Zombies: Supreme s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Frank Marraffino & Fernando Blanco

Annihilators softcover (£14-99, Marvel) by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning & Tan Eng Huat, Timothy Green

Inuyasha vol 10 Vizbig Edition (£14-99, Viz) by Rumiko Takahashi

Bloody Monday vol 4 (£8-50, Kodansha) by Ryou Ryumon & Kouji Megumi

Cross Game vol 6 (£10-99, Viz) by Mitsuri Adachi

Gon vol 4 (£8-50, Kodansha) by Masashi Tanaka

Pandora Hearts vol 1 (£8-99, Yen) by Jun Mochizuki

Pandora Hearts vol 2 (£8-99, Yen) by Jun Mochizuki

Pandora Hearts vol 3 (£8-99, Yen) by Jun Mochizuki

Pandora Hearts vol 4 (£8-99, Yen) by Jun Mochizuki

Pandora Hearts vol 5 (£8-99, Yen) by Jun Mochizuki

Pandora Hearts vol 6 (£8-99, Yen) by Jun Mochizuki

Pandora Hearts vol 7 (£8-99, Yen) by Jun Mochizuki

Pandora Hearts vol 8 (£8-99, Yen) by Jun Mochizuki

 

Spent Monday morning being interviewed by the magnificent Lynette from the Nottingham Post while their photographers swooned over Jonathan. We don’t know which edition of their weekend supplement we’ll appear in yet, but I think there’ll be a fold-out poster of Jonathan topless.

And the sales go through the roof….

 – Stephen

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