Reviews May 2012 week one

Lizz called out to Twitter today to ask us to write a CV. Ever obliging, I replied: “Lizz Lunney. Occupational mentalist. Experience: being bananas. Hobby: horses. Motto: It’s all the pun of the pear.” 

Apparently she’s just into crisps. 

 – Stephen on Lizz Lunney’s At The Cave (signed). 

I’m Not A Plastic Bag h/c (£14-99, Archaia) by Rachel Hope Allison.

“And what rough beast, its hour come round at last…?”

 – WB Yeats, The Second Coming.

Turning and turning in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an honest-to-god, real island of floating trash more than twice the size ofTexas. It floats there like a toxic, ticking time-bomb; an indigestible iceberg whose plastic bags are mistaken for jellyfish and so swallowed by the likes of endangered Loggerhead Sea Turtles. What we see here is merely the tip of it. What we don’t do about it will only come back to bite us.

This is a thrilling piece of sequential-art storytelling, a symphony in its silent sense that can be absorbed between other graphic novels whose magic will linger long thereafter. It begins inSan Francisco as a heart-stamped carrier bag caught on a winter tree’s topmost skeletal twigs is blown from those branches in a storm. A loosely gripped umbrella follows suit; a book bounces from a briefcase; an old rubber tyre tumbles into The Bay. They’re trapped in the tempest, caught in the ever-widening gyre and settle mid-Pacific with the rest. There it is, that Great Pacific Garbage Patch, as seen from above. But then something strange happens.

Look a little closer and it’s a semi-sentient sea creature with claws like a crab, its eyes that tyre and umbrella, its mouth yawning like a ravenous chasm to reveal the book’s greeting, “HELLO”. We bob beneath the waves. The gargantuan gullet is open there too. Slowly it starts to reach out to suspicious squid and unsuspecting seagulls.” Hello”, “Welcome”, and will you “Come In”? It is mad; we are mad and will you “Have A Nice Day”?

Today, perhaps.

This is magnificent, and Rachel Hope Allison is a major new find. So much more has gone into this full-colour comic than its silence suggests. It’s all very matt yet far from opaque and the forms sweep across the page.

In terms of the story itself, you get out what you put in: that’s the nature of silent storytelling. In the back, however, it’s unafraid to be educationally didactic. Learn what the Garbage Patch is composed of. Weep at its effect on the wildlife. I cannot believe that 32% of items found in ocean debris are cigarettes, presumably cast overboard during sailing. They’re non-biodegradable, those filters. (And you wonder why I pop my fag ends back into my packet to be safely disposed of later. It’s not me being cheap, no. Although I am cheap, yes!)

Printed on 100% recycled paper this comes with a jacket-free hardcover as thick as an early-reading book. Archaia promises to plant two trees for every one used in the process of printing which is produced in conjunction with American Forests and Global ReLeaf programs.

“Global ReLeaf”! I like it!


Buy I’m Not A Plastic Bag h/c and read the Page 45 review here

The Boy Who Made Silence vol 1 (£17-99, Markosia) by Joshua Hagler…

Absolutely intriguing.

This work is something which I think most people will need and want to read twice, at least, because if you’re anything like me, the first time through you’ll become immersed in admiring the incredible artwork, and probably also thinking of all the different artists it reminds you of, for a whole host of different reasons, primarily of technique. Dave McKean for some of the PARTICLE TAROT: MAJOR ARCANA, PARTICLE TAROT: MINOR ARCANA (and Sandman covers) mix of photographic snippets and other media, plus some sequences which very much reminded me of MR. PUNCH and PICTURES THAT TICK; Kent Williams for the effortlessly deconstructed and oblique painting style, particularly of people seen, amongst  many other places, in THE FOUNTAIN. You’ll possibly see things that may also make you think of David (KABUKI) Mack, including a couple of uses of his trademark triangular motif panel bordering, which must surely be an outright nod to him or Bill Sienkiewicz or maybe even Barron Storey from whom Mack appropriated much himself. I was also thinking that certain other visual elements strongly reminded me of Sam Keith’s MY INNER BIMBO, and then I remembered that Josh Hagler himself had actually contributed significantly to that work!

All of which goes to make it sounds as though I’m suggesting Hagler is some sort of stylistic copycat whereas I don’t believe that at all. In fact I think he’s very much his own man, but just of the same school or perhaps more precisely mindset as to how art can be used as a medium for communicating ideas to the reader, as those luminaries I’ve mentioned above. Moving into discussing the actual narrative elements of this work, I think that’s where I made the mental connection with MY INNER BIMBO, because – and I’m searching for the right word here really, abstract seeming too strong – there’s a definite attempt at a most assuredly unconventional construction of the narrative. Which is certainly the case with MY INNER BIMBO too.

Yes, when you break down most individual pages, there is relatively straightforward information being communicated to us, mostly through conversation after conversation taking place between all the various protagonists or, upon occasion (particularly in Nestor’s case) internal monologues, but most if not all of the emotional content is conveyed entirely through the ever-morphing, chameleonic, subliminal and also in places outrageously overt illustrative techniques, including the multiple lettering styles, plus the endlessly vivid colour palette, which are then built up to produce each multi-faceted panel, page and sequence, and by extension the whole work. The overall effect is something therefore which is quite admirably breathtaking.

There are a million clever touches small and large to admire here and there which just make the whole work a continuous bustle of vibrancy. Picking just one for an example, when the titular boy, Nestor, is baptised in a river towards the end of the work, whilst he’s upside down immersed in the water, the pages are printed upside down. And were that not enough then during this immersion whilst Nestor is having a flashback regarding his absent father, and indeed about his mother, the epiphanistic moment is portrayed in a panel where Nestor’s words in the particular speech bubble are reversed. It’s extraordinarily clever because if, like me, you think “I can’t be bothered working out what this says the hard way, I’m going to find a mirror”, those several seconds pause before you then see precisely what it is that Nestor has thought of, really do give you a sense of his personal build up to a truly momentous flash of realisation. I’m almost certain Hagler intended the reader to do it this way rather than puzzling it slowly out, word by word, because it provides such a striking note to proceedings.

So, the second time around I read this work I was fully able to marvel at the story itself, which is as equally as clever a construct as the art. There are certain works you come across in comics, which you know quite simply could not be done justice in any other medium, and this is one of those. Together this story and art produce something that is simply comics at its most envelope pushing and limit stretching. This is only volume one as well, though when Hagler says he’s not sure how long it’s going to take him to produce volume two, I can quite understand. It’s okay though, I’m more than happy to wait however long it takes. And, as I conclude this review I realise I haven’t provided any synopsis of the actual plot at all.

So, in a few brief sentences then… A boy called Nestor falls into a river, comes out completely deaf but also experiencing the world in an entirely different way. Some people in his small town come to believe he has a gift to make others be more empathetic to each other. Local pastor obviously gets rather excited and tried to get in on the act claiming it’s a gift from God. Nestor’s mother is rather more dubious about the whole thing, and in any event isn’t a particularly pleasant individual. Nestor’s father disappeared long ago, and for the moment we have absolutely no idea why, and neither does Nestor.


Buy The Boy Who Made Silence vol 1 and read the Page 45 review here

Dream Locations Postcards (£5-99,) by Joe List, Lizz Lunney, Soju Tanaka.

“Greetings from the void,” says one of Joe List’s postcards, neatly naming my brain, while Lizz Lunney invites you to “Lovely, sunny, beautiful…SquirrelPark.” Keep your windows up and don’t get out of the car!

I was once chatting to a professional pest control expert and, if you think squirrels are cute little critters who just love to nibble their nuts, you wait until you get some in your loft. And if you do find some in your loft, under no circumstances try a summary eviction yourself. Rats will run away. Squirrels do not back down! Nuts are aphoristically famous for being tough to crack, so imagine the damage a squirrel’s teeth can do to yours.

Anyway (one public service announcement later), we are now bursting with Lizz Lunney epistolary madness including those twelve hilarious LIZZ LUNNEY GREETINGS CARDS, and this neat little booklet of 21 postcards by Joe, Soju and Lizz which comes with a bonus of  8 glossy stickers.

I’m constantly misreading “the sea of faces”, though. I wonder if that’s intentional?


Dream Locations Postcards

At The Caves (signed) (£4-00) by Lizz Lunney.

Ooh, our current crop comes with original cat sketches. Mine’s actually beaming.

Conversely, Depressed Cat is still sighing his way through his NINE MISERABLE LIVES, this time at the seaside, and experiences an imaginative cure for the most awkward of silences. Sour Rabbit refuses to knock his own knees, newly tattooed with a couple of smiley faces in a bid to stave off loneliness (that’s a rabbit?!). An Invisible Friend finds it impossible to hold onto his seat on a train; and Keith The Wizard experiences his ultimate dream holiday except for the Duty Free. Also: Dullbog The Bulldog, Leaning Rabbit, and a couple of competitive fish and chip shops punning their way to first plaice.

What…? Look, this is Lizz Lunney. If you are expecting any of this to make sense, you are delusional. The woman is all kinds of crazy, as are her comics and cards. That’s why we love her and that’s why they all sell so well.

Lizz called out to Twitter today to ask us to write a CV. Ever obliging, I replied: “Lizz Lunney. Occupational mentalist. Experience: being bananas. Hobby: horses. Motto: It’s all the pun of the pear.”

Apparently she’s just into crisps.

Lastly, I should just flag the fact that the semaphore inside this mini-comic’s covers isn’t just a random pattern. But Lizz won’t even tell me what it says, so I’m going to Google myself a quick lesson now. *waves good-bye*

Seriously: that’s a rabbit?!?!


Buy At The Caves (signed) and read the Page 45 review here

The Avalon Chronicles vol 1: Once In A Blue Moon h/c (£14-99, Oni) by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir & Emma Vieceli.

There be dragons! And griffins! And a certain degree of mind-bending, literary paradox!

Timed specifically to coincide with my adventures on Skyrim, it seems, THE AVALON CHRONICLES is the fresh resurrection of the BLUE MOON high fantasy from the writers of THREE STRIKES with a brand new artist for the saga, VAMPIRE ACADEMY’s Emma Vieceli. That means a lot of clean lines, whooshes of fine, flowing hair and bursts of cute comedy, manga-stylee.

But The Avalon Chronicles was also a book which Aeslin’s parents used to read her at bedtime. Aeslin became obsessed with the legend of the Prince and his beautiful Dragon Knight bride until the day her mother demanded she put away childish things and broke the bad news:

“Dammit, Aeslin! We don’t live in that kind of world. There are no happy endings and we don’t ride off into the sunset on the dragon. Your father and I…”
“Mom… where’s Daddy?”

Many years later and Aeslin’s Mum is a politician on the verge of an election and Aeslin’s on the brink of a date with hilariously self-regarding school heart-throb, Michael. He’s invited her to watch him play football tonight. It’s at this point, however, that Aeslin and best friend Meg discover a new shop that’s seemingly sprung up overnight, and in it a copy of Once In A Blue Moon, the sequel to The Avalon Chronicles written by the original author’s son. It costs them everything they have, but Meg is determined to rekindle a reluctant Aeslin’s interest in the series she once loved so dearly. A single stray thought later, it works.

Now Aeslin’s truly immersed in the book. Literally! She’s been sucked into Once In A Blue Moon, only to discover that it’s all about her. She’s even met its author, playwright Will Redding there. But she’s just not cut out for its contents.

“Go home? But Aeslin, you have a grand destiny. You’re supposed to be our Dragon Knight.”
“Me? There’s got to be some mistake.”
“No mistake. I’m charged with chronicling your adventures, like my father was for the last Dragon Knight.”
“I’m not a Dragon Knight. I’m not a fighter. Why not pick Cassidy?”
“Because Cassidy’s not supposed to be the Dragon Night.”
“If you’re writing the book, then change it.”
“That’s not how destiny works. I chronicle the story. I add a certain dramatic flair, if you will. But I don’t change the facts. And the fact is, this is your story.”
“Well, if it’s my story, then I decide. And I want to go home.”

Back home, Aeslin meets up with Meg, but when they open the book again, it’s very bad news.

“Holy crap!!!”
“Is that me?”
“Wow… You don’t come off so good.” “She left Avalon in its hours of need.””
“That Will! He’s doing this on purpose. He’s trying to make me look like a selfish — “
“Will? That’s the playwright, right? So when he writes in his book, it appears in this one. That so cool!”
“Cool?! Michael could read this. He’ll think I’m shallow.”
“Really? Michael… reading? You’re kidding, right?”

Whatever will Aeslin decide to do? Will she embrace her destiny in the hope of embracing Michael? Will she accept the challenge of the Dragon Knight to save a kingdom on the brink of war? Why is Aeslin destined to be the Dragon Knight anyway? And will she pass her maths test on Monday? Lastly, what happened to Aeslin’s Dad? No, I mean what really happened to him? Reading Once In A Blue Moon may be the only way to find out. Hmm. I really didn’t use capitals there, did I? Heh.

There is so much more to this black and white beauty than I’m prepared to giving away right now – plenty of surprises for Aeslin in the book itself – and it’s going to go very well in our young teen section. Probably to adults, if past performance is anything to go by.


The Avalon Chronicles vol 1: Once In A Blue Moon hardcover

Stormwatch vol 1 h/c (£22-50, DC) byWarren Ellis & Tom Raney with Jim Lee.

Washington DC, America:

“What the hell is this?”
“Two of yours, Mr. President. These are the explosives experts who murdered one of my officers last night. You either have no knowledge of this, or you will pretend you don’t. It doesn’t matter. You, or one of your creatures, have decided for no good reason to commit an act of war against Stormwatch, and therefore the United Nations. There will be a reprisal. And then we shall see where we stand. Do not test us. We have received your message that we are not wanted or safe in your country. Stand ready for ours.”

This is it: this is where the real Warren Ellis voice finally emerged from its corporate restraints on a title far enough off the radar for anyone to be bothered to bleach it. He inherited a numbskull, run-down Image superhero title and turned it into a literate, Yukio Mishima-referencing, fast-paced, geopolitical, science-fiction action thriller starring a madman called Henry Bendix, the Weatherman, who ran the satellite-based Stormwatch from its platform’s Watch Hall with clipped, military precision.

Like The Authority this title grew into, Henry Bendix wanted to change the world whether it liked it or not. And like The Authority he quickly discovered that the United States government was amongst the first to stand up and oppose him. Unlike The Authority, his methods grew increasingly utterly ruthless. But Stormwatch should have guessed the second he foisted upon its metahuman officers a certain Rose Tattoo, a weapons expert who could drive a man irretrievably mad just by having sex with him.

What astonished me when rereading this 11-issue repackaging of the first two softcovers, is how swiftly Ellis nailed his ambition. I count one page of slightly awkward exposition and that’s it. Like Bendix himself, Ellis swiftly reconfigured the existing Stormwatch to his own tastes and ends, ruthlessly rejecting several of its extant officers, repositioning others and bringing in his own new recruits (Rose Tattoo, the lemon-sharp Jenny Sparks and city-centric Jack Hawksmoor who could commune with his urban environment:

“In situations like these, Jack always checks the windows first. In cities, windows hold images for longer than you’d think.”

It was ridiculously full of new ideas and relevant, news-headline issues, setting the strategically split three teams against Japanese Death Cults, America’s paranoid, racist and deluded militias (claiming to protect its indigenous citizens from the Federal Government by bombing them both into oblivion), and rogue states like the fictional Gamorra funding terrorists to bring down planes over Britain. We are, of course, talking Lockerbie andLibya’s Colonel Gaddafi dressed like the legendary Fu Manchu. Throughout the book it’s all-out mutagenic warfare, while Bendix cleverly, covertly, moves his pieces into place while covering his tracks in the process.

There’s one particularly clever issue in which the ageless, no-nonsense Jenny Sparks, the spirit of the 20th Century (“I won’t wear one of those damnfool spandex body-condom things. I don’t have the bust for it.”) finally reveals her 96-year-old history. And hats off to Tom Raney for each decade is drawn in its relevant, predominant comicbook style, successfully mimicking the 1920s’ scientific romance of Flash Gordon, the 1930s’ invention of Superman, Will Eisner’s THE SPIRIT in the 1940s, Kirby, Crumb and then finally Dave Gibbons’ WATCHMEN. Parenthetically, I should just add that there’s a nice (precise) juxtaposition at the end of that sequence of black Battalion’s optimism for the future and the harsh, racist reality he encounters the very next issue. These are not accidents.

But really, let’s get back to the main man Bendix and the madness in his methods. He’s speaking second.

“Torture me, drug me, beat me… won’t do any good. You’re not getting a thing out of me.”
Torture you? Dear God, you are living in the Dark Ages. No, all we’re going to do is strip your scalp, drill a hole in your skull and push scanning needles into your living brain. We’ll extract the necessary information from your brain quite painlessly.”
“Unless we forget the anaesthetic. Hi, I’m the surgeon, and I’m drunk.”

Elsewhere, Jenny Sparks:

“Don’t ever touch my beer again.”


Buy Stormwatch vol 1 h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Batman: Knightfall vol 1 (New Ed’n) (£22-50, DC) by Doug Moench, Chuck Dixon, Alan Grant & Jim Aparo, Norm Breyfogle, Graham Nolan, Jim Balent, Bret Blevins, Klaus Janson, Mike Manley.

It’s not just the comic that’s spine-damaged.

Reprint of the big Batman event from 20 years ago, this time including vital chapters never previously reprinted. I always thought the previous editions were weird. Please note: we offer this up, but unlike GOTHAM CENTRAL, for example, it’s far from personally recommended. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

“In the first instalment of this classic storyline, the Dark Knight’s greatest enemies have all simultaneously escaped from Arkham Asylum and are preying onGothamCity. With his city under siege, Batman pushes his body to the limit as he takes on The Joker, the Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, The Riddler and the Scarecrow. But things get much worse when Bane, the man behind all the madness, confronts an exhausted Batman – and breaks his back. This massive first KNIGHTFALL volume collects BATMAN: VENGEANCE OF BANE SPECIAL #1, BATMAN #491-500, DETECTIVE COMICS #659-660, SHOWCASE ’93 #7 and 8 and BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT #17-18, including chapters never previously reprinted.”

See? I told you.


Buy Batman: Knightfall vol 1 (New Ed’n) and read the Page 45 review here

Gotham Central Book 4: Corrigan s/c (£14-99, DC) by Ed Brubaker, Gred Rucka &Kano, Stefano Gaudiano.

“Hell, maybe it’s suicide. The kid worked for Batman after all.”
“Great. You want to ask him if Robin’s been feeling depressed recently? “How’s he been sleeping? Any signs of drug use? Trouble at school?””
“Aw, God… Can’t be sixteen, even. You realise that if this is actually him, then even if this is accidental, the Bat is at fault?”
“Endangering the life of a minor… unless the parents are in on it too, then they’re all to blame.”
“Maybe Batman is one of the parents.”
“There’s a scary thought.”

It’s also quite a scary Batman:Kano’s feral, spectral version all shadow and blur. When a boy who could well be Robin is found dead on the rain-sodden streets and the crime scene photography is leaked to press, the investigation follows all obvious lines of enquiry until the least obvious and in some ways sickest presents itself.

This is the final volume of GOTHAM CENTRAL, the superb police procedural drama in which the streets are made all the more dangerous by its more notorious inhabitants, and Batman, far from being embraced, is blamed for their existence and resented for the emasculation involved in having to fire up the spotlight and call for outside help. So they don’t tend to do that: they solve the crimes themselves. Like any precinct, it’s populated by a variety of individuals, and it’s as much about them as the crimes themselves, in particular Detectives Renée Montoya and Crispus Allen, whose stories don’t end well, for snaking his way through the pages has been bent forensics expert, Corrigan. It’s here that their paths finally converge and the subplot erupts to devastating effect, shattering the lives around it.

Psychologically this is so well written, every artist they’ve chosen has kept it firmly grounded at street level, and a big tip of the hat should go to colourist Lee Loughbridge’s part in all that. There’s also a terrifying sequence in which no mere battle but outright Armageddon erupts in the skies above them, anarchy is loosed below, and Allen and Montoya have no idea whether they will ever make it across the city to see their loved ones again.

“Metal tears as something crushes the engine block. The windshield explodes inwards, showering me with safety glass. I tumble out of the car and into air that stinks of sulphur and burning flesh. My sight catches on one word and a face… and I freeze for a moment, staring into the eyes of a sin.”


Buy Gotham Central Book 4: Corrigan s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief (UK Edition) (£9-99, Puffin) by Rick Riodan, Robert Venditti & Attila Futaki.

Ridiculously affordable, this dense, witty and complex full-colour adaptation took me hours to read. Robert Venditti (SURROGATES, SURROGATES: FLESH AND BONE, THE HOMELAND DIRECTIVE) has obviously had to make some hard decisions of what to leave on the cutting room floor, and he’s done a fine job of keeping it clipped and to the point so that it canters along at a cracking pace without once throwing you out of the saddle.

There be centaurs and satyrs, oracles spewing poisonous predictions, minotaurs to battle and petty rivalries to overcome; our young hero’s going to have to grow up very fast if he’s to survive not just the mythological threats to his contemporary life but the loss of his mother and revelations regarding his lineage.

“You should never have been born.”
“You really need to work on your delivery.”

Percy Jackson is a young man who should never have been born. His very existence threatens everyone around him. His mother was mortal – all too mortal – but his father was Poseidon, Greek God of the Ocean, giving him elemental control over water. Unfortunately Poseidon had sworn an oath on the River Styx with his brothers Zeus and Hades not to sire any more demi-gods after the catastrophes of WWII. Zeus being Zeus, of course, simply couldn’t keep it in his pants and soon fell off the good wagon Chastity. His new daughter paid the price.

All of which leaves Percy very vulnerable indeed. Hades has already dispatched a fury, the three Fates have cut the line, and there’s more than meets the eye to the rivalry between Zeus, Poseidon and Hades. Someone else is pulling some strings. Now he, Grover and Annabeth have to race across a modern-day America littered with treachery and traps before the Solstice is upon them to reach the entrance to the Underworld (current location: D.O.A. Records, Los Angeles!) and retrieve Zeus’ stolen thunderbolt. The outlook’s somewhat overcast:

“You shall go Wessst, and face the God who has turned.
“You shall find what was stolen, and sssee it safely returned.
“You shall be betrayed by one who callsss you friend.
“And you shall fail to sssave what matters mossst in the end.”

Perfectly suitable for early teens, this couldn’t be less patronising, making it a riot for adults as well. I honestly think fans of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods would get a blast. Some very funny unbelaboured visual gags like half-goat Grover’s diet, and the promise of Pan appearing further down the line…? You know I’m there! Also, Ares turns up on a motorcycle.

“Um… Deus Ex Machina, anyone?”


Buy Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief and read the Page 45 review here

The Babysitter’s Club: Kirsty’s Great Idea (£6-99, Scholastic) by Ann M. Martin & Raina Telgemeier

The Baby-Sitters Club (B.S.C.) itself is a series of 213 children’s prose novels, many written by the original creator Ann M. Martin, published between 1986 and 2000 that have gone on to sell over 170 million copies. Enid Blyton, eat your heart out! There’s also been a 1990 TV show and 1995 movie based on the books and this graphic novel is the first of four that have been created, being faithfully adapted and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier (SMILE).

Unsurprisingly as a 39-year-old male, I was somewhat unaware of the B.S.C. phenomenon, though you may well be so much better informed! If not, here’s all you need to know. Basically, four friends get the idea to earn some extra cash babysitting and set up a club to do so, and this first volume does little more than introduce the friends and their families. It’s nicely done and I can see it appealing to very young girls, but in story terms it’s certainly no THE PLAIN JANES or EMIKO SUPERSTAR. The art is nice enough but I would expect no less from an Eisner Award winner. I would presume the subsequent three graphic novels have a bit more plot to them. Quite how they managed to make 213 prose works out of such a thin premise as a baby-sitting club is beyond me. Still, I’m quite sure some people would say exactly the same thing about superhero comics…


The Babysitter’S Club: Kirsty’S Great Idea


Arrived, Online & Ready To Buy

Reviews already online if they’re new formats of previous books like CITY OF GLASS. Otherwise the most interesting will come under the microscope next week, while the rest will remain with their Diamond previews acting in lieu of reviews. “In lieu of”. Get me!

Girl&Boy (signed) (£3-99) by Andrew Tunney

The Hobbit (Revised Edition) (£12-99, HarperCollins) by J.R.R. Tolkien, CharlesDixon, Sean Deming & David Wenzel

City Of Glass new edition (£10-99, Picador) by Paul Auster, Paul Karasik & David Mazzucchelli

Judge Dredd Casefiles 19 (£21-99, 2000AD) by John Wagner, Grant Morrison, John Smith, Mark Millar, Garth Ennis & Greg Staples, Carlos Ezquerra, Brett Ewins, Ron Smith, Mick Austin, Dermot Power, Paul Marshall, David Millgate

Locke & Key vol 4: Keys To The Kingdom s/c (£14-99, IDW) by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez

Fallen Words (£14-99, D&Q) by Yoshihiro Tatsumi

Snarked: Forks And Hope (£10-99, Kaboom!) by Roger Langridge

American Vampire vol 2 s/c (£13-50, Vertigo) by Scott Snyder & Rafael Albuquerque, Mateus Santolouco

Essential Daredevil vol 1 reprint (£14-99, Marvel) by Stan Lee & Gene Colan, Bill Everett, Joe Orlando, Wallace Wood

Avengers: Kree/Skrull h/c (£25-99, Marvel) by Roy Thomas & Sal Buscema, Neal Adams, John Buscema

Avengers: X-Sanction hardcover (£18-99, Marvel) by Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness

Justice League vol 1: Origin h/c (£18-99, DC) by Geoff Johns & Jim Lee

Batman & Robin vol 3: Batman & Robin Must Die! s/c (£13-50, DC) by Grant Morrison & Frazer Irving, Cameron Stewart, David Finch, Chris Burnham

Animal Man vol 1 (£10-99, DC) by Jeff Lemire & Travel Foreman

Highschool Of The Dead vol 6 (£10-50, Yen) by Daisuke Sato & Shouji Sato

Higurashi vol 18: Atonement Arc vol 4 (£8-99, Yen) by Ryukisi07 & Karin Suzuragi

Black Butler vol 9 (£8-99, Yen) by Yana Toboso

Durarara!! vol 2 (£8-99, Yen) by Ryohgo Narita & Akiyo Satorigi

Tegami Bachi – Letter Bee vol 9 (£6-99, Viz) by Hiroyuki Asada

X 3-in-1 Ed vol 2 (£12-99, Viz) by Clamp

Sailor Moon vol 5 (£8-50, Kodansha) by Naoko Takeuchi

Tokyo On Foot: Travels In The City’s Most Colourful Neighbourhoods (£15-99, Tuttle) by Florent Chavouet

Y The Last Man: The Deluxe Edition Book One hardcover (£22-50, Vertigo) by Brian K. Vaughan & Pia Guerra, Jose Marzan Jr.

That last one purely because someone specially ordered it then singularly failed to collect and pay for it. Lord, how I’m tempted to name names. If you order something, please have the common courtesy to collect. It’s, like, part of the deal?

– Stephen

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