Reviews June 2012 week one

 
The bright, bold art is a carrier for Langridge’s infectious joy. The plotting’s so precise it’s invisible. And it’s funny. Properly funny. Langridge uses panels and page-turns to pace and punch with flawless comic timing. He does wit. He does slapstick. He does elaborate set-ups. He fills his backgrounds with gags and cameos.  Even the sound effects are funny. Ever wonder what noise a treacle sandwich makes when used in anger? Apparently, it’s “splorch!”

 – Chris Gardiner on Roger Langridge’s Snarked.

Jerusalem: Chronicles From The Holy City h/c (£16-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Guy Delisle…

“I got news about your coordination request for Gaza…”
“And?”
“They refused.”
“No way… damn it…”
“How come? What was their excuse?”
“They said , ‘The guy who draws comics? Forget it.’”

“Maybe they got me mixed up with Joe Sacco?”

Ha ha, very funny! In fact, as ever, there’s a lot to smile wryly at in Guy Delisle’s latest travelogue, this time to the Holy Land. Once again he’s playing house husband looking after their two kids as his wife’s latest year placement with Médecins Sans Frontières takes the family to Jerusalem, where almost instantly his romanticised preconceptions of the place are utterly dashed and so his usual explorations and excavations of the absurdities of everyday life for the locals can begin in earnest.

One of the many great things about Guy’s work, having been to one of the places he’s written about (see Burma Chronicles), is that he does completely capture exactly what life is like, down to its frequently confused minutiae, for those who have to live there, and this time is no exception as he shows the cramped and convoluted living arrangements that currently passes for Palestinian society, compressed and literally incarcerated in Gaza and the West Bank as they are by the Israelis. Guy being Guy though, he does try, and admirably manages it, to show the story from both sides without particularly taking either.

Though with that said, when he goes on a tour with a group of Israeli settlers (at the request of the Palestinian tour guide whose tour he’d been on a week previously, again to be fair and to see things from the other perspective) he simply reproduces the settler tour guide’s own words verbatim and lets the man damn himself. And when he’s not finding out about local political intrigue or getting into trouble with the police for picking yet another inappropriate sketching spot, he’s hunting out little oases of calm like the zoo or playgrounds to keep the pesky children entertained and give himself a much needed breather.

Jerusalem is probably his finest work yet, possibly because there’s just so much packed into one year compared to anywhere else he’s been and Jerusalem is such a fascinating place with all its contradictions and contrasts, but also artistically too, as whilst he adopts his usual laconic style there’s subtle additions such as extra background detailing or occasional splashes of colour onto his duotone, single-colour-per-panel palette which add a certain little something.

This would actually be an ideal work for anyone who is interested in finding about the day to day politics of the city and its inhabitants, and the history of the city itself, but isn’t ever going to have the time or perhaps the inclination to visit for themselves. It’s certainly one of the most confusing places you could ever go by the sounds of it, in every respect, but Guy almost always manages to find someone who can talk some sense about any given situation…

“It’s always surprising who you meet at these expat evenings. There are basically three categories: journalists, aid workers and diplomats. I meet a Scotsman who works for the Mideast Quartet. Since 2007 Tony Blair has been its official envoy. So here’s a guy who’s high up on the political and diplomatic ladder. This is my one chance to get some firsthand information.

“What your work like on a daily basis?… Are there optimistic moments once in a while, or do things look pretty bad most of the time?”
“Things look pretty bad most of the time.”
“Ah… and how’s Tony?””

JR

Buy Jerusalem: Chronicles From The Holy City h/c and read the Page 45 review here

The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward: A Graphic Novel (£14-99, SelfMadeHero) by H.P. Lovecraft & I.N.J. Culbard…

What a wonderfully evocative opening two pages, as we pan in from the depths of frigid outer space very gradually down to the surface of Earth at night, reminding us, lest we forget, how small and insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things, before finally reaching an empty cell in a sanatorium. The perfect beginning for a Cthulu story, though at the risk of mixing my authors for a moment I could almost hear Richard Burton intoning “slowly and surely they drew their plans against us” from H.G. Wells’ War Of The Worlds whilst Jeff Wayne begins to play in the background. Anyway, it sets the atmosphere straight to spooky levels instantaneously, which is my point!

What follows is the finest H.P. Lovecraft adaptation in comics to date bar none, as a most curious case of nocturnal nefariousness and ghoulish experimentation is uncovered by the family physician to the Ward family, Dr. Willett. Asked to investigate by Charles’ father, growing increasingly concerned about his son Charles’ mental state and obsession with an ancestor named Joseph Curwen (who apparently practiced alchemy of a most unwholesome kind some two hundred years previously), what Dr. Willard begins to uncover scarcely seems believable, with suggestions of reincarnation or reanimation of ancient cadavers by a cabal of individuals of greatly extended lifespans seeking arcane knowledge of mysterious rituals. Yet, the further Dr. Willett progresses in his search for answers, the more likely it seems that such a cabal is still active today, and that Charles is slowly being drawn into their midst, for reasons yet unknown.

Ian Culbard has done a truly sterling job adapting this work, essentially a detective story, which is in complete contrast to the innate boy’s own adventure flavour of his previous Lovecraft adaption AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS (which I also loved), and again, his unique art style is perfect for a creeping tale of eldritch horror. It’s entirely credible art, yet sufficiently dissembled from a realist approach that we are little by little unnervingly tugged towards the inevitably unpleasant conclusion (good old H.P. just did NOT do happy endings) as the emotional intensity of the story is gradually ratcheted up to, then well beyond, breaking point.

The whole point about Lovecraft’s monsters (and indeed his approach to horror) was that they were amorphous, indescribably alien, completely incomprehensible to the human eye and mind, so when they do finally make an appearance how on earth do you actually draw them?! Well, no spoilers but suffice to say, were you ever to see in real life what Ian has drawn, I think your sanity would go in an instant. I know mine would! And once you have finished reading and are left to make your own conclusions about the… resolution… of Charles Dexter Ward’s curious case, Ian then pulls the masterstroke of reversing his initial opening page, panning back out to show the Earth as a tiny, helpless marble in the vast stygian depths of dark, very dark, space, in case we’d momentarily forgotten the Elder ones are still out there watching us, just biding their time…

JR

Buy The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward: A Graphic Novel and read the Page 45 review here

Channel Zero: The Complete Collection (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Brian Wood & Brian Wood, Becky Cloonan.

“It’s about anger as a positive force of creation… Someone’s remembered what comics are for.”

 – from the introduction by Warren Ellis

It doesn’t get much more pertinent than this. You wait for the next wave of attempts to crack down on the internet.

Before LOCAL, NEW YORK FOUR, NEW YORK FIVE, NORTHLANDERS, DMZ or even this couple’s DEMO VOL 1 and DEMO VOL 2, there were two CHANNEL ZERO books, damning indictments of Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s ruthless sanitisation of New York City with the complicity of the corporate media, the post-911 scaremongering and accompanying attacks on such silly civil liberties like privacy and free speech. It must have been enormously frustrating to Brian Wood that they were out of print during the Occupy crackdown during which pensioners were dragged away, bundled into police vans or beaten up.

“Good morning. This is WCBC News at Sunrise. Today marks the one year anniversary of the signing of The Clean Act, the event that launchedAmericainto its rebirth from sin and its rise to power in the world arena. Parades are planned in major cities, and all citizens are urged to attend church tonight to receive heavenly guidance and uplifting.
“In contrast it was six months ago today that the illegal television broadcasts created by the person known as ‘Jennie 2.5’ began. Using stolen computer equipment and passwords restricted to government personnel, she routinely breaks onto the airwaves, spreading her filth and communist propaganda.
“We have tolerated her actions as a gesture of Christian compassion and forgiveness, as we would all God’s children, but her campaign of terrorism has gone too far. This is not “art”, citizens. It is not harmless, and it is not legal.
“We urge all our viewers to guard against being influenced by the broadcasts, and put your trust in your government to correct the problem.”

They haven’t tolerated Jennie’s actions, of course; they’ve been desperate to nick her. Nice use of the ultra-inflammatory charge of “terrorism“ too. And by “nice” I don’t mean “precise”. All Jennie’s doing is breaking into the barefaced lies propagated by the mass media along with its asinine programming designed to tranquilise, and call out to an America so woefully apathetic that it tolerates this assault on their intelligence, settling for second-best and the spoon-fed mediocrity pumped out over its airwaves.

In that respect it’s like Transmetropolitan only without the jokes, the drugs and the comfort of colour, for this is stark as anything, and deliberately low-fi. It’s sparse, it’s succinct, and I love the way Radio Villinokiv’s feed streams live like ticker-tape across the bottom of the page. It’s a remarkable achievement by someone fresh out of Art School, and not only do you get both graphic novels in a single package here, but all the short stories, the original Final Year project, and so many of the satirical posters, as sharp as you like. People forget that Brian Wood is an artist in his own right – and a particularly fine designer – but when Becky Cloonan comes along for the JENNIE ONE prequel you will not believe she was still at college! (Although, if you’ve read Becky’s Minis 2000-2002…)

The high-contrast art comes with the perfect punk aesthetic, Jennie’s coal-black eyes staring out of the page defiantly. The snow alone is worth the price of admission, eroding the forms it flurries across and reminding me of Frank Miller’s RONIN. It’s the story of an artist radicalised by the very forces attempting to sedate and intimidate the masses. But Jennie quickly discovers she doesn’t “do” intimidated, nor is she easily seduced by those posing as punk but living in relative luxury.

It’s a far from predictable read, and the chapter seen from the Cleaner’s perspective will certainly surprise. I think my favourite moment, however, was the all too predictable behaviour of the networks as Jennie 2.5’s four-minute bursts of subversive sabotage prove so popular that they try to figure out how to sell commercial air time for them. Fans of Jonathan Hickman’s NIGHTLY NEWS, this one’s for you.

SLH

Buy Channel Zero: The Complete Collection and read the Page 45 review here

Dracula h/c (£13-50, HarperCollins) by Bram Stoker & Becky Cloonan…

Ben Templesmith’s DRACULA has to be one of the best-selling illustrated prose books we’ve ever had at Page 45 (second only to Bernie Wrightson’s FRANKENSTEIN probably), and rightly so given his terror-inducing talent for ferocious, fanged faces. I did wonder therefore how the mighty Becky Cloonan could possibly top it, but top it she has by going for a more subtly gothic, almost romantic approach, which immediately put me in mind of the 1992 Francis Ford Coppola film adaptation starring Gary Oldman as the Count with a heart. Yes, there are fangs but what Becky brings through so strongly is the passion and the drama of Bram Stoker’s epic story, whereas Templesmith’s version is simply straight horror – not that there is anything wrong with that. The style she displays is clearly Becky’s own, but the depth of line, colour palette and grasp of period certainly wouldn’t look amiss in BALTIMORE or WITCHFINDER, and makes me think she’d be a brilliant choice for a Mignola book actually.

Another significant difference between this version and Templesmith’s is whereas in that version the illustrations are full, single pages which each preface a new chapter, here Becky has gone for a variety of illustrations, vertically as well as horizontally aligned, interspersed throughout the text to dramatise specific scenes or moments, and it’s an inspired idea which works superbly well. It’s difficult to pick a favourite illustration, and whilst the gently embossed cover itself is a strong contender and amply demonstrates the quality of illustration you’ll find within, I think the image of Miss Lucy with the wild garlic flowers in her hair just about steals it for me.

JR

Buy Dracula h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Snarked: Forks And Hope (£10-99) by Roger Langridge >

“I’m Princess Scarlet, and this is my brother Rusty, the prince — as if you didn’t know.”
“Of course, of course! The commemorative stamps. I believe I’ve often licked the back of your head.”

The king is missing. His advisors plot to seize the throne. Only eight-year-old Princess Scarlet stands in their way, and if their hired killer the Gryphon has his way, she won’t be there for long.

So Scarlet does what any sensible princess would: she flees the castle, heads off to find her father, and recruits heroes to help her. Well. Let’s put “heroes” in inverted commas, there, since we’re talking about Wilburforce J. Walrus (mellifluous con-artist) and Clyde McDunk (dim carpenter). Thing is, they might turn out to be just the people for the job…

Set in a world patched together from Lewis Carroll’s nonsense-poems and novels, SNARKED is a glorious, escalating spiral of scams and chases. It’s got bow tie-wearing walruses, Cheshire Cat secret agents, talking oysters (briefly – they get eaten), dopey guards fooled by the most rudimentary of cross-dressing, and treacle sandwiches. Lots of treacle sandwiches. If, like me, you wouldn’t know your jabberwock from your bandersnatch, don’t worry. Langridge leads the way with strong characters and action, building his world bit by bit in between all the funny.

He clearly loves his source material. Not in a stodgy, overly-reverential, BBC-costume-drama sort of way, but the way a kid loves his favourite toys.  They’re not for looking at. They’re for breaking out, covering in sticky fingerprints, and banging together while you go “whee!’

Except that understates the craft at work. The bright, bold art is a carrier for Langridge’s infectious joy. The plotting’s so precise it’s invisible. And it’s funny. Properly funny. Langridge uses panels and page-turns to pace and punch with flawless comic timing. He does wit. He does slapstick. He does elaborate set-ups. He fills his backgrounds with gags and cameos.  Even the sound effects are funny. Ever wonder what noise a treacle sandwich makes when used in anger? Apparently, it’s “splorch!”

Deft, surprising, and full of characters you’ll love, SNARKED is brilliant. And you like brilliant things, don’t you? I could tell just by looking at you – something about the dignified angle of your nose. You’ll want this, then.

“I can work with this. Get me half a dozen of your best men, some fresh ammunition and three treacle sandwiches.”
“Treacle s-sandwiches?”
“I…I like treacle sandwiches.”

Chris Gardiner

Buy Snarked: Forks And Hope and read the Page 45 review here

Deadenders (£22-50, Vertigo) by Ed Brubaker & Warren Pleece…

Touted as part-Clockwork Orange, part-Trainspotting, part-Quadrophenia on the cover – which should actually make it my dream read given my penchant for a bit of the old ultra-violence, lashings of lovely, lovely Ludwig Van, oodles of pharmaceuticals and a good mop-top – I found this a little bit of an unsatisfying read in places unfortunately. In the first half it all just seemed somewhat unsure exactly what it wanted to be, rather disjointed in fact, which is not something I’ve ever thought about Brubaker’s work, but in the second half once he begins to concentrate more on resolving the central plot thread, it settled down and I did really enjoy it, though I only really got the Quadrophenia comparison frankly.

I felt at times in the early issues perhaps it was trying to emulate early LOVE AND ROCKETS with its slightly sci-fi edge, and cast of loveable rogues, but it didn’t really pull it off for me, mainly because the main character of Beezer, who is meant to be a complete nob, is such a completely charmless nob unlike, say, the suave sophisto that is Alexander DeLarge, that I just wanted him to crash his moped and die. Harsh, I grant you, but there we go. However, once I accepted that he is very much a product of his very peculiar environment, I did warm to him a tiny bit.

So, something called ‘The Cataclysm’ has occurred meaning that the city ofNew Bedlamis now split into various sectors, of which the central sector is something akin to paradise compared to the outer sectors.  That is in considerable part to due to the weather machines which ensure the outer areas never see sunlight whilst the centre enjoys a continuously beautiful sunny climate. Not surprisingly culture in the outer sectors has collapsed and life seems to mainly consist of getting battered on drink and drunks whilst simultaneously avoiding getting battered at the hands of drug dealers. Then there are those who, remembering how positively utopian things seemed to be in comparison everywhere before ‘The Cataclysm’, have become part of a new religion called Doomsterism, which has nothing to do with paying homage to Victor Von D, but instead seems to consist of having one hand cocked behind the ear, whilst looking skyward and moaning about how bad life seems. Err… hasn’t Morrissey been doing that for years?

Meanwhile, Beezer, definitely not a charming man, is having visions which seem to be of what was happening in whatever specific location he currently is in, just before The Cataclysm took place. And apparently, he may not be the only one. There is a good reason for that, which does eventually tie everything in together nicely as I mentioned. It’s no FREAKANGELS though I should mention Tom is a big fan. Very nice art from Warren Pleece, mind you, would love to see him do more.

JR

Buy Deadenders and read the Page 45 review here

Spandex h/c (£14-99, Titan) by Martin Eden…

“So apparently the Queen is really pissed off…”
“Yeah, you can say that again. I reckon I’ll have this bruise for a few days at least.”
“<Sigh> Not you Luke.”
“We’re gonna have to get the real Queen’s stuff back ASAP!”
“How are we going to do that? We don’t know the first thing about Mr. Ninja.”
“Does anyone know any telepaths?”
“I went out with one once, but I wouldn’t recommend it. They know when you’re faking it. And lying. And sleeping around.”
“Wouldn’t that describe pretty much all your relationships, Diva, honey?”
“Oi!”
“Okay, okay, guys, back to the matter at hand. How do we find this ninja and get the crown jewels back?”
“I believe I may have an answer for you…”
“Martha!”
“Good morning! Your opponent has brought the stolen goods back here and this ninja gentlemen has left a calling card. And a corgi.”
Come and get me! – N x

Easily the most amusing superhero-related fare I’ve read since James Kochalka’s SUPERF*CKERS, this features Prowler, Liberty, Glitter, Indigo, Butch, Mr. Muscles and Diva, who together are Spandex, the first all-gay superhero team. They are, of course, based in Brighton, and comprise of the whole LGBT spectrum, but rest assured this is not a cliché-ridden, entendre-laden exploitation. Well, maybe is it actually, but it is hilarious from start to finish and done with such a lovingly knowing fake-lashed wink, and apparently low-fi art style, that it is simply a glittering success. I say apparently low-fi art style, because the more you look at it, you actually realise it’s extremely cleverly put together and detailed, but manages at exactly the same time to look like it’s been dashed off with just a twelve-colour set of felt tips. A comic like this though needs to have exactly this sort of art style, to patently make the point it isn’t taking itself remotely seriously, otherwise it just wouldn’t work, exactly like SUPERF*CKERS.

It is of course, just as much about the various members, their relationships, the intrigue and the drama, as actually fighting the bad guys, though it must be said that Martin Eden has come up with some brilliant villains for our group to do battle with in this collection of the first three issues, including the team which will apparently go on to become their ultimate nemesis in the future, Les Girlz, comprised of Incognita, Hag, Pussy, Queenie, Ms. Fantastic, Chunk and Crusader. The third issue in particular, featuring our spangly group doing battle with an alien creature called Nadir that has managed to enslave the entire human race, turning them and the whole world grey, is just brilliantly done. It’s just well written superhero comedy that I found far funnier than THE PRO or EMPOWERED.

I was also rather amused by Martin’s comment in the extras material at the back that he deliberately did a cover for issue #3 featuring Spandex in black outfits showing more boobage, because he was  worried that straight readers at conventions were being put off by the really pink cover to issue #2. Whereas I just assumed it was a Grant Morrison’s NEW X-MEN piss-take with their leather jumpsuits! So in conclusion I eagerly look forward to more Spandex, particularly their ongoing attempts to find a decent battlecry, which is a great running joke throughout.Meanwhile I’ll leave the last word to Prowler and Diva.

“What exactly do you do with a 50-foot lesbian?”
“You really want me to answer that?”

JR

Buy Spandex h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Batman: Death By Design h/c (£18-99, DC) by Chip Kidd & Dave Taylor…

If the most beautifully illustrated Bat-book of last year was undoubtedly Lee Bermejo’s BATMAN: NOËL, then I think we need look no further for this year’s because I simply cannot believe anyone will beat Dave Taylor’s masterclass in pencilling and shading, and I for one am absolutely delighted for him, as he’s not had the happiest history working on American superhero comics over the years, being pretty shabbily treated by DC back in the ‘90s, primarily due to deadline issues. Still, he’s clearly moved on, and without being under the time constraints of a monthly title (apparently this book took three years to put together!) has unquestionably produced a true masterpiece here.

It helps immensely of course that Chip Kidd (himself a graphic designer) has come up with an exceptional non-continuity story, set in some indeterminate art deco age, which revolves around the period architecture of one of Gotham’s most striking buildings, the old Waynestation, slated for demolition due to its decrepit state. In its place Bruce has commissioned something spectacular from the current architect du jour but not everyone is happy about the impending demise of such an iconic landmark.

I could wax lyrically about Dave’s art for several paragraphs more, including his depictions of Batman who has an almost brutally simple 1920s newspaper periodical appearance, The Joker, perfectly capturing the cheeky, theatrical nature of the murderous blighter, and Bruce Wayne who surely has never looked more of a brylcreemed matinee idol than he does here resplendent in his white tuxedo, but instead it just makes far more sense to showcase several panels and pages of exquisite interior art for you to admire, so enjoy!

JR

Buy Batman: Death By Design h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Daredevil: Ultimate Brubaker Collection vol 2 (£22-50, Marvel) by Ed Brubaker, & Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudiano, Paul Azaceta.

“This is what love is… what happiness does to you… Reminds you how fragile it all is. How easily it can be taken away.”

From the first chapter or prologue to this new storyline, it’s immediately clear that this is about Mila, Matt’s new, blind wife. She sits up late into the night, worrying for him and waiting for him to come home, trying to define her heart. But Mila thinks the fragility and danger lie in Matt’s life as Daredevil: that something even more terrible than last year’s nightmare – when his secrets were uncovered, his mind unravelled and he ended up in prison – will happen to her husband and steal away her happiness. And something will happen, but it will happen to Mila, and neither you nor she will never see it coming.

Meanwhile The Gladiator – a reformed and at heart honourable man – is caught at the scene of a massacre in his jail’s workshop, his trademark saw-blades embedded in the victims’ chests. But he swears he didn’t do it, and the puzzler is that when Matt, however reluctant to take the case, visits him in prison, he can tell through listening to the man’s heartbeat that he didn’t do it. Or at least, he doesn’t remember doing it. He certainly believes he’s innocent, but is he? When push comes to shove, what are any of us capable of…?

Obviously we recommend the whole of Bendis’ run as much as we do Ed’s first storyline, but you can jump straight in here, and I encourage any readers of GOTHAM CENTRAL, SLEEPER or CRIMINAL to do so. Lark brings those same sensibilities to bear here that he bestowed on GOTHAM CENTRAL – lot of texture in a nocturnal urban landscape – and he’s quite close to Phillips in feel if not overall style.

Absolutely devastating. Cleverly composed, superbly orchestrated, and poignantly performed, all without recourse to extrinsic extended metaphors.

SLH

Buy Daredevil: Ultimate Brubaker Collection vol 2  and read the Page 45 review here

The Cape h/c (£18-99, IDW) by Joe Hill, Jason Ciaramella & Zach Howard…

“After the accident, ma was convinced I had jumped out of the tree on purpose, trying to fly.
“When I came out of the hospital, it was gone. She said she threw it out because she had enough problems already and didn’t need a cripple to look after.
“I should have known better.
“That cheap bitch never threw anything away.”

Always nice to see someone do a different take on the superhero genre, and here we have a bitterly twisted short story by Joe (LOCKE & KEY) Hill, adapted for comics by Jason Ciaramella, that is most definitely first and foremost horror, not of the overt variety but the purely psychological kind… until the psychopath really gets going, that is…

Eight-year-old Eric loves nothing more than to play superheroes and villains with his brother, wearing the cape his mother has made for him from his old comfort blanket and emblazoned with a patch from his dead marine father’s uniform, plus a large red felt thunderbolt just for good measure. One day, during a particularly boisterous game, Eric finds himself in a bit of a predicament when a tree limb he’s balanced on breaks, sending him hurtling to the ground and he finishes up impaled on said limb, adding considerable further injury to already serious injury, never mind the insult. It’s just that in the instant before Eric began to plummet, just before he wrenched the cape off himself in floundering panic, it seemed like he was floating in mid-air. He’s pretty sure he didn’t imagine it, his brother even thought it too, though they both obviously thought better than to mention it to anyone. It’s just that Eric believes he will never know now for sure, because whilst he was lying in the hospital, head held together with forty  staples, body battered and broken, his mum kindly told him she’d thrown away his beloved cape, his favourite thing in all the world, the cape that might just possibly have really enabled him to fly. Now that, that really was the insult to add to the catalogue of injuries.

Several years on, a now-adult Eric has seen his life go pretty much nowhere, plagued by near-constant headaches, whilst his brother has gone on to be a successful doctor. The one bright point in his life, Angie, the girl whom he wooed away from his brother as a teenager, has finally got fed up with his apathy and thrown him out. Forced to move in back home with his mum, moping around in his bedroom, having finally hit rock bottom, he chances across a certain item he truly thought he’d never see again, his cape. Turns out his mother simply couldn’t be bothered to throw it away, she’d just hidden it. And sure enough, it wasn’t his imagination, whilst wearing the cape he really can fly. But will Eric take his chance at redemption and become the hero he always dreamed of being as a boy, or will years of bitterness and anger mean he chooses a different direction and start to settle a few old scores? Well, like I said in my opening sentence, this is a horror story…

JR

Buy The Cape h/c and read the Page 45 review here

 

Arrived, Online & Ready To Buy

Reviews already online if they’re new formats of previous books. 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.

 

Now And Then (£3-99) by Sally Jane Thompson

Walking Dead vol 16: A Larger World (£10-99, Image) by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

Summit Of The Gods vol 3 (£14-99, Portent Mon) by Yumemakura Baku & Jiro Taniguchi

The Year Of The Beasts h/c (£12-99, Roaring Brook Press) by Cecil Castellucci & Nate Powell

Idyll (£14-99, D&Q) by Amber Albrecht

Ed The Happy Clown h/c (£18-99, D&Q) byChester Brown

Baltimore: The Curse Bells h/c (£18-99, Dark Horse) by Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden & Ben Stenbeck

DMZ vol 12: The Five Nations Of New York (£10-99, Vertigo) by Brian Wood & Riccardo Burchielli

Hack Slash Omnibus vol 4 (£25-99, Image) by Tim Seeley & various

Batman: Detective Comics vol 1: Faces Of Death h/c (£16-99, DC) by Tony S. Daniel

Red Lanterns vol 1: Blood And Rage s/c (£10-99, DC) by Peter Milligan & Ed Benes

Moon Knight vol 1 s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev

Avenging Spider-Man vol 1: My Friends Can Beat Up Your Friends s/c (UK Ed’n) (£10-99, Marvel) by Zeb Wells & Humberto Ramos

GTO: 14 Days In Shonan vol 3 (£8-50, Viz) by Toru Fujisawa

Maoh: Juvenile Remix vol 10 (£6-99, Viz) by Megumi Osuga & Kotaro Isaka

Sakura Hime: The Legend Of Princess Sakura vol 8 (£6-99, Viz) by Arina Tanemura

Arata The Legend vol 10 (£6-99, Viz) by Yuu Watase

Bleach vol 40 (£6-99, Viz) by Tite Kubo

Bleach vol 41 (£6-99, Viz) by Tite Kubo

Hi Fructose Collected Ed vol 2 h/c (£29-99, Hi Fructose) by various

Somewhat off-topic, here’s a couple of letters Morrissey wrote to a pen-pal about to visit him in the early ‘80s pre-Smiths. Effortlessly and endlessly funny. Don’t think the visit went too well, though! Follow @LettersOfNote on twitter.

Also, Happy Fortieth Birthday to our very own Jonathan.

I leave you with news of the new Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month. It’s THE BOY WHO MADE SILENCE by Joshua Hagler.

– Stephen

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