Reviews July 2012 week two


“Just voted for @PageFortyFive as my favourite indie retailer in Nottingham. Was hard to say why in 10 words or less though! Went with “Page45 is a pioneering, friendly shop championing an underappreciated medium!””

 - Paul Duffield, creator of Signals, artist on Warren EllisFREAKANGELS

Thanks to everyone who has already voted. Please  cast your votes here! It may win you £100 nd a big kiss from me! “In Nottingham Independents”.

 

Fatale vol 1: Death Chases Me (£10-99, Image) by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips.

The Losing Side Of Eternity: an unpublished novel by Dominic H. Raines, 1957.

“So here’s how my entire life went off the tracks in one day.
“It started at Dominic Raines’ funeral… and of course the weather was as bad as most of the old man’s novels…”
“I didn’t see her among the small crowd, which, looking back, is odd. But I was distracted by the engravings on the headstone. Raines wasn’t just an atheist… he hated all religions. So what the hell was this about?”

What the hell indeed. From the creators of CRIMINAL, more crime fiction with a Lovecraftian twist.

Nicolas Lash has inherited the estate of his father’s best friend, one Dominic H. Raines who published a string of bestselling detective novels beginning in 1960 before dying alone and bitter and broken. As Nicolas swiftly discovers, however, he’s also inherited a great many questions and a whole world of trouble in the form of an unpublished manuscript whose title speaks volumes and a woman he meets by the grave. She calls herself Jo and claims to be the granddaughter of a woman the novelist once loved. The symbol, she says, is a private piece of the past Raines and her grandmother simply couldn’t let go of.

“Later, I’d wonder why my head felt glued to the ground as she walked away. How with just a few words, she’d made me feel like some high school kid again. Dumbstruck. I didn’t know that could still happen.”

It’s been happening for years. Flashback toSan Franciscoduring the mid-1950s and Dominic ‘Hank’ Raines is a happily married man with a wife and a kid on the way. A reporter determined to expose police corruption and in particular one Walt Booker, he lures Walt’s woman Josephine to a bar one night, and she warns him – she does try to warn him – but from that moment on he just can’t get her out of his head…

“She hates herself… For wanting to survive this badly. For the things she’s done and the things she’s willing to do. She can still feel Hanks’ hands on her. Still taste him on her lips. And she hates herself for that too.
“She thinks about his wife… pictures her waiting up… lying to herself that her husband is working late. Or out all night chasing a lead. And she wants to cry, for what she’s done to this woman. But she doesn’t… because it’s not just about survival.”

Ah, la femme fatale: beautiful, seductive, and disastrous for all who stray near. But Brubaker and Phillips have carved something far more interesting, especially in Josephine who can’t help each act of seduction just like you can’t control your own pheromones, while she sees all those around her paying the price. Also, I’ve deliberately said little about Walt himself – both his public and private investigations into a death cult – nor what happens to Nicolas back in the present, because although this is everything you love about the same team’s CRIMINAL, it’s also a horror comic: the less you know, the better. Indeed Brubaker’s hinted at so many unanswered questions, I can’t get it out of my head, either, and you wait until the next shift in both in scene and time period in volume two.

It’s another perfect fusion of genres, but the big change and one of the keys to its complexity lies in the multiple, third-person perspectives: Josephine’s, obviously, but also that of the men who find themselves stricken by the raven-haired beauty who appears to weather the ravages of time infinitely better than those who fixate. Each for their own reason feels they have no option but to forge forward in their different directions; each believes they are running out of time. All of them seem linked by and trapped in a web woven wider and wider across time, spanning, it seems, an entire century.

I love the way Sean Phillips draws gunshots – jagged flashes of fire – and there’s plenty of action and more gore to come as the tentacles first start to show. Almost all of this takes place indoors or at night, and I’ve long said that I never trust anyone drawn by Sean Phillips. The faces are constantly cast in shadow, masking their motives and making your fear the very worst – either of them or for them. Cigarette smoke is rendered with a very dry brush, while much of the violence is framed in expressionistically rendered and instinctively positioned darkness. It’s not something you notice until you, err, notice it, you’re so caught up in the action. But it’s his quietest moments set in beds, bars or out on the street that I relish even more. The opening pages in the bucolic graveyard are particularly sublime, and the covers – including their subsequent printings, so wittily re-rendered – have been the best designed this year. Each one is reprinted in the back of the book whilst the cover to the first issue’s fourth printing manifests itself on the title page.

This is Page 45’s biggest-selling periodical this year, by the way. Now let’s make it our best-selling book, please.

SLH

Buy Fatale vol 1: Death Chases Me and read the Page 45 review here

Wizzywig: Portrait Of A Serial Hacker h/c (£14-99, Top Shelf) by Ed Piskor…

Firstly, thanks to Tom for mentioning to me that Wizzywig was an acronym pertaining to something to do with computing, phonetically at least at anyway. So therefore… quoting Wikipedia…

“WYSIWYG [1] is an acronym for what you see is what you get. The term is used in computing to describe a system in which content (text and graphics) displayed onscreen during editing appears in a form closely corresponding to its appearance when printed or displayed as a finished product,[2] which might be a printed document, web page, or slide presentation.”

So there you are. Apparently someone has also used the name, as spelt phonetically, for a piece of freeware which lets people who know nothing about web pages create HTML. Right, moving on from possible my dullest-ever opening to a review, I’m delighted to say this book was anything but. In fact I found it highly entertaining, and completely fascinating with its in-depth fictional exploration into the world of phone-phreaking and early hacking culture. Why don’t we recommence with a proper quote from the work that’ll instantly give you an idea of what it’s all about?!

BOOP!
“Hey everybody, this is Assjacket. My bulletin board is down, but the problem seems like it’s manageable. Leave your username and password on this voicemail. When I get it working again, I’ll save your information. If you don’t contact me your stuff will be purged.”
“What’s the next step, Kevin?”
“The next step is going to require a bit of social engineering. I’m going to attempt to get the bulletin board’s phone number re-routed to our voicemail, so that Assjacket’s users find the message hopefully.”
“You’re going to con a phone operator to get this done? Think it’ll work?”
“We’ll see… Hey Lois, this Bob from the uptown office. Can you help me out? My computer is down and I have a very impatient customer on the other line with me. Can you process a quick request?”

It really is quite unbelievable how with a combination of hacking knowledge and sheer front, our main character Kevin is able to continuously hoodwink users and the authorities alike. What I loved about this work was it shows exactly how easy it was, and presumable still is, to hack. Obviously, though, actions have consequences and no matter how hard Kevin, or any hacker for that matter, tries to hide their trail, they’re bound to leave a few digital clues behind for the rabid white-collar crime busters to follow.

Through a combination of forethought and more than a little luck, Kevin manages to evade the long arm of the law, but only at the expense of his own identity as he’s forced into hiding. Once on the run Kevin is forced to turn to the seedier side of society to find those who will be willing to pay hard cash for his unique services. It’s a life of sorts, but when the law eventually catches up with him, you get the impression he’s almost relieved it’s all over. That’ll soon change, though, as the authorities decide they’re going to keep him incarcerated in federal jail, without even ever charging him, for a very long time indeed. Fortunately for Kevin, his best friend and one-time partner in phone-phreaking crime back in the very early days now hosts a radio show and is on a one-man crusade to get some justice for his buddy, even if it’s simply a trial date!

This is an excellently written story from start to finish that had me gripped and – as someone who doesn’t mind a little bit of people sticking it good and proper to ‘The Man’ – fervently hoping Kevin would manage to beat the system one more time!!

Right, quick rant… You might think the type of treatment meted out to the fictional Kevin is somewhat unrealistic, but given the disgusting ongoing case of the US government vs. Gary McKinnon (an autistic hacker who broke into NASA’s systems looking for evidence of UFO’s which he claims he found) and what they plan to do to him (70+ years in maximum security prison without even the possibility of parole) should our spineless government eventually allow his extradition to the US under the one-sided 2003 extradition treaty that was supposedly only to be used for the rendition of the very worst criminals and terrorists, in fact it all seems very plausible indeed. If you’re not aware of Gary’s case, read all about it HERE because tomorrow, my friends, it could well be you who finds yourself several miles up a certain creek without a paddle if people don’t take a collective stand on issues like this. It is nine years sinceGary was first accused and threatened by theUS, and how on earth he’s keeping going I really don’t know. Rant over.

JR

Buy Wizzywig: Portrait Of A Serial Hacker h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Beanworld vol 3.5 (£10-99, Dark Horse) by Larry Marder.

“’Now’ has turned into ‘then’.”

More wide-eyed wonder – for once in full colour! – in a book about creation, communication, cooperation, discovery and resources. One man’s junk is another’s treasure if you manage to unravel its mysteries.

There are plenty of mysteries here, like where Beanish goes when he makes hismidday“jump” (he’s keeping that a secret) and why the youngest creatures here, the Cuties, start a-snoozin’ whenever they’re left to their own devices. They just don’t talk to each other, and that’s a big worry if they’re going to grow up to become Chow Sol’jers because teamwork for them is a top priority. Without fresh chow for the Chowdown Pool there’ll be no vitamins, nutrients and trace minerals to absorb, so it’s time to think of the future and look to a little learning through the eyes of a child who really just wants to play.

Both the dilemma and the solution were brilliant, with obvious implications for our own educational system. Over and again, Larry Marder proves he is the wisest man in comics, connecting his unique and seemingly outlandish, self-sufficient ecosystem with the very real world around us. Oh, and he practises what he preaches, providing education through entertainment shot all the way through with exuberant joy. The language is fabulous, as witnessed here when the Boom’rs first voice their concerns

“We stumbledunkled into a somethingness we can’t quiff riff into twined idealios!”
“What sort of fact did you discover that doesn’t make sense?”
“The Pod’l’Pool Cuties neversonever do the yaketyklak between themselves.”

The designs are simply thrilling, especially in full colour. Mark made so many models of these for our windows, and he would have loved the giant amoeba with its cytoplasmic contents coming over all Native American / Jim Woodring. It’s flanked with flagella and primed with an angry red eye, assaulting the Beans as they float in their chow. And that makes Mr. Spook angry!

You don’t have to have read the previous three BEANWORLD books, but we have them for whenever you want to. It is, as it says, “A Most Peculiar Comic Experience” and it will stay with you for a lifetime.

“Search for the rhythms.
 Reach deep inside.
 Feel the surging pulse.
 Summon the BLISS!”

It is here.

Buy Beanworld vol 3.5 and read the Page 45 review here

The Song Of Roland (£14-99, Conundrum) by Michel Rabagliati…

Originally titled Paul à Québec when it was originally released in French, this has now been re-titled for its English release. Before I read it, I did wonder why, but afterwards I realised it’s definitely a much more fitting title, as about half of the work is given over to the story of Paul’s father-in-law, the titular Roland, his gradual demise from cancer and how the family pull together to cope. Which all sounds rather depressing, but actually Michel chooses to focus on the happier elements of a life very much lived, whilst ultimately not shying away Roland’s own concluding chapter.

The reason I say it’s a much more fitting title (and I presume Michel just didn’t think of it in time for the French edition rather than any great patriotic fervour for an independent Québec, though his musings on that particular subject you will also find within these pages, along with the pains of moving house plus all the usual family and work goings-on you’d expect of a PAUL book), is that The Song Of Roland, or La Chanson de Roland  if you’re in the gallique mood, is one of – if not the – oldest pieces of surviving French literature, being an epic poem about a proud warrior called Roland who refuses to blow his elephant horn to summon help from Emperor Charlemagne, when the French rearguard is attacked by the Saracens during the Battle of Roncesvalles in 778, believing they can win their particular skirmish without any help. Eventually he does blow his horn when it’s sadly too late, thinking the Emperor will see their slaughter and avenge them (which he promptly does) but Roland blows his horn so hard he suffers a brain haemorrhage and dies on the spot. There’s considerable parallels to be drawn between Paul’s father-in-law Roland, his attitude towards his illness, and the warrior Roland, ‘stoic’ being the first word that springs to mind. ‘Stubborn’, the second.

I love Michel’s easy-paced autobiographical PAUL works, for the thinly disguised autobiography they are. He seems a pretty easy-going, laid-back chap, with a similar take on life to Guy Delisle actually, but whereas Guy is off exploring remote corners off the world, Michel is just happy excavating his childhood and allowing us to explore his life in Québec. His art style is similarly relaxed, elegant with an almost cartoonish touch that also engenders a gentile feel to his works. If you do like autobiography but you’ve never tried any Paul, I do highly recommend any of his works. Don’t expect high drama or ridiculous revelations, just a very intriguing peek into someone else’s life, a life also very much lived, just in a very typical way.

JR

Buy The Song Of Roland and read the Page 45 review here

A Boy And A Bear In A Boat (£10-99, dfb) by Dave Shelton.

“These tides are really weird,” said the boy. “It’s not like this at Cromer.”

A young boy hops on board a boat bobbing on the water and captained by a bear. He asks to be taken to the other side.

“Right you are,” said the bear.

He’s as confident as the lad is vague, neatly setting the scene for nearly three hundred pages of magically illustrated mirth as the pair find themselves all at sea and struggling to land either a fish or themselves.

It’s a book about learning to keep friends afloat in the wake of adversity – and in the wake of absurdity also. Faith, confidence and improvisation: pulling together instead of falling out and then, as a consequence, falling apart. Thinking of others instead of yourself and jollying each other along!

Shelton manages all of the above with a touch as gentle as the giant of a bear’s. With little land in sight throughout the entire book, he nails the boy’s cross-patch frustration at the bear’s evasive optimism, and then the boy’s petulance and remorse. Oh, how we find it difficult to apologise!

It’s also a book written by a man whose childhood was spent a long time before videogames and other portable distractions or in-flight entertainment.

“Are we nearly there yet?” said the boy.
“We are well on our way,” said the bear.

And that’s just page fifteen. There’s so much more you will recognise from childhood, like the fun to had on a bright summer’s day messing about colours and the light behind closed eyelids. “He liked the greeny blue the best, but it was difficult to hold on to for long.” I bounced spectral amoebas up and down all day long. Still unsure if they existed.

With limited resources our duo try their hands at fishing, first with a fly (oh, all right, a tuft of the poor bear’s fur plucked while his bottom was turned), then with live bait and then – oh, dear – they really are going to bite off more than they can chew! Here they’re down to one last sarnie, and the bear’s previous combos (sprout and honey; anchovy, banana and custard; broccoli, sherbet and gooseberry) have been eccentric at best.

The boy looked at the proffered sandwich. He noticed that the bear was holding it rather gingerly in the tips of two claws and right at the corner. Despite this, the bread did not bend at all. The boy looked up at the bear. He looked back at the sandwich. It was very difficult to tell what colour it was by moonlight, but whatever colour it was didn’t seem right.
“What’s in it?” said the boy again.
“I can’t remember,” said the bear.
“Well, open it up and take a look,” said the boy.
“I can’t,” said the bear. “It’s stuck.”
The boy looked up at the bear. The bear smiled thinly down at the boy. They both looked back at the sandwich.
“Is it…” said the boy.
“What?” said the bear.
“Is it… only a bit, but is it… glowing?”
“No,” said the bear.
They each squinted at the sandwich and leaned in (cautiously) to look more closely.
“Hardly at all,” said the bear.

We rarely stock anything other than comics at Page 45, but this young adult prose is a wonder and I’ll be buying it for adults instead. Plus our Dave won my heart by including a comic within and reminding us how, when we were young, we would pour over them time and time again when we had so very few, savouring their strangeness even if we hadn’t a clue what was going on. But back to the future, and the bear has it all in hand.

“Bored, eh? Well, I suppose you’d better try the complimentary on-board entertainment then,” said the bear.
“On-board entertainment?” said the boy, smiling expectantly.
“Oh yes,” said the bear. “You’ll love this.”

He really doesn’t.

But when you discover what the cover’s all about… that, you will love and laugh yourself senseless.

SLH

Buy A Boy And A Bear In A Boat and read the Page 45 review here

Morning Glories vol 3 (£10-99, Image) by Nick Spencer & Joe Eisma.

“For A Better Future.”

Previously on MORNING GLORIES: six new students have been selected to attend a prestigious boarding academy which will not let them go. There literally is no escape and whilst a semblance of regular routine is maintained in the corridors and curriculum, the overt threats from teachers and fellow classmates alike are almost as sinister as what’s not being said. P.S. There is a lot that’s not being said.

Now: so much so suddenly comes tumbling out, for it’s not just the school but the students too who have secrets. Some are genuine naïfs while others have been on a mission, but a worrying proportion of those secrets involve death. Which of these are the psycho killers, which are the secret lovers or sacrificial lambs? And which are of the teachers is privately fighting their own rearguard action?

Not since 100 BULLETS can I think of a long-form series constructed from such a ridiculously large number of sub-plots both miraculously weaved and meticulously played. The revelations will take your breath away, while the cliff-hanger will leave you gasping. It’s deliberately disorientating like the school itself, whose teachers are experts in insouciance and obfuscation.

Here they send their charges out on a marathon run, an orienteering exercise through the sylvan school grounds, in perfectly mismatched teams. Some seize it as the opportunity they’ve been waiting for – but not necessarily for the opportunity you’ll expect – and you will discover a whole new dimension to being “lost in the woods”.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention the dialogue. Fab.

“The devil goes to God and says, “You think Job is your faithful servant, but if you took away all the gifts you’ve given him, he’ll abandon you.” So God does it – he takes away all of Job’s blessings, his family dies, he gets sick, everything just starts to suck for him… But he never turns his back on God.”
“Everyone knows this story. But I’ve always had a problem with it, myself.”
“You mean like, why does God let him suffer?”
“No, I assume God couldn’t care less about the poor fuck. No, what I wonder is… What is God doing entertaining an audience with the devil?”

Will any of these children ever be free? Oh, I think so. It’s only a question of Time.

SLH

Buy Morning Glories vol 3 and read the Page 45 review here

5 Centimeters per Second (£13-99, Vertical) by Makoto Shinkai…

“…They say it’s five centimetres per second.”
“What is?”
“The speed of a falling cherry petal.”

Ohhh, we might just have finally found something comparable to SOLANIN with this adaptation of the multiple-award-winning animated film. It’s the story of schoolboy Tohno Takaki, whose innocent and much requited adolescent love for his schoolmate Akari, both recent transfer students, deeply affects his teenage years and early adulthood. For once our love-struck duo part, as Akari’s parents move once again, they resolve to stay in touch by letter.

As time goes by, inevitably perhaps, their communications dwindle and eventually cease, but Tohno never stops thinking of his first love, to such an extent that he’s incapable of forming any meaningful relationship with another girl. That doesn’t stop other people falling for him, however, as he is such a kind and gentle soul, but it appears that he’s oblivious to the suffering he’s causing through his emotional distancing.

Much of the story once Tohno and Akari part therefore is told through the eyes of those women who would like Tohno to be with them or, as in the case once he’s working in Tokyo, his actual girlfriend. Eventually though, even she gives up on their relationship as she realises she can’t compete with a dream. The big question is whether Tohno is willing or even able to wake up and start living in the present, either by finding out where Akari is now and attempting to discover if she still harbours the same deep feelings for him too, or by definitively moving on and letting her go once and for all…

This is a very touching and moving work, I can see why the film has garnered such high praise, and this adaptation is very gently and neatly done indeed. As mentioned, people who liked SOLANIN will undoubtedly enjoy this.

JR

Buy 5 Centimeters per Second and read the Page 45 review here

The Defenders vol 1 s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Matt Fraction & Terry Dodson, Michael Lark, Mitch Breitweiser, Victor Ibanez.

“The older I get, the more life seems to be the stupid, frustrating stuff that gets in the way of you and reading comics…”

The Defenders should always be played with a certain degree of insanity, and not just in the pages of Twisted Toyfare Theatre. But the relatively iconoclastic Kieth Giffen era, when they used to run one-line adverts for other titles at the bottom of each page, was the only one worth paying attention to – until now.

The original core members consisted of Dr. Strange trying to pacify a grouchy Hulk and the testosterone-fuelled Namor, while the Silver Surfer buried his head in his hands and bemoaned man’s inhumanity to man. But the roster’s always been flexible, and this is Matt Fraction, the writer of CASANOVA, INVINCIBLE IRON MAN and a rejuvenated IRON FIST, so it’s time for some eloquent embellishment and an infusion of big ideas.

A cry for help from an unusually worried Hulk is received by Dr. Stephen ‘still-sleeping-with-his-students’ Strange, who promptly reforms the Defenders by making house calls on Namor (imperiously wrecking a posse of killer whale cullers), the ever-surfing chrome-domed wielder of the Power Cosmic (who answers the flurry as a blizzard of snow – he’s… experimenting), Betty Banner AKA Red She-Hulk with her “big-ass sword”, and Iron Fist who is himself having a one-night stand he probably shouldn’t, so buries his head in some comics instead. Approved!

Together they follower the trail of destruction left by Nul, the Breaker of Worlds, the ebony entity once merged with the Hulk, only to be shot down above Mount Wundagore by a time-addled Prester John in search of a new Avalon, and discover the miraculous Concordance Engine once glimpsed by Dr. Strange in the mind of an archaeologist gone mad.

“Ready the dimensional shift engines for transfer. As soon as we clear this world’s gravity well. I don’t want to risk taking any trash with us and I don’t want to drown in the subsurface undertow of reality collapse.
“It was a nice planet. A nice universe. Shame it has to end like this.”

It’s deliriously written with flashes of purple prose and tip-top terminology injected between the strange revelations of a portentous Prester John and the Defenders’ own daft dialogue. Each receives her or his own colour-coded, third-person perspective and is considerably enhanced by being drawn by Terry ‘sexy’ Dodson then the earthier Michael Lark and Mitch Breitweiser.

Fraction’s really re-thought it through. I particularly liked the notion of the Concordance Engines’ singular defence mechanism, determined to keep themselves hidden by taking the words right out of the your mouth. Explaining to others what you’ve been up to is literally impossible, which brings with it all sorts of unanticipated issues.

Please note: the seventies’ one-line adverts at the bottom of each page resurrected to mirth-inducing effect for the periodical are not reprinted in the trade paperback. But then they really wouldn’t have made sense here. Top tip, then: you may want to rethink waiting for the trades!

SLH

Buy The Defenders vol 1 s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Batman: Earth One h/c (£16-99, DC) by Geoff Johns & Gary Frank.

“Who in their right mind transfers to Gotham?”

Oh dear, what a shame.

We love our Geoff Johns, writer of GREEN LANTERN, and I absolutely adore Gary Frank, the spectacular artist on SUPREME POWER, MIDNIGHT NATION, and SUPERMAN AND THE LEGION OF SUPERHEROES. Plus SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE, the inaugural graphic novel in this series seemingly stalled until now sold out an entire day before publication! For three years its readers have been desperate to lap up its successor, silently seething in disbelief when I’ve told them it’s been so delayed. So here it is,Merry Christmas! Are you really having fun?

The premise behind this purported series of graphic novels (two so far over three years) is that you can enter without any baggage: a completely blank canvas on which the author and artist can paint any present they like without care for the past or indeed future. And I do wonder if the success of SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE catalysed the entire DC New 52 initiative. Since that reboot – whereby every title reverted to #1 almost starting from scratch – I guess this premise had been rendered somewhat redundant; but that doesn’t mean, given carte blanche, that you shouldn’t experiment. So why, as Jonathan said, would you be so bland?

It is, I’m afraid, yet another direly dull rehash of Batman’s childhood trauma and, oh, mother’s lost her pearls again! Bruce is slightly recast as a spoiled and entitled brat partially responsible for his parents’ deaths (it worked so well for Peter Parker) and Alfred’s new role is certainly far from the family butler. Excellent: we have detours. Neither works.

I am genuinely surprised and disappointed given the creators involved that this plods along in such a pedestrian fashion. I wanted to sing its praises to the neo-gothic, cathedralic Gotham rafters. Instead I’m left to lament that although this is pretty – oh, so pretty – it is also pretty vacant.

SLH

Buy Batman: Earth One h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Suicide Squad vol 1: Kicked In The Teeth s/c (£10-99, DC) by Adam Glass & various.

The first chapter was actually one long torture sequence as the Suicide Squad – prisoners paroled to execute others – are tested to the limits in order to extract the name of their covert commander. We learn how Harlequin, Deadshot and El Diablo came to be banged up in the first place, and just how voracious King Shark’s appetite is. King Shark, by the way, is an anthropomorphic hammerhead of few words but much munching, and I anticipate this becoming a running joke. Him, I quite liked. The torture scene art had some fine light and textures; the visuals outside that arena of pain were horrible. Collects #1-7

SLH

Buy Suicide Squad vol 1: Kicked In The Teeth s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 vol 1: Freefall (£13-50, Dark Horse) by Joss Whedon, Andrew Chambliss & Georges Jeanty.

From what I’ve been told, Joss Whedon has slightly rethought things since Season 8, and returned to sensibilities far more in keeping with the TV series. Quite what that means I have no idea for – gasp – I’ve never seen a single episode. But apparently there are some chicks, and they’re hot, and some male crumpet too.

“Season 8 ended with a bang that cut the world off from magic-culminating in another set of world-ending problems. Buffy has left her best friend,Willow, powerless, and brought an end to a millennia-long tradition of superpowered girls. By day, Buffy is a twenty-something waitress with no real direction, and even though magic is gone, she’s still a vampire Slayer by night. Bigger problem? Vampires are becoming an epidemic . . . of zompires! Collects #1-#5.”

SLH

Buy Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 vol 1: Freefall 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.

 

Blacksad: A Silent Hell h/c (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Juan Diaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido

God And Science: Return Of The Ti-Girls h/c (£14-99, Fantagraphics) by Jaime Hernandez

Days Of The Bagnold Summer (£9-99,JonathanCape) by Joff Winterhart

The Tale Of Brin & Bent And Minno Marylebone h/c (£15-99,JonathanCape) byRavi Thornton & Andy Hixon

Parker: The Score h/c (£18-99, IDW) by Richard Stark & Darwyn Cooke

Dungeon Quest Book Three (£14-99, Fantagraphics) by Joe Daly

Usagi Yojimbo vol 26: Traitors Of The Earth (£12-99, Dark Horse) by Stan Sakai

Wild Children (£5-99, Image) by Ales Kot & Riley Rossmo

Casanova: Avaritia (£10-99. Icon) by Matt Fraction & Gabriel Ba

Locke & Key vol 5: Clockworks h/c (£18-99, IDW) by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez

Major Eazy vol 1: Heart Of Iron (£14-99, Titan) by Alan Hebden & Carlos Ezquerra

Professor Munakata’s British Musuem Adventure (£14-99,BritishMuseum Press) by Hoshino Yukinobu

The Stand vol 3: Soul Survivors s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Mike Perkins

Uncharted (£10-99, DC) by Joshua Williamson & Sergio Sandoval

Batgirl vol 1: The Darkest Reflection hardcover (£16-99, DC) by Gail Simone & Ardian Syaf & Vicente Cifuentes

JLA: The Deluxe Edition vol 2 s/c (£18-99, DC) by Grant Morrison, Christopher Priest & Howard Porter, Val Semeiks, Arnie Jorgensen, Yanick Paquette, Gary Frank, Greg Land

Demon Knights vol 1: Seven Against The Dark s/c (£10-99, DC) by Paul Cornell & Diogenes Neves, Michael Choi

Journey Into Mystery: The Terrorism Myth h/c (£14-99, Marvel) byKieron Gillen & Mitch Breitweiser, Richard Elson

Fantastic Four vol 5 h/c (£22-50, Marvel) by Jonathan Hickman & Steve Epting, Barry Kitson, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Ming Doyle, Leinil Francis Yu, Farel Dalrymple

X23 vol 2: Chaos Theory s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda, Phil Noto

Flutter (£9-99, June) by Momoko Tenzen

Secretary’s Job? (£9-99, June) by Miki Araya 

Jiu Jiu vol 1 (£6-99, Viz) by Touya Tobina

Psyren vol 5 (£6-99, Viz) by Toshiaki Iwashiro

 
It is vaguely possible that Lizz Lunney will be releasing a DEPRESSED CAT limited edition mug. Oh yes! She asked for a feeler about how well they might sell. I replied:

“Yes please! Sales tend to depend on the mugs. And we’ve LOADS of mugs to sell it to here!”

Are you one of them? Please let me know.

- Stephen @PageFortyFive

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