Reviews November 2012 week one

There are vast scenes of ancient ritual, carnal lust and very modern warfare transcending time just as they were always intended.

 - Stephen on the Lost Art Oh Ah Pook Is Here by William S. Burroughs & Malcom Mc Neill

Please see bottom of the blog for Page 45 on BBC Radio Nottingham!

Multiple Warheads #1 of 4 (Image) by Brandon Graham.

“Reconnaissance Comics: check this shit out.”

Design heaven and pun-haters’ hell, I’ve rarely read a comic in which its creator is having so much unapologetic, delirious, rip-roaring fun. Brandon is dashing off more ideas per page than most can muster in an entire mini-series. “Drawn with fire because paper burns.”

It’s lo-fi sci-fi with sweeping landscapes, toppled statues, call-a-flower seeds (whistle and they grow; cool in a crunch), mini-marts infested with strange little critters scampering ‘cross aisles, self-heating root vegetables like Turnip The Heat, a palace born on the back of a perambulatory, six-legged ‘saurus, its face a feudal façade… and waiting within, a dandy of a duke who’s dotty, decadent and totally divine!

“Is this going to be a ransom sort of a thing, then?”
“I’m going to sell your body.”
“oOOOOoh. Prostitution!”
*clap-claps*

It’s all so very sexy, with two main strands: a blue-haired bounty hunter called Nura out on the frozen plains, lobbing off all heads whenever something sticks its neck out; and – negotiating the Northlandz, Soutlands and Neither Landz in between – an ex-organ smuggler Sexica and her wolf-tailed boyfriend called Nikolai. And by “tail”, I mean, you know… He has very strange dreams. At the heart of all this lies the Dead or Red City whose propaganda is direct and to the point:

“We are right!! You are wrong!! (and fat)”
“Also, don’t be too smart – - Nobody likes that!!”

I know for a fact that Jamie McKelvie is allergic to puns but I equally know he loves Brandon Graham, so I took joy imagining the PHONOGRAM artist desperately trying to reconcile the two and wondering if he’d ever be called on it.

From the creator of KING CITY and the writer of PROPHET, then, a clean-lined, brightly coloured beauty which bleeds right to the ends of each page before crashing through your window and skewering your eye with its sword.

“I love the taste of drama.”

SLH

Buy Multiple Warheads #1 by any means necessary. We’ve got your number and you should have ours by now.

The Cartoon Utopia h/c (£18-99, Fantagraphics) by Ron Regé Jr.

“Believe only your own consciousness and then act accordingly and abundantly.”

I thought only my step-mother could make black and white dazzling, but Regé is back with a spiritual manifesto and ode to creativity: a singular, secular vision delivered with all the fervour of a religious sermon. It’s a call not to arms but to peace and perception unshackled from the conditioning of ages, exhorting all to see new possibilities, infinite possibilities, so enabling one’s full potential to be realised in both senses of the word.

The result – from the creator of SKIBBER BEE BYE, AGAINST PAIN, THE AWAKE FIELD, YEAST HOIST etc – is empowering and positively euphoric.

It’s also mesmerising. I love the way that the lettering is fully integrated into the art, often delineated with exactly the same thickness, the hollowed capitals precisely the right size, totally at one with each page and its constituent panels. I’ve never been allowed to review a book by Ron Regé Jr before. I found it profound, inspirational and beautiful to behold.

Alternatively: a great big colouring book for adults.

SLH

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

Ghosts one-shot (£5-99, Vertigo) by Joe Kubert, David Lapham, Paul Pope, A Ewing, Rufus Dayglo, Gilbert Hernandez, Jeff Lemire, more.

Extraordinary.

This anthology contains the last-ever work story written and drawn by the legendary Joe Kubert who died this August, and it could not be more apposite as a fond farewell. Why that is, I will leave you to read for yourselves to discover; but it has nothing to do with the title of this anthology, just the content and conclusion of the story itself.

It was commissioned by Karen Berger especially for this anthology and, thankfully, was written, pencilled and lettered in full when the great man passed away. Kubert would have gone on to ink it, certainly, but I have always preferred the man’s pencils and here they are haunting.

Al Ewing and Rufus Dayglo’s ‘The Night After I Took The Data Entry Job I Was Visited By My Own Ghost’, however, is a riot in ectoplasmic green. In it the newly installed office worker is haunted by the aspiring musician in him, playing Ladytron riffs all night long on his keytar, enthralled his friends with stories from the other side (“Ian Curtis? Yeah, we jam.”), and soon charming his way up the corporate ladder too, neatly leap-frogging his living self for promotion by spouting “team synergy” claptrap. Dismayed by what has become of his phantasmagorical counterpart, he quits in protest. The punchline is absolutely brilliant.

You can always rely on Gilbert Hernandez, and this particular tale would be far from out of place in LOVE AND ROCKETS itself, but what about the piece conceived by HEAVY LIQUID’s Paul Pope, scripted SILVERFISH’s by David Lapham and then drawn by Paul Pope himself?

Don’t expect a conventional ghost story in any way shape or form. Instead ‘Treasure Lost’ is the sort of space-faring yarn you’re more likely to encountered hard-covered on the continent as an eleven-year-old prince and his sister are kidnapped for ransom by a brutal race of stellar pirates who have no idea how intransigent their father is likely to be. An act of sabotage from within the spaceship gives both brother and sister, who have long since stopped seeing eye to eye, the opportunity they need to set the factions they’ve ingratiated themselves to against each other, but the ironies, they will abound…

Fab. Right, I’m off to read the rest of this.

Also by Joe Kubert, and highly recommended: YOSSEL: Joe’s heart-rending story of what might have become of him had his parents not left Poland just before the Second World War.

SLH

Buy Ghosts through means of a Ouija board. While the glass moves through 0115 9508045 or page45@page45.com you may feel the eerie sensation of a hand on the wallet in your pocket. It’s only me.

The Lost Art Of Ah Pook Is Here h/c (£29-99, Fantagraphics) by William S. Burroughs & Malcom Mc Neill.

When something happens is infinitely less important than what actually happens, how long its effects last, and indeed what those effects are.

At least, that’s what I scribbled at the top of my notes for this book, along with “see Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s FROM HELL”. Anyone who’s read that will know exactly what I mean.

Ah Puck is the Mayan god of death – our co-conspirators merely changed the spelling to make it phonetic. The Mayans believed in reincarnation, so death is definitely not the end. But we’ll get to that! Let’s pull back a bit.

Malcom McNeill was an art school student who founded the magazine Cyclops, illustrating the comic strip THE UNSPEAKABLE MR. HART written by sentence-fragmenter William S. Burroughs. When the magazine folded, they began working on a graphic novel starring that unspeakable Mr. Hart and, on visiting the British Museum, saw the facsimile of the Dresden Codex, one of the four Mayan books that combined pictures and text to survive annihilation – like the rest of its culture – at the hands of European Christianity. And so it goes. And very much went.

I know all this only because Malcom Mc Neill has taken the time to put this eye-frazzling book of art – some of it sequential – into context, for the work itself is very much lost. Not only was it abandoned, but it was then effectively buried or disappeared by an exhibition proclaiming itself to be the definitive gallery of art works inspired by the words of William S. Burroughs… which contained not one image from this massive body of art. In fact it wasn’t mentioned once, even as a footnote, in the accompanying 192-page catalogue.

That is extraordinary enough given that the art wasn’t merely inspired by Burroughs but created in direct collaboration, but when you see what I see in front of me – all these thumbnails, elaborate storyboards, sketches, full pencils, Mayan-inspired line drawings, and then fully painted sweeps of integrated sequential art which have stretched the entire length of an art gallery wall – you will shake your head in wonder and dismay. There are vast scenes of ancient ritual, carnal lust and very modern warfare transcending time just as they were always intended.

The script was released thirty years ago without any images. This time the images are published without any words, thanks to Burroughs’ estate who forbade it. The resurrection therefore isn’t quite complete: for a full comprehension some assembly is required.

I mention that because while Mc Neill is an eye-popping artist, he’s not the most lucid of writers, making some reasonably simple ideas seem more complex than they need be:

Words are alchemical and writing is an act of magic, able to affect change in people’s minds and so the very world around them. We know this: we have read Alan Moore’s PROMETHEA.

Everything has already happened therefore time-travel is possible, if not inevitable, as is a form of telepathy – a communication shared through Ideaspace. We know that too: we have read Alan Moore’s interview by Eddie Campbell in A DISEASE OF LANGUAGE:

“An eloquent communicator of even the most complex metaphysical concepts, Moore elucidates on his notion of a shared Ideaspace and its topography of hot-linked associated thoughts, as explored in PROMETHEA and which he convincingly offers as a possible explanation not only for telepathy, but for ghosts and the otherwise inexplicably synchronous arrival of thoughts or inventions in ostensibly unconnected minds like steam propulsion.”

That’s from my review. Anything else we should know? Oh, yes, the plot. Here’s Malcom:

“Using sacred books of their own, Mayan mutants travel back and forth in time, contact young guys in the future, and bring down the whole show. Biological weapons burst over the cities of the world, breaking down species barriers and shutting down the human condition forever. Hart dies. End of civilisation, heroes sail off into the sunset…”

All right, then!

SLH

Buy The Lost Art Of Ah Pook Is Here h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Supercrooks h/c UK Ed’n (£14-99, Titan UK Ed’n) by Mark Millar & Leinil Yu…

“Here comes the pain, dick-bag. I’ll beat so hard your ancestors are gonna bleed!”

No, not Stephen finally catching up with a standing order customer who has left us in lurch with several months of uncollected comics and just disappeared without a trace… but some choice dialogue contained within the latest excellent offering from the self-styled “your chum, Mark Millar” (your chum being his lettercol sign off which, combined with the chin stroking picture, always makes me chuckle) and his artsy Millarworld pals, in this case, beat-down artiste extraordinaire Leinil Yu.

There is much to be said for the limited series format Millar seems to be concentrating on these days, with NEMESIS, SUPERIOR, KICK-ASS and the forthcoming SECRET SERVICE plus the much anticipated JUPITER’S CHILDREN. Firstly, it allows him to get his pick of artists like Yu, Romita Jr., Dave Gibbons and Frank Quitely schedule-wise, and secondly he can really concentrate on cramming in a ridiculous amount of ideas and action into each story without worrying about continuity. Also, given that last point, his cast of characters tend to be somewhat more… disposable… than those of Marvel and DC, which always helps up the ultra-violence-ante a welcome notch or two.

I have heard it espoused that he also likes to write this type of self-contained, high-octane yet relatively “simplistic” plots, because they are just begging to be adapted into films, but I don’t personally believe that is his primary motivation at all. I just think he’s found a groove of writing style he’s really enjoying, and has decided to run with it, simple as that. And with this material and indeed much of his current output, he is once again beginning to hit the levels of sophistication of superhero storytelling he achieved with WANTED (note: now available again without the horrific and ill-advised movie cover).

So, all you really need to know about this work, for me to avoid spoiling it in any way, is that a group of super-villains lead by the charismatic Johnny Bolt are planning a very audacious heist, to get their old school chum and mentor, The Heist, out of a rather tight spot. He’s racked up huge gambling debts with the vicious Salamander, who is planning on wiping out said debts by wiping out The Heist, unless he can settle up pronto. But the gang of veteran villains know that they’ve pretty much got no chance of pulling a huge caper off in the USA these days, where the myriad law enforcement agencies, not to mention dearth of superheroes, have made their profession somewhat untenable.

Therefore it’s off to sunny Spain, to target one of their own, the now retired ‘daddy’ of all super-villains, richer than Croesus – and you don’t get to be that wealthy without keeping both eyes firmly fixed on your stash – The Bastard. And errr… as you might expect, he hasn’t earned that name for his sunny disposition and forgiving nature. Cue a classic (super-)heist caper that has heart and humour, plus more than a little fisticuffs to boot… and boots to the head too.

JR

Buy Supercrooks h/c UK Ed’n and read the Page 45 review here

Secret Avengers vol 4: Run The Mission, Don’t Get Seen, Save The World s/c (£14-99, DC) by Warren Ellis & Jamie McKelvie, David Aja, Michael Lark, Kev Walker, Alex Maleev, Stuart Immonen.

Bang, bang, bang. Science fiction at its swiftest.

Like Ellis’ own GLOBAL FREQUENCY this contains six self-contained bursts of frantic covert activity which rely not one jot on any previous knowledge of this series or who these people are.

As drawn by Moon Knight’s Alex Maleev, the time-travel episode starring the Russian superspy Black Widow was so jaw-droppingly clever (and funny, and sad) that I read it three times, each time gleaning an extra nugget of clever. I think there may be one crucial panel missing – or at least a button that needed pressing on camera – but still…

It’s all gone catastrophically wrong: against overwhelming odds and some seriously high-tech weaponry, the Secret Avengers have failed. Sharon Carter, Steve Rogers and War Machine are dead. Reluctantly the Black Widow retreats – five years into the past – taking with her a responsive time-travelling device seemingly designed to tease her to death with hints about what she can and can’t do. What she cannot do is materialise behind the bad guys three minutes before she left with a bloody big gun.

“The flow of time must be preserved.”

What she can do is use her knowledge of the past to her maximum advantage and change time in such a way that it appears not to have changed at all… to fill in the gaps, as it were, with what she wants to happen. It is, as I say, ridiculously clever, right down to where the Shadow Council originally sourced their high-tech weaponry from. It’s all so self-fulfilling, Natasha cleaning up after herself beautifully. On top of that there’s a stand-out sequence of three-panel daily syndicated newspaper strips called ‘The Black Widow’ designed to look time-aged and repurposed with new captions in the word balloons just as Natasha herself is “repurposing” history.

In addition, Michael Lark provides some magnificent city snow scenes in Symakaria (borders on Latveria, Serbia and Transylvania, geographical fact fans) with the sort of rough textures we all loved in GOTHAM CENTRAL, while at the other end of the spectrum Jamie McKelvie (PHONOGRAM, SUBURBAN GLAMOUR, X-MEN: SEASON ONE) delivers a subterranean, futuristic cityscape on a breathtaking scale with the clairest of lignes imaginable.

SLH

Buy Secret Avengers vol 4: Run The Mission, Don’t Seen, Save The World s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Superman: Earth One vol 2 h/c (£16-99, DC) by J. Michael Straczynski & Shane Davis…

“’Who has the guns makes the rules’. And since you have the guns you think they give you power. You have no idea what power is. Let me show you.”

Cue Superman disintegrating the despot who has just presented him with a severed arm and informed him they will keep on coming, unless Superman leaves his country immediately. He hasn’t melted the dictator with his heat vision, of course, but that’s exactly what he’s wishing he’d said and done when reflecting upon the confrontation later on. Superman would never do that, though, would he? Well, this is Earth One, where things are… different. Except with the ever suspicious generals who are paranoid that they need a plan to stop this apparently benevolent alien, in any dimension, alternate or otherwise of course! Cue the entry of one resplendently hirsute Lex Luthor…

But, but, that is all merely a very small sideplot to set up what will presumably be volume three of Straczynski’s variation on a theme of ole big blue. I must say, I was actually expecting a direct follow on to the events of book one, given the legend on the front cover -’The Sequel to the #1 New York Times bestseller’ – and especially given the ending of said volume which was practically screaming sequel itself. This however, merely continues the adventures of Clark in Metropolis and introduces the new Earth One version of a classic villain, the Parasite. I shouldn’t say “merely” actually, because it is a great read in its own right, but I hope JMS will return to that initial storyline at some point as it was brilliant.

It is everything about the differences between the mainstream and this world’s Clark Kent that really makes this book though. It just works and feels natural and up to date in the way that Morrison’s recent reboot of ACTION COMICS also does. They both really focus on the struggles of Clark Kent the person in trying to act, if not feel, human, when he knows deep down he’s anything but. Which is why, of course, he finds his own unique solution to the dilemma of the despot, and it’s probably not one that the mainstream Clark would approve of but, hey, that’s what Earth One, when it’s done well, should be all about.

JR

Buy Superman: Earth One vol 2 h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Wolverine And The X-Men vol 1 s/c (£10-99, DC) by Jason Aaron & Chris Bachalo plus others.

“Whiskey!”
“Whiskey!”
“Whiskey!”
“Come back here, you stupid blue rats!”

In which a visit from the Department of Education school inspectors passes without incident. <snort> Everything that could possibly go wrong does go wrong on the first and possibly last day of term at the new Jean Grey School For Higher Learning, and teachers will surely empathise. There is, however, a great deal more that can go wrong in a school full of mutants which boasts the most dangerous boys’ bathroom in history. Also on the roll call: a junior Shi’Ar warrior, a young and studious member of the alien Brood, a mini-Apocalypse and the spawn of Krakoa, the Living Island.

“Is it a him or a her? Can a walking island have a gender?”
“Figure at some point it’ll come in handy to have school grounds that can fight back in need be. Plus I’m trying to teach it to turn our ponds into beer.”

And then there’s the infestation of tiny blue Bamfs out to steal Logan’s liquor. It’s an anarchic mix of misfits which makes the pupils of St. Trinians look like paragons of dutiful obedience, calm and conformity. That Kitty Pryde is headmistress is not unexpected; that Wolverine’s the headmaster is insane. The Toad is their janitor, by the way, and will be spending some considerable time cleaning up that bathroom later on.

Following directly on from the mini-series X-Men: Schism wherein Cyclops and Wolverine stopped seeing eye to eye, there has been a mass evacuation from the X-Men’s island of Utopia, Wolverine opting to educate the children rather than allow them to fight. Joining their faculty is the Beast who stopped enjoying Scott Summers’ increasingly militant company quite some time ago plus Iceman, Rachel Grey, Cannonball, Chamber, Husk, Karma, Frenzy, and Doop. Yes, Doop. He of the translatable alien language.

The schism was engineered by Kade Kilgore, school-aged son of a wealthy arms manufacturer, who’s forcefully inherited a fortune and multiplied it considerably by selling Sentinel technology on the back of the some pretty successful worldwide scare-mongering. It also secured him his seat as Black King of the Hellfire Club. His next move, then, is something of a surprise.

Writer Jason Aaron (SCALPED) appears to mainlined raw, liquid sugar, for the whole, frantic fiasco is played purely for laughs, and long may that continue. There’s even a couple of pages of school twitterfeed and a school prospectus in the back complete with extracurricular activities, special events and the proud school motto, “The best there is at what we do”. Courses include “Algebra Sucks: I Know, But You Still Have To Learn It” which is, naturally, delivered by Professor Bobby Drake who couldn’t even spell ‘quadratic equations’ let alone solve one.

Chris Bachalo (DEATH, SHADE THE CHANGING MAN, GENERATION X) plays the perfect co-conspirator with cartoon comedy postures, expressions and hyperkinetic action against backgrounds with an enormous attention to detail, injecting background and even foreground jokes galore. That he’s managed to make Apocalypse Jr. look cute is extraordinary.

Meanwhile the unruly Mr. Quentin Quire, Kid Omega, starts as he means to go on, dripping with attention-seeking sarcasm.

“The Wolverine Home For Wayward Boys. I can’t wait for that scene in the third act when your tough love finally breaks through my thorny exterior to reach the frightened, lonely little boy underneath. There won’t be a dry eye in the house. Should we just skip the drama and hug it out right here?”
“Shut your face, bub, before I cut it off. How’s that for tough love?”
“I’m feeling the magic already.”

SLH

Buy Wolverine And The X-Men vol 1 s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Assassin’s Creed vol 1: Desmond, vol 2: Aquilus, vol 3: Accipiter h/cs (£8-99, Titan) by Corbeyran & Djillali Defali

“Ah, Ezio, ciao bene! And look what you have for me: yet another page of the Codex. Just what I always wanted! You couldn’t have brought prosecco and panini, eh…?
“No matter, let’s see… Hmmm…
“If I transpose the letters for numbers, the directions for plumbers, and the lint in my belly for the leaves in my tea… Yessss… It is perfectly clear to me now! It is essential that you assassinate every minstrel in town. You will gain nothing, but I will be rid of my headache.”

Minstrels: do NOT be pestering me with your luting, fluting jibber-jabber.

I love Assassin’s Creed. After the Italian Baroque, the Renaissance is my favourite era of Art History and Venice my most treasured city in the world. To scale then dive-bomb off the all the Florentine landmarks was a dream come true. It was certainly one way to conquer my crippling fear of heights, and I could not believe the lighting. On the other hand I quickly developed a Pavlovian reaction to each city’s minstrels: come anywhere near me with a lyre and I will garrotte you. You couldn’t commit a worse crime if you’d cried for a team hug. It doesn’t matter if I’m executing the final few seconds of an intricate, fifteen-minute stealth-athon, it’s a “Hey Nonny No!” from me.

Imagine my relief, then, to enter Constantinople in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. No minstrels! Oh, there are the begging women who get in the way and spoil my stride, and I can’t kill them ‘cause they’re laydeez. But see, they’re not strumming and humming the same stupid tune on a loop that makes me see red.

So what do we have here? Well, it’s emphatically not what came out of Wildstorm. This is a brand-new trilogy of graphic novels with a beginning, middle and end written by XIII’s Corbeyran, each more in synch with the games themselves. For a start they star Desmond, held prisoner under high-security at that mysterious… well, I think “laboratory” is the wrong word. It’s a bit like referring to Buckingham Palace as “detached”. Anyway: secrets buried in DNA (check), Animus reactivated (check) and it’s off to relive lives past (check).

Book one sends Desmond back to the marketplaces of the Holy Land during the Third Crusades; book two sees him checking out Gaul under Roman occupation; and by book three it’s a full-on quest for a revenge – destination Rome! Meanwhile, in the present day, things are really heating up.

Confession: I haven’t read them, no. I skimmed for the sake of synopses. Me, I’d rather immerse myself in the computer games themselves, then write spurious reviews extrapolating real-life potential from their game-play. In the spirit of which…

Mission: read all three book on the bus without being spotted, causing a disturbance or being called a big geek. Could be a tricky one: hardly designed for stealth, the Assassins’ garb. For full synchronisation: using your eagle vision, identify the miscreant playing X-Factor downloads on their iPod, gather their headphone wire from behind and silently strangle them before missing your bus stop. Make sure they’re dead. Seriously, take no chances. Destroy that fucking iPod.

Further missions available throughout Nottingham City Centre (see map):

a) Poison anyone pissing in our doorway over the weekend. This unlocks Page 45’s shopfront, and so ‘b’ and ‘h’ below.
b) Protect Page 45 from stumbling junkie theft.
c) Assassinate a traffic warden (stealth not required: no one will come to their rescue).
d) Investigate why Nottingham’s Mayor is allowed to park on the pavement outside Natwest Bank between 10-30am and 4pm when the whole of the city centre is out of bounds for those legitimately delivering to retailers and so keeping their life-blood flowing.
e) Read Page 45’s other game tie-in graphic novel reviews especially SILENT HILL.
f) Tweet these review to your gaming friends/colleagues.
g) Show me how to successfully defend a den. I’ve not managed it once yet. I’m thinking of trying something more basic first, like Mr. Bob-san’s cat flap. I fear we will have intruders.
h) Populate your villa / student bedsit bookshelves by collecting all 7,000 different graphic novels from Page 45. The more you collect, the more visitors you will receive, the more graphic novels will go missing and… oh, I love this mission!

Are they making a graphic novel of Skyrim soon? I hope so. I want to show off my Clopsy.

SLH

Buy Assassin’s Creed vol 1: Desmond h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Buy Assassin’s Creed vol 2: Aquilus h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Buy Assassin’s Creed vol 3: Accipiter 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.

 
That (£5-99) by John Allison

Sandman volumes 1 to 10 Slipcase Edition (£150-00, Vertigo) by Neil Gaiman & various

Sandman vol 10: The Wake (New Ed’n) plus Slipcase (£16-99, Vertigo) by Neil Gaiman & Michael Zulli, Jon J. Muth, Charles Vess

Sandman vol 10: The Wake (New Ed’n) (£14-99, Vertigo) by Neil Gaiman & Michael Zulli, Jon J. Muth, Charles Vess

BPRD Plague Of Frogs vol 4 h/c (£25-99, Dark Horse) by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi & Guy Davis

Spaceman h/c (£18-99, Vertigo) by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso

Building Stories: Multi Storey Building Model (Limited Edition – Signed and Numbered) (£99-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Chris Ware

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo h/c (£14-99, Vertigo) by Stieg Larsson, Denise Mina & Leonardo Manco, Andrea Mutti

The Shadow vol 1: The Fire Of Creation s/c (£14-99, Dynamite) by Garth Ennis & Aaron Campbell

Sonic: Genesis (£10-99, Archie) by various

Sandman: Annotated Sandman vol 2 h/c (£37-99, Vertigo) by Neil Gaiman & Leslie S. Klinger

Adventures Of A Japanese Businessman h/c (£19-00, Nobrow) by Jose Domingo

Scott Pilgrim vol 2 h/c Colour Edition (£18-99, Oni Press) by Bryan Lee O’Malley

The Moonins And The Great Flood hardcover (£9-99, Sort Of) by Tove Jansson

Strontium Dog: The Life And Death Of Johnny Alpha – The Project (£14-99, Rebellion) by John Wagner & Carlos Ezquerra

Rogue Trooper: Tales Of Nu-Earth vol 2 (£16-99, Rebellion) by Gerry Finley-Day & Cam Kennedy, Brett Ewins, Steve Dillion, Robin Smith, Boluda, Trevor Goring

Mass Effect vol 4: Homelands (£13-99, Dark Horse) by various

Red Hood And The Outlaws vol 1 s/c (£10-99, DC) by Scott Lobdell & Kenneth Rocafort

JLA: Earth 2 softcover (£10-99, DC) by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely

Avengers Vs. X-Men h/c (£55-99, Marvel) by Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman, Matt Fraction & John Romita Jr., Oliver Coipel, Adam Kubert

X-Men: The Curse Is Broken s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Victor Gischler & Al Barrionuevo, Jorge Molina, Will Conrad, Salvador Espin

Fear Itself: Hulk and Dracula softcover (£18-99, Marvel) by Jeff Parker, Victor Gischler & Elena Casagrande, Gabriel Hardman, Ryan Stegman

Avengers Academy: Second Semester s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Christos Gage & Sean Chen, Tom Raney, Tom Grummett, Karl Moline

Strawberry Panic: The Complete Manga Collection (£10-99, Seven Seas) by Sakurako Kimino & Takuminamuchi

GTO: The Early Years vol 15 (£9-99, Vertical) by Toru Fujisawa

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

Psyren vol 7 (£6-99, Viz) by Toshiaki Iwashiro

Bleach vol 50 (£6-99, Viz) by Tite Kubo

Bleach vol 51 (£6-99, Viz) by Tite Kubo

Rosario + Vampire Season II vol 10 (£6-99, Viz) by Akihisa Ikeda

Claymore vol 21 (£6-99, Viz) by Norihiro Yagi

Blue Exorcist vol 8 (£6-99, Viz) by Kazue Kato

Naruto vol 59 (£6-99, Viz) by Masashi Kishimoto

Punch Up! vol 2 (£8-99, BL Sublime) by Shiuko Kano

Neon Genesis Evangelion vol 13 (£7-50, Viz) by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto

Triage X vol 1 (£10-50, Yen) by Shouji Sato

Pandora Hearts vol 12 (£8-99, Yen) by Jun Mochizuki

Black Butler vol 11 (£8-99, Yen) by Yana Toboso
Here’s something to frazzle and dazzle you: the astounding art of Tomer Hanuka. You can buy his OVERKILL from here, yes!

Joanthan Cape Graphic Short Story Prize 2012 Winners are up!

And Page 45 was on BBC Radio Nottingham again this Tuesday morning. Normally I am a gibbon but I really do think I nailed this one. 2 hours, 43.30 minutes in. Feel free to laugh at me – I can’t hear you from there!

Finally, you’ve seen the blog about the Page 45 December 2012 signing with Hope Larson & Bryan Lee O’Malley, right? We’re not going to shut up about it.

Have a preview of the SCOTT PILGRIM VOL 2  COLOUR EDITION!

- Stephen

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