Page 45 Graphic Novel Evening at the Broadway Book Club

On Thursday 26th September at 7-30pm I’ll appearing at Nottingham’s Broadway Cinema to host a very special, hands-on, interactive, graphic novel evening for Pam McIlroy’s Broadway Book Club. I will bring books; we will explore secrets!

Plus I’ll be providing extemporised show-and-tells on some of those same graphic novels and answer any questions you fancy. You’ll dictate how the evening will go.

Please note: space is in short supply, so if you’re not a member, please book ahead directly with Pam herself either via Twitter @Pamreader or using the contact form on Pam’s blog to the left of the screen under members:

The Hidden Secrets Of Graphic Novels

Playwright Edward Albee once declared that “Symbols should never be cymbals” and I concur: whether prose or comics, readers should be allowed to bathe in their brilliance and beauty without necessarily comprehending why. For maximum immersion you should never “hear” a writer typing or “see” a pen or a paintbrush pulled across the page – unless a fourth wall is undergoing extreme renovation.

Nevertheless, there are tricks to the trade and techniques to be delighted in, and I hope to provide both an introduction to graphic novels to those new to the medium, and some insights to their craft for those wishing to delve deeper with these graphic novels chosen specifically for their secrets. Ooooooh!

The Books

This evening has been planned as an introduction so you need not even look at these now – it’s more of an after-care service to jog your memory later – but here are the books I intend to bring with me. Each title has been linked to its Page 45 review, often with interior art.

We have autobiography, travel, history, historical fiction, contemporary fiction full of humanity, crime, horror (to steal someone’s hat is horrific), silence is golden, comics as a relay race, stoopid (I rather like stoopid), and maps. Yes, we have comics as maps. And 99 Ways To Tell A Story.

99 Ways To Tell A Story

Acme Novelty Library #20: Lint

Acme Novelty Library: Jimmy Corrigan

Alice In Sunderland

Asterios Polyp

City Of Glass

Criminal: The Dead And The Dying



Hawkeye vol 2


One Soul


Phonogram: The Singles Club

Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea

Solipsistic Pop 4

Some People

St Colin And The Dragon

Tamara Drewe

The Arrival

The Great War

The Mire

The Nao Of Brown

The Rabbits

This Is Not My Hat

I Want My Hat Back

Understanding Comics

Further to silence is golden, I wish I could represent the genre fourteen-component-parts-is-a-mind-melt but Chris Ware’s Building Stories would fill my suitcase on its own. And I’m bringing a suitcase, yes, like an old-school door-to-door salesman. Thankfully one with wheels: pulped, dead tree is very, very heavy.

I’ve Done This Before

I’ve done this before, but for the Windsor conference for school librarians 2012, so if you fancy a look at a similar suitcase of books for teenage and younger readers – plus their reviews and indeed school library information – try this link: Page 45 School Library Workshops.

And please, whenever you visit Page 45, just ask at the counter for recommendations just like this evening, and we’ll tailor them specifically to your particularly tastes.

The Broadway Book Club

The Broadway Book Club meets at the Broadway Cinema on the last Thursday of each month at 7pm. They’ve been going since January 2011 and the club currently has over 75 registered members. Learn more here:

The Page 45

Page 45 convenes every day from 9am to 6pm (except Sundays from 11am to 4pm, and Bank Holidays when we sleep). We’ve been going since October 1994 and currently have 3 certified members: Dominique, Jonathan, Stephen.

In 2012 Page 45 won the first ever award for Best Independent Retailer in Nottingham.

The Pulitzer Prize for World Peace has so far eluded us nor do we have any knighthoods.

 – Stephen

5 Responses to “Page 45 Graphic Novel Evening at the Broadway Book Club”

  1. […] I will be appearing at The Broadway Book Club at 7-30pm on Thursday September 26th for a Page 45 interactive evening of glo…. And yes, I done wrote a blog on that. Do have a click, even if you can’t come – you must book […]

  2. Reviews September 2013 week three - Escape Pod Comics says:

    […] I will be appearing at The Broadway Book Club at 7-30pm on Thursday September 26th for a Page 45 interactive evening of glo…. And yes, I done wrote a blog on that. Do have a click, even if you can’t come – you […]

  3. […] I will be appearing at The Broadway Book Club at 7-30pm on Thursday September 26th for a Page 45 interactive evening of glo…. And yes, I done wrote a blog on that. Do have a click, even if you can’t come, because there are […]

  4. […] Stephen Holland from Page 45 in Nottingham came along to the Broadway Book Club in September, loaded with a huge selection of graphic novels to inspire our members.  He began his talk by unfolding The Great War: An Illustrated Panorama Of July 1, 1916: The First Day Of The Battle Of The Somme by Joe Sacco across the floor to a collective gasp of astonishment from the group. There couldn’t have been a more dramatic way to demonstrate that these novels are a work of art.  The Great War is a 24 foot long panel depicting the camaraderie of a group of soldiers going to war at the beginning, to the remnants of what’s left of them at the end. Stephen talked the group through the panel, teaching them how to interpret the art just as you would paintings in a gallery. He then repeated the lesson through other forms of graphic novels including The Nao of Brown by Glyn Dillon and The Arrival by Shaun Tan.  When you read a graphic novel it’s about much more than reading the words, it’s about deciphering the pictures for the hidden meanings, and interpreting the subtlety of each character’s expressions and body language. Even the colours and techniques a graphic novelist chooses have meaning. I was delighted to learn at October’s book club meeting that one of our members, who teaches a year six class in a school, has been sharing what they learned during Stephen’s visit with their class through studying a graphic novel all month.  You can see the full list of graphic novels that Stephen shared with the club on the Page 45 website. […]

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