Reviews February 2014 week one

Wouldn’t you just die to star in a full page of Terry Moore’s RACHEL RISING? Well, now you can, but I’m afraid that you’ll have to. Die, that is!

Stephen on the Kill Me, Zoe! Competition. Please see our regular news section below!

RASL h/c (£29-99, Cartoon Books) by Jeff Smith.

Complete, in full colour, with sublime, monochromatic chapter breaks!

Under Jeff Smith’s direction these colours provided by Steve Hamaker with Tom Gaadt are like little else in the business, with a completely different aesthetic to BONE’s glossy gleam. For a start the paper stock is a lovely, thick matt while the colours themselves are soft and warm at night, yet clean and bright with wide, azure skies during the day out in the dessert.

There is an extended sequence towards the end when our battered and blood-caked RASL, weighted and weary, lets himself surf slowly down the scree slopes of the arid, clay-coloured outcrop exposed to a desiccating sun under the indifferent watch of a midday moon. There the blues and the sandy stones complement each other beautifully: heat and light and so much fresh air, even if it’s too hot to handle.

Jeff Smith even spent two weeks sweating bare-chested in the desert surrounded by cacti – something that’s imprinted itself on the art here. There’s a real physicality to the protagonist with slightly simian looks, his big mop of hair, his compacted, body-builder physique and the fountain of sweat that sprays off his face. Even the way he pulls up his slacks is sexually charged. You imagine he might have a growl like Tom Waits, and he sure likes his liquor bars and strip joints.


Does the name Nikola Tesla mean anything to you? He experimented with electricity and (some would say in hushed whispers) with much, much more. Credit went to his former friend turned ruthless and vengeful enemy, Thomas Edison, while Tesla’s monumental achievements in alternating current were followed by an obsession and deception which proved his downfall, sending him down a different road altogether.

This is a brutally noir piece of extrapolated science set over several fictional worlds in which our art-thief hero stole the technology he’s been using to hop between dimensions because it could have been used as an electromagnetic weapon. It involves parallel universes, conspiracy theory, Native American symbolism/spirituality and knowing your Bob Dylan. Well, it does for “RASL” Robert, which is why he knows he made the wrong turning at the pandimensional traffic lights.

Unfortunately someone or something is hot on his tail, has murdered his girlfriend and is on verge of murdering her counterpart if Robert can’t take the fight back to them…

The science he stole came from a research facility he once helped run. Now the dimensions appear to cracking. There are echoes, traces, visual footprints if you like, and seemingly random bursts of electricity strong enough to kill hundreds of birds in the sky. Then there’s the strange little girl, mute with a lolling head, who seems to know more than she should. On top of all this Robert has been complicating things beautifully by seeing two different women with multiple counterparts and… oh, you really do have to read this for yourself!

It’s eerie, unnerving, but utterly compelling, particularly the science itself. It is also, as you’d imagine, very, very beautiful with some extraordinary effects as the rooms start to ripple and morph.

£29-99 for all four volumes? This is a steal, but please don’t.


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

Lost At Sea 10th Anniversary h/c (£18-99, Oni) by Bryan Lee O’Malley.

“This is hard to admit but I am terrified of everything.”

Raleigh doesn’t have a soul. A cat stole it – or at least that’s what she tells people – or at least that’s what she would tell people if she told people anything. But that would mean talking to people, and the mere thought of social interaction is terrifying.

“Maybe I’ll waste away. That would be very literary.”

Raleigh accidentally gets invited along on a road trip. Never the biggest socialite in her year she slowly realises, as do they, that it’s an accident that she’s there, in the car, watching the world speed by. Or pretending to be asleep. Sometimes that’s easier, but lying awake in a motel bed is hard.

“All my stupid little thoughts beget stupid little thoughts, rampantly speculating every possible outcome of every possible situation until they’re all done to death and none of them could ever be true.”

Does that sound familiar?

So much will ring bells: the feeling that you’re the only person who thinks they’re fucked up or at the very least clueless. Rudderless. Drifting aimlessly, especially when young. It’ll all make sense in the end.

It’s such a beautiful summer, California doing what it does best, and Ian, Dave and Steph turn out to be good travelling companions. They turn out to be what Raleigh hasn’t had for four years since her best mate left: friends she can actually related to, trust and enjoy.

There’s a fabulous passage which demonstrates this bond during which the four of them catch cats in the middle of the night in the hope that they can find Raleigh’s soul. There are an awful lots of cats: they seem to follow Raleigh everywhere she goes. Each is presented to her in turn, some scrabbling frantically, hilariously, others just hanging limp as Raleigh stares into their big, inky, dilated pupils to see if her soul is inside. Where O’Malley succeeds where others might fail is that Raleigh’s new-found friends take the task seriously: they don’t think she’s crazy or an attention-seeking idiot, nor are they boozed-up or high on drugs. It’s magical.

Gradually Raleigh’s real story unfolds: why she was away from home and what she was doing the moment before the call came through inviting her on the road.

O’Malley’s art ten years ago met at a perfect point in between Andi Watson and early Kochalka and his story is somewhere near those two as well. It’s coloured in a deep salmon pink which makes the blacks look blue – oh wait, they are!

There’s one great panel early on where Raleigh is in the back seat of the car and Bryan’s got the light just right as it fall on her face, as she stares out of the window. More accurately it’s two great big panels set at slightly different angles which would ordinarily form an impossible wide-angled double-page spread, but the gutter in between isolates Raleigh, introspective and mournful, from Steph who is equally lost in her own little world, but it’s a loud one as she belts out a tune, eyes scrunched up, mouth wider than a train tunnel.

And he draws good cats. Bryan draws very good cats. Do you like cats? You will love this!

Includes previously uncollected LOST AT SEA short scenes at the back.

SLH after MAS

Buy Lost At Sea h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Awkward Silence Vol 1 (£8-99, Sublime) by Hinako Takanaga.

“I-I don’t mind… going out with you.”

Hurrah for ringing endorsements!

Against all shy Satoru’s meagre expectations and beyond his wildest daydreams, crush-worthy Keigo – captain of the school baseball team whom he has been doting on for terms at a time – has actually asked Satoru out!

It’s not a trick, a predatory power-play nor a dare. (All three of those have popped their ugly heads up in yaoi before now.) It’s not even a case of “Will they? Won’t they?” which can go on for entire series. Theirs is a genuine, mutual, healthy and wholeheartedly requited love, plus the shy guy gets asked out on page two! It’s just as well since Satoru was never going to be the one doing the pulling.

“Ahh… Why am I… so terrible at sharing my feelings?”

And why am I so late to this series? At the time of typing there are already four books and it’s the most popular yaoi in years! It’s not as if its fanbase – male and female alike – is remotely as reticent as Satoru. I am pestered months in advance for each new volume.

I credit some of its popularity to an empathy with Satoru, not to the extent of vocal paralysis, but in worrying about whether you are adequately expressing yourself, whether you’ve just said the wrong thing so early in a relationship and whether the strength of your love is indeed reciprocated. Clue: here at least, it really, really is and neither of our dreamboats is remotely tempted to stray. The rocky roads come from misunderstandings due to an endearing lack of presumption, a yearning during time spent apart, a little understandable jealousy about others’ attentions, and umm, yes, there is a certain degree of danger from without.

I’m a big fan of the art. It’s neither fey nor flowery and Hinako Takanaga’s body language is adorable especially during the canoodling for Satoru is very willing putty in Keigo’s manly hands but, hey, we have already established the guy is easily embarrassed. (Canoodling is a euphemism, yes.) Takanaga’s also nailed Satoru’s doe-eyed dithering: he does look pretty vacant even though there is a great big butterfly in his stomach and a lot going on in his tufty-haired head.

Brilliant! This is what yaoi should be about: actual love. However, if I have made this sound all-too plain sailing, I can assure you that there is enough dramatic irony to have you on the edge of your seats.

Also on the popularity front: who doesn’t love a dream come true?


Buy Awkward Silence Vol 1 and read the Page 45 review here

Weapons Of The Metabarons new edition h/c (£18-99, Humanoids) by Alexandro Jodorowsky & Travis Charest, Zoran Janjetov…

“For a Metabaron, defeat is not an option.
“Victory or death. And if I die in battle, my death will be a triumph!”

Errr… not quite sure how that works, but there’s certainly no doubt the Metabaron with no name is a glass-half-full kinda guy. Still, when you’ve never been defeated by any foe, indeed when no Metabaron has ever been defeated, optimism is bound to be running high. And maybe a smidgeon of high-octane hubris to boot! This time around though, our wandering warrior has a tough task ahead of him if he’s to acquire the four secret weapons that will allow him to drive the reptilian Hulzgeminis back into their own Universe.

It’s been a while since the last new Metabaron material so “Was it worth the wait?” is the big question. For fans of the series almost certainly, as this work picks up right where the others left off, though special mention must be made of Travis Charest’s (and also Zoran Janjetov’s) exquisite and intricately detailed art. It’s hard to comprehend how this is the same artist who used to illustrate Jim Lee’s WILDCATS back in the proverbial day, and it would be remiss of me not to observe that his skills have clearly continued to improve in the interim to a now truly exceptional level.

Those new to the whole Metabaron saga might be a little non-plussed by this work, especially given the somewhat thin nature of Jodorowsky’s plot, but that’s never really been the point with this series in many ways. If this piques your interest though, I do highly recommend the METABARONS ULTIMATE COLLECTED EDITION.


Buy Weapons Of The Metabarons new edition h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Marvel Masterworks: X-Men vol 6 (£18-99, Marvel) by Roy Thomas & Neal Adams with Don Heck.

The first of this title’s golden ages, this reprints #54-66, the final issues of original material before it retreated to reprints then was eventually being cancelled. Low sales. I know, right…? Oh, sales grew almost as soon as Neal Adams came on board with #56 but they had a long way to climb and the course proved too steep.

So why was this a golden age? Neal Adams. It’s really that simple.

After reading the first two issues here, Neal Adams’ very first page with its revolutionary neo-classicism is as startling as if the two-dimensional cartoon characters had come to three-dimensional, photographic life and jumped out of the page to live alongside you.

Whoosh: there’s your foreshortening, propelling your eye across the sky to your right in search of the X-Men’s objective! Whoa, look below! There’s the most enormous Egyptian archaeological dig above which tower gigantic stone statues of ancient Pharaohs set in the rock face behind them! A few feet below you and blasting ahead in their sleek, shallow, futuristic jet, sit the original X-Men: Iceman, Marvel Girl, The Beast leaping up and pointing to the distance excitedly; Cyclops and his newly discovered brother Alex on either side of their captive. But dead in the centre, directly in front of you, right on your eye line and flying through the sky on his very own wings is The Angel. His arms are spread wide to steer his flight path, his stomach is taut, his legs kick up from behind, and as for those wings… they are the wings of a swan!

Check out page 150, top-left-hand panel, and the way those enormous, bright-white wings fold round to the front in order to break in mid-air! There is so much movement here, as Iceman swoops down under the upraised arm of a killer Sentinel, freezing his ice-bridge as fast as he can. Panels lurch vertiginously as characters plummet from the sky. Cyclops braces his muscular back to counter the kick as he lets everything loose, pouring ever ounce of energy he can muster into his optic blast. It’s all so physical: you can feel their struggles!

Flashbacks become psychedelic scenes where all is line and colour, Adams’ rich shadows bleached of black and, as to the covers, I could cry. The composition of #59’s (“Do Or Die, Baby!”) is right up there with Caravaggio’s most famous of the three ‘David With The Head Of Goliath’s – another satisfying rhombus created by Cyclops’ back braced against the right-hand frame, his eye beams blasting diagonally down to the left on the same line of perspective as a Sentinel’s outstretched hand reaches towards Cyclops’ head; the two left-hand Sentinels’ torsos and legs drawing your eye back down to Cyclops’ leg on the left which takes you back up to where you started at his bright yellow crotch.

It should be noted that Don Heck together with Tom Palmer who is correctly credited as “embellisher” rather than mere inker here, do an extraordinary job of imitating Neal Adams in #64, and there are some fascinating colour guides in the back along with black and white pages, an unused cover (shame!) and some later covers for later collections not one of which matches the originals also reproduced here.

So are you curious to learn what happened before the original X-Men were relegated to guest stars in other titles? It’s really quite epic: The Living Monolith, Sentinels, Sauron, Ka-Zar, Magneto, Sunfire and a wholesale alien invasion. Introduces Havok, reprises Polaris and bids you good night.


Buy Marvel Masterworks: X-Men vol 6 and read the Page 45 review here

Guardians Of The Galaxy vol 2: Angela h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli, Francesco Francavilla.

“The Brotherhood of the Badoon!”
“There is a Sisterhood as well.”
“How do you know if this is the Brotherhood or the Sisterhood?”
“I guess one would have to look under their snvarnak.”
“Well, I’m not doing that.”

No, not very lady-like. Certainly not the proper behaviour of an angel from Heven, which must be missing one right now. Neil Gaiman’s Angela is a little off course, but we will get to that momentarily.

Ah, Sara Pichelli! You are aware of Sarah Pichelli, of course? Possibly her highest profile comic so far has been the Miles Morales ULTIMATE COMICS: SPIDER-MAN VOL 1, also written by Bendis, and there I swooned over the subtlety and humanity of her expressions. It’s still the scene I first show anyone new to that title: Miles and his Dad in the park. Highly recommended.

Sara brings a grace and elegance to every page she touches and, here, a great deal of humour and sass. Well, she does have Tony Stark to work with. Also, Thanos. My, but her Thanos is monumental and imposing, looming over Star-Lord like the Titan he is during the private conversation they probably shouldn’t have been having. Not with Thanos’ estranged daughter Gamora on the team, although it will prove vital later on.


Now Star-Lord has had a vision. More accurately, he has experienced echoes of a rift in the space-time continuum catalysed by events in the AGE OF ULTRON, and is lucky to be here at all. Less fortunate is Angela, a character created by Neil Gaiman for Todd McFarlane’s SPAWN which Todd McFarlane created after a rift with Marvel over creator rights which he then proceeded to stamp all over. Neil Gaiman took him to court and successfully sued the hypocrite. Jonathan did ask me, “What is Angela even doing in a Marvel Comic?” I would suggest it’s a strain of poetic-justice revenge about as mature as thumbing your nose and sticking your tongue out at someone. I approve!

So Angela is no longer creator-owned but copyright Marvel and has found herself in the Marvel Universe. I don’t really approve of that first bit but this was the ideal opportunity to slip her in here if you were going to do so. There are misunderstandings. Fisticuffs even. Fisticuffs with laser sabres and a Watcher appears. That’s always ominous.

“Her presence here is most concerning.”

I’m not sure which bit of this The Watcher disapproves of.

Anyway, Angela eventually proves a new ally and just in time for Thanos is about to launch himself at Earth for the INIFINITY event and this does tie into it tangentially. The bits on either side are infinitely preferable and dappled with wit, as when Angela goes to Earth, perhaps in search of Heven’s place there.

“You know it’s not really on Earth.”
“I’m sorry.”
“Heaven. It’s not on Earth. That was just some crap Belinda Carlisle tried to sell us to make us feel better about the Go-Go’s breaking up.”

For much more Thanos (background and best-ever appearances, by his original creator), please see WARLOCK BY JIM STARLIN COMPLETE COLLECTION S/C.


Buy Guardians Of The Galaxy vol 2: Angela h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Warlock By Jim Starlin Complete Collection s/c (£25-99, Marvel) by Jim Starlin.

Following his run on CAPTAIN MARVEL in which he created Thanos, the craggy-chin Titan besotted by Death, this is Starlin’s most significant contribution to comics, and one of those rare, enormously satisfying, self-fulfilling time loops.

Never has butterscotch been so attractive as it is on Adam Warlock’s skin. The colour, I mean. Fans of Bryan Talbot’s ADVENTURES OF LUTHER ARKWRIGHT will relish the art as much as the introspection and the adversarial role of The Universal Church of Truth with all the ruthless repression, hypocrisy and indoctrination that comes with our own organised religions. So here we go, the cosmic saga:

Warlock is a star traveller with a Soul Gem which sits on his forehead ready to rip out opponents’ life force like a glistening vampire. But it comes with a cost – a burden of guilt – for very early on Adam comes into contact with The Universal Church Of Truth’s handiwork, learns that it’s headed by The Magus, and discovers that this Magus is his future self corrupted and driven insane by his experiences. From that moment on he sees but one course of action: he has to cauterise the future by terminating his own lifeline before it’s too late. And that’s precisely what he achieves when he’s confronted by a bloody, broken version of himself lying in the ruins of some future battle:

“You… So my time has really come.”
“You know why I am here?! Then you must also realise I’ve no desire to do what I must now do!”
“Of course I understand, you idealistic buffoon! Are not you and I one and the same person? My final moments are upon me! I am dying and you have come to steal my soul so that it will never become the foe I defeated those long months ago!”
“Months… I didn’t realise it had happened such a short time ago!”
“Short time?! You fool, it’s been an eternity! During that time, everything I’ve ever cared for or accomplished has fallen into ruin! Everyone I’ve ever loved now lies dead! My life has been a failure! I welcome its end.”

That takes place approximately one-third of the way through. It’s only then that the rough stuff starts happening and Adam has to endure all that was promised until, in a final battle against Thanos alongside Captain Marvel and the Avengers, Adam Warlock falls, and you see precisely the same scene played out in a new perspective.

It is gutting.

A tonne of extras at the back include the “lost” issue of WARLOCK pencilled by Alan Weiss. I don’t know why I use inverted commas because it was indeed well and truly lost, left like some civil servant’s State Secrets in a New York City taxi cab.

Fortunately embellishing artist Steve Leialoha saved photocopies of those pencils and exceedingly beautiful they are too, easily matching the neo-classical figure work of Jim Starlin who himself is at his very pinnacle on these pages, although they really have made a dog’s dinner of “updating” the colouring on this collected edition’s cover.


Look: much cleaner, much fresher, more impact!


Buy Warlock By Jim Starlin Complete Collection s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man vol 5 h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & David Marquez.

Love the cover’s homage to John Romita Sr’s classic interior page in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #50!

The insides are pretty gorgeous too: Justin Ponsor provides some delicate, dappled light under the trees in the college park, while David Marquez’s body language shows everyone still tentative around each other a whole year after the catastrophic events in ULTIMATE COMICS: SPIDER-MAN VOL 4.

My review there is entirely spoiler-free, and this one will be brief in order to ensure that stays so, but the fact that an entire year has passed should give you some indication of its severity. I repeat: I never saw it coming.

Guest stars include Gwen Stacy and Jessica Drew, there’s more surreptitious shenanigans in Roxxon’s Laboratories for the Pathologically Unethical, plus Cloak and Dagger make their first Ultimate appearances and dear god but no one here is allowed a moment’s happiness, are they?

Lastly, strong hints about the future post-CATACLYSM are first laid here.

Miles Morales’ tenure as Spider-Man has been every bit as thrilling as Peter Parker’s – so much happens so fast, and implore to start at this fresh beginning with ULTIMATE COMICS: SPIDER-MAN  VOL 1.


Buy Ultimate Comics Spider-Man vol 5 h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Batman And Son s/c repackaged edition (£14-99, DC) by Grant Morrison & Andy Kubert, J.H. Williams III, Tony S. Daniel.

Softcover edition of BATMAN: BLACK GLOVE DELUXE h/c which was in fact a collection of Both BATMAN & SON and BLACK GLOVE softcovers. Hahahahaha! *thunk*

In any case, this is the starting point of the Grant Morrison run and is ridiculously good value for money.

Batman learns he may have a son, and a fairly brattish one at that. Raised by his mother, Talia al Ghul, amongst international terrorists, he is of course just another weapon in Talia’s silo, and you wouldn’t normally take a ticking time bomb home with you, would you? It’s not good news for Robin (“He was my rival.”), but it does give Alfred further opportunity for arched eyebrows and the odd bon mot.

Then there are the other two Batmen which Bruce has encountered, with a threat of a third later on in the book, tied somehow to the Black Book which Wayne composed of all the weird stuff he’s encountered that he couldn’t logically explain (see BATMAN: BLACK CASEBOOK) Both so far were cops, one berserk on steroids, and there’s a cover-up in progress.

Kubert’s art is some of the most attractive I’ve seen on this title. In some ways he’s a straightforward superhero artist with enormous panache, and so succeeds here in opening up and reinvigorating the tired and murky proceedings, just as Morrison has done with his flash and brash James Bond approach. This isn’t the “difficult” Morrison some enjoy of SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY or INVISIBLES. It’s just as confident, not at all “lite” and certainly not lacking in surprises as evidenced by part seven set in the future, and that grotesque gothic prelude set in Arkham Asylum. Instead, it’s as slick and clipped as an Ellis script, only slightly more reasonable and with room for a little tenderness.

Together, Grant and Andy created something rather sexy but you wait until J.H. Williams III, the Lord Of Innovative Layouts to rival Neal Adams, comes along for what is essentially an Agatha Christie murder spree set on The Island Of Mister Mayhew. For this Grant resurrects yet more arcane Bat-lore, this time involving “Johnny Foreigner” Batman variants (and possibly deviants) from all over the globe.

It’s creepy, claustrophobic, tense and explosive, JH Williams modulating the atmosphere with art styles and homages galore, as the story of The Black Glove unfolds and we hurtle ever forward towards BATMAN: RIP.


Buy Batman And Son s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Page 45 Tote Bag (£2-99, Page 45) by Mark & Stephen.

Oh, this has come out beautifully – beyond our wildest dreams!

Printed black on calico, and in the richest detail on the sturdiest of soft fabrics, Page 45 presents its 20th Anniversary Tote Bag, a variation on our classic carrier bag design which has long been a fashion statement and status symbol!

It measures 15” across and 16” deep, and I’ve just slipped in forty comics with ease and slung it over my shoulder – nor did it bite into my palm when carried by hand. You could easily fit in another dozen, or a whole bunch of graphic novels.

No one can remember who designed what any longer, though the leaves were definitely Mark’s flourish a few years after we opened. Blown up this large, you can really see the slight bite I couldn’t get rid of at the bottom of the oval, but I rather like it!

The lettering’s been rearranged to form a satisfying composition for these new dimensions, but even I can’t waffle on any longer about something which is basically a bag, so I end with a big tip of the hat to Oversolve for such a pristine print and speedy delivery. Yippee!


Buy Page 45 Tote Bag 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.


Alone Forever (£7-50, Top Shelf) by Liz Prince

Atomic Sheep (£14-99, Markosia) by Sally Jane Thompson

Pachyderme h/c (£14-99, SelfMadeHero) by Frederik Peeters

Star Wars Origami s/c (£13-00, Workman) by Chris Alexander

Locke & Key vol 6: Alpha & Omega h/c (£22-50, IDW) by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez

My Little Pony: Pony Tales vol 2 s/c (£13-50, IDW) by various

Axe Cop vol 5: Axe Cop Gets Married (£10-99, Dark Horse) by Malachai Nicolle & Ethan Nicolle

Sherlock Holmes And The Vampires Of London h/c (£13-50, Dark Horse) by Sylvain Cordurie & Laci, Axel Gonzalbo, Jean-sebastien Rossbach

Mass Effect Foundation vol 1 s/c (£12-99, Dark Horse) by Mac Walters & Tony Parker, Omar Francia

Blade Of The Immortal vol 28: Raining Chaos (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Hiroaki Samura

Dial H vol 2: Exchange s/c (£12-99, DC) by China Mieville & various

JLA vol 4 s/c (£18-99, DC) by Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, various & Howard Porter, Mark Pajarillo, Walden Wong, Mark Propst

Superman: Family Adventures vol 2 s/c (£9-99, DC) by Franco Baltazar & Art Baltazar

Flash vol 2: Rogues Revolution s/c (£12-99, DC) by Francis Manapul, Brian Buccellato & Francis Manapul, Marcus To, Ray McCarthy

The Batman Judge Dredd Collection s/c (£17-99, Rebellion) by John Wagner, Alan Grant & Simon Bisley, Glenn Fabry, Val Semeiks, Cam Kennedy, more

Captain America: Living Legend s/c (£9-99, Marvel) by Andy Diggle & Adi Granov

Infinity h/c (£55-99, Marvel) by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Spencer, Jason Latour & various

Indestructible Hulk vol 3: S.M.A.S.H. Time (UK Edition) s/c (£10-99, Marvel) by Mark Waid & Matteo Scalera, Kim Jacinto, Mahmud Asrar

Bleach vol 59 (£6-99, Viz) by Tite Kubo

Negima! Omnibus 4: vols 10-12 (£14-99, Kodansha) by Ken Akamatsu

Negima! Omnibus 5: vols 13-15 (£14-99, Kodansha) by Ken Akamatsu

Negima! Omnibus 6: vols 16-18 (£14-99, Kodansha) by Ken Akamatsu

Negima! Omnibus 7: vols 19-21 (£14-99, Kodansha) by Ken Akamatsu

Negima! Omnibus 8: vols 22-24 (£14-99, Kodansha) by Ken Akamatsu

Peepo Choo vol 1 (£9-99, Vertical) by Felipe Smith


ITEM! Here’s a reasonable new photo of Page 45: the comedy, young adult and manga sections, anyway. About a tenth of our shop floor. The rest of the graphic novels have been moved around quite dramatically this weekend so that so many more are face-on! If all at disconcerted, please just ask at the counter!

ITEM! Swoonaway New Yorker cover by Tomer Hanuka. The line, light and colour are delicious! Here’s Tomer Hanuka’s website for you to drown in its beauty.

ITEM! More eye-candy: JUST SO HAPPENS coming from Jonathan Cape later this month.

ITEM! SALLY HEATHCOTE, SUFFRAGETTE  by Dr. Mary Talbot & Kate Charlesworth, Dr Bryan Talbot is on its way in May – May 1st to be precise! I’ve read it from cover to cover and it is a belter!

ITEM! Remember all those new creator-owned titles by the likes of Brubaker & Phillips, Gillen & McKelvie and Snyder & Jock announced at the Image Expo this other week? Here’s an interview with Image Publisher Eric Stephenson about the new series, including their covers or at least promo art. Have you notice how much he looks like music god Terry Hall?

ITEM! Craig Conlan’s GHOST CAT’S ABOMINABLE ADVENTURE is a feast of colour. Sunglasses advised.

ITEM! Hourly Comics Day was this Saturday, I think. Creators volunteer to create a comic every hour, on the hour, about that hour. I caught some beauties this year.

Hourly Comics Day 2014 by Dan Berry – scroll down!

Hourly Comics Day 2014 by Rebecca Tobin – scroll down!

Hourly Comics Day 2014 by Sally Jane Thompson – click “next” under each hour!

Hourly Comics Day 2014 by Joe Decie – oh god, I don’t know. Maybe click on the top-left page of the grid, then click on the black space to the right and then click on the next page along and repeat! Worth it, though!

ITEM! The British Comics Awards 2014 is up and running and open for you nominations! You can nominate as many comics and graphic novels as you like and as often as you like, so pop a few in now then more as you discover them! The poor Committee will then have to read every single one. Hahahahahaha!

ITEM! Finally, wouldn’t you just die to star in a full page of Terry Moore’s RACHEL RISING? Well, now you can, but I’m afraid that you’ll have to. Die, that is!

For almost 24 issues young, sweet, innocent Zoe has been murdering the townsfolk in all manner of inventive ways, and now she’ll go for your jugular too.

It’s the Kill me, Zoe, competition!

Here she is on the cover to RACHEL RISING VOL 4: WINTER GRAVES which will arrive shortly and complete the first story arc by taking you right up to and including #24. To avoid having to wait another year for book five you can then launch straight into RACHEL RISING #25 and even pop it on your Page 45 Standing Order so you don’t miss an issue!


See you on the mortuary slab!

– Stephen

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