Reviews May 2014 week four

If you want some of the most impassioned and eloquent writing in comic check out the dialogue below on the US Death Penalty.

 – Stephen on Ex Machina Book 2 by SAGA’s Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris

The Boxer: The True Story Of Holocaust Survivor Harry Haft (£14-99, SelfMadeHero) by Reinhard Kleist…

“The man hadn’t volunteered. Now I knew what was meant by… ‘when one of you can’t fight any longer.’ I was sure they’d shoot me if I refused.”

I am pretty sure he was right, given that is precisely what ended up happening to the losers shortly after Harry Haft – or Hertzko to use his birth name – had knocked them out. The fights in question took place in concentration camps, purely for the purpose of entertaining the German guards and their guests.

I could write a whole essay, several actually, on the barbarism and inhumanity to man which took place during the Second World War, but given what else took place in the concentration camps themselves, it is not remotely surprising that Harry did what was necessary to survive in any given moment. There comes a point beyond which, if you want to survive, if you have a strong enough reason to endure such unimaginable horror and suffering, it inevitably becomes every man for himself. Win and survive, lose and die, Harry fought 76 fights, effectively to the death, in the Jaworzno concentration camp…

In Harry’s case, it was the thought of a woman called Leah he was about to marry. The thought of being reunited with her drove him to fight to stay alive. And those fighting instincts carried him through his internment, and subsequently ensured he took his chance to immigrate in somewhat quasi-legal circumstances to America. Even once there, in the relative comfort of Brooklyn, he never forgot Leah, in fact he was convinced she also had made it to the promised land of America, he decided to re-enter the boxing ring. Unable to track her down, assuming she had entered the country under a false name like he had, he figured if he could make a name for himself as a boxer, she would get to hear about him and know he was alive.

Whilst Harry did indeed achieve some measure of success, winning his first twelve straight pro fights, proudly sporting a Star of David, yellow in ironic appreciation of the Nazis’ badge of shame for the Jews during the war, eventually he came up against the unstoppable force that was Rocky Marciano, a fight which brought the curtain down on his career. There were subsequent claims of Mafia threats to throw the fight, never proven, but the loss was devastating enough to make Haft realise he had taken his personal journey into the realms of the sweet science as far as he possibly could. Opening a corner store, taking a wife and having three kids, he moved on whilst never quite forgetting his first love. Which brings us neatly to the road trip an older Harry and his son Alan took whilst they were on holiday as a family in Miami, 1963. The unscheduled excursion neatly bookends this traumatic tale of one man’s determination to achieve his heart’s desire, and proves that sometimes all you have to do is have the iron will to see it through.

Some of you may be familiar with the creator Reinhard Kleist from his excellent biography of CASTRO. There is something about Reinhard’s gritty black and white art style which lends itself perfectly to such pieces. I can see various influences and comparisons, not least the great Will Eisner. This is a brilliantly told work of one man’s story which, like so many others from that time, should, indeed must not be forgotten.


Buy The Boxer: The True Story Of Holocaust Survivor Harry Haft and read the Page 45 review here

MPH #1 of 5 (£2-25, Image) by Mark Millar & Duncan Fegredo.

It’s a joy to see Duncan Fegredo back in the real world again – well, something more approximating it than HELLBOY: MIDNIGHT CIRCUS. That was an ethereal beauty and Fegredo was perfect for a series starring a big red guy with enormous hands. The hands!

However, it’s the cool and contemporary I love most about him – the arched expressions and Rodin-like wrists, often at angles in TALES FROM THE CLERKS, for example. There’s a gloriously subtle sequence kicked off when Chevy looks away from a bearded, bald biker dude just as that dude takes an interest in him. It’s a perfect panel, all the important elements including their stares composed along the lines radiating from its vanishing point, far right. Story page nine, panel two once you’ve bought this. I won’t tell you where it’s set: this review’s spoiler-free, I promise.

In 1986 the first and only sighting of a superhuman occurred late at night after he “ran out of juice” in Missouri. Rocketing uncontrollably at such an impossible speed across multiple speeds that he left a tornado-level trail of destruction in his wake, ploughing up compacted earth and asphalt, busting through buildings and shattering glass, Mr Springfield staggered to a halt and was promptly arrested, drugged and locked away in solitary confinement by the United States Army.


That was it for superhumans for nearly thirty years. Now it’s 2014 and young, ambitious, forward-thinking Roscoe, a courier in bankrupt Detroit, is in for a shattering experience of his own. That’s long before he experiences his own MPH.

Anything more than that would constitute spoilers and I made you a promise. Besides, I have many more questions than I have answers – especially after the final page – and that’s just as it should be for any opening salvo.

Coming back to Fegredo, however, and I told you he was a dab hand at contemporary, so I leave you with the cover to MPH #2.

Now that’s how you stand out on shelves.


Buy MPH #1 and read the Page 45 review here

Polina h/c (£16-99, Jonathan Cape) by Bastien Vives…

“Hello Mrs. Litovsky, I would like to talk about Polina.”
“Tell me, Mr. Bojinsky.”
“I would like her to dance in a performance, and I’ve come to consult you about when I could borrow her for rehearsals. With your permission of course.”
“Absolutely not, Mr. Bojinsky. There’s the end of year assessment. And Polina needs to work hard to reach the right level; if she fails she won’t be able to move up to the next year.
“On top of that, for your information, I’m having a hard time correcting all the horrors you put into the heads of your former pupils!
“So I find you extremely impertinent coming here asking me something like this.
“As you well know, I don’t share your conception of dance one bit!”
“I must confess, I do try to train my pupils for work beyond musical comedies and folk entertainment.”
“You repellent man! I would rather leave than listen to this kind of nonsense. Goodbye, Mr. Bojinsky.”
“Goobye Mrs. Litovsky!”
“Polina… tell me, can I count on you? We’ll find a solution for the rehearsals.”
“I’d be delighted, Mr. Bojinsky.”

Wonderful absorbing character study from the man who brought us A TASTE OF CHLORINE. (By the way, if there is anyone out there who knows what the woman says to the boy underwater in the conclusion of that work, please, please tell me, because I would dearly love to know!) Polina wants to be a dancer, and she has natural talent and aptitude. But more than that, she has the attitude and single-minded determination to succeed. Whilst the other girls eventually succumb to the distractions and socialising down the pub and the temptations of boys, Polina’s focus remains firmly on being a dancer.


In that respect she is aided, indeed directed in her early years, by the somewhat stentorian Mr. Bojinksky. Not in the vocal sense, but he has the manner of someone who simply brooks no dissent. If you are not interested in doing it his very exacting way, well, you will be shown the door. He isn’t mean or cruel, but he rarely shows approbation either. Not that this is a stereotypical story of the early years of someone destined for stardom, moulded by a rigid disciplinary, though. The time soon comes when Polina begins to question where she is headed, both artistically and as a person, and decides to strike out on her own. But, undoubtedly, Mr. Bojinsky remains the primary influence upon her, even subconsciously. So, when she finds herself at a cross-roads in her career and personal life, it’s perhaps not surprising she turns back toward to the bedrock of stability whom she has always been able to rely on.

As with A TASTE OF CHLORINE, much here is about what is not said, both what doesn’t need to be, and what people are incapable of expressing. He understands the subtleties of human emotion, does Mr. Vives, and, better yet, is capable of illustrating it so delicately in this form. And as with that previous work, there are turning points upon which the story hinges, where your heart will either melt or break. One of the most powerful moments in this work for me comes when Mr. Bojinsky removes his glasses: there’s a transformation which takes place, on many different levels, that is as revealing as it is remarkable. It’s such a subtle nuance, but then the glasses are replaced and, whilst everything is seemingly exactly as it was, it has undoubtedly changed forever.

Art-wise, whilst there are some similarities of style, it is a different approach from A TASTE OF CHLORINE. Understated yet expressive. Graceful and poised, like a ballerina, it shows what a truly accomplished talent Bastien Vives is.


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

The Last Broadcast #1 of 7 (£2-99, Archaia) by André Sirangelo & Gabriel Iumazark.

Dominique spotted this one.

I think the art said BEDLAM to her and she loves her Bedlam, does Dee. There’s a bit of Ben Templesmith going on too, only more angular. Ashley Wood. Those sorts of comparisons.

There’s a cracking full-page shot of urban exploring 100 feet below San Francisco, looking up from ankle level at gas-masked Niko and Harumi, the two on the cover.

“Look at that crazy door. I think the map is legit after all.”
“If the map is accurate, crazy door is just the beginning.”

It is indeed. Cogs whirr and the metal hatch – the sort of thing you’d find on a submarine – opens – and there’s quite the room inside. The sequence puts me in mind of Riven or Myst. Not stylistically, but in its overall effect of haunting strangeness and thrilling discovery.

What’s uncovered is not unconnected to Ivan The Intrepid, a young escapologist with confidence issues. He’s about to bugger up an audition during which he relates the doomed career of Blachall The Incredible, “a master of shock and awe” who hit it big in 1925 at the Paris World’s Fair. Then he bit the bullet in London, 1934, after a staged game of Russian Roulette went wonky.

This too is about to go wonky but with less catastrophic consequences… so far. Ivan doesn’t lose his life; he loses Alex, his business partner whom Ivan treats as his assistant. It’s partly because of that and partly because Alex has stopped taking his meds. They were making him sluggish, which is bad news for an escapologist. I anticipate further bad news nonetheless: he’s been off them for 48 hours.

With his income teetering on the non-existent Ivan begs magazine publisher Dmitri for work, but Dmitri has lost his last sponsor. What he gains is something altogether unexpected.

In precisely which ways this all fits together remains a mystery, but in any case all this takes place 8 weeks before the explosion at a funfair in San Francisco.


Buy The Last Broadcast #1 and read the Page 45 review here

The Graphic Novel Man DVD: The Comics of Bryan Talbot (£15-99) co-created by Russell Wall and James Guy with substantial contributions by Neil Gaiman, Warren Ellis, Joe Sacco, Ian Rankin, Michael Moorcock, David Lloyd, Dougie Braithwaite, Dr. Mary Talbot, Hunt Emerson, D’Israeli, Pat Mills, John Wagner, Al Davison, Andy Diggle, Paul Gravett, Dr. Mel Gibson, Charlie Adlard, Dez Skinn and more!

Fascinating, thrilling and completely accessible, this is a well deserved and worthy tribute to one of the world’s greatest comicbook creators, truly a “Renaissance Man.”

Seeing whole pages or even the tiniest details blown up in such crystal-clear definition is a joy.

Watching Bryan draw is magical.

Listening to him enthuse about his influences is infectious.

If you love comics but haven’t yet read a word Bryan has written or seen a page that he’s drawn you will still love this three-programme documentary, be fascinated by Bryan’s craft, then be galvanised into seeking out whichever of his diverse graphic novels appeals to your personal predilections: ALICE IN SUNDERLAND, THE TALE OF ONE BAD RAT, DOTTER OF HER FATHER’S EYES, GRANDVILLE… Oh, pop him in our search engine!

You might want to take another look at his SANDMAN contributions too once both Gaiman and Talbot have explained the creative decisions each made for ‘August’: verticals, horizontals, diagonals and so much white! And yes, you might not notice it but the shadows do shift from west to east according to the time of day!

I didn’t know what some of these comicbook creators lining up to heap praise on Talbot actually looked like until. Who knew Andy Diggle was so young? Joe Sacco looks far more svelte and handsome than he draws himself, while Warren Ellis is a million miles away from the cranky cadaver he pretends to be, positively beaming with affection for Bryan’s craft. I haven’t seen Charlie Adlard for decades – wouldn’t recognise him.

The first programme covers the creator’s life and career with plenty of old film footage of him acting his socks off in horror films he made as a teenager. As you’d imagine, Dr. Mary Talbot is on hand to elaborate on the scenes from DOTTER OF HER FATHER’S EYES in which they met and married, and Bryan was introduced to Mary’s domineering father. Bryan recounts how he took a Foundation Course taught by three abstract artists who forbade figurative work completely! So that doesn’t go well. It’s all put into comicbook context so you’ll find potted histories of genres from underground comics to steampunk.

The second feature deals with Bryan’s approach to creating comics from extensive research, note-taking and photography (“obsessing”, basically, and often for years), then meticulously mapping out the structure of each book on enormous sheets of paper stuck together and arrows going every which way so that events can be foreshadowed and bits of dialogue dropped in… to finally cracking into the pages themselves. Once more his creative peers are on hand to extol the artist’s virtues and point out bits and pieces we may have all missed.

In the third episode you actually get to watch the man at work on GRANDVILLE. Whoa!

Each instalment is so seamlessly edited, deftly cutting to form one long, fluid narrative – an entertainment, in fact.

I have only one criticism in the vein of “Never judge a book by its cover”: don’t be put off by the cover’s woefully out-of-date design, its hideous type-face on the front and back, and the initial, endless repetition before each programme of Digital Story Engine’s logo and website address. Push past them! The films themselves are as slick as can be.

One small warning too: this DVD contains a great deal of me, popping my head up above the comics counter and mouthing off just when you least expect it. Sorry.



Buy The Graphic Novel Man DVD: The Comics of Bryan Talbot and read the Page 45 review here

Moomin’s Desert Island (£6-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Tove Jansson.

“Are they after us?”
“I hope so!”

Everyone loves to be chased.

Thirty-five pages of full-colour whimsy from one of the black and white MOOMIN hardcovers in which our flailing family of unceasing optimists finds themselves marooned on a dessert island. They don’t mind: in MOOMIN VOL 7 they actively set out to shipwreck themselves, and found it surprisingly difficult!

Moominmamma’s immediate priority is to go foraging for food, carrying her handbag – as you do – and hunting a wild boar with her compact. I’m not even kidding you. She blows make-up powder up its nose and into its eyes, seasons it with salt (it’s a well equipped handbag) and sets fire to the poor brute, shaggy coat and all.

However, Moominmamma isn’t the only Moominmummy on the island. Plus Moomintroll discovers a message from The Mymble bobbing in a bottle on the sea.

“Help! I am the beautiful prisoner of the pirates on board the black shark!”

Beautiful? Uh-oh. Well, it wouldn’t be MOOMIN if Snork Maiden didn’t sulk. It’s so like Tove Jansson to be that random: Moominpappa, Moominmamma, Moomintroll and … Snork Maiden. Maybe Moomin’s the name of the family, not the species – that’s only just dawned on me!

The laugh-out-loud sequences involve the Professor who boarded the helicopter against his better judgement having forecasted a storm. A death-obsessed doom merchant, his umbrella was up before the first drop of rain and remains firmly aloft on each and every page until the, err, accident. It’s an exquisite piece of timing when, after a dozen or so gloomy projections, the imminent disaster is left hanging in the air on the last panel of a page, just like the agent of destruction above the poor Professor’s head. I don’t think that umbrella will help much.


Buy Moomin’s Desert Island and read the Page 45 review here

Operation Paperclip (£7-99) by Patrick Goddard…

“Can you even be guilty? For something you haven’t done? For a potential?”

Good question. If you have the potential for not picking up your standing order, I would say so. But, for our put-upon protagonist, it’s a rather more all encompassing problem. Already unpopular at school, just because he isn’t one of the popular kids pretty much, it certainly has the potential to get much, much worse. He’s just received a letter from Julian Assange informing him that in one week’s time, Wikileaks will be leaking US government documents which categorically prove he is a clone of Hitler. For a teenager who was adopted by a Jewish family but who can’t be considered as Jewish due to no one knowing if his birth mother was Jewish, but still expected to act like one and thus unsurprisingly already struggling with identity issues, it’s a bombshell he could have done without.

The title of this work comes from the factual US appropriation of various Nazi scientists following WW2, including several whom could be said to have worked in the field of… medical science. For example, it’s well known that various rocket scientists like Wernher von Braun were assimilated into the US space program, but it’s far less well known that characters like Dr Hubertus Strughold, responsible for experimentation on humans at Dachau, were employed in high ranking medical positions in the US establishment. Their new paperwork and IDs, erasing their past mis-deeds, were all neatly and simply held together with a paperclip.

Our by now somewhat paranoid hero has always had an interest in Nazi conspiracy theories, a fact which only serves to convince him this stunning revelation must be true. By the time he’s finished espousing these theories for the benefit of his bemused friend, you might well be convinced too. But in reality, this is a work about consequences. Actions most assuredly have consequences, you can call it karma if you wish, and there is a rather amusing little ramble about that: the consequences of our actions do not always fall upon our own shoulders, but sometimes the actions of others do, with devastating effect. I think we can certainly say this is a black comedy. I chuckled throughout because, let’s be honest, we can all laugh at the misfortune of others, especially when it is so comedically portrayed. But maybe we’re just being set up for the punchline and the joke will turn out to be on us…

I loved this work! Self-published, self-bound even (I know because Patrick told me!), this story shows a creator with rich storytelling potential who understands how to unsettle and jangle the emotions of the reader whilst simultaneously extracting a laugh or two. The art style reminded me of Gareth Brookes (THE BLACK PROJECT) in places and actually Gary Spencer Millidge (STRANGEHAVEN) too, particularly in terms of the somewhat haunted faces.


Buy Operation Paperclip and read the Page 45 review here

Saga #19 (£2-25, Image) by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples…

“I will never stop cringing.”
“You encouraged us… just a second… you encouraged us to respond to the audience more.”
“No, I told you to be aware of the fourth wall, not to punch a glory hole through it. You’re fired.”

Aha, possibly the most dysfunctional family in comics is back!!! So if you don’t want to wait another eight or so months for the next collected trade, it’s time to jump aboard the crazy comics ride that is SAGA in single-issue form. Now living undercover, trying to keep a low profile, whilst Alana quite literally broadcasts herself across the universe in the guise of a farcical soap opera-esque improvisational troupe member, our collective bunch of oddballs bicker near-continuously and attempt to out-profane one other, whilst they all go gradually ever more stir crazy.

Also, the first page of this issue finally manages to out-do the very first page of SAGA VOL 1 for utterly insane, weird grossness. Once again, childbirth is involved, but nearly a week later, I simply cannot unsee the image that has been seared into my brain. Vaughn, Staples, you are bad people…


Buy Saga #19 and read the Page 45 review here

Ex Machina Book 2 (£14-99, Vertigo) by Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris, Chris Sprouse.

From the writer of SAGA.

If you want some of the most impassioned and eloquent writing in comics check out the dialogue below on the US Death Penalty.

Plus Tony Harris: the writing’s so good I rarely mention Tony, do I? Just the right level of anchoring photo-realism – the saggy jowls and all – for a political thriller.

EX MACHINA stars the mayor of New York who can communicate with machines (and do so imaginatively as the courtroom highjack will amply demonstrate) and who reads WONDER WOMAN but has to hire a detective to buy the back issues for him because, like, if it ever got out that the mayor of New York City read the funny papers they’d think he was ripe for the funny farm. The press’d be all over that one.

Terrorism returns to New York, bringing with it personal tragedy for Mayor Hundred and ugly reprisals on the street. Skinheads indiscriminately target Sikhs as well as innocent Muslims, police officers shoot the wrong person on the underground (hmmm…?), and no one’s looking in the right direction. Meanwhile, Hundred gets sick of being stitched up on air, and decides to do something about it:

“Dre, you asked me to come on your program so we could discuss extending Rent Regulations, not –”
“It’s a simple question, sir. Do you or do you not support Capital Punishment?”
“<sigh> The Death Penalty is arbitrary and capricious, an anachronistic throwback that’s looked upon with disgust by nearly every other democracy in the world. Practically, it’s way more expensive than life without parole, and morally, it’s applied in a manner that’s totally unfair to anyone who can’t afford my lawyers. And I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that those convicted of killing Whites are significantly more likely to be executed than those convicted of killing Blacks.”
“But you’d agree that it’s an effective deterrent against future crimes?”
“No, I wouldn’t. Murder rates often go up immediately following executions. We’re sending a message to Americans that killing is the correct way to solve problems. Look, I realise we live in a culture where a story isn’t satisfying unless the bad guy dies at the end, but unlike the movies, death really is permanent. How can we implement a decision that can’t be overturned when we know how fallible our justice system — how fallible we — can be?”
“And Osama Bin Laden? If he were captured tomorrow, you’d argue to the families of his victims that he should live?”
“… Motherfucker.”
“Dump out! Dump out! Don’t let that go over on the air! What in God’s name is wrong with you? You can’t say stuff like that on a public broadcast!”
“Yeah, well, now you know how it feels like to be sabotaged. Enjoy the rest of your show, Dre.”


“What was that all about, boss?”
“Doesn’t matter, Bradbury. Come on, sneak me out of here before my Press Secretary shows up to scream at me.”
“But I didn’t hear your answer to whether or not you’d ice Osama.”
“And neither did anyone else. It’s a “Have you stopped beating your wife?” trap. If I say I’d kill him, I look like a hypocrite. If I say I wouldn’t, I sound weak on security. Sometimes it’s best to let your record speak for itself, you know?”

This new edition takes you right up to end of the fourth original volume, so you can carry straight on with EX MACHINA VOL 5


Buy Ex Machina Book 2 and read the Page 45 review here

The Cigar That Fell In Love With A Pipe (£14-99, SelfMadeHero) by David Camus & Nick Abadzis.

The final flourish of fourteen pages – as an increasingly confident comet of living white light rises through the multiple strata of clouds cast in a golden light, and bursts across the stormier masses before making a mad dash towards the heart of a shimmering sun – are breathtakingly beautiful.

The multiple marines and citrus yellows are as exquisite as the execution is thrilling and, however achieved, the effect is of pastel or dry brush on coarsely textured watercolour paper thick with paint. The creamy lemon then white-hot sun radiating over the sea comes close to a religious experience.

I wish to God that the rest of the book had been rendered like that. Nick Abadzis, the creator of LAIKA, is an award-winning artist whom we adore and whenever Conchita Marquez – Cuba’s most celebrated cigar roller – appears on the page he brings her alive in all her big, hot, pungent beauty and the dream sequences are divine.

His Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth, however, are as stiff, awkward and artificial as the writing which I found mundane, clunky, irritating and even embarrassing in places.

It was only during the injustices heaped on Conchita – so in love with tobacco and so dedicated to her craft – that my interest picked up. I wanted to learn all about this woman but the details were scant. Instead the focus began and then strayed back to Welles puffing on multiple cigars, Rita being cranky, and a cheesy supernatural conceit which left me completely cold.



Buy The Cigar That Fell In Love With A Pipe 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.


Umbral vol 1: Out Of The Shadows s/c (£7-50, Image) by Antony Johnston & Christopher Mitten

Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama s/c (£11-99, Mariner) by Alison Bechdel

Black Science vol 1: How To Fall Forever s/c (£7-50, Image) by Rick Remender & Matteo Scalera, Dean White

Bunny vs. Monkey Book One: Year One January – June (£6-99, DFB) by Jamie Smart

Everywhere Antennas (£14-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Julie Delporte

Glacial Period h/c (£16-99, NBM) by Nicolas De Crecy

Petty Theft (£14-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Pascal Girard

Phantoms Of The Louvre h/c (£22-50, NBM) by Enki Bilal

Savage vol 2: The Guv’nor (£14-99, Rebellion ) by Pat Mills & Patrick Goddard

Sledgehammer 44 vol 1 (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi & Jason Latour, Laurence Campbell, Mike Mignola

The Girl Who Played With Fire h/c (£22-50, Vertigo) by Denise Mina &Andrea Mutti, Antonio Fuso, Leonardo Manco

Catwoman vol 4: Gotham Underground s/c (£13-50, DC) by Ann Nocenti & Rafael Sandoval

Fairest vol 3: Return Of The Maharaja (£10-99, DC) by Sean Williams & Stephen Sadowski, Phil Jimenez, Adam Hughes, others

Red Lanterns vol 4: Blood Brothers s/c (£12-99, DC) by Charles Soule, Robert Veniditti & Alessandro Vitti, various

Shazam s/c (£12-99, DC) by Geoff Johns & Gary Frank

All New X-Men vol 4: All Different (UK Edition) s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Stuart Immonen, Brandon Peterson

Avengers Assemble: Forgeries Of Jealousy s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Kelly Sue Deconnick, Warren Ellis & Matteo Buffagni

Cataclysm Ultimates Last Stand h/c (£37-99, Marvel) by Joshua Hale Fialkov, Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley,various

Guardians Of The Galaxy / All New X-Men: The Trial Of Jean Grey h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Stuart Immonen, Sara Pichelli

Iron Man vol 4: Iron Metropolitan (UK Edition) s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Kieron Gillen & Joe Bennett

Marvel Boy s/c (£11-99, Marvel) by Grant Morrison & J. G. Jones

Marvel Masterworks: Iron Man vol 3 (£18-99, Marvel) by Stan Lee, Al Hartley, Roy Thomas & Don Heck, Gene Colan, Jack Kirby

Miracleman Book vol 1: A Dream Of Flying h/c (£22-50, Marvel) by Alan Moore, Mich Anglo & Gary Leach, Alan Davis, Don Lawrence, Steve Dillon, Paul Neary

Ozma Of Oz s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Eric Shanower & Skottie Young

Revolutionary War s/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Andy Lanning, Kieron Gillen, others & various

Battle Angel Alita Last Order Omnibus vol 3 (£14-99, Kodansha) by Yukito Kishiro

Claymore vol 24 (£6-99, Viz) by Norihiro Yagi

Fairy Tail vol 8 (£8-50, Kodansha) by Hiro Mashima

Soul Eater vol 20 (£9-99, Yen) by Atsushi Ohkubo

Vampire Knight vol 18 (£6-99, Viz) by Matsuri Hino


ITEM! One of Tom Gauld’s best-ever cartoons: “My Library”! Too, too funny! Here’s our review of Tom Gauld’s YOU’RE JUST JEALOUS OF MY JETPACK with his absolute best-ever cartoon to click on!

ITEM! Preview of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie

ITEM! I love Marc Laming’s hair – and the way he draws it! Marc Laming’s indescribably beautiful hair.

ITEM! Michael Eaton & Eddie Campbell reprise Charlie Peace in comic form in DAWN OF THE UNREAD #3 There’s a neat little surprise halfway through, and finishes with a redefinition of the term “page-turner”. Are you sitting at your computer as well right now? Hmmm.

ITEM! Culture has climaxed! Neill Cameron’s Lego Panda Battlesuit.

ITEM! Jade Sarson wins Myriad Books’ First Graphic Novel Competion 2014 with the gloriously titled FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, MARIE! Jade Sarson’s website.

ITEM! Ulli Lust’s acceptance speech for her LA Times Best Graphic Novel award in comic form! Genius! She won it for TODAY IS THE  LAST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

ITEM! I want hugs! These folks are some of the glorious 3-D mascots for The Lakes International Comics Art Festival designed by Jonathan Edwards and made by fabulous Felt Mistress! Felt Mistress’ CREATURE COUTURE is in stock at Page 45!

ITEM! Lastly, this may look utterly self-serving but, from the New York Times: the latest tactics from Amazon are horrifying. If you want discounted prose and DVDs there is an alternative to Amazon called HIVE which you can use via Page 45 and even collect in-store if you want, so saving you postage!

ITEM! No, wait! Big blog about all the comicbook creators in The Clock Tower at The Lakes International Comic Arts Festival 2014 in October! Includes bits on Page 45!


– Stephen

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