Reviews July 2014 week one

What these differences in style neatly attest, though, is that the mind of a schizophrenic is an extremely rich, complex, yet fluid and volatile place to inhabit.

 - Jonathan on Hoax: Psychosis Blues

Velvet vol 1: Before The Living End (£7-50, Image) by Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting with Elizabeth Breitweiser.

“And that’s the last thing that gets me in trouble. I was so worried about Frank being framed… so angry about X-14’s murder… that it doesn’t even occur to me that Frank isn’t the only one being framed.”

Oh, Velvet Templeton, if only you knew…

There are some beautiful books on the market but few more so than this. Set in Paris, Monaco, London and Belgrade in the 1970s before pulling back even further to the Bahamas et al, it is lush with 20th Century fashion from the sleekest sports cars to the slinkiest stealth suits, and wait until Velvet hits the Carnival of Fools, a masque full of masks in Monaco.

By “masks” I mean spies, few more disguised than Velvet.

There is, you see, an espionage agency called ARC-7 so secret that most other ops don’t even know it exists. Within that service there are field agents who are numbers not names, and at its heart lies the Director. The Director has a secretary with long, sable hair now distinguished with a thick, white streak of maturity. She is his eyes, she is his ears but for so many years she was something else: one of ARC-7s most effective field operatives. So deep was her cover that even ARC’s agents aren’t aware of her former activities. And that may prove the undoing of whichever infiltrator has just set her up for treachery, treason and murder.

The tension’s so tight it’s like a cobra that’s been coiled for years, for as Velvet Templeton backtracks on X-14’s movements – and that one missing day – she discovers that this not the first time she has been manipulated. There is one particular moment of intimate horror dating back to 1956 when she realises that the look on one agent’s face as she executes her order must have been that which he saw on her own.

Brubaker you will almost certainly know from CRIMINAL and FATALE and his gripping run on CAPTAIN AMERICA (used for the recent Winter Soldier film) on which he worked with VELVET’s Steve Epting. I cannot imagine the physical or metaphorical map he must have drawn to link all these dates and destinations so intricately, but his CRIMINAL is exactly the same. Here as there he provides a gripping internal monologue as we keep pace with Velvet’s frantic plight trying to keep one desperate step ahead of those who’ve evidently planned her undoing for ages.

“The suit’s synthetic microfibres stopped my ribs from breaking… that’ll have to be good enough. I’ll just box the rest away. But then, I’m good at compartmentalising. It’s one of the first things you have to master in this field. And not just storing away pain or secrets. It becomes a new way of thinking. A way of surviving. Your mind always running down four or five tracks at the same time. Even now, as I scramble to get away… a quieter part of me is planning an escape route.”

At which point Epting inserts a mental map of her potential escape route over the nocturnal ducking and diving which he has choreographed immaculately over the dozen panels accompanying that voice-over. It’s positively balletic throughout.

Moreover, Steve has steeped this series in its period time and place with capital-city car chases past vast, monumental, white-stone, classical facades and balustrades, quay-side contretemps and brief breaths for cruelly cut-short air on a Bahaman beach in 1956. That bathing costume with its visual cues to Velvet’s future hair exemplifies the attention to detail that both Steve and Elizabeth Breitweiser have put into every page and panel. Or it’s a happy coincidence and I will look like a loon.

Coming back to those Regency facades, there are a couple of pages I use most often to sell this on the shop floor (other than the glass shards Breitweiser electrifies on the preceding cliffhanger) in which the heavens have opened on a comparatively calm London town outside an elitist gentleman’s club, the street lights are reflected on the rain-rippled pavement and thin streams of water pour with just the right weight from an umbrella as a cigarette is lit and then *pfuff*…

 

I have no idea how much time two pages like that must take to colour, but it is all very much appreciated and acknowledged.

Lastly – and I mention this only as a love song to Steve Epting for I will not be giving the game away – the final chapter includes a reveal which is visual-only and takes the most extraordinary and subtle command of human anatomy to convey. In retrospect Brubaker slipped in one single clue earlier on, trusting Steve Epting to have laid all the groundwork then pull off the punchline to sweet, ambiguous perfection.

It worked.

SLH

Buy Velvet vol 1: Before The Living End and read the Page 45 review here

Hoax Psychosis Blues h/c (£19-99, Ziggy’s Wish) by Ravi Thornton & Hannah Berry, Karrie Fransman, Leonardo M. Giron, Julian Hanshaw, Rozi Hathaway, Rian Hughes, Rhiana Jade, Ian Jones, Mark Stafford, Bryan Talbot…

Limited edition with exclusive Page 45 bookplate (30 copies only) signed by Ravi Thornton & Rozi Hathaway.

This is a work which will affect or appeal to people in entirely different ways. That’s apt indeed, for from a subjective standpoint, everyone is unique, including those people who are unfortunate enough to suffer with mental illness. Some people reading this graphic novel will simply admire the truly beautiful artwork from the ten diverse and extremely talented artists which Ravi has managed to assemble. Some will be mesmerised and entranced by the sensate stream of consciousness poetry that provides some measure of insight into the fractured inner world of Ravi’s brother Rob. Others, having experience of what mental illness can do to a family member or loved one – perhaps resulting, as in Rob’s case, in the sad decision to take their own life – will certainly find this work deeply, personally affecting.

However, with all that said, whilst we as human beings like to think we are so very good at putting ourselves in someone else’s place, seeing the world through their eyes, for those individuals whose waking moments can flutter between the highs of near transcendence to the depths of utter purgatory in the mere time it takes for a butterfly to spread its wings, we simply cannot truly know what it is to be like them: to feel, at times, as cruelly and painfully isolated as they do from the rest of us. Because, make no mistake, from a relative standpoint nothing and no one is separate. To have the perception, however, that this is the case, can be the cause of such mental turmoil and suffering, that I personally can understand why someone would choose to end it, even at the expense of their own existence.

Taken as a whole, this work provides a window into both Ravi and Rob’s experience of his struggles with his schizophrenia. The ‘Year’ chapters, in the traditional sequential art comics form, illustrated by Leonardo M. Giron, reveal the story from Ravi’s perspective, showing us moments of joy, despair, hope and resignation, as she tries to support her brother as best she can. These are separated with sequences containing poetry inspired by the extensive body of work Rob left behind, and they vary considerably stylistically in art terms, from what we would again consider traditional comics through to what could probably be accurately described as illustrated prose, though I would contend these sequences are also still very much comics as the artwork does significantly inform the intended narrative in conjunction with the prose in a sequential manner. What these differences in style neatly attest, though, is that the mind of a schizophrenic is an extremely rich, complex, yet fluid and volatile place to inhabit.

I think in terms of portraying Rob’s story, Ravi succeeds admirably. I was moved to tears in several places, by certain incidents or nuances that created a deep, emotional resonance within me, much like I experienced with Nicola Streeten’s BILLY, ME & YOU. I did quite deliberately not read this work on the tram this time though, suspecting I might need my hankie at close hand. It’s just so damn hard to see someone’s suffering brought to life so eloquently through their own words, and so poignantly and illuminatingly illustrated, knowing as you do that ultimately there is no happy ending, well, not at least in the traditional sense. With some people who take their own lives, you can tell there may well have been a palpable element of fear and desperation involved, with others, merely the knowledge that peace would finally prevail. I certainly gained some sense of the latter with Rob.

Art-wise, this work is truly an absolute visual smörgåsbord. Firstly, the ‘Year’ chapters by Leonardo M. Giron are magnificently understated, with a deliberately subdued, almost pastel palette and a slightly chalky feel to the colouring. There is one slight exception to this involving a very special butterfly in the final chapter of which I shall say no more. The art accompanying the poetry is mostly, in contrast, extremely rich and vibrant, with a real eclectic mix of styles. There are a couple of obvious, almost monochromatic exceptions, but they are entirely in keeping with the mood of the moment. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I can honestly say, as a man who isn’t massively into poetry, they all really beautifully capture the essence of Rob’s words and thus help convey the not-so merry-go-round of his ever-shifting, kaleidoscopic emotional states. Another impressive addition to the recent canon of works dealing frankly with mental illness, alongside the likes of PSYCHIATRIC TALES, DEPRESSO, MARBLES, LIGHTER THAN MY SHADOW.

JR

Buy Hoax Psychosis Blues h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Dead Boy Detectives vol 1: Schoolboy Terrors s/c (£7-50, Vertigo) by Toby Litt & Mark Buckingham.

“You never really know with Tragic Mick. Sure, he always treats us like royalty, it’s just sometimes it’s the red carpet and sometimes it’s the guillotine.”

Oh, I adore Gary Erskine’s inks over Mark Buckingham’s pencils here! He’s basically channelling Jack Kirby and it gives the already unusual an otherworldly feel. It’s the proportions in the panels and the way the shadows fall, whether on hair or the animals (love the locust head/helmet!) and look at the hospital bed, Crystal Palace’s cosplay outfit and her open-plan home with its futuristic furnishings: it could be a floor in the Baxter Building! The whole endeavour is a pleasure to the eye.

Additionally, before the main event, Buckingham and Santos deliver a long-limbed, wall-crawling headmaster straight out of Gerald Scarfe’s illustrations for Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

So, there are three things you need know about Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland: they are boys, they are detectives, they are dead. Almost a century apart they were both murdered at St. Hilarion’s, a private boarding school whose bullying practices and policy during the intervening years had changed not one jot: the former was endemic, the latter non-existent – and, as a public schoolboy myself, I can fucking well vouch for that.

They were created by Neil Gaiman and Matt Wagner in SANDMAN: SEASON OF MISTS (it’s a generic review for the series as a whole, but as generic reviews go I’m inordinately proud of that one) and they have been used on and off by the likes of Bryan Talbot since within series like THE DREAMING. Charles thinks he’s a hardboiled P.I.; Edwin aspires to be Sherlock Holmes – you can tell by their diaries.

There are advantages to being a dead detective as detailed in The Seven Rules And Seven Buts Of Being A Ghost. Eating gets a bit messy. In any event, they seem to be drawn to cats. In addition they are now drawn to Crystal Palace named after the world’s biggest greenhouse which sadly burned to the ground. So that doesn’t augur well. Crystal is the daughter of modern artist Maddy Surname and nonchalant rockstar Seth von Hovercraft. Are you giggling already? I am. During a publicity stunt which goes wrong in every conceivable way they save Crystal’s life, barely, from an errant grenade. Awakening in hospital she resolves to thank them by tracking them down at St. Hilarion’s, the very last place either of the boys want to return to but now have to.

It hasn’t mended its ways.

That’s all you’re getting but I hope I’ve intrigued. In place of the traditional “Next Issue” box at the end of each chapter you are given a jigsaw piece. If you cut them up you will find they fit together very neatly indeed. It’s irrelevant but inventive little touches like that which I love.

SLH

Buy Dead Boy Detectives vol 1: Schoolboy Terrors s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Big Damn Sin City h/c (£75-00, Dark Horse) by Frank Miller.

Listening suggestion: Tom Waits.

This is a leviathan: roughly half the price of the softcovers yet twice their size!

The original SIN CITY was a glorious essay of light on form. Sometimes the form is eroded, sometimes it’s enhanced, blocked out against black or white. The rain slashing across the pages towards the end, as gnarled Marv crosses the streets in his billowing trenchcoat is a sight to behold. For Marv, think Clint Eastwood on steroids. In some ways it’s a very old-fashioned series about “dames” and guys who fall for them. It’s about guns and crime and gun crime; bars and dancers and booze and cars, and it’s ages since I’ve read one.

I have, however, exhumed part of my introduction to the Sin City film delivered many moons ago during thirty minutes of pants-wetting terror at Nottingham’s Broadway Cinema where I described the series thus:

By day it’s all sunshine and palm trees and glamorous women. By night it’s a dark and dangerous hellhole, populated by prostitutes, ruled with corruption and stoked by violence.

It’s always night.

“The thing people get wrong about film noir,” wrote Miller, “is that they think it just looks spooky, missing the fact that the spookiness of the look is a reflection of what’s going on behind the eyes of the people. If there is some real emotional darkness, it doesn’t matter how dark the film is, with shadows and blinds behind them; all these other things are metaphors for the torment, or the self hatred, or the despair the character’s going through.”

Miller always wanted to do crime comics.

He began his career by pencilling a fairly standard and failing superhero comic called DAREDEVIL because at that point there were very few other entry points into the industry. But as soon as he took over its writing he turned it into a crime comic. Yes, it retained some of the trappings of superheroes, like the costumes, but most of the action took place down darkened alleys in deprived Hell’s Kitchen and it wasn’t long before one of Millar’s other interests was introduced: martial arts in the form of ninjas, throwing stars and big, pointy swords.  From the get-go the fight scenes were choreographed as gracefully as ballet movements and Miller displayed an unusual inventiveness and a mastery of what the panels on the page could do with time and space… and indeed what the medium lacked, like movement, and how to compensate for that.

His solution in that instance was to litter the pages with pieces of floating paper, giving the impression of wind. And if you look at the cars in SIN CITY, if in motion they are rarely anchored to the road because if you draw a car realistically on the asphalt it’ll just look like it’s parked. So they fly above it instead.

If you compare Miller’s earlier work to his latest, you’ll notice two trends: they’re increasingly socio-political in content and increasingly expressionistic in execution.

As Miller has noted, when drawing an establishing shot, say in an office, most comicbook artists will be taught to draw everything in as much detail as possible. But comics is a medium whose panels work best if you don’t linger on them.

Unlike film, during which one frame simply replaces another in front of us, in comics time is represented by space with consecutive panels sitting next to each other. The artist is taking a thing in motion and selecting specific images from that motion, which the reader subconsciously joins up as his or her eyes flow across the pages. Too many details impede the speed of that process and slow down the story, so realism isn’t necessarily as useful as expressionism. Often a single object can tell you more about a room, its atmosphere or indeed its occupants than a fully mapped-out shot, because the impression it makes on your mind, without all the distractions, can be stronger.

With SIN CITY Miller really started putting that to the test. He became more interested in shapes than in lines, and you can see that on almost every page with silhouettes and framing features everywhere. The series is an essay in black and white, a masterclass on the emphasis of form and the erosion of form by light.

Indeed it’s changed the way Frank works. He’ll write the script, then he’ll pencil the entire book out before he even begins to touch the pen and brush. Nor does he pencil too tightly otherwise, for him, the inking would be simply mechanical rather than an involving, imaginative process. Then he reverses the usual process by going in and mapping out the big spaces – the blacks, the whites, the shapes. Only after that does he go back in with a finer line if – and only if – more detail is required.

I then went on to wibble about newspaper columns versus 300’s landscape format before talking about the film-making process which in this instance was particularly fascinating even if some sequences ended up looking like an ‘80s pop video along the lines of Robert Palmer’s Addicted To Love.

Here, have a sense of scale:

SLH

Buy Big Damn Sin City h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Disenchanted vol 1 s/c (£14-99, Avatar) by Simon Spurrier & German Erramouspe…

“Us with our… old old ways. Our idiot rituals. Why sour milk? Why flick dew on cobwebs, eh?
“Why learn to tangle hair, Noro? We never stop to ask!
“Well I’ve asked. I’ve tested the bloody rules, and you know what?
“There’s no reason. Not when all it does is… is fill us up with smugness and hate.
“Don’t you see that?”

I started off wondering if this was going to be merely a darker version of FABLES, but it fact it has far more in common with the considerably more engaging and visceral HINTERKIND. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised given it is an Avatar title and written by Si Spurrier who pens the brilliantly wicked ongoing CROSSED: WISH YOU WERE HERE spin-off .And I think this title might have the potential to be as good as that one, actually, if not quite so horrific as this is definitely more in the crime genre, though it does have its wince-worthy moments.

The basic premise is the Little People of folklore such the pixies, fey, leprechauns, boggarts et al have long forsaken their traditions and expansive homelands of the countryside, and decamped to the filthy, drug-ridden city, specifically an abandoned tube station which has been colonised by goblins, and thus effectively all sold themselves into indentured wage slavery to the greedy greenies.

Yes, the goblins rule the roost in Vermintown and they’re not about to let any of the other races out from under their boot. Our heroes, a family of the fey, torn across generations between the old ways and the tempting sleaze of the new, are struggling to maintain their cohesion as a family unit as well as any sense of identity or indeed semblance of filial piety.

So part-crime, plenty grime, I really enjoyed this first volume, simply because it’s nice to read something where all the characters are quite frankly utterly flawed, and to some extent or another, quite deserving of their lot, yet still they all strive under the misapprehension they deserve something better. Not if the goblins have anything to do with it! Expect foul language, sex, violence and drug abuse, because this title certainly contains it in abundance.

JR

Buy Disenchanted vol 1and read the Page 45 review here

Outcast #1 (£2-25, Image) Robert Kirkman & Paul Azaceta with Elizabeth Breitweiser…

“Joshua… what are you eating?! It’s almost bedtime.”
“So… hungry…”

And thus begins what Robert Kirkman promises will be a proper horror comic, bar a great bit of witty opening repartee which softens you up nicely for the initial shocker accompanying the above quotation. From the chap who pens arguably the most famous horror comic of all time, THE WALKING DEAD, that’s a chilling statement. In fact what he really means, as he explains in his afterword, is that whilst the possibility of a zombie apocalypse ever occurring is precisely zero, and let’s be honest, we all hope he’s got it right on that score, there are other terrors which are all the more horrifying because they actually exist. Yes, demonic possession is on the very cusp of fact versus fiction as he readily acknowledges, and he certainly doesn’t want to get into any sort of religious debate about it, either. Ultimately he just wants to write an entertaining horror comic, disturbingly credible, with a genuinely creepy undertone to it, and this is the subject matter he has chosen.

I was initially sceptical that this premise could be spun into something with the same long-term potential as THE WALKING DEAD, but having read this first issue, one can see already Kirkman’s got something epic in mind for us. The main character Kyle, a man who as a boy saw his mother, and then years later his wife, succumb to demonic possession, well he’s clearly a man with some story to tell. Shunned by his now-ex-wife, and pretty much everyone else he previously knew with the exception of his sister (for reasons which are all too painfully clear by the end of this first issue), he’s become a complete recluse. When the local Reverend, intimately aware of his past, tries to enlist Kyle’s help with an exorcism, he initially refuses. But… when you’ve seen the things he’s seen, suffered in the manner he has suffered, well, he knows he can’t in all good conscience refuse to help another soul in torment. And that is why his problems are going to start all over again. And it’s the why he has really got the problem with, the question that has bothered him all this time. Why him? Why is he the outcast?

Spectacularly spooky and action packed art from Paul Azaceta, who has previously done some decent stuff on SPIDER-MAN: ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES and bits of the extended SPIDER-MAN: GAUNTLET arc, some of the Brubaker DAREDEVIL run, BPRD vol 9 – 1946, CONAN with Brian Wood immediately after the Becky Cloonan run, but this, this is going to take him to another level of stardom entirely I think. And rightly so.

JR

Buy Outcast #1 and read the Page 45 review here

Dog Butts And Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats. (£9-99, NBM) by Jim Benton.

Jim Benton is a cheeky chappy as evidenced immediately by the title selling itself on the mass-appeal market while ripping the piss out of it at the same time.

In truth there are very few dogs or cats on offer, while the cartoons themselves are less observational than CAT PERSON or Jeffrey Brown’s CATS ARE WEIRD and more intellectual along the lines of Tom Gauld’s YOU’RE ALL JUST JEALOUS OF MY JETPACK genius but with a slightly lower hit rate for me. Having said that, this is a keenly observed belter:

“Why do I have to learn all this stupid math stuff?”
“Because you’ll need it for college.”

Ten years later:

“Okay, if I pay tuition and ½ the rent, I can buy enough rice to last 3/5 of the month… if I use my student discount and the 15% off coupon…”

Enormous sympathy to students everywhere.

 

Laziness, stupidity, evolution, over-complicating things, over-thinking things, no cranial activity whatsoever. There’s a silent strip about a sculptor getting a fatal thumbs-down that made me guffaw like Trondheim’s MISTER I. “Are you trying to get me drunk?”’s visual punchline made me grin and, oh, how familiar is this…?

“For part of your life, you worry about your future.
“Eventually, you stop doing this, and you spend your time regretting your past.
“There is a point, somewhere in-between, when you engage in neither behaviour.
“This may last up to four minutes, so try not to miss it.”

Avengers Assembled’s Samuel L. Fury makes an unexpected, eye-popping appearance and a rattlesnake complains that its food’s been poisoned.

SLH

Buy Dog Butts And Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats. and read the Page 45 review here

Attack On Titan: No Regrets vol 1 (£8-50, Kodansha) by Gun Snark & Hikaru Suruga…

“Frankly, it’s a disgrace. We all had to go through the same training yet you’re asking us to accept criminals into our ranks?!”
“Your complaint is only natural.”
“Their presence could even put our lives in danger! What should I tell my subordinates?”
“Squadron Leader Flagon. You’re right. These people had no training. They did not earn wings from us. They grew their own, out of necessity. And I believe those wings will play a part in revolutionising this organisation.”
“You speak of revolution? I just pray that venturing outside the walls doesn’t become… the greatest of their crimes.”

Yes, it’s a tough life in the elite cadre of Page 45 mail order minions. So… yet another spin-off of what is apparently Japan’s answer to the WALKING DEAD. So the adverts say, though I’m not totally sure I see that comparison, it seems a little lazy to me. It’s not quite as insanely dangerous a world as CROSSED, but it’s a considerable step up in imminent peril level from the WALKING DEAD, that’s for sure. Give me run of the mill zombies over fifty-foot-high ones every day of the week. It is definitely as big a phenomenon in Japan though, and pretty popular everywhere else too, including at Page 45.

Anyway, much like ATTACK ON TITAN: BEFORE THE FALL, this is effectively prequel material, and as with that title, I would say it is required reading, as we begin to explore the origin stories of Erwin and Levi, two of the main title’s central characters. Fleshing out the world of the Capital city as much as it does our cast, revealing the presence of the Underworld, where an underclass of society barely manage to survive, it adds further depth to what is already an impressively elaborate milieu.

JR

Buy Attack On Titan: No Regrets vol 1 and read the Page 45 review here

Arrived, Online & Ready To Buy!

Reviews already up if they’re new formats of previous graphic novels. The best of the rest will be reviewed next week while others will retain their Diamond previews as reviews. Neat, huh

 

King-Cat Comics & Stories #74 (£2-99, King Cat) by John Porcellino

Listen (£2-99, Flat Mountain Press) by Trevor Grabill

Sunday In The Park With Boys (£7-50, Koyama Press) by Jane Mai

The Boy In Question (£4-99, Space Face Books) by Michael DeForge

Diary Comics Number Four (£7-50, Koyama Press) by Dustin Harbin

You Don’t Get There From Here #26 (£1-99, ) by Carrie McNinch

S! (Baltic Comics Magazine) #11 (£7-50, Biedriba Grafiske ) by Various

S! (Baltic Comics Magazine) #12 (£7-50, Biedriba Grafiske ) by Various

Mini-Kus! #10 (£3-99, Biedriba Grafiske ) by Mari Ahokoivu

Mini-Kus! #5 (£3-99, Biedriba Grafiske ) by Leo Kivro

Mini-Kus! #6 (£3-99, Biedriba Grafiske ) by Box Brown

In The Sounds And Seas (£9-99, Monkey-Rope Press) by Marnie Galloway

Songs Of The Abyss (£12-99, Secret Acres) by Eamon Espey

Blobby Boys (£7-50, Koyama Press) by Alex Schubert

Freddy Stories (£7-50, ) by Melissa Mendes

I Will Bite You (£10-50, Secret Acres) by Joseph Lambert

Jammers (£4-50, Hic  & Hoc) by Lizz Hickey

Post York (£6-99, Uncivilized Books) by James Romberger

I Want Everything To Be OK (£7-50, Tugboat Press) by Carrie McNinch

R L #1 (£3-00, Sequential Artists Workshop) by Tom Hart

Curio Cabinet (£10-99, Secret Acres) by John Brodowski

Life Zone (£8-99, Space Face Books) by Simon Hanselmann

Gold Star (£3-99, Retrofit Comics) by John Martz

The Man That Dances In The Meadow (£3-99, Space Face Books) by Sam Alden

Out Of Hollow Water (£8-50, 2D Cloud) by Anna Bonngiovanni

The Whale (£7-50, Gaze Books) by Aidan Koch

Dark Times (£6-99, ) by Robert M Ball

A.B.C. Warriors: The Volgan War vol 4 s/c (£12-99, Rebellion) by Pat Mills & Clint Langley

Chu’s First Day At School h/c (£10-99, Bloomsbury) by Neil Gaiman & Adam Rex

Couch Tag h/c (£19-99, Fantagraphics) by Jesse Reklaw

House Party (£9-99, Great Beast) by Rachael Smith

Love And Rockets vol 10: Luba And Her Family (£13-99, Fantagraphics) by Gilbert Hernandez

Occupy Comics: Art + Stories Inspired By Occupy Wall Street s/c (£11-99, Black Mask) by Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman, Ales Kot, Si Spurrier, many more & David Mack, Charlie Adlard, David Lloyd, many more

Shackleton – Antarctic Odyssey s/c (£11-99, FirstSecond) by Nick Bertozzi

Through The Woods h/c (£14-99, Faber & Faber) by Emily Carroll

Green Lantern – New Guardians vol 3: Love & Death s/c (£12-99, DC) by Tony Bedard & Aaron Kuder, various

Injustice vol 2 h/c (£14-99, DC) by Tom Taylor & Mike S. Miller, Tom Derenick, Bruno Redondo

Guardians Of Galaxy Movie Prelude s/c (£10-99, Marvel) by various

Indestructible Hulk vol 4: Humanity Bomb (UK Edition) s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Mark Waid & Mamhud Asrar, Jheremy Raapack, Clay Mann, Seth Mann

Uncanny X-Men vol 2: Broken s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Frazer Irving, Chris Bachalo

Deadman Wonderland vol 3 (£6-99, Viz) by Jinsei Kataoka & Kazuma Kondou

Dragon Ball 3-in-1 Edition vols 13-15 (£9-99, Viz) by Akira Toriyama

Dragon Ball Full Colour Saiyan Arc vol 3 (£14-99, Viz) by Akira Toriyama

Lone Wolf And Cub Omnibus vol 5 (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima

One Piece vol 71 (£6-99, Viz) by Eiichiro Oda

Seraph Of The End, Vampire Reign vol 1 (£7-50, Viz) by Takaya Kagami & Yamato Yamamoto

Usagi Yojimbo vol 28: Red Scorpion (£13-50, Dark Horse) by Stan Sakai

 

ITEM! Joe Sacco’s Battle Of The Somme plastered over the Paris Metro!

ITEM! Gorgeous Bill Sienkiewicz painted covers for LONEWOLF AND CUB

ITEM! Illuminating article on colour with fun eye exercises explaining that although magenta is not a spectral colour it obviously “exists” as much as any colour exists because colour exists only in our brains. It’s all just wavelengths.

ITEM! Scott McCloud’s cover to THE SCULPTOR unveiled!

ITEM! Nottingham Festival of Words 2014, October 13-19

ITEM! Jiro Taniguchi to attend Angoulême with big exhibition to boot!

ITEM! Fight censorship: Comic Book Legal Defense Fund ‘Banned Books Week Handbook’ available in print or as a download.

ITEM! More beautiful (and free!) BLAKE SINCLAIR by Sarah Burgess. Sarah’s THE SUMMER OF BLAKE SINCLAIR in stock at Page 45 now!

ITEM! DAWN OF THE UNREAD assesses and addressed low levels of Young Adult literacy with interactive graphic novel by the likes of Michael Eaton & Eddie Campbell (Charlie Peace) and Nicola Monaghan (The Killing Jar)

ITEM! Finally, congratulations to Heidi MacDonald on The Beat’s 10th Anniversary! What a fabulously entertaining overview of the last ten years in comics that is!

- Stephen

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