Page 45 Comic & Graphic Novel Reviews June 2015 week three

Bodies s/c (£12-99, Vertigo) by Si Spencer & Dean Ormston, Phil Winslade, Meghan Hetrick, Tula Lotay.

“Know you are loved.”

This is going to surprise you.

Longharvest Lane, London: 1890, 1940, 2014 and 2050.

Four different artists for four distinct time periods. In each of them a naked male corpse is discovered in the same position, in the same location, with the same vicious mutilations and the same stark symbol slashed upon its wrists.

This brand begins to crop up everywhere and every when: on the finger prints of the corpse itself; on a Spiritualist & Pharmacist shop front window and door; at the Whitechapel Masonic Lodge, on the parachute of a doll in a dream; within the Pulsewave Generator’s holographic schematics in the future; as a mark left in place of one of the corpses which goes AWOL; and on the ancient painting titled “So Begins The Long Harvest”.

Whole thoughts and phrases echo throughout time, like “Who are you and what do you remember?” and “This is brutality”.

So this brutality begins during four eras which saw or will see extreme hatred and violence.

2014 sees D.S. Shahara Hasan, a Muslim East-Ender, in police riot gear leading the charge against an aggressively racist anti-Muslim demonstration rallied by England’s Glory. She is philosophical about the thugs and amused by her subordinate’s sense of humour:

“Tell me again why I’m the one in the armour and you’re swanning about in Hugo Boss?”

“Because your people are on a ruthless Jihad to set up an Islamofascist annex of Mecca on the Mile End Road?”

“And don’t you forget it. Your head’ll be first to roll as soon as my scimitar arrives from Taliban Central.”

She’s about to have that smile wiped off her face.

In 1890, during Jack The Ripper’s murderous rampage, Inspector Edmond Hillinghead strays on a top-hatted toff receiving oral relief down a dark alley from a woman with stubble before he trips in flight over a hacked and slashed corpse.

“Someone really didn’t like him.”
“Or really liked doing this to him.”

Dutiful and diligent, Hillinghead will do his best for the victim using fledging forensics in spite of his superior’s less than enlightened attitudes towards homosexuality. These too are dark times.

In 2050. armed with a bow and arrow, Maplewood discovers her own incarnation of the body in the scantily populated, broken capitol, along with a brightly coloured ball and a conspicuously coherent girl called Bounce. For like someone with Alzheimer’s and everyone else around her, Maplewood struggles with labels, scrabbles for the right words and barely remembers her own name. The Pulsewave saw to that many moons ago. But who saw to the Pulsewave?

During an air raid in 1940’s East End – while across The Channel The Holocaust is occurring – we find one Inspector Weissman hiding his Jewish heritage with an anglicised name which no one will use. He has unorthodox methods of policing his turf, using the long rain of Blitz bombs to harvest a fortune in theft.

“The blackouts and the raids mask a multitude of crimes. Most of them mine.”

But not all of them, apparently, are his.

All four artists – Meghan Hetrick, Dean Ormston, Tula Lotay and Phil Winslade – bring distinct atmospheres to their eras: smooth and clean, suppressed grotesque, elusive and ethereal, and a Butch Guice brand of photorealism, respectively.

Dean Ormston’s lines are a tightly controlled cross between SPIRITS OF THE DEAD‘s Richard Corben and HELLBOY’s Mike Mignola when it comes to the shadows and period feel. Lee Loughbridge adjusts his colour palette for each era and with Ormston restricts himself largely to black, white and a glowing spot-red for spectacles, sigils and blood. When complementing Tula Lotay’s dreamlike sequences he’s far softer, far brighter and in places quite close to Paul Pope’s HEAVY LIQUID. Those sequences are almost like a mirage.

The eight chapters are split into six pages for each time period, which is a discipline in itself, but their order rotates as required. You’re encouraged – nay, compelled – to cross-reference densely packed clues. These range from the more obvious iterations of Longharvest Lane (by 2050 the cracked and dilapidated street sign is missing several letters) and Longharvest Arms, Green and indeed Infirmary. And, deliciously, the time periods will bleed into each other with both cause and effect.

But I promised you surprises, didn’t I? The biggest is this: it’s no mere whodunit. Like Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s comicbook masterpiece FROM HELL, this is a whydunit, and the self-sacrificial “Why?” is infinitely more important.

For, at its great big heart, this is a wake-up call, combating wave after wave of human prejudice and its sick and sorry attendant violence.

It’s precisely the sort of thing Will Eisner spoke of so wisely in DROPSIE AVENUE, THE NAME OF THE GAME and TO THE HEART OF THE STORM etc. The clue’s on the very first page.


Buy Bodies s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Blubber #1 (£2-99, Fantagraphics) by Gilbert Hernandez.

Holy Hellfire from the Heavens upon High!

Thank fuck that this comes with a crazed-critter cover so lurid that even the natural world’s most voracious, omnivorous and top-of-the-food-chain predators would recognise that it is as venomously lethal to their guts as it will prove to the spiritual well-being of any human foolish enough to lap up the body fluids within.

We’re all about consumers at Page 45 for we are unashamedly capitalist bastards, but what is being consumed within may make you gag.

From LOVE & ROCKETS’ much beloved Beto, Sunday evening David Attenborough this is not!

In last week’s review of the magnificent and monumental 750-page DRAWN & QUARTERLY: 25 YEARS OF CONTEMPORARY CARTOONING, COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS anthology (a title designed to garner as many Google points as it possibly can – hey, we play those games too!), I quoted publisher Fantagraphics as being designated “transgressive” and no new comic could possibly underscore the accuracy of that epithet more emphatically than this. I am a firm advocator for transgression which is why I love Fantagraphics as dearly as I do Drawn & Quarterly.

But you have been warned: LOVE & ROCKETS is as literary as you could like but Gilbert is taking a holiday here to revel with delirious abandon in detailing the reproductive life cycles and carnal pleasures of various beasties you would least like to encounter on safari.

If I can find even a single page of interior art online I probably won’t reproduce it here. If I have republished it here, it is the one least likely to land me in jail.

Sorry..? Of course it made me laugh!


Buy Blubber #1 and read the Page 45 review here

East Of West vol 4: Who Wants War (£10-99, Image) by Jonathan Hickman & Nick Dragotta.

“I think hope will be the death of us.”

I loved the lie.

The lie right at the end of the last book, discerned only if you interpret the visuals.

That’s what comics at its brightest does best, and EAST OF WEST is amongst the brightest and the best of Image’s creator-owned series, shot through with Jonathan Hickman’s impeccable design sense.

Lo and behold, this volume kicks off with another Hickman flourish to remind you where we are, what’s happening and what has gone before in the form of a beautiful, colour-coded timeline which could not be clearer taking you up to 2064AD when The Horsemen were reborn and the Apocalypse began.

The current status of each of the Seven Nations making up the divided States of America is detailed in a summary and stats from its government, language, population and GDP to its military might, economic strength, political stability and long term viability, all accompanied by a map. If that sounds dry, you haven’t seen Hickman’s design work!

And if you think a comic involving the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse has to look bleak, dark and dreary, then you haven’t seen Nick Dragotta’s lush line work glowing with Frank Martin’s colours. Very much in the tradition of John Buscema and Lee Weeks in its smooth and solid forms, Dragotta’s figure work is impeccable, his eyes are piercing and his own designs for the likes of the Endless Nation and the “blind” boy Babylon in his survival suit are sensational.

Here’s my own summary:

America which has been divided between Seven Nations, representatives of whom sit on a secret council and conspire against each other, vying for power, even though their goal is the same: to bring about Armageddon. It is their sworn duty, for they are The Chosen who follow The Message, a sacred text heralding the end of the world.

Fighting the same nihilistic corner are the Horsemen Of The Apocalypse, resurrected in EAST OF WEST VOL 1 as children. Well, three of them were: War, Famine and Conquest. Death was conspicuously absent.

Why? Death, had stayed behind as a white-skinned, white-haired, white-clothed, gun-slinging adult because he’d fallen in love with Xiaolian Mao, now leader of the Mandarin-speaking People’s Republic Of America on its West Coast, a woman who, he discovered, had born him a child and the hunt is now on for that son dubbed The Great Beast, Babylon.

The Child Horsemen want to kill Death’s progeny; Death wants to save him.

Death wants to save the whole world.

It’s that sort of a book, riddled with ironies, like the Endless Nation of Native Americans once so myth-based now being the technological champions of the modern world and, militarily, its mightiest: they have just conquered The United States of Texas. They export their technology to every trading nation which devours it hungrily, but there’s a rumour that the Endless Nation is holding back.

Whereas relationship was once strained, the scenes between Mao and Death are so very tender that you’ll feel hit by a brick at the punchline undercutting them. Yes, I know – Death, a romantic! He’s has so far failed to locate their son and so fulfil his promise.

His son is the one currently being subjected to that lie.

Nurtured in isolation and secret deep underground by the greatest schemers of them all, perhaps, the boy has been raised to help bring about the Apocalypse. He is now roaming above ground for the first time, both led and misled by the sentient receptacle of knowledge he is still umbilically linked to, a silver sphere which hovers above him and to which he is beholden for all that he sees. That which he’s shown is being filtered.

The sphere, for example, looks to the lad like a balloon with a reassuringly smiley face. There is much more for Babylon to be taught while he’s still malleable because the boy who is supposed to bring about the Apocalypse is in danger of becoming a vegan.


Buy East Of West vol 4: Who Wants War and read the Page 45 review here

The Boss h/c (£9-99, DFC Library) by John Aggs & Patrice Aggs.

“I hate field trips!”

I’m  with you, Nazim!

Ours were usually to some desolate agricultural or industrial museum. Educational away-days…? Bor-ring! Although we did once go to a zoo where we should probably have been locked up.

Nazim isn’t the titular Boss, by the way. The Boss is the level-headed, quick-thinking young man of purpose who’s striding into fully prepped action on the cover and tossing his cell phone behind him for Freddie to catch. Freddie will prove cracking on comms.

It’s just as well because Bella, Nazim, Lucy, Freddie, Alex, Joseph, Patrick, Anne, Robbie, Hannah and The Boss are all going to have to stay both in touch and on their toes if today’s field trip isn’t going to land them in detention forever or, far worse, on a mortuary slab.

I’m going to come clean and confess that in spite of DFC’s sterling reputation for kids’ quality comedy and adventure comics (they publish THE PHOENIX weekly and all its subsequent collected editions), I opened this somewhat gingerly. School-age super-sleuths…? Do me one! But this could not have been better thought through, using almost every element of its given environment – a town-bound castle packed full of sightseers, busy-body locals and eagle-eyed teachers – to create both opportunities and seeming insurmountable hurdles as our various young women and men in their give-away school uniforms desperately attempt to keep track of two thieves whilst staying as incognito as possible. The consequent tension was tremendous.

Think about it: they can’t go into pubs and they’re caught outside the castle grounds then it’s pretty much game over.

All they know is that a priceless illuminated manuscript – the Rackhamstone Psalter – is going to be stolen from its alarmed glass case at the top of one of the castle towers and if they’re going to stand a chance of obstructing the theft or catching them in the act they’re going to have to think ahead and work out how they’d do it first.

I liked that. Led by The Boss – and with distraction / interference being run by a thoroughly adept Alex – they’re not just reactive but pro-active and my adrenaline kicked in long before the action kicked off.

John Aggs you may already know as the artist on THE RECRUIT (another Young Adults graphic novel but for early- to mid-teens whereas this is emphatically all ages) but it’s Patrice Aggs on art duties here and where she excels is on individuality, the liveliest of expressions and expert body language.

There’s an early scene set on the school bus where The Boss sits at the back between Bella and Nazim, their forward-leaning, frantic anxiety neatly juxtaposed by The Boss’ cross-legged calm. He’s pretty dapper in his shirt sleeves and tie and ditching his school blazer lends him an immediate air of authority.

That’s not to say he’ll stay unflappable forever. The sense of movement accelerates on the page dramatically as parties are split, cell phone batteries are depleted and Nazim spots something alarming holstered under a jacket.

“Observe, record, fetch the police. Those are the rules.”

In an ideal world, at least.


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

Baggage (£9-99, DFC Library) by the Etherington Brothers.


If the secret of a great graphic novel for Young Readers is to make their eyes light up like shiny marbles at the sheer sweet-shop spectacle of it all, then this is the golden gobstopper!

Also, this does contain a sweet shop full of Tripple Brittle Ripples, Choco Dip Nanas and Woofs! Woofs are made of white chocolate with cheddar and garlic. Err…. woof! There grumpy Granny Bee is moulding liquorice into the shape of bare bottoms.

Eh, it’s a hobby.

From the creators of LONG GONE DON and the ingenious action-adventure puzzle book VON DOOGAN, this is as colourful as a bird of paradise and as busy as a humming bird – relentless mayhem and a surprisingly dense read. And we mean that in the detailed not stoopid way, though there’s plenty of stoopid to boot!

Set in a city with exotic elements from Florence to San Francisco with the only trams in existence that could possible plunge the wrong way, it’s action-packed with non-stop escapades as Randall the disaster-prone lost property officer is set a seemingly impossible task by his cantankerous boss to avoid getting the sack. All he has to do is return the oldest item in the warehouse, a battered old suitcase splattered with stickers, to its rightful owner before the end of the day. Should be simple, right, if he puts his mind to it?

What mind would that be?!

This is the idiot whose “system” for filing things involves categories like “Things That Stack Nicely”, “Things That Are Really Quite Dangerous”, “Things That Smell Funny” and “Things That Might Not Actually Be Lost”. One of those things is wriggling and calling for help!

Cue slapstick shenanigans as Randall’s treasure hunt following clue after clue on the suitcase takes him all over the city before ending up… well, you won’t see that coming.

Before then there’s an interactive subterranean maze set in a sewer to the negotiate (which is probably the longest shortcut in history), and a grand stadium where they’re playing out the finals of… I have no idea what that sport could be!

“What part of TACKLE do you not understand, Steely? You’ve heard me use the word in training, yes?”
“Yeah, erm, it’s when we try to stop the other guys from scoring any points! Usually by kicking them hard in the WHATNOTS!”
“Textbook definition, son!”


Buy Baggage and read the Page 45 review here

Life On Another Planet (£13-50, W.W. Norton) by Will Eisner.

Back on our shelves! Review originally written half a dozen years or so ago…

And now, as they say, for something completely different.

Also, a confessionette (it’s like a maisonette, only smaller, secret and guilt-ridden): I hadn’t until this afternoon actually read this book. 30 years I’ve had, so with an Eisner reprint every month at the moment, now seemed about bloody time. You can tell it’s 30 years old: it’s only 120 pages long yet it took me hours to devour. It’s like LUTHER ARKWRIGHT: dense and intense because way back then every page counted. No extravagantly silent or two-panel pages here! Instead there are lots of highly inventive layouts for which Eisner was famous in his SPIRIT pieces, with panels like windows under torrential rain or bordered by the sprawling, leafy drive of a mafia boss.

It’s an insane caper of international proportions aspiring to the sky, catalysed by two Astronomers in New Mexico picking up a signal from space in the form of a stream of prime numbers. Within moments a Soviet mole gets wind of the discovery, then the CIA’s brought in, Nadia makes her first appearance and quickly the whole thing sprawls out of control as countries, corporations, cults and even dictator President Ami of Sidiami become embroiled in a race to respond or prevent a response to the alien message. For Sidiami, read Uganda (Idi Amin was in charge when this came out); and for U.S. Presidential candidate Milgate, read Nixon, I’d have thought. Heavily in debt to many world nations, Ami seeks to reverse his country’s fortunes by having his country secede from planet Earth then selling it to the highest bidder as a launch site for a probe into space whose single occupant will be a plant mutated from the cells of a mafia member fleeing family retribution after killing his wife.

Sorry…? Yes, it really is that insane – not your normal Will Eisner affair at all – with multiple alliances and reversals of loyalty as each individual connives to get what they want whether it’s a man, a woman, a seat on the board or a President in their pocket. As such it’s as well observed as his Jewish autobiography. It just couldn’t be further from DROPSIE AVENUE geographically or in scope.


Buy Life On Another Planet and read the Page 45 review here

The Wake s/c (£13-50, Vertigo) by Scott Snyder & Sean Murphy.

Dive deep, swim fast!

“Now the creature, the noise it’s making, it sounds a lot like a section of the whale’s song that’s urgent, a section that comes right before a response.”
“What kind of response?”
“A massive response. Because the creature isn’t talking to us. It’s talking to them.”

At which point Sean Murphy will send the mother of all shivers up your spine…

Sub-aquatic, ice-cold horror from the writer of AMERICAN VAMPIRE, SEVERED, BATMAN: BLACK MIRROR, and the glorious, gawp-worthy writer/artist of PUNK ROCK JESUS, JOE THE BARBARIAN and HELLBLAZER: CITY OF DEMONS.

200 years in the future: a wet-suited woman glides over the narrow waterways between what were once dry-land skyscrapers, one of which is leaning precariously. A dolphin harnessed with sonic and survey equipment surfaces from the water lapping gently against a brownstone’s roof. And then there’s another tidal wave!

Now: marine biologist Lee Archer – sacked from NOAA and on the Department of Homeland Security’s shit-list for her marine biology conservation – is contacted by Agent Cruz and coerced into flying to Alaska’s South Slope to analyze an eerie, underwater call they cannot explain. Base camp is thousands of feet below sea level:

“Jesus, what is that?”
“It’s called a Ghost Rig. It’s a prototype. Yes, it’s a secret. No, it’s not legal. But it has the potential to extract nearly two hundred barrels a day, so there it is.”

Lee discovers she is not alone. There’s Dr. Marin, successfully published professor of folklore and mythology summoned to study an ‘artefact’, and the enigmatic yet supremely capable Leonard Meeks – an infamous poacher of very rare species – to study tissue samples. He looks like a vulture. And where do you think these sounds and tissue samples are coming from? Oh dear, that’s never a good idea…

On one level this is classic Doctor Who: illegal and environmentally disastrous strip-mining of Earth’s natural resources while invading the home territory of an ancient and previously undiscovered species. Exacerbate situation by capturing a creature and then belatedly bring in the experts before all hell breaks loose in a half-lit and confined environment, in this case flooded with water. It won’t help that the Merman sprays hallucinogenic toxins from glands in its eye sacks.

But wait! That’s just the first half. In part two we swoop to the future 200 years later which has borne the brunt – the repercussions – of the first half’s actions, and the world has surely changed in so many ways. Rarely have I encountered a future so thoroughly thought-through by its writer with some genuine shockers in store. This graphic novel is so much bigger and so much more brilliant than it appears on the sea’s choppy surface.

For a start, it is all about eyes: what we perceive and what we persuade others to perceive. And it’s all about ears: what we hear and that which we desperately hope will be listened to.

It stretches back thousands, nay millions of years. There is a key sequence involving the hunting of a giant white shark (maybe a Megalodon) by hundreds with spears just like we used to hunt mammoths; and they actually use a downed mammoth as bait.


On the surface this is a beyond-worrying horror story, yes: it will make you go “Brrrrrrr!” But it will also make you think.

Now, what is a Raindrop?

“It means the real-life referent that inspires a system of folklore. The raindrop hits the water, and concentric rings of lore spread from the point of impact. Like the Asiatic Bear in Tibet, its habit of walking on its hind legs. Now that inspired legends of Yetis.
“There’s no telling how many legends this creature inspired. From the Mermaids of Assyria, to the Sirens of Greece, with that call it’s making.”

The call that goes out to millions.


Buy The Wake s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Batgirl vol 1: Batgirl Of Burnside (£10-99 s/c, DC) by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher & Babs Tarr, Irene Koh…

Why so serious? No, seriously?

This seems to have been the question someone – possibly Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher – asked the head honchos at DC. Either that or one of the head honchos at DC saw the success of Gillen and McKelvie’s highly relevant, demographically diverse and most importantly fun YOUNG AVENGERS run and thought, “We’ll have a bit of that! Which B-list Bat-character can we risk trying it out on?”

And it seems to have worked because this is joyful, crackpot nonsense. I am also quite sure the positive buzz this reworking has engendered, along with the similarly off-beat GOTHAM ACADEMY, is partly responsible for the slew of cartoonishly illustrated comedy titles and mini-series such as BIZARRO and BAT-MITE that DC is suddenly launching post- (speaking of crackpot nonsense, although of the utterly shite kind) CONVERGENCE.

So, Babs Gordon is off to Burnside college, presumably feeling the need to get some qualifications just in case superheroing doesn’t work out, career-wise. I mean, how could that choice of jobs possibly turn out badly…? She’s still fighting crime in her spare time – well, what little there is left of it after partying hard with her new roommates and locking lips with random hunky strangers. And guess what? Chasing down goons with a pounding hangover isn’t much fun at all!

It’s well written, utterly preposterous stuff featuring pop-up social media commentary (à la YOUNG AVENGERS…) and villains who are seemingly more interested in grabbing the spotlight than actual criminal endeavours. Of course, it’s the ‘Batgirl of Burnside’ who starts trending before rapidly going viral, which probably isn’t ideal if you have a secret identity to protect. In that sense this did remind me a little bit of very early SPIDER-MAN where puny Peter Parker was forever fretting about someone working out he was Spidey, all the whilst fantasising about knocking Flash Thompson’s teeth down his throat.

Black Canary pops up, loosely keeping the BIRDS OF PREY connection going, and I note with mild interest the forthcoming BLACK CANARY title is also going to be written by Brenden Fletcher where “martial arts, super spies and rock and roll combine” and “she’s quickly learning she’d die to protect the gang of misfits she’s fallen into”, which all sounds a bit Matt Fraction’s HAWKEYE to me. Art will be from Annie Wu, who… errr… did the Clint Barton portions of HAWKEYE VOL 3

Anyway, the art here from Babs Tarr very strongly minded me of the colour versions of SCOTT PILGRIM in places, which is probably appropriate as it is does have that similar daft sense of fun. This ought to succeed in enticing some new younger, possibly even female, readers into superhero comics, so in that sense I applaud DC’s motives in commissioning this material. As a 43-year-old male, I rather enjoyed it also, despite me probably not entirely being the demographic this title is aimed at. A strong start, let’s see if they can keep it up.


Buy Batgirl vol 1 s/c: Batgirl Of Burnside and read the Page 45 review here

Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man vol 2 – Revelations s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & David Marquez.

“Miles Morales is one of the top ongoing series in comics right now.”

That’s what Marvel chooses to quote on the cover.

Well, it was. It really was, and every episode written with warmth, wit and humanity by Brian Michael Bendis!

But ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN has ceased to be. It is that proverbial parrot which is pushing up its claws, Python-stylee.

And, oh, it had so much more life left in it! This seemed not rushed but effectively truncated, cauterised by a great big planet in the sky leading straight into SECRET WARS #1, and ULTIMATE END #1 by Bendis & Bagley.

What will emerge on the other side? Well, Miles will in one fictional universe or the other – as written by Bendis he’s far too much fun to lose – we simply don’t know in what form yet.


Buy Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man vol 2 – Revelations s/c 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.

There’s No Bath In This Bathroom (Sketched In) (£5-00) by Joe Decie

Munnu: A Boy From Kashmir h/c (£16-99, 4th Estate) by Malik Sajad

Child Of The Storm h/c (£23-99, Humanoids) by Manuel Bichebois & Didier Poli, Guilio Zeloni

Colder vol 2: Bad Seed (£13-50, Dark Horse) by Paul Tobin & Juan Ferreyra

My Little Pony: Fiendship Is Magic s/c (£14-99, IDW) by various

Syllabus: Notes From An Accidental Professor (£14-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Lynda Barry

Usagi Yojimbo vol 29: Two Hundred Jizo (£13-50, Dark Horse) by Stan Sakai

Deathstroke vol 1: Gods Of War s/c (£10-99, DC) by Tony S. Daniel

Flash vol 6: Out Of Time h/c (£18-99, DC) by Robert Vendetti, Van Jensen & Brett Booth

Gotham Academy vol 1: Welcome To Gotham Academy s/c (£10-99, DC) by Becky Cloonan, Brendan Fletcher & Karl Kerschl

Red Hood And The Outlaws vol 6: Lost And Found s/c (£10-99, DC) by Scott Lobdell & R. B. Silva, various

Avengers: Time Runs Out vol 4 h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Jonathan Hickman & Stefano Caselli, Mike Mayhew, Kev Walker, Mike Deodato Jr.

Spider-Woman vol 1 Spider-Verse s/c (£11-99, Marvel) by Dennis Hopeless & Greg Land

Battle Royale: Angels’ Border (£8-99, Viz) by Koushun Takami & Mioko Ohnishi, Youhei Oguma

Fairy Tail vol 47 (£8-50, Kodansha) by Hiro Mashima

Naruto vol 70 (£6-99, Viz) by Masashi Kishimoto

New Lone Wolf And Cub vol 5 (£10-50, Dark Horse) by Kazuo Koike & Hideki Mori

Tokyo Ghoul vol 1 (£8-99, Viz) by Sui Ishida


ITEM! Dr Mary Talbot is back from the Munich Comics Festival with a big blog full of photos of herself, Bryan Talbot, Eddie Campbell, Audrey Niffenegger, Paul Gravett & co.

ITEM! From the creators of one of our all-time favourite graphic novels, DAYTRIPPER, have a preview of Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba’s TWO BROTHERS graphic novel. You can pre-order the TWO BROTHERS graphic novel from Page 45 right now – we don’t take your money until books arrive and we ship worldwide!

ITEM! From the creator of PLEASE GOD FIND ME A HUSBAND plus  FLUFFY and the exclusive PAGE 45 FLUFFY POSTCARD (order that to be sent to you by mail and watch the ironies fly) here’s Simone Lia’s Guardian comic on being a second-generation immigrant to England.

ITEM! Great Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro New Statesman discussion on genres. “I think that there’s a huge difference between, for example, a novel with spies in it and a spy novel.” This is the truth! (Illo by Tim McDonagh)

ITEM! Have you been relishing THE REALIST by Asaf Hanukah? Good news, then! Interview and swoonaway preview of THE DIVINE graphic novel drawn by Tomer Hanukah and Asaf Hanukah. You can pre-order THE DIVINE due in July from Page 45 here.

– Stephen

Page 45 Reviews written by Stephen & Jonathan then edited by a mild-mannered marmoset. In serious need of some spectacles.

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