Page 45 Comic & Graphic Novel Reviews August 2015 week two

Featuring signed copies of SMALL TALES & FAIRY FAILS by Paul Duffield! BUNNY VS MONKEY II by Jamie Smart! New book by Leslie Stein! WE STAND ON GUARD #2 by Brian K. Vaughan & Steve Skroce and more!

PHONOGRAM: THE IMMATERIAL GIRL #1 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson is out today! We ship worldwide! Details in the News below!

Hound vol 1: Protector h/c Sketched-in, Signed and Numbered Edition (£20-00, Cuchulainn Entertainment) by Barry Devlin & Paul Bolger…

Yes, all our copies have been sketched in by Paul Bolger for free!

“The time of peace will soon see its end.
“I need a strong right hand.
“An unbreakable force none can withstand.
“I have heard his cries in the night. Like a wolf. Howling.
“He does not know it yet… but he is about to become my Dark Blade.”

Based on the stories of Cú Chulainn, a mythical warrior of ancient Erin (Ireland), this Kickstarter project has produced a graphic novel of outstanding artistic merit and wonderful production values. It’s also a gripping action story that would very much appeal to fans of SLAINE and indeed the much lamented and out of print NORTHLANDERS.

Fortunately for us, the creators had a few left over after fulfilling their Kickstarter pledges and, via Dublin’s Big Bang Comics, have kindly offered some of them to us. All our copies are sketched in by co-writer and artist Paul Bolger so will be even more exquisite items!

For those not familiar with the base mythology, all you really need to know is that a boy, Setanta, of slightly disputable parentage but regarded by King Connor as his orphaned nephew, is chosen by the Morrigan, a witch who follows the old ways of the Great Mother Danú, to be her weapon in the times of war to come.

Everyone knows the boy is… different, and as he develops into a man, his reputation as a lone wolf and trouble-causer becomes well known locally. An incident where he slays the huge hound of Cullen the swordsmith in self-defence, and then offers to take its place protecting the swordsmith’s family, only serves to give him his new name, Cú Cullen, literally the hound of Cullen. From there his ability to get himself into trouble, nearly as adeptly as extricate himself from it, only ensures that his legend continues to grow.

After being exiled from the Kingdom to the Isle of Skye for a time for an… unfortunate misunderstanding involving the King’s bride to be, he begins to realise that escaping the confines of Erin, and therefore the clutches of Morrigan who is tied to Erin, might be for the best and so heads across the Giant’s Causeway to Alba (Scotland) seeking further tutelage in the art of combat from the warrior woman named Skye who rules that isle. If he survives the journey getting there, that is.

This is the first of three planned volumes chronicling the adventures of Setanta / Cú Cullen and I think they are going to prove enormously popular. There’s a surprising sense of fun that springs from this character that is quite literally a force of nature, made more than man by the powers of the witch Morrigan, to go along with much head-splitting action. A lot of people who read SLAINE in 2000AD, probably don’t realise he is basically Cú Chulainn rewritten by Pat Mills, even down to his warp spasms, which are taken from Cú Chulainn’s ability to ‘ríastrad (which was directly translated as ‘warp spasm’ by the Irish poet and translator Thomas Kinsella, so Pat Mills even appropriated that term!) where he is able to channel the power of the earth due to his devotion to the Great Mother Danú. We haven’t got to warp spasms etc. yet in this retelling, but I don’t doubt it’s coming in a subsequent volume.

This is definitely a very measured, romantic almost, re-telling of the material, which I think is highly appropriate. Yes, there are moments of utter brutality, and there will be many more in the next two volumes, but ultimately this is the saga of one man and his evolution from a mere boy into a potent symbol of a culture. It’s appropriate therefore that the art is as delicately composed as the story-telling, in black and white with the odd dash of red, usually due to the spilling of blood or supernatural, glowing eyes. Sometimes there are heavily full or near-full silhouetted sections with black backgrounds where the characters are rendered in white, which neatly counterpoint the more typical illustrations of black on white.

The illustration style is quite delicate. Paul Bolger’s faces and anatomy do remind me of Jeff Smith at times (humans à la RASL and TUKI, rather than the family BONE obviously!), yet there’s also the odd dash of Paul Pope’s extravagance and flourishes in the capes and backgrounds as well. It’s a lovely clean style and palette which is in complete contrast to, say, Clint Langley’s painted SLAINE, which is great and perfect for gorefest action, but this sympathetic art style really adds to the story-telling element.

A triumph. I really hope this does well for Paul and co-writer Barry. An incredibly accomplished debut graphic novel. I would not be at all surprised if the rights to this and the next two volumes get picked up by a publisher. I hope so because material as good as this deserves the widest possible audience.

JR

Buy Hound vol 1: Protector h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Small Tales & Fairy Fails signed copies (£9-99, self-published) by Paul Duffield with Morag Lewis.

“Oh Princess, I will show you the world! Full of wonder and splendour!”
“Do stairs mean anything to you?!”

Haha! Of course they don’t!

He’s a Knight in Shining Armour rappelling down the tower with his Rapunzel in hand. That’s how he climbed in; that’s how they’ll get out: through the sky-high window. It’s a Tradition!

I don’t think he looked for a door. It probably wasn’t locked. His “Princess” didn’t even want rescuing, she was happily absorbed playing —

“Sorcery!! Princess! Stand back! That magical chord binds your soul to that evil machinery!”

And some chords do need to be cut, I understand that. I’m umbilically attached most evenings too, so he probably has a point about his Princess being possessed but, boy, did the next panel make me wince!

This is the most mischievous, middle of five stories originally published in THE PHOENIX WEEKLY STORY COMIC (so perfect for all ages, young ones and adults alike) and now bound into a beautifully crafted, signed and self-published artefact with a spot-varnished cover whose design has me mesmerised.

‘The Magic Tower’ plays artfully with ones expectations of a chivalrous tale, undercutting the ancient with the modern including a knowing, to-camera, Colgate toothpaste ting! Its punchline is perfect, as is that of ‘Battle Quest’ which once more appears to be Medieval in nature, a raging battle between The Darkness and The Light as two raving warriors tempestuously clash swords, cleaving the very heavens with their ire.

I did grin my head off but in a completely different, more magical way during the reveal which warmed my sorry soul. Don’t expect the same jokes twice!

Don’t expect the same tone, actual genre, line style or even colouring twice, either. The visual versatility on display is astonishing, each time in strict service to the story being told. There’s a science fiction short about the first young girl to be born in space (I don’t think we’ve done that in real life, have we?) whose lines are clean-cut but not clinical and comes with a burst of special effects which imply infinite time and infinite space.

There also a there’s a haunted house riff called ‘Scaredy Cat’. I have stared at its introductory cover with its summer-sunset colours for ages. Its sky is a shepherd’s delight, but it’s the shadows – not cast but on the trees and house which cast them – that had me entranced: they absorb more light than seems possible without being black. Lovely glints on the broken-glass windows too.

I want to talk about one instance of the masterful sequential-art storytelling without giving a particular story away. The only opportunity I can come up with is here. It’s a page on which, as the reader is pulled back, the descent of the inset panels which perfectly play their part is buoyed aloft by the rooftops below and their horizon beyond which speaks of a potential future long thought lost. We can discuss that in person once you’ve bought this, if you like.

Lastly there is the triple-sized ‘Heart Tree’ which must have been serialised in three four-page instalments, but I can’t see the join. It’s the most moving and profound of the lot. Apart from a russet red for hair, gem, robes and tunic details (and an even richer red for one other element I will not disclose) the colours are much paler combination of washed greens and blue as the energy is leeched out of a kingdom when its kindly king succumbs to a nasty play for power in the guise of peace. He is presented by another realm’s ambassador with a coronet which, it is immediately revealed, will kill him if the king ever takes it off.

There are legends to be sure, but he has only the Machiavellian interloper’s word for it. Will it? Would you? Would you risk it?

But those aren’t even the most important questions. Seen through the inquisitive eyes of one of the court’s scullery boys who adores his king, who wants so desperately to see him live and defends his regent’s honour at every opportunity, the final page is a truth and revelation for all.

From the creator of THE FIRELIGHT ISLE whose inventive compositions will blow your mind and which you can read online here: https://www.paulduffield.co.uk/firelightisle

SLH

Buy Small Tales & Fairy Fails signed copies and read the Page 45 review here

Bunny Vs Monkey Book Two (£7-99, David Fickling Books) by Jamie Smart.

“Stop being so stupid.”
“I don’t know how!”

He really doesn’t. None of them do!

“Pig, how would you… uh… what are you doing?”
“I’m trying to catch jelly on my head!” *SPLAT* “Did it!”
“Can I ask why?”
“I, um… Oh. I forgot.”
“Pig, how would you like a life of adventure, danger and excitement?”
“Will it hurt?”
“YES! But it will also be very funny.”

From the pages of BUNNY VS MONKEY BOOK ONE and the creator of FISH HEAD STEVE, the certifiable delinquents are back: Bunny, Monkey, Weenie, Skunky, Pig, Le Fox, Metal Steve and Action Beaver – the idiots to entertain you!

Ogle the pink Octo-Blivion! Learn about artist lie-sense! Then forget about it immediately thanks to Skunky’s mind-wiping Memory Ray.

“Last I remember, I was on the toilet.
“Hang on a minute. Monkey’s don’t use toilets.”

Normally at this point I’d go off on one, bellowing like Brian Blessed about how they all “Eeek!” “Ptoomph!” “Fwooosh!” “Shriek!” “Screech!” “Splat! “Bosh!” “Pschh!” “Crunch! And “P-tingg!” their way through these pugilism-packed pages, for this comic is louder than TV’s Tom & Jerry but infinitely more inventive.

 

Please don’t mistake the lack of a volume control for an absence of sophistication. Anarchy like this needs to be strictly controlled, especially when you’ve only two or three pages to play with. But not only is the choreography as tight as you like – often with multiple reactive expressions and gesticulations to make you giggle with glee – Smart also still manages to pack in spectacle after spectacle and even finds room for running gags within the same stories, my favourite being the “outside variables” (“Eeek! Variables!”) which will put paid to each individual’s carelessly laid plans and culminate in a “lemony waft”.

Then, just when you thought Smart couldn’t work that one further, the events are reprised quite unexpectedly in a ridiculously clever climax called ‘The Small Matter Of The End Of The World’ which involves brain-twisting time travel and the return of that mind-wiping Memory Ray as inventor Skunky from the future meets himself in the past over and again in order to avert disaster he caused in the first place.

“Have I invented the Memory Ray yet?”
“What, this?”
“ Yes! Give it to me! I must remove all knowledge of the Doomsday Device from your brain!”
ZZZAP!
“Yoink!”
“Oh, hang on. If I remove it from your brain, then I’ll forget it too.”
“Hello, have we met? Are you me from the future?”
“I suppose so. But I can’t remember why I came here.”
“Let me have a go in your time machine. I wonder how it works?”
“Me too. Let me know if you find out.”

All of which is impressive enough, but wait until you come to the final two episodes, the Christmas and New Year specials, which introduce a brand-new element to the series which could change everything and hint at a subplot which may – seriously – send a shiver down your spine.

Back to the beginning, however, and Skunky has invented the Wish Cannon which fires whatever you want: cakes, kittens, ham and sauerkraut… It even fires fire and I’m afraid Monkey’s got his mitts on it.

“BOW DOWN, WOODLAND IDIOTS! YOUR NEW LEADER MONKEY HOLDS ALL THE POWER NOW!”
“I’ll swamp you that thing for this cake.”
“Ooh, I do like cake.”

For more Jamie Smart, please see the News section below! Thank yoooooooooo!

SLH

Buy Bunny Vs Monkey Book Two and read the Page 45 review here

Bright Eyed At Midnight h/c (£16-99, Fantagraphics) by Leslie Stein.

Serving behind the bar…

“Oh yeah? How long are you guys on tour for? Three sold-out shows at the Ballroom?! Wow! Tomorrow? You’ll put me on the list? Totally! I’ll be there!”

Back home, completely immersed in making comics, Leslie looks up at the clock.

“Oh shit.”

There’s a moment’s pause for self-reflection.

“I am what I am…”

Stein is an artist driven by the need to succeed and to hone her craft at every opportunity – every non-working hour – and over the course of a year and these very pages, you can watch her doing so, aged 32. I was enamoured from the very first page, but you can see the style and ideas coalesce with confidence. The lines are delicate and as soft as well conditioned hair, of which there is plenty on display: Stein’s faces are formed from hair, eyes and mouth only, the contours largely left well alone. The washes are light with lots of cream-coloured space between them and between the lineless, free-floating panels, except during the occasional frenzy of form, thought and colour. Oh, and three portraits of a turtle including a close-up of its beak and eye which are completely at odds with everything else on account of being virtually photorealistic!

The lettering’s rendered in multi-coloured pencils for emphasis and aesthetics. It works particularly neatly in terms of the mood of what is being said. During a piece when she’s told at a comicbook convention, “Hey Leslie! I really like the new style you’re doing!” she replies “Hey! Thanks so much, man!” and the lettering is as ebullient as she is. “Can I ask what inspired it?” “Despair.”

There are doubts in evidence but she usually finds within herself the courage to cope with them, recognising that “life is non-linear” and “you can’t depend on anyone else for your feelings of happiness and self-worth”. “Life is messy,” she writes, “But life is supposed to messy.” A bit like her home!

“Listen, man… lemme lay it out for you… It doesn’t really matter. I’m the only one here.”

Thanks, Leslie. I feel a lot better about my bedroom now.

On the other hand, this:

“I still look into people’s windows… I can’t help it. Mostly, I wonder, “Are they happy?” Is it possible?”

The biggest obstacle Stein has to race herself through is chronic insomnia, no doubt exacerbated by bar shifts which can play havoc with your body clock. It seems a minor miracle when she’s awake during the day and asleep at night, and she’s constantly dozing off when and where she shouldn’t.

“I have to fall asleep in my bed tonight…”

Hey, it’s an aspiration! Once more we are kindred spirits.

Overwhelmingly, though, this is fun, fun, fun and there’s a lovely regular originally from Ethiopia who props up the bar and likes to sing, “I am very happy”. One day he asks Leslie if he can borrow “one penny” for a lottery scratch ticket, promising her a 50/50 split if he wins. While scratching away while she washes up, her back turned, his head disappears into a green ball of frenzied squiggles before he knocks over his pint and re-emerges all radiant.

“$100!! $50 for you! $50 for me!”
“Aw! That was nice of you… You could have pocketed it all… I never would have known!”
“Les-lee…” he says, patting his heart sincerely. “I do not want that feeling!”

She hands him a replacement pint, and he breaks back into song.

There are childhood reminiscences of summer camp, her first guitar lesson, Christmases, painting on bedroom walls, the unlikeliest Halloween costumes, and a trauma aged 5 which will strike home with fans of Liz Prince’s TOMBOY. In the present day there’s a comics festival in France, setting up for gigs, bar shifts and booze, and a day during which she is set upon by a dog.

“I wouldn’t let you hump me so you bite me?! I’ve met your kind before and I’m not dealing with that shit!!”

Lastly, there’s a day of triumph when Stein arrives back in town, she’s met her deadlines, chucked in her bar job and has an entire week free to draw as much as she wants. “Solid gold!”

Which is obviously the exact moment she catches flu.

Sitting at her laptop, completely cocooned head to toe in a pink duvet with a bobble hat on top of it, she looks just like Philippa Rice in SOPPY.

SLH

Buy Bright Eyed At Midnight h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Everything Is Teeth (£16-99, Jonathan Cape) by Evie Wyld & Joe Sumner.

The family has caught a boat full of Bull Sharks and towed a seven-footer to shore, leaving it to thrash itself out and die.

“She is fat with young, and when she’s cut open they lie in dead rows. They look like puppies, soft and smooth and slippery. I get one to hold and watch as my uncle cuts out the mother’s mouth, then saws off her fins and rolls the trunk back into the river.”

Visually those of two of the best pages, the shark and her dozen pups nigh-on photorealistic, a tide of blood flooding out of the mother’s womb and belly, down the beach and right across the second, right-hand page under the grim panels above. Another cracking pair depict a seventeen-foot White Pointer  in a tank which is barely much bigger, “suspended in a liquid the colour of tobacco teeth”, its nose, back, fin and tail horribly hooked-through with cables, as if in a torture chamber.

Wyld and I share a childhood obsession with sharks. I had nightmares about them at least once a week and would regularly check the shadows of indoor swimming pools just in case. This extended to a morbid fascination with photos of their massive carcasses hauled upside down, their mawling jaws of death dropped open to reveal bloody-gummed rows of razor-sharp teeth. I’m not proud of that and both scenes here are suitably repugnant.

Where we differ is that Wyld would holiday in Australia where sharks did swim in the same waters as young Evie and her family. There are some fairly terrifying pages to come.

With the sole exception of the excerpts from ‘Jaws’, Sumner depicts the sharks in the same pencilled (or pencil-effect) photorealism throughout. Everything else even within the same panels is in a very basic cartoon style including the waters in which the sharks – real or imagined – glide through. Sometimes the contrast works to spine-shivering effect, even when following Evie home from school or gliding past her living-room window at night.

Certainly it wouldn’t have worked at all had the sharks been drawn with the same uneven and inconsistent, blunt, big-nosed, cartoon line. The only element I can rescue from that is the depiction of Wyld herself as having the same pitch-black eyes as the sharks. The rest is a mess.

For a start, I initially thought the writer’s mother was a man. Even after I’d identified her as the mother, I continued to misidentify her as a man each time I saw her.

Secondly, the lettering in places is as awkwardly and amateurishly laid out as a nine-year-old novice’s. “Oh, that sentence doesn’t quite fit in here; we’ll just add another few words in an extra bit of the box up above.” Not a separate box or a whole extra layer, but an ugly stump akin to castellation. I cannot over-emphasise how ugly this is.

Thirdly, there are way too few actual gutters; the panels often divided by nothing more than a line. I’m sure that can be made to work although I cannot think where I’ve ever seen it successfully done – these aren’t inset panels I’m talking about – and all you have to do is glance at the difference between those with and without gutters here to recognise immediately that those without are a massive mistake.

Fourthly – and this is the belter – there’s an early double-page spread at a party whose middle tier either is or has the illusion of being a single panel. A basic rule of the comics medium is that you read horizontally, only dropping down a tier once you’ve done so. Pop a widescreen middle-tier panel across the whole of a double-page spread as Katriona Chapman did so spectacularly in her self-published KATZINE ISSUE TWO (such a great comic!) and every reader knows that you read every panel above it on both pages before those underneath. Not here, nope. You’re expected to read the panels on the left-hand side below the panorama before those above it on the right.

I cannot believe that whoever edited this at Jonathan Cape / Random House, home to some of the greatest British graphic novels of modern times (ALICE IN SUNDERLAND, BUILDING STORIES, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF EARLY EARTH and FLUFFY), didn’t immediately reject those pages – the gutterless, the castellated, and those breaking that fundamental rule of sequential-art storytelling – as simply not good enough. If I were this hypothetical editor at Cape I’d have sent this straight back with a copy of Will Eisner’s COMICS & SEQUENTIAL ART and Scott McCloud’s MAKING COMICS, so I can only suspect that there’s no editorial shepherding on offer for creators at all.

And that’s fine if you’ve commissioned veteran comicbook creators like Bryan Talbot who know their craft inside out. But it’s a poor state of affairs when you risk your reputation by publishing people with zero experience or evidently comprehension of comics purely because they’ve garnered potentially well deserved success in other media, and then fail to supervise them.

A prose writer does not necessarily understand the distinct medium of comics; a fine artist or cartoonist does not necessarily comprehend sequential-art storytelling. This is exactly the mistake which reputable prose publishers made twenty-five years ago and it did very real damage to the public’s perception of the medium at the time, setting it back in the US and UK by over a decade.

I have other issues, I’m afraid.  I don’t want to give too much away, but the end asserts that something that else is going on other than a fascination with sharks, but it isn’t presaged within the body itself, simply lobbed on. Then there’s the sequence about Wyld’s brother being bullied and beaten up back home, but that’s never resolved. Its inclusion appears to be merited purely because he was told shark stories to calm him down. Right, sharks were involved in some spurious capacity. But not relevant: it should have been edited out.

You’d be amazed at how many novels and great graphic novels there are which we all adore whose original incarnations before prudent, pre-publication pruning are not what you’ve finally read. Their creators I know of are all very grateful.

I want to reiterate that some of the pages are powerful. This had so much potential but it desperately needed a steward.

The best thing about this is the title. Sorry.

SLH, winning no friends today.

Buy Everything Is Teeth and read the Page 45 review here

Meat Cake rare restock (£16-99, Fantagraphics) by Dame Darcy.

Macabre and mysterious neo-Victorian fantasy with speech balloons that glide and slide surreally round the panels, this is like Emily Carroll’s THROUGH THE WOODS in spidery black and white.

Truly there are few creators as magnificently individualistic as Dame Darcy. Think Donna Barr in a secret passage full of cobwebs and bats! Kate Bush or Danielle Dax lost alone in the woods!

In 2003 Mark previewed this collection in hardcover form thus:

“I love people who draw and write as if no one matters but themselves. Selfish storytelling, done for their own obsessions and somehow leaked out into the world for the occasional sympathetic eye to wander over. If Edward Gorey had a sickly daughter who refused to live in – and was possibly allergic to – the 20th Century, she would look and draw like the singular Dame Darcy. Willowy, kohl-eyed waifs summoning up the energy to pine for a similarly insubstantial beau, identical twins, ghost girls, animal-headed ne’er-do-wells all live here in the woods.

“A keepsake collection of the best of the first decade including the collaboration with Alan Moore. Darcy followed in Melinda Gebbie’s tailored satin footwear by drawing the ever-slinky Cobweb stories for Alan’s TOMORROW STORIES. Here she brings more attic-creaky, two-headed girl freak stories littered with romantic Victorian prose and consumptive females. Characters named Perfida and Hindrance are not to be passed over.”

Speaking of Cobweb, here’s a one-page rhyme which is equally louche when you see the gorgeous tease of the final panel with its protagonist wagging her finger at you:

“Shocking, shocking, shocking!
A mouse ran up my stocking!
When it got to my knee, oh what did it see?!
Shocking, shocking, shocking!”

MAS/ SLH

Buy Meat Cake and read the Page 45 review here

We Stand On Guard #2 (£2-25, Image) by Brian K. Vaughan & Steve Skroce.

In which I’m won over.

The writer of SAGA, EX MACHINA, PRIDE OF BAGHDAD, Y – THE LAST MAN and THE ESCAPISTS needs no introduction, so I was going to write that you can consider this a re-introduction, then I looked back and realised that politics and military might play a substantial role in almost all of those, while PRIDE OF BAGHDAD is overtly critical of the American military’s conduct (and indeed very presence) in Iraq.

Here, in a century’s time, America invades Canada in retaliation for what it perceives to be – or claims to perceive to be – its drone strike on The Whitehouse. We don’t even know if it was Canada that was responsible. It seems pretty unlikely, doesn’t it? But Canada does have a lot of lovely water much wanted over the border.

Disproportionate response is nothing new when it comes to the US military and I think you can consider Ottawa obliterated in the first few pages of WE STAND ON GUARD #1 reviewed by our Jonathan. During this almost instantaneous assault without any evidence of investigation Tommy and Amber’s parent’s limbs blown are off in front of them, their dad’s dying words being…

“tommy… you listen to me… you… look after… your baby sister… whatever happens… you never… leave her side…”

Twelve years later, on the very next page, Tommy has left Amber’s side. She’s all alone in the Canadian snow-swept wilds, armed with a crossbow, hunting for her supper.

But she’s about to have company and not necessarily any of it good.

I was uncertain about Steve Skroce’s art to begin with. I certainly found no fault with his sense of scale: the American military’s four-legged All-Terrain Tanks towering above the tallest of the trees in the Northwest Territories are monumental, terrifying, their armour so evidently impregnable. But what won me over completely was the second issue’s invasion of the cosy, well-appointed home of a couple of pensioners quietly sitting on their suburban settee. The clarity verging on the clinical elevates the incongruity of what you’re witnessing, and that’s the genius of the series itself.

Somehow (somehow) it’s one thing for American soldiers to bust down so many domestic doors in Baghdad and brutally manhandle their occupants without any hope of being reasoned with, but setting this in Canada where the tree-lined avenues look so similar to our own and, of course, America’s…

Well, it brings the horror all home, hopefully.

So what happened to Amber’s brother, Tommy? Well, we do know he was captured by the Americans and presumably taken to one of their camps. Probably to what is ominously being termed “the basement”.

Unflinchingly brutal.

SLH

Buy We Stand On Guard #2 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.

The Art Of Mouse Guard 2005 – 2015 h/c (£45-00, Archaia) by David Petersen

Black Science vol 3: Vanishing Point (£10-99, Image) by Rick Remender & Matteo Scalera

Hellblazer vol 11: Last Man Standing (£18-99, Vertigo) by Paul Jenkins & Sean Phillips, Charlie Adlard, Warren Pleece

Hellboy And The BPRD – 1952 (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi & Alex Maleev

Little Nemo’s Big New Dreams (£12-99, Toon Graphics) by Windsor McCay, Art Spiegelman, Francoise Mouly, Gerhard, Charles Vess, Craig Thompson, Jim Rugg, Box Brown, Carla Speed NcNeil, Mark Buckingham, various

Pugs From The Frozen North (£8-99, Oxford) by Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre

Shutter vol 1: Wanderlost (£7-50, Image) by Joe Keatinge & Leila Del Duca

Shutter vol 2: Way Of The World (£10-99, Image) by Joe Keatinge & Leila Del Duca

Swamp Thing by Brian K. Vaughan vol 2 s/c (£14-99, Vertigo) by Brian K. Vaughan & Giuseppe Camuncoli, Mark Hempel, Cameron Stewart, John Totleben, various

War Stories vol 1 (£18-99, Avatar) by Garth Ennis & Chris Weston, Gary Erskine, John Higgins, Dave Gibbons, David Lloyd

Green Arrow: The Archer’s Quest Deluxe Edition h/c (£18-99, DC) by Brad Meltzer & Phil Hester

Black Panther: Complete Christoper Priest Collection vol 1 s/c (£25-99, Marvel) by Christopher Priest & Joe Quesada, Mark Texeira, various

Deadpool vol 3: X Marks The Spot s/c (£11-99, Marvel) by Daniel Way & Paco Medina, Shawn Crystal

Captain Ken vol 2 (£10-50, DMP) by Osamu Tezuka

Gantz vol 36 (£9-99, Dark Horse) by Hiroya Oku

News!

ITEM! From the creators of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE PHONOGRAM: THE IMMATERIAL GIRL #1 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson is out today! We have a metric tonne of ‘em and we ship worldwide!

Also in stock and reviewed: PHONOGRAM: RUE BRITANNIA and PHONOGRAM: THE SINGLES CLUB!

Available to pre-order: PHONOGRAM: THE IMMATERIAL GIRL #2 and PHONOGRAM: THE IMMATERIAL GIRL #3!

ITEM! Families! More MOOSE KID COMICS created / curated by Jamie Smart of BUNNY VS MONKEY (reviewed above) up online for free! So many fabulous creators have contributed: Sarah McIntyre, Gary Northfield, Neill Cameron, Abby Ryder, Roger Langridge,.. Click on ‘Our Artists’ for details!

ITEM! Joe Decie’s drawing some more hilarious home comics on his Tumblr that will tick all your recognition boxes including the most British holiday activity ever! Pop Joe Decie in our search engine if you enjoy those, but let him back out later or his family will miss him terribly.

ITEM! Neil Gaiman interviewed on his MIRACLEMAN run finally nearing completion after over two decades. Reprints of Gaiman & Buckingham’s MIRACLEMAN can be pre-ordred here- they begin any day now – while the whole of Alan Moore’s run is now out in collected editions beginning with MIRACLEMAN VOL 1.

ITEM! My favourite comics podcasts ever are Dan Berry’s Make It Ten Tell Everybody interviews with the likes of Liz Prince, Scott McCloud, Hope Larson, Jason Shiga, Woodrow Phoenix, Jess Fink, Jillian Tamaki, Paul Duffield, Emily Carrol, Jeffrey Brown, Gary Northfield, Lizz Lunney, Philippa Rice, Luke Pearson, umm, Page 45. Everyone, basically! Listen to as many as you like for free! A lot of time and travelling’s involved so please support Make It Then Tell Everybody here. Then stick Dan Berry in our search engine because his comics are the bestest too.

ITEM! It was Eddie Campbell’s 60th Birthday on Monday. Why don’t you pop him in our search engine as well? It’s getting awfully cosy in there! I’ll start you off with ALEC and BACCHUS and FROM HELL, but we’ve so much more!

John Parker wrote an exceptionally fine tribute and introduction to Eddie Campbell’s work for Comics Alliance.

I’m raising my glass in celebration. Cheers!

 – Stephen

Page 45 Reviews written by Stephen & Jonathan then edited by a short-sighted sea anemone with Attention Deficit Disorder

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