Page 45 Comic & Graphic Novel Reviews September 2015 week four

Includes signed bookplate ed of NO MERCY VOL 1 by Alex De Campi & Carla Speed McNeil with Jenn Manley Lee! Just £7-50!

News section below features Simone Lia, Tom Gauld, Jon Klassen, Dave Sim, Page 45 history, banned books, creator survey and family fun at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2015! Oh yes, and Page 45 21st Birthday Party Reminder with Simone Lia & Hannah Berry signing!

The Fade Out vol 2 (£10-99, Image) by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips with Elizabeth Breitweiser.

Period prime crime from the creators of CRIMINAL and FATALE, set in the city of secrets and lies.

“Charlie doesn’t notice. He’s already being pulled back under the waves.
“He’s written a dozen murder pictures, or parts of them, at least…
“But all he’d been thinking about the past few weeks is who could’ve murdered Val…
“He’d forgotten to ask why.”

He’d forgotten to ask why.

Poor Charlie – he’s so driven he’s distracted. Clues are now surfacing in the most casual of conversations and Charlie’s finally beginning to piece some of them together with earlier hints he’d previously missed that Hollywood has been far from healthy. We’ve all heard of the casting couch but some abuses of power are even worse than others. Yet not every secret, however vile, is a motive for murder and I myself am beginning to look in another direction as well…

In Page 45’s review of THE FADE OUT VOL 1 I write extensively about the fantasy and lies of Hollywoodland – of the writing and the acting and the myth-spinning slights of hand.

They’re lying professionally before they’ve begun to be truly mendacious, but at Victory Street Pictures they’re all of them at it, even screenwriter Charlie. For that and the set-up please see THE FADE OUT VOL 1 but basically this:

It’s Los Angeles, 1948.

Charlie woke up in a bungalow in Studio City built to keep stars close to the set. The night before is an alcohol-induced mystery to him, but there’s a lipstick kiss on the bathroom mirror that reminds him of a smile, the smile leads to a face, and that face belongs to the woman lying dead on the living room floor.

It’s Valeria Sommers, young starlet of the film Charlie’s working on. She’s been strangled while Charlie was sleeping. Slowly, assiduously, Charlie begins to remove all trace of his and anyone else’s presence. But that’s nothing compared to the cover-up the studio’s about to embark on. They’re going to make out it was suicide and it’s going to make Charlie, now complicit, sick to the stomach.

As for Gil, it’s going to make Charlie’s old friend, mentor and covert co-writer very angry.

Unlike the CRIMINAL books which are all self-contained, this extended series allows room for Brubaker to examine relationships in richer detail. Gil and Charlie’s co-dependent career ties them inextricably together. Gil has been blacklisted while Charlie’s lost his literary spark so the former dictates to the latter. This could make them allies for they both seek the same thing, albeit searching in different directions. But since both abuse booze for different reasons – Charlie for oblivion, belligerent Gil for release – they’re set on a collision course instead. What one does will inevitably impact upon the other but, as I say, they’re not working together: Charlie doesn’t trust Gil to act rationally, with restraint; Gil doesn’t trust Charlie to act at all.

Actual plot points I’m steering well clear of. We don’t do spoilers around here. But, boy, there are some pretty brutal (if strategically brilliant) scenes of intimidation and one huge misstep when intimidation gives way to condescension.

The recasting of Valeria Sommers with the similarly styled Maya Silver – and the subsequent reshooting of the film – allows Brubaker to examine the worst of Hollywood and its interminable, often last minute rewrites ruining what was originally inspired. It’s cleverly done with the film’s eloquent and affecting first shoot recalled, immediately juxtaposed by the second lacklustre effort.

As to Phillips, an early morning beach scene gives him a rare opportunity to show what he can do in full sunlight rather than the twilight or midnight he normally resides in. Here the lines unfettered from their shadows are unusually crisp, smooth and delicate. Lit more lambently still by Breitweiser with a palette of sand, green and aquamarine and the sea becomes almost irresistible.


Both their endeavours enhance what is a similarly rare stretch of innocent play free from subterfuge. Of course, that would also be the perfect time to lob in an equally innocent question and a guileless answer which will nonetheless send your mind spinning back to THE FADE OUT VOL 1 then right through volume two again.

Because Charlie remains haunted by Valeria there are also some scenes depicting both actresses. Maya was cast partly on account of her striking similarity to Val but thanks to Phillips you couldn’t mistake one for the other for a second, either on the beach or on set. Maya is beautiful, talented, intelligent and caring; so was Val but her deportment is instantly recognisable as far more experienced, confident and – there’s no other word for it – classier.

For further history and its emotional complications between Charlie and Gil you’ll have to wait for THE FADE OUT VOL 3. Or not, for THE FADE OUT #9 which follows straight on from this very volume is on sale right now.


Buy The Fade Out vol 2 and read the Page 45 review here

Ruins (£19-99, SelfMadeHero) by Peter Kuper…

“Look, Sam, I understand why you’re upset… I know you want a child, and my resistance is a huge disappointment.
“My logical mind just tells me this crowded world doesn’t need another soul.
“Maybe it’s the margarita, but I’m tired of being logical… so let’s get back to the room!”

“Oh Sam!”
“Oh George!”
“OH NO.”
“What? What’s wrong??”

Oh George indeed. I think while our unhappily married couple are, ahem, in flagrante delicto might be one of the very few times we see Sam smile. There might be a couple of other occasions, but certainly not in George’s company. I think perhaps for Sam the phrase ‘marry in haste, repent in leisure’ is highly appropriate, having picked solid, dependable entomologist and aspiring artist George whilst on the rebound from a then pretty traumatic period in her life.

I won’t state precisely what occurred to Sam as that is gradually revealed to us over the course of her story, which she narrates to us through the book she is working on, but suffice to say she feels that bringing new life into the world is the only thing that will ever make her feel whole again. George, meanwhile, having lost his job cataloguing insects at the Museum of Natural History in New York isn’t remotely keen on starting a family, and is simply now drifting along somewhat morosely. He seems uncaring about his wife’s precarious emotional state, though to give him the benefit of the doubt he’s perhaps not aware of the extent of her sadness. But he’s quite determined that having a child is not the answer. To his problems, at least…

Their extended holiday to Oaxaca, Mexico, whether they’ve verbalised it or not, is very much perceived by both as a make or break trip. Even once they arrive though, they’re like ships that pass in the night, fluent Spanish speaking Sam keen to explore, interact with the locals and experience the culture, whilst working on her novel. Whereas the rather more reticent and monolingual George is seemingly just content to do some bug spotting with his camera and browse the local book shop run by an expat, whilst getting freaked out by barking dogs, speeding cars, well, pretty much everything.

Thus they both find themselves developing friendships with rather different characters, the vacation that was supposed to bring them back together only serving to give them more reasons to grow even further apart. Sam is befriended by a charismatic local artist who’s keen to show her his… artwork, and George by a bitter, alcoholic, former photojournalist who is as at much of a crossroads in his life as George is. His solution to everything, which he exhorts George to try, is Mezcal.

As the building social unrest in Oaxaca finally comes to a head, much like the tension in George and Samantha’s marriage, with striking teachers being tear-gassed and baton charged and indeed shot at by the local police, our duo find themselves dramatically thrown back together in the heat of an extreme, bloody and traumatic protest march.

But the question remains whether too much damage has already been done to their relationship for it ever to be truly repaired. A trip out to the ruins of Mitla then a butterfly sanctuary, where our duo are unwittingly reunited with a butterfly that has migrated all the way from their own starting destination (and I was surprised by a most unexpected three-page fold-out), to escape the deaths and devastation wrought by the protest, are almost certainly their last chance to make it work together.

Ah, Mr. Kuper, I have been waiting for this graphic novel for almost exactly twenty years since Mark recommended STRIPPED to me, which I absolutely loved. He has done some other bits and pieces which have been published since, but I have always felt he had a piece of really spectacular long form mainstream fiction in him, and finally it is here. Peter does state in the afterword that much of this graphic novel is inspired by the two years he spent living in Oaxaca with his wife and daughter between 2006 and 2008. I’m suspecting (and hoping) he means the authentic look and feel of the backdrop and characters, rather than marital strife! Knowing his talent for autobiographical material it doesn’t surprise me that he’s leaned heavily on his own experiences to create such a rich, vibrant setting for this work.

The dynamic between the two main characters, seemingly almost unrelated passengers in the same narrative only tenuously connected by dint of their matrimony, creates all the tension required to generate a compelling story, particularly when set against the social strife in the otherwise sleepy town. I was very satisfied indeed by the ending – or I should perhaps say endings – which is as complex as the duo’s relationship, but makes perfect sense for all concerned.

The metaphor of the butterfly, as we also follow the tagged one on its own long journey from New York to the sanctuary of Mexico, serving as short chapter breaks between Samantha and George’s story, is an entirely appropriate one. For there is indeed a metamorphosis occurring. And much like the caterpillar transforming into a hard, rigid chrysalis, what then emerges, unfettered and free, is completely different from what it was before, despite it being the same creature.

When we talk about creators’ works over long periods of time, we often talk about their art developing. Actually stylistically, Peter’s has stayed much the same, but that’s a wonderful thing. I can see the way he has drawn certain characters, holding a cigarette or taking a drink, and it’s exactly how I remember it from STRIPPED. It’s a quite distinctive style. In the black and white form, as most of STRIPPED was, it will almost certainly make you think of woodcuts. (Actually, I remember him illustrating a book called WORDLESS BOOKS: THE ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVELS by David A. Berona that was all about the woodcut novels of the early twentieth century.)

Coloured, it loses that association completely, partly because he has pencilled differently, with a considerably thinner line, but the style of illustration is still very apparent. His palette, and I actually mean this as a compliment, seems to be composed entirely of the few strong, distinct colours you’d find in a kid’s crayon set. It’s probably perfect for the bright light of the Mexican climate, and you can practically feel the sunshine splashing off the markings on the butterflies’ wings. I really hope this work is a huge success for him, and it spurs him on to get a follow up out sooner rather than later.


Buy Ruins and read the Page 45 review here

No Mercy vol 1 (with bookplate signed by Alex, Carla & Jenn!) (£7-50, Image) by Alex De Campi & Carla Speed McNeil.

Straight fiction so contemporary it will cut you.

From the creator of FINDER and the writer of SMOKE / ASHES, something completely different lobbed lovingly onto our shelves.

I now provide you with several paragraphs of complete misdirection but only in the spirit of the first chapter itself which comes with a jaw-dropping, whiplash moment hinted at on the cover which will change everything for those who survive it. And for those who don’t.

The sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful and so are you!

Princeton University sent out a call to its eager, hyper-achieving new students for a pre-freshmen trip to build much needed schools in Central America. After four years struggling to be model Ivy League applicants they were practically preconditioned to accept. Now they have landed, it is a bright and sunny, aqueous-blue day and they are texting, tweeting and grinning away like nobody’s bright-and –bushy-tailed business!

“So here we are, all present and accounted for. (Though Tiffani hasn’t been totally present anywhere since she got her first iPhone.) … Tiffani?”
“Squeeee! Nun!!!”

Consider the Nun pic.twitter’d.

The nun greeting and shepherding the kids, however, is far more concerned with practicalities and her reaction to the unexpected arrival of a tenuous relative intent on boarding their hired bus is ever so slightly ominous.

Oh, this is so well set up! Alex De Campi nails late-teenage interaction and its naivety when it comes to the presumption of safety and recourse abroad purely based on American or British citizenship. Some of them may have issues with one other – particularly the twins – but on the whole it is seems on the surface to be big, broad grins with Carla Speed McNeil lighting up their eyes as these young strangers get to know and enjoy each other’s company.

Truly this is an adventure and the prospect of a trip meandering high above this undiscovered countryside – although painfully long and without toilet facilities – is just another part of that thrill. One amongst them, Travis, is a seasoned traveller in India. He’s so impressively worldly-wise, eco-friendly and resourceful when it comes to being freegan that it’s sickening.

But even Travis is going to find what comes next almost impossible to grasp and those smiles will be wiped off their jejune faces in a catastrophic instant which is agonisingly teased out across five tortuously tense pages as time expands, the bus almost collides… and they’re all sent careening over the precipice.

Now they’re in trouble: more trouble than they can conceive of.

Half of them are dead and most of the rest are mentally fractured. Some have broken bones – specifically broken leg bones – and so cannot move. They are 20 miles from the nearest minor town. Their gleefully worshipped and overworked, high-tech mobile phones have no signal. Their one source of local knowledge, Sister Innes, is so damaged that she’s drifting in and out of consciousness.

“This is – This is – not good territory. We have, we have to leave here at once.”

As night falls, it’s not just the coyotes she’s talking about, and everyone is about to behave very, very badly. Some will be rash, some will be brash and although some will be kinder and more resourceful than others (especially deaf Antony), some will be downright nasty. I’d watch out for those twins.

Alex De Campi has thought this all through: what the young people would pack, how they’d react (short-term self-indulgence rather than long-term survival is rife) and then there are toilet issues for those who can’t stand. There’s quite the cliffhanger too.

(That wasn’t it. It would have worked for me, though! Such a clever composition, the punchline both bottom right and out of sight.)

What an exquisite and witty free bookplate, designed by Jenn Manley Lee and signed by all three! Bless you to bits, Jenn, Carla and most emphatically Alex for sending us enough to keep our customers lucky for the book’s first month at least.


Buy No Mercy vol 1 and read the Page 45 review here

Tokyo Ghost #1 (£2-99, Image) by Rick Remender & Sean Murphy…

“Davey Trauma.
“A psychopathic narcissist and millennial nostalgist who got his mind trapped in the net.
“As soon as we grab one o’ his geeks, Davey shuts them down.
“The world’s a video game to Davey. He can control anyone with a nanopac in’em.
“Meanin’ everyone.
“Everyone except me. Straight edge perks.”

Rick Remender seems to be on a one-man mission to demonstrate the many possible flavours of speculative and science fiction these days. After his turns doing comedic / weird:  BLACK SCIENCE, post-apocalyptic / aquatic: LOW, plus super-heroic: UNCANNY X-FORCE, UNCANNY AVENGERS, and even his CAPTAIN AMERICA: CAST AWAY IN DIMENSION Z involved Steve Rogers being castaway into a dimension where time travelled at a far faster rate to our own (possibly meant metaphorically as well as literally as he did adopt a child whilst there. I feel like I have spent considerable time in Dimension Z, wearing out and aging rapidly, over the last four years since Whackers was born…), he’s now crafted something that is straight-up cyberpunk.

The year is 2089, the location the Isles of Los Angeles. Society has most definitely polarised even further between the haves and have-nots, to the degree that the streets are basically one big floating cesspool of humanity, tranquilised on cerebral implants pumping out endless entertainment programmes directly into their vision, and nano-tech continuously adjusting and maintaining their emotional states, and even their physical appearances. All at a punitive financial cost, of course.

That vicious cycle of consumption, addiction and consequent fiscal slavery is not the worst of the population’s problems right now though, at least for the duration of this issue. No, that would be Davey Trauma. When Constable Debbie Decay says the world’s a video game to him, she’s not kidding. To Davey, the Isles Of Los Angeles right now is like his own personal Grand Theft Auto as he goes crashing, smashing and spree-murdering his way to fame and high score glory. Davey has his own twisted gaming rules though, such as not taking control of Debbie’s police partner, and lover Led, who is practically catatonic  in real-world terms, being utterly addicted to, and permanently immersed in the virtual world, plus superjacked up on steroids, bone growth stimulators, adrenaline and various other physical enhancers. He’s not above taunting her about the fact he could, though, or with his theories about why she’s involved with Led. Ouch.

You can see this series is going to be as much about Debbie and Led’s peculiar relationship as the central conceit of technology warping the behavioural mores of the individual and wider society. In fact our bipolar duo are just about to be given a mission that will take them to the last straight edge country on the planet: The Garden Nation of Tokyo. For Debbie that’s her idea of heaven. As for how on earth Led will cope getting back to basics and living the good life like Felicity Kendal, well, I guess we’ll find out in issue #2!

I have commented before that Rick’s artist cohort on BLACK SCIENCE, Matteo Scalera has a style very similar to Sean Murphy. I do wonder if the choice of Sean for this title is based entirely on Rick’s personal artistic preferences? Plus I’m sure he saw the speculative fiction gold Sean wrought with his own PUNK ROCK JESUS. Combined with the choice of Greg Tocchini for his aquatic artistic endeavours on LOW, messers. Jerome Opena and Daniel Acuna on the Uncanny X&A material, plus Romita Jr. doing a damn fine and trademark distinctive Cap’n A., I can see Greg really seems to appreciate an artist that stands out from the crowd.

Here Sean’s typically dense use of ultra fine myriad parallel black lines and complex detailing is perfect for rendering the frenetic hyperspeed streets and angular lunatics of the not so Angelic Isles. Intrigued to see what his take on the hopefully more tranquil and presumably a tad more salubrious well swept streets of the Garden Nation of Tokyo will be like!


Buy Tokyo Ghost #1 and read the Page 45 review here

The Dharma Punks (£18-99, Conundrum) by Ant Sang…

“Did you know that Buddhists believe that after we die, we’re reborn again?
“That this could be you or me next time around.
“I dunno… maybe it’s a comforting thought that we never truly die…
“That if we really screw up, at least we get another chance.”

What I loved about this angsty coming of age story set in New Zealand, 1994, is that it is completely and utterly believable. A group of teenage punks are simultaneously perilously close to being sucked into some seriously hardcore ‘social activism’ that’s far more… explosive than they realise and getting battered by the local chapter of ‘White Front’ skinheads. Set over one long night it has the feel of a screenplay written for a low budget, independent film. The characters and the story, therefore, have the punch and power of, say, a Romper Stomper and there are some incredibly violent moments, racially motivated, which are as uncomfortable and disturbing to read as anything in that particular film.

Happily, though, this is a story revolving primarily around a group of decent kids, who whilst they might be struggling to come to terms with the world and their place in it, indeed whether they can even cope with being in it, aren’t advocating kicking people’s heads in and hurting them. In particular there’s Chopstick, a rather sensitive soul who, unsurprisingly given his self-appointed nickname, is of Asian descent. He’s become deeply interested in Buddhism, studying the Dharma (Buddhist teachings) and practising meditation over the course of the last year. All since a founder member of their group of friends left extremely abruptly, an event which greatly unsettled him because, like most teenagers do, they all thought their little world was going to last forever.

No wonder these troubled teens are easy recruiting fodder for Jugga, an intimidating Maori running a local crew of anarchists with plans to disrupt the opening of a local branch of a national fast-food chain restaurant. The kids have been given the task of planting a small homemade firebomb made from weedkiller which will destroy the premises during the grand opening without hurting anyone. Well, that’s what they’ve been told by Jugga. The truth is rather different.

Fortunately for Chopstick, at the time he’s meant to be planting the bomb, he’s off gallivanting with a mute girl, whom Chopstick thinks he’s rescued from jumping from a local bridge and well known suicide spot. Unfortunately for Chopstick, and unbeknownst to him, the White Front are hard on his heels armed with an assortment of weaponry to avenge a slight he’s perpetuated on a member. If he somehow escapes that little lot, then he still has the psychotic Jugga to deal with!

It’s a testament to the writing that the violence and action, when it arrives in short staccato punctuating bursts, is very much secondary to the real story, that of Chopstick’s fraught journey from tender youth to fully fledged dharma punk, free to finally make his own decisions, not hamstrung by the events of the past or fear of the future. There’s a saying in Buddhism that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Often the teacher is not who you would expect, and so it is here.

The art contributes enormously to the appeal of this work for me too, with a powerful, heavy black and white illustration style. There are a lot of close-up talking head shots, which are clearly a strength of the creator. Again, consciously or otherwise, they certainly add to that art house film feel. Even the appearance of the ghost of Kurt Cobain, which as a device is incorporated extremely well into the work, and I think put into the context that this work is set in 1994 and Chopstick’s own musical predilections, which do earn him some scorn from his more hardcore friends, is rather appropriate.

I do have a minor gripe with the mixed message given out by one of the characters that Buddhism is akin or close to nihilism. Admittedly when you reflect upon the particular character that is making these assertions – once you know the whole of their story – it is explicable, probably even a deliberate conceit. I’ve just seen too many real-world essays by those wishing to denounce Buddhism for their own ends, stating that it is a nihilistic faith purporting that life is meaningless, when in fact the exact opposite is true.

So it always concerns me slightly when I perceive there is a potential for dissemination of misinformation in that direction. I’m quite certain Ant Sang wouldn’t want this, either. I’ve no idea whether or not Ant is a practising Buddhist, but I suspect so, given the appropriate quotations that form each chapter heading, so I think I’m just going to have to accept this is a personal issue and let it go! Whether Chopstick can let all of his issues go, plus avoid the cross-section of nutters gunning for him, and get his enlightened happy ending, is an entirely different matter…


Buy The Dharma Punks and read the Page 45 review here

When Anxiety Attacks (£7-99, Singing Dragon) by Tieran Koscik…

“Hi, I’m Tieran.
“I live in Portland, Oregon with my best friend.
“I’m a software engineer.
“I make comics.
“I also regularly visit a therapist to talk about anxiety.
“But it wasn’t an easy decision to start going.”

From the publishers of the excellent PAIN IS REALLY STRANGE comes another medical missive, again on a subject we can I’m sure all relate to. For whilst not all of us might have been gripped by anxious thoughts and feelings to the degree that we are unable to function normally, whatever that is, being crippled by doubts and insecurities we simply cannot shake, we’ve all undoubtedly had the odd moment where our blood pressure shoots up and tension grips us in a vice-like state. I certainly observe the symptoms in Stephen every month as the PREVIEWS deadline approaches with all the inevitability of the tide rolling in towards a man stranded on the beach wearing only a pair of concrete wellingtons…

So, I thought this might be an exploration of what causes anxiety and which techniques can be applied to ameliorate or even extinguish the symptoms entirely. And it is to a degree. But whereas PAIN IS REALLY STRANGE is presented from an objective, entirely empirical perspective of cause and effect, this is most definitely Terian’s subjective experience of both anxiety and her attempts to obtain relief from it through therapy. So a personal memoir then, rather than a scientific analysis. With a topic as amorphous as anxiety though, talking about one’s own experiences anecdotally is probably as an empirical based approach as it gets.

Terian’s art style is definitely inspired by Scott McCloud in his UNDERSTANDING COMICS mode, albeit somewhat looser, adopting that talking head, breaking the fourth wall style which Darryl Cunningham uses to such great effect in his PSYCHIATRIC TALES (and also SCIENCE TALES and SUPERCRASH).

This is an extremely well intentioned comic, in which Tieran wants to impress upon people that engaging in therapy really doesn’t have to be something to be so… anxious about. And whilst sufferers might always experience relapses and recurrences and crushing cul-de-sacs of doubt and despair, there is almost certainly no such thing as being ‘fixed’. In fact, thinking of mental matters in those terms is probably not particularly helpful.

I don’t see this comic breaking any new ground in the presentation and exploration of mental wellbeing, or the lack of it, but it’s always nice to have positive affirming stories for those going through the maelstrom to understand that they are most definitely not alone.


Buy When Anxiety Attacks and read the Page 45 review here

Heart In A Box (£10-99, Dark Horse) by Kelly Thompson & Meredith McClaren.

In which a young woman called Emma gets her heart-broken by a two-timing cad, retires to bed potentially for life but is coaxed out again by her best friend, Xan.

On her first evening out on the town, however, it’s still all too much and she wishes she didn’t even have a heart to feel all this pain. One consultation later with a mysterious stranger and Emma has no heart – it has been dispersed. Blessed relief!

“I’m glad for you Emma,” says the enigmatical ‘Bob’. “Here’s my card, in case you should need anything.”
“You have a mobile phone?”
“I’m not a savage, Emma.”

Of course Emma swiftly realises that feeling nothing at all is even worse than the rollercoaster ride that is the gnawing, gut-grinding feeling of rejection and betrayal tempered by the kindness of friendship. So she summons ‘Bob’ only to discover that all but a slither of her heart has been redistributed to six more souls in need of it. If she wants to feel whole again she’ll need to steal them all back by stealth or more… lethal means. And she’s given a box to put them all in.

Artist Meredith McClaren you may know from HINGES which she both wrote and drew and indeed coloured to perfection: fabulous sense of cool, clean light which I described as Optrex for the eye. The folds in the clothes and clumps of hair are equally sensual here but I’m afraid it’s far more cluttered and the clarity’s impeded by chaotic colouring which often erodes rather than enhances the forms.

But that’s not my chief problem with the book. Although the dialogue dances gaily enough in places, the rules and logic and execution of her quest – who actually has her pieces of heart, why they would need them, when they acquired them and what she must do to retrieve them – don’t make sense. On top of that Emma herself is so inconsistently compassionate and dispassionate and outright vicious that she’s neither credible nor likeable, and you wouldn’t have a best friend like Xan if you were prepared to beat your ex’s new girlfriend to a pulp.


Buy Heart In A Box 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.

Free Country – A Tale Of The Childrens Crusade h/c (£18-99, Vertigo) by Neil Gaiman, Jamie Delano, Toby Litt, Alisa Kwitney & Peter Gross, Peter Snejbjerg, Al Davison, Chris Bachalo

Y – The Last Man Book vol 3 (£14-99, Vertigo) by Brian K. Vaughan & Pia Guerra

Avatar Last Airbender vol 10: Smoke And Shadow Part 1 (£8-50, Dark Horse) by Gene Luen Yang & Gurihiru

BPRD Hell On Earth vol 11 – Flesh And Stone (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi & James Harren

Orphan Black (£14-99, IDW) by John Fawcett, Graeme Manson, Jody Houser & Szymon Kudranski, Alan Quah, Cat Staggs

Something At The Window Is Scratching h/c (£13-99, Titan) by Roman Dirge

The Hellboy 100 Project s/c (£9-99, Dark Horse) by 100 amazing artists

Amazing Spider-Man: vol 5 Spiral s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Gerry Conway & Carlo Barberi

Black Widow vol 3: Last Days s/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Nathan Edmondson & Phil Noto

Loki Agent Of Asgard vol 3: Last Days s/c (£13-50, Marvel) by Al Ewing & Lee Garbett

The Punisher vol 3: Last Days s/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Nathan Edmondson & Mitch Gerads, Moritat, Brent Schoonover

Judge vol 5 (£8-99, Yen) by Yoshiki Tonogai

Judge vol 6 (£8-99, Yen) by Yoshiki Tonogai

Mobile Suit Gundam Origin vol 11: Cosmic Glow (£22-50, Random House / Vertical) by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko

One-Punch Man vol 1 (£6-99, Viz) by One & Yusuke Murata

One-Punch Man vol 2 (£6-99, Viz) by One & Yusuke Murata

Skip Beat vol 35 (£7-50, Viz) by Yoshiki Nakamura


ITEM! Interview with Simone Lia on the creation of FLUFFY and so much more! Stuff even I didn’t know there!

REMEMBER! Simone Lia & Hannah Berry will be signing and sketching for free at Page 45’s 10th Anniversary Booze Bash on Saturday October 3rd!

ITEM! From the creator of GOLIATH and YOU’RE ALL JUST JEALOUS OF MY JETPACK (includes the below), Tom Gauld’s Tumblr features page after page of satirical strips and culturally informed cartoons

ITEM! Important Guardian survey if you work in the arts, culture or creative industries. Comicbook creators, have your voiced heard.

ITEM! Bristol comic & zine fair on Saturday October 3rd But you’ll be in Nottingham for our 21st Birthday Party, won’t you?

ITEM! From the creators of SAM & DAVE DIG A HOLE, this (in text): Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen in conversation about the creation of SAM & DAVE DIG A HOLE.

ITEM! You won’t believe which books are banned and challenged in the USA. Or why. BONE! MAUS! PERSEPOLIS! Prehistoric! Let’s not learn anything!

ITEM! Retailers! The UK’s Avery Hill Publishing and the USA’s Retrofit Comics announce a transatlantic deal so that each publishers’ comics are readily available in the other’s country!

ITEM! A Moment Of Cerebus archives Page 45’s Dave Sim interview about GLAMOURPUSS, my article on JUDENHASS and Dave’s tribute to our beardly beloved Mark. Left to right at the top: Gerhard, Dave Sim, Mark. Underneath? That’s me in the corner…

ITEM! So many family-friendly events and workshops creation cool comics at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th October!

REMEMBER: Page 45 is at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th October 2015 with gorgeous graphic novels for sale and Page 45 Guests Signing & Sketching For Free (linked to their websites):

Jon Allison, Dan Berry, Jonathan Edwards, Sarah McIntyre, Felt Mistress, Philip Reeve, Jade Sarson, Richard Short, Emma Vieceli


– Stephen

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