Page 45 Comic & Graphic Novel Reviews October 2015 week four

Includes top tips for Christmas presents, return of our News under reviews and books of all shapes and sizes. We’re the comicbook equivalent of Revels!

The Troll (£3-00, Accent UK) by Martin Flink.

Whoa, what an unexpected silent pleasure and treasure!

I’m thrilled by a comic that lets me look around.

This one positively begs you to.

Towering above and tunnelling under the coniferous trees, every single panel of this full-colour feast invites the eyes left, right, deep down and up, up, up into a cerulean sky which finally breaks into a majestic double-page spread of billowing cloud formations swept across the infinite heavens as far as the eye can see.

Unlike almost every other page with crisp, white borders, the colours bleed right off the edges – enhancing the vastness of bright blue space – just as any open sky does beyond the periphery of your vision. This is the glee which I glean from nature; this is what I adore about such carefully crafted comics.

 

 

The spirit of place begins on the very first page as a family car pulls up in a clearing outside a cabin which is the same rich, rusty colour as the car. A young boy leaps out to look up at the windows between the wooden slats, and their glass reflects the top tips of the trees behind him.

Immediately he sets off to explore and – once more – a judiciously placed focal point of misty, ethereal light in the distance lures your eyes, just like his own, through what would otherwise have been an impenetrably dense and dark forest. It promises at least one potentially safe path through the pines and how could one possibly resist?

The boy climbs and he clambers up an impossibly steep, green, grassy hill and there spies a stone. And what would you do? You’d throw it!

And that, as they say, is what wakes the giant up.

What follows next put me in mind of Shadow Of The Colossus, the sequel to the glorious game Ico – superb sense of scale – and also, in terms of graphic novels, Keaton Henson’s GLOAMING.

Big love to Martin Flink for that one, tense moment teased out by virtue of it being on the right-hand page involving a finger as gigantic and powerful yet as tender as a Mountain Gorilla’s.

SLH

Buy The Troll and read the Page 45 review here

Bad Machinery vol 4: The Case Of The Lonely One (£14-99, Oni) by John Allison.

 

“Is he your boyfriend now? Because pet food isn’t the only aisle in the supermarket.”

Some comedies are cleverer than others, and there are few out there who can spring from one sentence to another with such nimble dexterity as Britain’s John Allison who eschews the obvious cheap barb in favour of an unexpected epigram for life.

Allison is ever so good at observing and understanding the unspoken rules of school and young-teenage codes of practice over the last couple of decades. Then he’s ever so clever at translating them. When newcomer Lem arrives the girls hold back from tainting him with their company for fear he’d be rejected by the boys, just as a chick might be rejected by its mother if handled too closely by humans.

“He’s wandering off.”
“He seeks the company of his own kind.”
“Are you sure we shouldn’t have spoken to him?”
“No! We’d have put the stink of girls on him. The boys would have rejected him. Pecked him to bits.”

He’s also very good at remembering our priorities, like Little Claire’s horror at the school-wide 1-ply toilet tissue travesty! We had small square sheaves of waxy toilet paper which was ewww.

On top of all that John gives voice to our wider silliness at any age when sizing someone up at a glance. Parents are particularly funny, aren’t they?

“He was very polite on the phone. Sounded very handsome.”

It’s a brand-new school year at Griswalds Grammar in the town of Tackleford and our six young sleuths are in gleeful form. Together Shauna, Lottie, Mildred, Jack, Linton and Sonny are a force to be reckoned with, but almost immediately the most exhuberant of them all, Lottie, is separated from the group.

First, she simply doodled over the memo she was supposed to sign to join the others in Latin class and so finds herself sitting instead next to Little Claire whose “lithp” makes her sound like a bothersome wasp.*  Secondly she’s the first to fall for the charms of that peculiar new boy Lem who doesn’t appear to others to have any charm: he eats onions and only onions all day! Yet one by one the mystery-fixated group come to the improbable conclusion that “He’s a right laugh once you get to know him”. Then their breath starts to smell weird.

“I’ve blown up like a dead sheep in a river, Shauna.”
“I told you! Onions are a sometimes food!”

Effectively ostracised from her friends as they start being led by Lem to his onion farm and some very odd games there, Shauna finds herself alone and in need of new, unlikely allies like Corky, Blossom and Tuan of the role playing club. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Shauna may have bitten off more than she can chew, but at least she’s not gnashing down on onions. Yet.

As ever the body language on offer is exquisite, like Tuan gesticulating wildly over Corky, casting a “Break enchantment” spell, or one of the brand-new pages (there are always new pages upon printed publication) depicting team captain Linton on the soccer pitch in his pristine white kit, hands on hips as he wiggles the football beneath one boot. Judging by the various other stances, though, I’m not sure it’s going to be the most coordinated of matches.

Blossom has a face like thunder throughout (“I never really thought of Blossom as a girl. More of an unhappy cloud.”), Lem’s nose is as raw as the onions he’s eating and when someone shelters under an umbrella one gets a very real sense of huddling and what’s still getting wet.

The comic kicks off late at night and halfway in, as Shauna clack-clacks and huffs-huffs her way hurriedly down an eerie, empty school corridor which echoes like an indoor swimming pool. She turns to face her enemy. And betrayal from within…

Allison’s comics and comedy are ever so British and each one is self-contained so you can start anywhere you like. BAD MACHINERY VOL 3 which we made Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month is drenched in our national, default meteorological condition (the drains “GLUG GLUG GLUG” in the background here), while his two-part EXPECTING TO FLY #1 and EXPECTING TO FLY #2 could not be set anywhere other than England or any when else other than 1996. With an appeal so broad that they exceeded even our own enthusiastic expectations, both those comics have outsold all of their corporate counterparts at Page 45 including Marvel’s annual blockbuster, SECRET WARS #1!

EXPECTING TO FLY #1 and EXPECTING TO FLY #2: oh yeah, we have your annual stocking fillers right there, permanently in stock.

Lastly:

*What’s up with the word ‘lisp’, eh? Why would you invent a word which those who suffer from it find impossible to pronounce?

SLH

Buy Bad Machinery vol 4: The Case Of The Lonely One and read the Page 45 review here

Briar vol 1 (£8-99, Improper Books) by Benjamin Reed & Chris Wildgoose.

I’ve just had to remove “Exclusive Page 45 Signed Bookplate Edition” because we sold all 50 within a week, before I could even contemplate a review.*

Were you among the hundreds (yes, hundreds) who relished Ben and Christian’s PORCELAIN VOL 1? Because PORCELAIN VOL 2 (previewed) debuts next month with another Exclusive Page 45 Signed Bookplate Edition so I would probably pre-order now! Thanks etc.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a princess in possession of a good fortune but hidden behind an impenetrable hundred-foot hedge of wild, red, rambling rose must be in want of a noble knight to rescue her.

Sure enough dozens of valiant would-be suitors have attempted entry but lost their lives and souls to the living briar whose thorns have shredded their shining armour and stripped the flesh behind it, leaving them caught in its coils to echo the entreaties of their equally doomed successors.

The Knight Of The Twisted Oak, however, will not be deterred. He too has heard the calling but holds a certain something up his sleeve which may give him the edge. Even so, he’s in for a rude awakening for the curse is more complex than it seems.

The star of the show under Chris Wildgoose is the titular briar. According to Ben the script for page four ran little further than “The knight encounters the most monumental hedge”. Something similar, anyway. It took him all of ten seconds to type. Now imagine you’re the artist. Have you started crying yet?

The semi-sentient cadavers within are truly harrowing. There’s something fundamentally frightening about one’s orifices being invaded like that.

Tradition after tradition is thrown at you then out of the window, and my educated guess is that as soon as you’ve finished your first read through you’ll want to begin again to see if the illusion cast by the clever script holds. It does.

*Ooooh, actually there are four left At The Time Of Typing! Behold, the bookplate:

SLH

Buy Briar vol 1 and read the Page 45 review here

The Red Shoes And Other Tales (£9-00, Papercut) by Metaphrog.

Darkity dark, dark, dark.

Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti recently reminded us how Grimm those brothers were with their stark rendition of HANSEL & GRETEL. Now it’s Metaphrog’s turn to do much the same for Hans Christian Andersen but with much kinder colours.

Rich, rusty browns are set against eerie green architecture, gravestones and woodland and, now that I come to think about it, there’s something of the Richard Sala to the entire proceedings. Period wallpaper and carpet textures are integrated seamlessly into the line art, and the light looks positively subaquatic when young Karen spies the dancer whose skin, shoes and balletic grace she falls in awe with. Rays of sunlight filter from on high much as they might through crystal clear waters and bubbles bounce from the theatre steps as the ballerina tip-toes up them before waltzing through the doorway and vanishing from sight.

“Oh, how I wish to be like her!” muses Karen, mesmerised. From which point onwards she’s caught in a dream state, a fugue. And it won’t end well, I can promise you.

Her earlier years were far less fanciful. Living alone with her mother they were so poor that in summer Karen went barefoot, but at least she could feel the grass beneath her naked feet, and she would dance! In winter she wore wooden shoes which chaffed her ankles, rubbing them raw. But when her mother died a neighbour gave her a pair of soft slippers cobbled together from strips of red cloth. How much kinder on her feet were they!

Alas, her rich, Great Aunt Anna upon taking Karen in deemed the handcrafted handmade and scruffy, even “hideous”, certainly not worthy of her niece. So she took her shopping to a posh part of town which is where Karen comes across the ballerina and then, in a shop window, a pair of patent leather red shoes with straps to secure them fast.

I think we’ll leave it there, shall we? There will be a great deal of dancing, much of it involuntary, as Karen is tossed like a rag doll, a broken marionette, gesticulating wildly, awkwardly, attempting grace even as she falls from it.

Bravo, basically. By the end you too will yearn for the feel of succulent grass beneath your feet. Hindsight is a cruel, cruel thing.

The main event is followed by two further tales: ‘The Glass Case’ and ‘The Little Match Girl’, both of them dealing with oppression (through parenting or poverty) and the consolation prize of escape.

I hope I’ve intrigued you and done this little book some sort of justice. It was an enormous honour to help launch it at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2015 with Metaphrog’s Sandra and John. They’ve poured their substantial hearts into this and it shows. Mary and Bryan Talbot snapped one up each, which is a greater testimony to its quality that I could presume to offer.

Perfect for Christmas when we resolve even harder to appreciate what we’ve got.

SLH

Buy The Red Shoes And Other Tales and read the Page 45 review here

Tribes Of Kai (£18-99, Flesk) by Lance Haunrogue & Darren Bader.

“The Stance is a test of many attributes, but a true Lord of Kai must display honour, bravery, compassion, strategy and wisdom.”

Spread over a page, those five qualities are given a painted panel each, depicting one of the five leaders of the Mantakai tribes supposedly united under their current ruler, the lion-like Lord Fauqua.

But not all strategies, however brave, are honourable, compassionate or wise.

That tableau’s worth studying for we join these individuals at a critical juncture. The balance of nature is delicate, agreed hunting grounds are being exceeded, the food chain is in flux, and ambitions are on the rise.

Change is imminent. The Stance is a ceremony of succession.

After many years successfully ensuring survival through maintaining order and unity, Lord Fauqua is stepping down. He consults his potential successors and pays due deference to tradition and to their ancestors while wondering if every decision he made was right. This is a humility the others can only aspire to. Beware of those who burn with a “passionate intensity” for those who know they are right are almost always horrifically wrong.

Brother will betray brother and so let the enemy in. That is perhaps the cleverest sequence as the reader is whiplashed through strike, counter-strike and trap, counter-trap with opportunities so rashly seized and reactive instinct disembowelling all hope for the future.

The first words I jotted down on opening this up at random were “fire in the night”. Regardless of the images I’ve chosen you’ll see what I mean when you read it. Those who love visions, signs and portents will not be disappointed. Oh no, it’s not SANDMAN but for those who consistently ask for something akin to Dungeons & Dragons or even Game Of Thrones I think we may have found something for you. Albeit starring the feline equivalent of centaurs.

This is undeniably art-driven but the art is a tour de force. Did you love Bertolucci’s LOVE: TIGER and his newly arrived LOVE: FOX? I’m confident that Darren Bader will not disappoint.

With muscle-majestic, neoclassical art to rival that even of its best modern proponent Paul Reid (AKA @Minotaur_Man on Twitter), I know exactly who to sell this to.

The opening. predatory shot looking out from the jungle shadows over a lush river valley ripe for the pickings is even more halting than the version I supply here. There are no words. Instead the tiger-like Niatan rears up on hind legs from a thick, gnarled tree trunk high in the sky, so ancient that it’s been overgrown with green grass and fronds. His left fist grasps a knotted, woody vine worthy of SWAMP THING’s Stephen Bissette & John Totleben. In the far distance, above eye-line, peaks an ice-encrusted mountain piercing the sun-lit clouds; below him – yes, below him – a flock of white birds take flight. Don’t you just love it when you’re looking down on birds in flight?

His and our focal point is a specific stretch of river, centre-right, which gleams a tangy, lemon-mousse yellow with a dry-brush spray under which you can just about perceive the grain of the canvas. Above it billow tree tops highlighted in freshly cut, lime-peel green.

The framing is perfect.

If I’ve failed to sell this to you so far (I really haven’t, though, have I?) I offer you lead-heavy, armour-plated dinosaurs as well as the most agile, crocodilian reptiles you’ve ever seen.

As well as a fight for your life.

SLH

Buy Tribes Of Kai and read the Page 45 review here

Wild’s End vol 1: First Light (£14-99, Boom) by Dan Abnett & I.N.J. Culbard.

Includes diary entries, a guide to countryside walks, a newspaper reported seized and censored by the military and newspaper pages in which the locals are alarmed at a proposed speed increase on the roads from 10 miles per hour to a positively reckless 15 mph.

Surely there must be someone out there as dim as me who didn’t cotton onto the titular pun in Abnett and Culbard’s THE NEW DEADWARDIANS (“The Nude Edwardians”)?

Culbard had to tell me himself.

Which was embarrassing.

Abnett & Culbard seem to have a thing for alien invasion at the moment. In DARK AGES, now collected into a tpb, a cadre of 14th Century mercenaries wish for war and get what they want. Whoops.

Its alien invasion aside, this couldn’t be more different. The leafy, tranquil and idyllic English country village of Lower Crowchurch is planning its annual fête over a few pints down the King’s Arms.

Judging by the open-topped motor cars parked up outside, we’re looking at the early or mid-1930s. The wobbly-necked solicitor Gilbert Arrant is a shoe-in for the committee chair again. A natural leader, he’s confident, encouraging, forward-thinking and assertive without being overbearing. His good friend Peter Minks, a journalist for the local paper with his hat permanently set at a jaunty old angle, will be in charge of the tombola.

“That’s right, so bring along all your donations to me. Nice prizes, please. Not a lucky horseshoe again, Frank.”
“It were a lucky horseshoe!”
“Not for the winner it wasn’t.”

Monacled Squire Umbleton will be demonstrating his revolutionary new agricultural engine which runs on diesel combustion, and of course there will be all the traditional competitions for cakes, jams, vegetables, flower arrangements, arts and crafts and possibly farm animals.

Joining them this year is retired old seadog Mr Clive Slipaway who has just moved in to Journey’s End thatched country cottage and is giving its door and windows a fresh lick of nautical blue paint. He appears reserved, even wary, reluctant to engage – and certainly tight-lipped about the action he saw overseas in the navy – but reluctantly agrees to provide target practice with straw bales, tin targets and pellet guns. Nothing too dangerous, anyway…

Unfortunately for everyone danger is heading their way, regardless. I suspect you’ll have taken note of the cover. War Of The ‘Wolds?

The night before notorious poacher Fawkes and his chum Bodie saw a falling star crash to earth on the other side of Hightop. He gate-crashes the committee meeting to warn his fellow villages, claiming it killed Bodie, burned up in a fierce flash of light. Unfortunately Fawkes is a fox who’s cried wolf way too often whilst under the influence of alcohol, and only Clive gives credence to his cry for help.

“I’ve — I’ve seen enough young men gripped in terror to know what genuine fear looks like.”

As Gilbert, Peter and Clive set off to investigate, something on six legs stirs at Shortmile End and scuttles towards Mrs. Swagger’s cottage where she works in the kitchen, all alone…

It’s all very Doctor Who. I’m thinking specifically of Spearhead From Space, John Pertwee’s first story, with an element of Christopher Eccleston’s second. Except, of course, this is anthropomorphics – I haven’t mentioned that yet, have I?

It is, however, quite different from any anthropomorphic comic I’ve seen before. Compared to the likes of GRANDVILLE and BLACKSAD this looks far more like a children’s story book with bright colours, bold, clean lines and shapes, and maps throughout which have aged at their edges. It has that magical, fairy-tale aspect of Alice In Wonderland, the protagonists looking like actors who’ve donned oversized animal heads as they might for a pantomime. Whereas most anthropomorphic characters come with bright, shiny eyes, here – Fawkesie aside, wide-eyed in terror – the old ‘uns eyes are almost closed under the glare of the summer sunshine, giving them a terrific sense of age. When Gilbert’s do open a little indoors they have a fantastical sense of otherness.

Gilbert’s body language is exquisite, delicate, his hands afloat, fingers crossed or gently caressing his chin. Peter’s more of a cheeky chappy while Clive is doleful, heavy and tired with saggy jowls. The one time in the first chapter that he becomes animated enough to exert his undoubted physical strength and authority, you can just about see his lower teeth bared to intimidate. It’s masterfully drawn.

Abnett, meanwhile, relishes the formality and propriety of the strangers’ interactions, especially once they’re joined by contemporary fiction writer Susan Peardew whose eyes too widen at what she encounters: living, concrete proof that her ex-husband’s successful “scientific romances” – which she edited and essentially rewrote – weren’t such fantastical imaginings as they both assumed.

Unfortunately the smaller, spidery scouts which proved lethal enough on their own are soon joined by far more formidable, lantern-topped enemies and our heroes find themselves in a desperate quandary: outgunned, they are being hunted and their only hope lies in greater numbers; but if they run for a village they’ll only lead their pursuers there and so doom its inhabitants.

Continued right now in WILD’S END: ENEMY WITHIN #1. [Don’t read that review, just buy because SPOILERS, obviously!]

SLH

Buy Wild’s End vol 1: First Light and read the Page 45 review here

Karnak #1 (£2-99, Marvel) by Warren Ellis & Gerardo Zaffino.

Let me introduce you to the green-cowled Karnak, now Magister of the Tower Of Wisdom, a rigidly austere and imposingly tall “temple” built of heavy grey stone blocks, sequestered on a plateau high in the misty mountains of what I infer are the Andes – or somewhere of that ilk.

A member of its royal family, he once enjoyed the company of his fellow Inhumans. Now his life is solitary, monastic and focussed on silent contemplation, broken only when one of his acolytes announces:

“Magister. The Infernal Device is calling.”

Hidden behind doors so thick that it takes four to heave them open – and even so, they budge only grudgingly – the Infernal Device is an old-skool, two-way radio supplied by S.H.I.E.L.D., the international espionage agency which now summons him from seclusion to an old substation in Svalbard on the Arctic Ocean where they are experiencing security breaches.

“Ah, Attilan, the seat of Inhumanity, was once located in the North Atlantic. It was a little like this. Bleak. Isolated. Cold.
“It is pleasing to me.”

Karnak is being called upon because a couple’s son – recently traumatised and transmogrified by the Inhuman’s Terrigen Mist into one of their own – has been abducted by terrorists. S.H.I.E.L.D.S.’s investigations have been hampered by legal restrictions and by infiltration whose source Karnak spots instantly.

“My curse is that I see the flaw in all things. Systems. Philosophies. Structures. People. Everything.
“The bullet you fired at me was flawed simply by the act of being fired.
“You were flawed by being born.”

His insight allows him to target these weaknesses and so shatter structures, be they bones, walls or even illusions: comforting thoughts that get us through each day. He does so ruthlessly and remorselessly. Never a party person, Karnak is no longer a people person and far from eager to please. Small talk is an anathema to him; smiling is an insult.

Yet he may be the best Marvel-Comic company you can hope to keep right now outside our good Stephen Strange.

Always reliable for reinvention, Warren Ellis – whose creator-owned comics like INJECTION I hope need no introduction – has stayed true to the character’s focussed nature and distilled it into raw single-mindedness. He’s delivered a much more fractious take on a character about whom you need know nothing prior to this just like the other stand-out, post-SECRET WARS relaunch DOCTOR STRANGE #1 by Jason Aaron & Chris Bachalo (reviewed and back in stock At The Time Of Typing).

The austerity’s enhanced by Gerardo Zaffino’s gruff, grainy textures and superb command of half-light and midnight when confronted with Karnak’s eye-piercing, soul-searing gaze. The entire comic experience is led by colour artist Dan Brown’s rich olive green. But coming back to Karnak in action, Zaffino stops time virtually dead its tracks as that bullet is fired, the space ahead of its trajectory ruptured as any wound would be while what’s left in its wake flares brilliantly behind.

You will have plenty Matt Fraction & David Aja  IRON FIST kung-fu fighting, with the cliffhanger promising much more to come.

Before SECRET WARS my corporate superhero intake had diminished to virtually zero. If you are of the superheroic persuasion I can wholeheartedly now recommend this and DOCTOR STRANGE #1, plus UNCANNY INHUMANS #1 grabbed me far beyond expectations and INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1  (reviewed) and INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #2 did not disappoint at all.

You are always, always encouraged – whoever you are – to buy Paul Jenkins & Jae Lee’s self-contained, exceptionally literate, deliciously delineated and lambently coloured INHUMANS collection (think Neil Gaiman, I did you not), but you certainly don’t need it for this.

SLH

Buy Karnak #1 and read the Page 45 review here

You Are A Kitten! Pick A Plot Book 3 (£14-99, Conundrum) by Sherwin Tija.

Haha! Once again I issue the dire warning:

THIS BOOK IS NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUNG ONES!

Oh, it looks as though it should be since it is indeed an interactive Choose Your Own Adventure story and stars yourself as a cute kitten.

I explain all and at great length in my review of YOU ARE A CAT! PICK A PLOT BOOK 1 which is still in print and in stock at the time of typing. You can view this as its prequel if you like, though in order to do so you’re going to have to survive this experience and you may find the odds stacked against you.

Remember: there are terrible people in this world! You are about to encounter some.

Just like your childhood favourites, this is illustrated prose. But there is a comicbook equivalent in the form of Jason Shiga’s ingenious MEANWHILE which is suitable for all ages. Its panels are linked together in a Spaghetti Junction of tubes which take you back and forth throughout the book using the tabs that stick out from its laminated pages leading almost inevitably towards Doomsday. “3,856 story possibilities” declares the front cover, but only one road leads to happiness. Which is a poor reflection on life and not something you should tell small children.

This kicks off with an evocation of your first bleary-eyed experiences of the world, the initial sensations of your siblings huddled together and being licked in turn by your mother’s tongue. Accompanied by an illustration seen from your own blurred point of view, it’s beautifully written, placing you firmly in your new, soft-padded, fluffy paws.

“You cry out again. Your voice is a dull, inchoate noise mingling with the low-level buzz.
“After a while it’s not so cold anymore. Something large and warm is close by, radiating heat, and you move towards it. You are aware of other bodies, also warm, also moving around you. You follow a deeply satisfying smell toward her.
“Mom.
“Under her fur, the soothing lub-dub of her heart pulsing against your face. The rhythm is a faint echo of the same beat that used to surround you, that was your whole world. It feels so far off now.”

It’s going to feel a lot further off very shortly.

Not all kittens in a litter are wanted, and not all couples owning cats should do so.

I can’t bear to break your hearts by continuing so instead I turn to Tija’s feature in the back: a guide to creating your own interactive adventure which is a great deal more complicated than it looks. The good news is that Sherwin has already written three so he’s encountered the logistical nightmare which is assigning page numbers etc and solved it.

Equally as important is remembering that these interactive adventures at their best are “empathy machines”: you’re placed in someone else’s shoes – those who may face difficult choices – and some may really make you think. Thinking about those choices when creating them is vital: offer obvious ones, advises Tija, and their opposites. “Then offer the offbeat and the outlandish.” Sherwin is a master of subverting expectations as you may have gathered by now!  “Try to offer choices that would appeal to different personality types.”

Too many strands will leave you with an unwieldy 3,000-page epic, so “funnelling is your friend”. Astutely he compares the mapping to capillaries in your body rather than the almost infinite branching of trees, for capillaries leave its arteries, divide further as they supply your muscles etc with oxygen and nutrients (possibly – it’s over three decades since I studied Biology A Level) then regroup and rejoin the main flow as veins.

Also advised are options to jump from one strand of the story to another at intervals; cautioned against to avoid reader frustration is the “try and die” experience. What I’d never thought about are orphan pages: the mischievous incorporation of excerpts which no roads lead to at all!

At eight pages in relatively small print, the guide is far more detailed than I’ve room to go into here and could lead to some exceptionally fun school projects. Just not the main body of work. Oh my days, no!

SLH

Buy You Are A Kitten! Pick A Plot Book 3 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.

Love vol 2: The Fox h/c (£13-50, Magnetic Press) by Frederic Brremaud & Federico Bertolucci

Owners Manual To Terrible Parenting (£9-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Guy Delisle

Battling Boy: The Fall Of The House Of West vol 2 (£7-99, First Second) by Paul Pope & JT Petty, David Rubin

Peter Pan (£12-99, BC) by J M Barrie & Stref, Fin Cramb

Never Learn Anything From History (£14-99, Self Published) by Kate Beaton

The Princess And The Pony – signed (£6-99, Walker Books) by Kate Beaton

Pope Hats #3 (£4-99, Adhouse Books) by Ethan Rilly

Pope Hats #4 (£5-99, Adhouse Books) by Ethan Rilly

Casanova vol 1: Aciedia (£7-50, Image) by Matt Fraction & Fabio Moon, Michael Chabon, Gabriel Ba

Tales From The Clerks (£24-99, Titan) by Kevin Smith &Jim Mahfood, Matt Wagner, Michael Oeming, various

Sherlock Holmes and the Necronomicon (£13-50, Dark Horse) by Sylvain Cordurie & Laci

Injustice Gods Among Us Year Two vol 2 s/c (£12-99, DC) by Tom Taylor & Bruno Redondo, Thomas Derenick, various

Injustice Year Three vol 1 h/c (£16-99, DC) by Tom Taylor & Bruno Redondo, Mike Miller, various

Guardians Team-Up vol 1: Guardians Assemble s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Sam Humphries, John Layman, various

Avengers Ultron Forever s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Al Ewing & Alan Davis

Batman Wargames vol 1 s/c (£25-99, DC) by Anderson Gabrych

Batman Adventures vol 3 s/c (£12-99, DC ) by Bruce Timm & Paul Dini, Kelley Puckett, Mike Pardbeck

Evil Emperor Penguin (£7-99, David  Fickling Books) by Laura Ellen Anderson

Adventure Time vol 7 (UK Edition) s/c (£8-99, Titan) by Ryan North &Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb, various

Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor vol 2: Serve You (UK Edition) s/c (£10-99, IDW) by Al Ewing, Rob Williams & Simon Fraser, Boo Cook, various

Naruto vol 72 (£6-99, Viz) by Masashi Kishimoto

Psyren vol 1 (£6-99, Viz) by Toshiaki Iwashiro

Assassination Classroom vol 5 (£6-99, Viz) by Yusei Matsui

News!

ITEM! Philip Pullman and Fred Fordham’s comic for THE PHOENIX WEEKLY begins this week in #200. Yes, THE Philip Pullman whose NORTHERN LIGHTS VOL 1 graphic novel illustrated by Oubrerie is in stock right here, right now and reviewed!

ITEM! John Allison is serialising his 24 Hour Comic, HUMAN SOUP, online! BAD MACHINERY VOL 4 reviewed above!

ITEM! One of ever so many Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2015 reports with photos.

ITEM! Metaphrog’s adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s THE RED SHOES launch at LICAF. Again, photos!

ITEM! Tom Humberstone illustrates ‘Racist One Night Stand’.

ITEM! Interview with Kate Beaton!

Kate Beaton’s STEP ASIDE, POPS! is Page 45’s Comicbook Of The Month!

– Stephen

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

spacer
spacer
spacer