Page 45 Comic & Graphic Novel Reviews October 2015 week one

Includes Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights Graphic Novel vol 1 adapted by Stephanie Melchior & Clément Oubrerie. New Gregory Bention and Michael DeForge.

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From Under Mountains #1 (£2-99, Image) by Marian Churchland, Claire Gibson & Sloane Leong.

Brother Marcellus to his sister Elena about their father from astride his snorting steed:

“Have you asked him about your trip yet?”
“I’m putting it off so I can pretend he might say yes.”
“I’ve been to Menka a dozen times. I don’t see why you can’t.”
“Don’t you?”
“He might let you come along with me in the spring. I’ll bring it up when I get back.”

Marcellus charges out into the sunlit desert beyond the thick-stoned keep.

“Close the gates.”

Conceived by the creator of BEAST (and more recently the artist of 8HOUSE #1) it’s no surprise that this too deals in part with the dismissal of women in a patriarchal society. Here we have one that’s feudal too and that Elena springs from nobility empowers her not one jot, her father seeing no more than a strategically advantages marriage in her future. Judging by this first issue, I’m not sure that the house of Karsgate has much of a future. Their Volan neighbours are encroaching increasingly on Karsgate territory, while the keep itself will be infiltrated tonight by an intrepid young Tova and although she thought she’d be alone in that, she won’t be.

Something else has been set free by a summoning well beyond those walls.

Born of fire and a frenzy of hands under a low red moon, it is both ethereal yet as weighty as the words which have bound it. It is luminous in blue and purple and is given a ceremonial knife…

Claire Gibson’s script is indeed well weighted and nothing whatsoever appears extraneous.

“Every decision you make must have your full attention, no matter how small,” cautions Marcellus’ father and the same could be said of every word Gibson’s written for Churchland’s new series.

As Elena attempts to confront her father on her lack of opportunity to learn through travel, birds flap about the sky, mostly off-panel. There’s quite a lot of Paul Pope in Leong’s faces, while her colours are rich and redolent of the east. A lot of attention has been given from the get-go by Marian herself to the various classes’ costume designs reprinted in the back along with early thumbnail sketches, a great big map and a landscape double-page spread by Brandon Graham.

Plenty more politics to come as the last four pages introduce a new player who’s seen better days but about to be offered a second chance by a council I fear is about to go covert. But to what end?


Buy From Under Mountains #1 and read the Page 45 review here

Smoke (£10-99, Alternative) by Gregory Benton.

Whoa! What a playful, magical, visual thrill!

There’s no skimping on big, bold forms and elemental colours: lots of fire, water, earth and sky here.

There are also some spectacular vantage points like the floor of an open warehouse looking up at its rafters which are being hung with bushels of produce, presumably to dry out.

I love silent, surreal and slightly secretive stories requiring active interpretation, but I don’t recall many that have messed around with the structure of the narrative to quite such clever effect.

Let me see what I can do to intrigue without giving the game away.

Locals are being bussed to a harvest. It’s not a community harvest, it’s very much paid, outside employment. One of two brothers enterprisingly brings a cool box full of bottles which he sells before being encouraged to join in the hot, sticky work.

A billboard and a factory billowing smoke behind the plantation would suggest it’s tobacco, although the consistency of what’s sliced through is more like a cactus and the runny gloop dripping down seems psychotropic to some.

Suddenly the two brothers are not in Kansas anymore and that’s one hell of a skull-faced Toto looming over them. And she or he really does – loom, almost out of the page! But you’ll notice its tail is wagging.

Okay, so the narrative has now split into two threads (which I would suggest are deliberately out of synch) for the brothers are both still very much still back on planet Earth where certain events will be “anticipated” in the dreamscape long before they break out in the warehouse.

I really can’t say any more except that there’s an early clue built on quite quickly as to whether this will wander in the form of something else by the roadside right on page one which is now tattered and torn but still there.

Two tiny details: I loved the pools of water in the black dog’s eye sockets, lapping over one edge like a tear. Then I adored its massive, muscular form friskily shaking its coat dry. It’s such a happy image with bright summer-green grass, thick foliage behind and cold blue water flying everywhere!

Now turn the page!

Impeccable storytelling, far from obvious yet perfectly composed.


Buy Smoke and read the Page 45 review here

Palefire (£8-99, Secret Acres) by M.K. Reed & Farel Dalrymple…

“God, mom, he’s not an arsonist.”
“Sigh. Alison, what will it take to convince you that you are wrong here?”
“How do you know I am wrong? Maybe I’m right and you’re wrong.”
“Oh, you’re starting a new trend.”
“Yes, I’m a cruel bitch for wanting to err on the side of you not being burned alive.”
“I NEVER get to have fun.”
“Yeah, well stop picking things that make me think you’re going to be maimed or killed or sent to jail as fun and that would be a change.”
“You’re totally paranoid.”
“Did he or did he not blow off his brother’s hand?”
“I don’t know, I’m not his biographer.”

Darren did, for the record. Blow his brother’s hand off, that is. With a string of bangers. Now, whether it was deliberate or not is a subject of intense debate amongst the local highschoolers and their understandably concerned parents. Particularly Alison’s mother, who is obviously beside herself at the prospect of local headcase Darren taking her daughter out for a ‘hot’ date…

Actually there is a pretty good chance that frying flesh, total immolation, or a trip to the clink is one of the evening’s outcomes for Alison, for Darren is indeed a firebug. But Alison feels that even despite that, Darren is the pick of the local young suitors keen to take her out. Compared to some of the other weirdoes who will also be at the party they’re heading to – Casey the pot-head space cadet, boring Tim with his jug ears, and dull-as-dishwater, judgemental Paul – she might even have a point!

But once Darren’s explosive temper gets the better of him at the social gathering and the twosome leave for a drive in the woods, you know it’s only a matter of time before the sparks begin to fly…

I am on record several times as stating my long-time love for Faryl Dalrymple art, which all started with a recommendation from Mark to look at the sadly out of print OMEGA THE UNKNOWN, so it was no surprise to me I loved this work. It was a slight surprise to see it uncoloured, as I haven’t seen anything from Faryl au natural before, but it doesn’t need it and it just gave me chance to appreciate the illustrations even more.

Faryl really is a master of subtle facial emotions, which perfectly counterpoint the witty dialogue. The vast majority of this work is based around conversations between different sets of two people, so to have the subtext conveyed so exquisitely is a joy. There is also a great little moment involving eyes, which is an inspired tiny additional conceit, that finally convinces you – because prior to this point I was continually thinking, well, is he or isn’t he? – that Darren is indeed a raging pyromaniac.

I also had a sneaking suspicion it was going to be brilliantly written too, given how much I loved M.K. Reed’s AMERICUS and THE CUTE GIRL NETWORK, and so it proved. The characters – even tropes as some of them inevitably are, given the extremely short amount of time they are in panel – are completely believable. An acutely and painfully well observed selection of teenage life, therefore. My only gripe is this is a novella rather than a full-length novel. I could quite cheerfully have burned through several more chapters of these particular characters! I think M.K. Reed and Faryl definitely should do something else together.


Buy Palefire and read the Page 45 review here

Dressing (£14-99, Koyama Press) by Michael DeForge…

“Can I join you?”
“What are you doing?”
“Waiting for a flirting fish.”
“What’s that?”
“Just a type of fish. They’re a thing here.”

Ha, do you know, I think Michael DeForge might be the uncrowned king of surreal comics, I really do. Yes, Hans COCHLEA & EUSTACHIA Rickheit is right out there ploughing his own dark furrow of oddness, and Jim FRAN Woodring is always able to upset your mental equilibrium, but Michael can seemingly do every genre of fiction, from contemporary, romantic, speculative, fantasy, you name it. All the whilst maintaining the surrealistic flavour with a nonchalance and breezy ease that makes flirting fish, miniature opticians living inside your eyes, transforming into a Martian lifeform, jumping over one billion miles, and a mermaid dating site seem like mere everyday occurrences.

Much like Box Brown’s brilliant recent AN ENTITY OBSERVES ALL THINGS, Michael presents us with a eclectic selection of shorts pulled together from various mini-comics, zines, anthology contributions, each taking a single rum and uncanny conceit as its central premise and just running zig-zag, eyes closed, with it to see where the hell it goes and what walls he bounces off along the way. I’m pretty sure he has absolutely no idea where a story will end up when he starts each one, but boy does it work.

Often the characters are just trying their darndest to live normal lives amidst the maelstrom of mad that Michael is testing their (and our) mental mettle with, but what always amazes me about his work is how much poignancy he manages to weave in. Now, you would think with a story involving flirting fish, it’s not got much potential to tug on your heartstrings, but you would be completely wrong. It doesn’t end well, not for the piscine playa, and certainly not for the unlucky lady.

A quick mention also for Koyama Press who are based in Toronto. In the eight or so years since they started, they have done a fantastic job championing and publishing the works of both emerging and more established creators. Unfortunately we can only manage to get hold of a relatively small selection of their wider output, usually via John Porcellino’s excellent Spit And A Half distribution channel, as only the more well known creators’ works like Michael’s are distributed by Diamond.


Buy Dressing and read the Page 45 review here

Lose #7 (£7-50, Koyama) by Michael DeForge…

Two bites of DeForge-based barmy in a week! The Lose series has always been Michael’s sandbox of insanity where he really lets himself go and experiments to the max. Ironically, this issue, the first of the Lose series in full colour, contains one of his most straightforward stories. For Michael, that is… It’s entitled ‘Movie Star’, an epic 35-pager which is sandwiched between two much shorter, and considerably more surreal stories, that start and finish the issue.

The two shorts are both great, but it’s ‘Movie Star’ which had me utterly captivated. Kim and relatively decrepit Dad, Louis, live a very mundane life in their tiny flat, the highlight being their movie nights when they’ll watch endless action films. Kim is utterly obsessed with her Dad’s likeness, as a young man in old photographs, to the current-day huge movie star, Gregory Tan. Louis doesn’t want to hear anything about it, for reasons he won’t explain to her, but one day whilst Kim is out shopping, he makes a phone call that will change their lives forever…


Which is where matters start to get weird, of course! Kim arrives home to find Gregory Tan sat in her living room drinking beers with her dad, chatting away merrily, just like it was the most normal thing in the world. They are indeed long-lost brothers and the process of familial reconnection begins. But Michael being Michael, it’s not your usual sort of catching up. Kim might just end up wishing she hadn’t kept bugging her dad about Uncle Gregory, not that any of us, let alone Kim, could possibly guess what is going to happen next…


Buy Lose #7 and read the Page 45 review here

Wizards N Stuff (£2-99) by Stanley Miller.

Stanley Miller is 12 years old.

Stanley Miller is a huge Lizz Lunney fan.

Stanley Miller is a mini-comic genius.

Specifically he has harnessed the hilarity of the completely unexpected: of rug-pulling, ninety-degree turns.

“You know the feeling when you wake up and feel good about yourself, it’s a nice day, the sun is shining?
“Now imagine that feeling but from the perspective of an elastic band.”

There is a four-panel gag here whose punchline made me laugh louder than any other in comics, in which a parent coaxes her or his baby to open wide for the next spoon of goo. Oh, you know how it’s done! “Open wide!” etc. Please clear your own orifice of any food or drink before reading.

If I reproduced that strip which I’ve found online you would all buy this mini-comic in an instant, but it’s very much the highlight, so no.

Being a Lizz Lunney fan I think you’ll know the sort of stripped-down simplicity you can expect from the art with wibbly-wobbly arms and the most basic of shapes – something Miller mirthfully, knowingly plays with in ‘What Are They?’ Your guess is as good as mine and almost as good as Stanleys.

‘And Now To The BBC’s News Teams Where You Are’, on the other hand, is a cut out + keep collection of TV journalists from Huw Edwards to Nick Robinson, each of whom is immediately recognisable.

It’s completely nonsensical, obviously. All of this is. Though I will be play much closer attention from now on to teeny-tiny fairies just in case they’re carrying a great big bazooka.

Each cover is hand-coloured in felt-tip pen so colours will vary.


Buy Wizards N Stuff and read the Page 45 review here

Material vol 1 (£7-50, Image) by Ales Kott & Will Tempst.

A tired and disillusioned professor questions the merits of modern life – how we’re spending so much time with machines that we’re becoming like them. A student objects and his daughter – via Skype – tells him she’s pregnant. At which point his computer begins to engage with him too.

A visionary director reaches out to a washed up, self-sedated actress for his next, largely improvised film. The studio seeks more commercially viable and quantifiable slants than ten sheets of blank script but the director is determined that the film will be both about and by the actress. Surprisingly it turns out she does have a mind of her own.

A fifteen-year-old boy standing passively at a protest march carrying the hand-written placard declaring “I cannot breath” is arrested, detained and questioned. On release, while babysitting, he discovers a pamphlet about The New Black Panther Party.

Seven months after being liberated from Guantanamo detention centre an innocent man finds he can no longer relate to his family or even touch his doting dog whom he played with as a puppy. They used dogs on him in the prison camp. Waterboarding too. He never hurt anyone, nor planned to hurt anyone. But the only thing which arouses him now is being held down and hurt.

As with Kot’s ZERO, CHANGE, WILD CHILDREN and THE SURFACE, this is so unapologetically intelligent that it takes more than a single read to take in, and I’m still not entirely sure how these four scenarios except that lives are being changed. Rebellion seems to be on the cards.

Each is given two colour-coded pages at a time on a nine-panel grid, lending it a clarity I’m enormously grateful for. The art is direct, thin-lined and brittle. That bit about the dog really got me.

A synopsis is not a review, it’s true, so consider this a story about a story or a sales pitch. I bought it.


Buy Material vol 1 and read the Page 45  review here

Northern Lights: The Graphic Novel vol 1 (£12-99, Doubleday) by Philip Pullman, Stephanie Melchior & Clément Oubrerie.

I am the most enormous fan of Clément Oubrerie and the humanity he brought to AYA: LIFE IN YOP CITY and AYA: LOVE IN YOP CITY, those two sparkling comedies of family antics set in Africa you could comfortably log under Behavioural Studies, and the more recent biographical PABLO (Picasso).

I’m also the most enormous fan of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy which I found commendably iconoclastic.

This is the first third of the first book in which we find young Lyra growing up as the only child within the traditional, rarefied, patriarchal confines of Jordan College, Oxford. A wild spirit who refuses to be contained by class or gender, Lyra’s best friend is kitchen boy Roger and they’re emphatically not above spending time with the gyptians – nomadic families often persecuted by the authorities who roam Britain’s waterways – even though she fears that feisty Ma Costa hates her. Feisty Ma Costa has bigger things on her mind: her son Billy’s gone missing, presumed abducted by the Gobblers. No one has seen these so-called Gobblers because no one’s seen an abduction, but there are an awful lot of children missing now and someone close to home will be next.

Lord Asriel, Lyra’s uncle, visits Jordan College with a discovery from the frozen north: chemically treated, photographic slides which he claims proves the existence of a substance called Dust, news which is greeted as heresy. Then there’s another side showing something more spectacular than the Aurora Borealis itself: an ornate classical city with vast spires glowing blue… from another dimension.

Having survived an assassination attempt within the college cloisters, Lord Asriel heads north again and whereupon chic Mrs Coulter inserts herself slyly into Lyra’s life. It is agreed by her guardians at Jordan College that Lyra needs female company and should be educated from here on by Mrs Coulter, in London where she is fêted by the very highest echelons of society as a great explorer. Lured by the prospect of adventure and initially enthralled by the novelty of Mrs Coulter’s seemingly anti-establishment, educational, inspirational, liberating and empowering ways, Lyra soon wishes she’d listened to her dæmon’s instincts for all, as they say, is not what it seems.

The scope of the trilogy is enormous and will embrace many more perspectives than you’ll expect. Seeing it from the other side is an extraordinary experience.

The above’s but a slither and this is where we hit the problems, I’m afraid, for this loses a lot in translation.

The adaptation is so truncated that huge leaps are made and at times it stops making sense. If I hadn’t read the original I would be wondering, for example, why Lyra was in such mental and physical anguish when Mrs Coulter’s pet monkey grabs Lyra’s pet polecat and Lyra grabs her own throat as if staving off being strangled.

Nowhere has it been explained that these aren’t just talking pets: that these are familiars, shape-shifting dæmons, that every human grows up with one and that a strong symbiotic link which must never be severed is shared between human and dæmon. That will prove ever so slightly important later on.

The dialogue was never one of the trilogy’s multiple fortes yet that’s all that’s left: gone is the immersion in Lyra’s mind she desperately tries to interpret the world around her; you are no longer sharing her journey but watching it from the outside.

Where it succeeds is in Oubrerie’s external and internal architecture evoking an Oxford and London very familiar yet ever so slightly removed.

Also, you’re left to spot Mrs Coulter’s golden monkey making a much earlier appearance than you might at first expect.

And if this adaptation lures in reluctant readers and proves sufficiently intriguing for them to venture towards the original novels, then I think they’ll be instant, lifelong converts to prose.


Buy Northern Lights: The Graphic Novel vol 1 and read the Page 45 review here

Cardboard (£9-99, Scholastic) by Doug TenNapel…

“I have the best, most amazing, and utterly stupendous gift in the history of the universe… but I’m saving it for a really good kid.”
“My son is a pretty good person, Mr. Gideon. He takes after his mother.”
“Then you must give him what every son wants from his dad…”
“Gideon, this is an empty box.”
“Empty? It’s full! Full of ideas… projects… adventure!”
“He does like to make things.”
“Now you’re getting it! Make a submarine, a monster, a train! It sure beats the heck out of some dumb ol’ hundred-dollar, remote-controlled car! To the naked eye, it appears to be just a plain old cardboard vessel! But this is actually a father-and-son project in disguise! Slay the giant! Kill the Nazis! Hunt for buried treasure! It’s up to you! No, this is not just a box! It’s everything mankind ever needed to accomplish pressed into a cube of corrugated pulp!”
“Okay, okay! How much?”
“The price is right there on the lid.”
“Seventy-eight cents! That’s the exact amount of change I happened to pull out of the pocket!”
“Huh. What a coincidence.”
“Wait! There are rules!”

Cam’s dad, Mike, recently unemployed and still grieving the loss of his wife, can’t afford to get Cam a decent birthday present. Well, any sort of present, actually. When he stops at a roadside stall he finds himself being talked into buying a cardboard box as a gift by the manic Mr. Gideon. He’d make a good comics retailer I suspect, Mr. Gideon! But Mike is going to wish he’d paid more attention to the rules, though, oh yes. Even though there are only two rules… One, he has to return every scrap he doesn’t use. Two, he can’t ask Mr. Gideon for more cardboard.

Cam really is a lovely kid, and totally appreciates his dad just hasn’t got any money to buy him a present. Marcus, the neighbourhood jerk, however, whose parents just spoil him completely, spotting Mike bringing home the box and putting two and two together, thinks it’s absolutely hilarious.

But Cam and Mike, determined to make the best of it, spend the night having great fun constructing and painting a cardboard boxer, with only a few scraps left over afterwards. They’re more than a little surprised though, when they wake up in the morning to find the cardboard man has come alive! So is Marcus and, suddenly more than a little jealous of Cam’s gift, he gleefully soaks the paper pugilist with water causing him to start to disintegrate. Told you he was a jerk!

What follow are some frantic attempts to patch the boxer up with the insufficient leftovers, plus a frantic but futile plea to Mr. Gideon who reminds Mike of the rules. Yes, those pesky rules. But suddenly Mike has a brainwave! What if they built a magic cardboard-making machine with the few remaining scraps?!! It’s crazy, sure, but any more crazy than a cardboard man coming alive in the first place?! Cue one prize-fighter beating the count, back on his feet, and Marcus is more consumed with envy than ever! After Marcus then manages to steal the magic cardboard-making machine and lock himself away in his bedroom to begin the process of industrialising cardboard, and therefore magic cardboard monster production before anyone can stop him, well, you know it’s all going to get very seriously out of hand…

Ha, ha, I loved this work from Doug TOMMYSAURUS REX TenNapel. It’s a great take on the hypothetical nightmare apocalyptic ‘grey goo’ scenario which more than a few scientists are seriously worried about should we ever build self-replicating robots. It has that necessary heart and charm though, that the most preposterous of stories require to carry them right through to the end as the bonkers level escalates! For whilst you start off thinking this is Cam’s story, he really is just the straight man which everything bounces off.

In fact it turns out to be his dad’s and also nemesis Marcus’ stories that will tug on your heartstrings. Can Mike finally move on from mourning his wife and find happiness in the arms of the beautiful next door neighbour who is absolutely crazy about him, and just as frustrated with him? And can confused and lonely Marcus finally stop being such a jerk and find redemption, forgiveness and perhaps even friendship? Assuming the world isn’t completely consumed by a near-infinite rampaging horde of cardboard monsters that is… But then there’s a certain boxer who just doesn’t know when he’s beaten who might have something to say about that!


Buy Cardboard and read the Page 45 review here

Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game h/c (£25-99, Archaia) by Luke Crane & David Petersen.

It’s ba-aaaaack!

320-page hardcover, illustrated throughout with some lovely scenes of pastoral tranquillity and danger, which sits beautifully by the till right next to the lush-as-you-like ART OF MOUSE GUARD 2005-2015 oversized hardcover.

Here’s Petersen:

“Luke Crane was masterfully able to take the things about MOUSE GUARD that are important at its core, and mould his Burning Wheel roleplaying system around them. His fresh techniques cast off the idea of characters driven by statistics and lucky rolls of the dice, and focus on true character building.”

The dice aren’t gone, though – Lord, but that way lies anarchy! Self-determination! Arguments! – for you’ll need, says Crane, about 10 six-sided dice, two to six people, some pencils, paper and a copy of this book bought from Page 45 (apparently no other copies will work half as well).
I have absolutely no idea what to tell you about this because I haven’t a clue about role playing unless it’s playing the role of a rapacious retailer but it really does look brilliant. The ‘Denizens of the Territories’ chapter was fascinating. Mystifying, but fascinating. There are Apiarists (“SKILLS: Apiarist 5, Loremouse 3, Queen-Bee-wise 4” – what does that even mean?!), Archivists (“TRAITS: Nocturnal 1”), Beetle Wranglers (“CIRCLES: 4” – are circles good?) Brewers (I’m sticking with them), Charlatans (I think I am one of them!), Muscles (I don’t have many of them), Politicians (I’m seriously considering it) and what I’d have thought was all your standard fare clearly defined in tables of stats.

Then there are the Weasels and other wild animals like Bullfrogs, Crabs, Crows, Great Horned Owls, Newts, Snakes (various), Porcupines and, err, Wolverines. Maybe that was inevitable. Anyway, they all have their own traits and I imagine you’ll stumble on them from time to time in your micely manoeuvres. It’s exactly the same size as the MOUSE GUARD volumes and printed on quality cream paper that’s been given an aged effect with some exceptional design work completely absent from books like the MARVEL ENCYCLOPAEDIA.

Sorry if I haven’t done a very good job of selling this to you. If one of you buys a copy (from us, remember, or you’ll probably end up eaten by newts in the first few throws) feel free to send us a more informed review – and a couple of paragraphs on one of your adventures. We’ll stick it up on the website and everything!


Buy Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Arrived, Online & Ready To Buy!

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

Bitch Planet vol 1: Extraordinary Machine s/c (£7-50, Image) by Kelly Sue DeConnick & Valentine De Landro

Bouncer (£29-99, Humanoids) by Alexandro Jodorowsky & Francois Boucq

Cindy And Biscuit vol 1: We Love Trouble (£10-00, Milk The Cat Comics) by Dan White

Darth Vader vol 1: Vader (£14-99, Marvel) by Kieron Gillen & Salvador Larocca

Deadly Class vol 3: The Snake Pit (£10-99, Image) by Rick Remender & Wesley Craig

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor vol 2: The Weeping Angel Of Mons (UK Edition) s/c (£10-99, Titan) by Robbie Morrison & Daniel Indro, Elenora Carlini

Drawn Onward (£3-99, Retrofit / Big Planet) by Matt Madden

Ei8ht vol 1: Outcast s/c (£13-50, Dark Horse) by Mike Johnson & Rafael Albuquerque

Fables Comics h/c (£14-99, FirstSecond) by various

Ghost Cat’s Pedigree Chums (£5-00, Ripe Digital) by Craig Conlan

Hilda And The Troll s/c (£7-99, Flying Eye Books) by Luke Pearson

Injection vol 1 (£7-50, Image) by Warren Ellis & Declan Shalvey

Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal Creation Myths vol 3 h/c (£18-99, Archaia) by Matthew Dow Smith & Alex Sheikman, Brian Froud

Jupiter’s Circle vol 1 s/c (£7-50, Image) by Mark Millar & Wilfredo Torres, Davide Gianfelice

Klaxxon (£14-99, SelfMadeHero) by Si Spencer & DIX

Lumberjanes vol 2: Friendship To The Max (£10-99, Boom Box) by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis & Brooke A. Allen

Meanwhile #4 (£4-95, Soaring Penguin Press) by Gary Spencer Millidge, Darryl Cunningham, David Hine, Mark Stafford, Yuko Rabbit

Outcast vol 2: A Vast And Unending Run s/c (£10-99, Image) by Robert Kirkman & Paul Azaceta

Silent Hill Omnibus vol 2 (£18-99, IDW) by Tom Waltz & Steph Stamb, menton3, Tristan Jones

Sky In Stereo (£13-50, Revival House Press) by Mardou

Star Wars vol 1: Skywalker Strikes (£14-99, Marvel) by Jason Aaron & John Cassaday

The Comic Book History Of Comics (£16-50, IDW) by Fred Van Lente & Ryan Dunlavey

The Story Of My Tits (£22-50, Top Shelf) by Jennifer Hayden

Uber vol 5 s/c (£14-99, Avatar) by Kieron Gillen & Daniel Gete, Canaan White

Upside Down Book 2: A Hat Full Of Spells (£10-99, Top Shelf) by Jess Smart Smiley

Walking Dead Compendium vol 3 (£45-00, Image) by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

Astro City: Private Lives s/c (£12-99, Vertigo) by Kurt Busiek & Brent Eric Anderson

Batman Eternal vol 3 s/c (£29-99, DC) by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV & various

Batman: Road To No Man’s Land vol 1 s/c (£22-50, DC) by various

Convergence h/c (£22-50, DC) by Jeff King, Scott Lobdell, Dan Jurgens & Ethan Van Sciver, various

Brian Froud’s Goblins h/c (£16-99, Abrams) by Brian Froud

Dragon Ball 3-in-1 Edition vols 28-30 (£9-99, Viz) by Akira Toriyama

Final Fantasy Type 0 vol 1 (£9-99, Yen) by Tetsuya Nomura, Hiroki Chiba & Takatoshi Shiozawa

Hideyuki Kikuchi’s Vampire Hunter D vol 7 (£10-50, DMP) by Saiko Takaki

Spice & Wolf vol 11 (£9-99, Yen) by Isuna Hasekura & Keito Koume

Sword Art Online: Progressive vol 3 (£9-99, Yen) by Reki Kawahara & Kiseki Himura


Page 45 celebrated its 21st Birthday with a great big signing last Saturday starring Simone Lia (FLUFFY, PLEASE GOD FIND ME A HUSBAND) and Hannah Berry (BRITTEN AND BRULIGHTLY, ADAMTINE).

To all those who came, thank you very much!

I know it looked like I’d taken them to a pre-signing soccer match but actually we were strolling into town via the river and the canal, the crowd caught up with us and we just… went native!

So then we had an all-night booze bash with a prize raffle draw hosted by our Jonathan,  I ventured into half an hour of stand-up comedy recounting bits of Page 45 history we’ve never revealed before…

… and rather than go for a conventional birthday photo, we opted for a Charlie’s Angels approach.

Left to right: Dee, Jodie, Emily (back for the party after seven years away) and Jess. Below: myself and J45.

Lastly, look at this lovely: an original Simone Lia painting given to me after the party! I am a very, very lucky boy!

– Stephen

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