Page 45 Comic & Graphic Novel Reviews January 2016 week four

New Jim Woodring, three Young Adults / Young Readers graphic novels and a socio-political PUNISHER book which I highly recommend. Seriously.

Extensive illustrated news underneath.

Tamsin And The Deep (£9-99, David Fickling Books) by Neill Cameron & Kate Brown.

“What was that?” Tamsin asks herself, staring out to sea.

“They’re called Undines. Kind of ocean nymphs, basically. Greedy little buggers. Most people can’t see ‘em, or just mistake ‘em for gulls.”
“Huh. How come I could see it?”
“Well, that’s really the question, isn’t it?”

Tamsin turns round.


Fabulous double-take, there, with ice cream all over the place!

From the PHOENIX COMIC WEEKLY, written by the creator of HOW TO MAKE AWESOME COMICS and drawn then coloured by the creator of FISH + CHOCOLATE (emphatically not for Younger Readers!) comes a family comic set in coastal Cornwall which is funny, thrilling and at times terrifying!

Neill and Kate prove a consummate double-act with so many crafty devices. That scene, for example, is set up to perfection, bright white seagulls wheeling up above in the soft blue sky so that when the pesky little sprite – with its feathered wings and webbed feet – does snatch the cone from Tamsin’s hands it could indeed be so easily mistaken for a gull.

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Even the lettering’s a joy, for Tamsin’s speech bubble coveting her ice cream (“Alone at last”) comes in the shape of a love heart. In other places a winking censorship of exclamatory dialogue covers the regular lettering with a splat of black and a new, less blue word replacing whatever exasperation may have lurked underneath. “What the actual [FLIP]?”

And oh, will you look at that logo!

During the flashback to Tamsin Thomas’ ancestors the panel borders are ragged and torn like ancient parchment, their contents coloured to reflect the same.

But perhaps best of all there’s a sign slapped defiantly across her old brother’s bedroom door. It’s a poster-sized version of a sticker we know far too well:


The trouble starts almost immediately with Tamsin (aged 10) abandoned on the beach by her brother Morgan (13) who had promised to teach her to bodyboard but is enjoying the surf instead with his mates. She’s abandoned but not marooned so sets out to teach herself, swimming out to find the perfect breaker. And she does. But it’s bigger than she thought and Tamsin’s swept down with its crashing current, arms reaching out from what looks like long, green weed to grab her calf. She looks down to see another face glowing back at her from the deep, its eyes a carmine red…

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Eventually the sea washes her up on the shore, but it’s much, much further down the coast. A bus driver takes no pity for, although her ankle is torn, in her wetsuit she is dripping and has no fare so, supported by a knotted staff of driftwood which washed up with her, she hobbles the many miles home.

In another piece of masterful storytelling you know something’s up when she walks through the door. The clue lies in how Kate’s drawn Morgan. Maybe you’ll half-spot it too.

What follows is a story of ancient covenants, creepy white hands, family tragedy and magic in which Morgan has a far bigger role to play than he suspects. But I promised you thrilling, didn’t I? There are two specific moments of exceptional acceleration. In the first Tamsin’s face is a picture of pure unbridled fury and determination; in the second she’s flying forward so fast that her eyes water.

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As to the subaquatic sequences, Brown’s pulled out all the stops on the colouring, the murky green seas bursting with bubbles and – oh! – the fury of her storms is phenomenal!

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Cameron too is on top form. I adored this excerpt from Tamsin’s diary early on and I’d remind you that Tamsin is ten:

“Dear Diary,
“It has been a really weird week.
“So apparently I sank when I was bodyboarding and everyone thought I was drowned and I wasn’t but when I came back [SPOILERS]
“The police came, and there was a lady who was a counsellor.
“Or a councillor?
“One of those.”

He also nails the interplay between younger sister and older brother, the latter continually dismissing Tamsin as “weird”, a “weirdo” and eventually, “You unbelievable weirdo”!

Well, there are going to be some pretty rum doings!

“Word of advice, matey.
“Just ‘cause something’s a fairy story, don’t mean it ain’t true.”



Buy Tamsin And The Deep and read the Page 45 review here

Frank In The 3rd Dimension h/c (£16-99, Fantagraphics) by Jim Woodring with Charles Barnard.

Dilate your mind!


Jim Woodring, the creator of WEATHERCRAFT, FRAN, FRANK, JIM, the PROBLEMATIC sketchbook and so much, more presents 27 landscape tableaux (including the front and back covers) given the old-school 3-D treatment by Charles Barnard then printed on hard board as thick as an Early Learning book. It comes with a set of spectacles which only Woodring could have designed, framed in purple and adorned with the cosmos, and protected by a transparent plastic pouch popped into an inset pocket.


Well, Woodring, obviously.

Also, I’ve been in love with this sort of 3-D transmogrification ever since I was a child. Unlike 3-D modelling which aspires to reality, it is, as the word implies, truly magical. It doesn’t aspire to reality but a heightened reality in which flat objects float in a three-dimensional depth, almost as if suspended and luminously lit in a clear, viscous liquid.

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Woodring’s art has always been magical and hyper-real. I’ve often described it as “mind-altering yet legal”. Plus while Frank, Pupshaw and Pushpaw are rendered without texture, his objects and landscapes come with carefully crafted, graduated contours which create a depth of their own.

Seen through rose- and blue-tinted glasses these populated tableaux become dioramas worthy of Restoration Theatre sets: the sort of stagecraft which produces not just a foreground for the actors to work in and a backdrop to set the scene, but layers and layers of contrasting, ornately shaped flats in multiple middle-distances. The exotic, convex domes and concaves scoops of Jim’s Persian architecture make them prime candidates for this peer-to-one-side-and-you-might-see-a-little-more illusion.

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In addition the foreground characters appear like cardboard cut-outs arranged freestanding as part of the ensemble as if using folded-back, ground-level tabs. One scene here depicts the ever-hubristic Frank laughing at a bipedal frog, head bagged in a sack, which always danced but now seems to jig or jerk about in this colloidal suspension with a new sense of movement.

One last example before I go to bed and dream Jim Woodring anew: there’s a gnarled old tree with a knotted trunk, writhing branches and twigs twisted like tendrils. Like a gorgeously grotesque Christmas tree, it’s festooned with trinkets which now dangle as if from a nursery-room mobile in three-dimensional space, one behind the other, never on the same plain.


Buy Frank In The 3rd Dimension h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Extra Yarn (£6-99, Walker Books) by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen.

Such a satisfying punchline played out over three landscape double-page spreads which I would delight in reading aloud, with the appropriate pause, to young, eager ears!

Like many a great gag (and so many of Eddie Izzard’s) the key is that it’s a reprise of similar sentences set up much earlier on and – as ever with Jon Klassen books – that its weight, its evidence if you like, is visual. This makes it a perfect picture book for reading aloud alongside a young lady or gent, letting their ears attend your words while leaving their eyes to soak in their meaning.

It also makes it a comic.*

“On a cold afternoon, in a cold little town, where everywhere you looked was either the white of snow or the black of soot from chimneys, Annabelle found a box filled with yarn of every colour.”

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There’s a little more sepia on the printed page than the image shown here. Only a tad, but it makes all the difference.

Slowly but surely, however, more colour is introduced to this winter world by Annabelle’s industrious knitting. First she knits herself a jumper of deliciously fresh and bright citrus colours, and it is ever so fluffy! But because she has some extra yarn she knits one for her dog. When they go for a walk together her friend Luke looks and laughs.

“You two look ridiculous.”
“You’re just jealous,” said Annabelle.
“No, I’m not,” said Luke.

But it turned out he was.

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Over and over again Annabelle knits jumpers – for class mates and her teacher and for every kind of creature – and each time she has extra yarn. She offers to knit for everyone and everything; even for things that don’t normally wear jumpers. Some didn’t think she could do it.

“But it turned out she could.”

Others believed she would run out of wool.

“But it turned out she didn’t.”

Such stories of self-replenishment are far from new and, when used as fables, have at their heart a spirit of generosity. Take this altruism out of the equation and the source dries up.

So it is here, but I won’t tell you why, although I do promise you that our most excellent Annabelle never gives in!

This book is a couple of years old but was never solicited through comicbook channels, hence us being late to the party, so I am hugely indebted to master artist Ron Salas for pointing me in its direction via Twitter. Mac Barnett’s message is ever so brilliant, the words so carefully chosen. Plus Klassen is on as fine a dead-pan form as ever and you may find a certain bear and rabbit oh so familiar! Superb woollen textures.

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P.S. On the subject of self-replenishment, when I was very young I was taught ‘Love Is Something’ AKA ‘Magic Penny’ written by Malvina Reynolds and it’s as good as any guide for life that I’ve encountered ever since. At the risk of sickening you, imagine me as an angelic seven-year-old (I know, right?) singing this ditty in class accompanied by plinky-plonky piano:

Love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.

It’s just like a magic penny,
Hold it tight and you won’t have any.
Lend it, spend it, and you’ll have so many
They’ll roll all over the flooooooooooooor…

If you ask I will attempt to reproduce this on the shop floor, including the fragile, faltering soprano, depending on how embarrassed I feel or how busy we are at the time.

The two may not be unconnected.

P.P.S. * If you’ve not read my argument before, the key to a comic is that it’s a visual narrative. If you can comprehend the story without the images then it’s illustrated prose; but if you can’t then it’s also a comic. Please see Jon Klassen’s I WANT MY HAT BACK, THIS NOT MY HAT, SAM & DAVE DIG A HOLE (also written by Mac Barnett) and Shaun Tan’s ERIC which you can also find within TALES FROM OUTER SUBURBIA.


Buy Extra Yarn and read the Page 45 review here

Nnewts Book 1: Escape From The Lizzarks (£8-50, Scholastic) by Doug TenNapel…

“Herk, are you all right?”
“That was a good try, son! You’re legs just aren’t cooperating.”
“Life isn’t cooperating.”

Ha, good comeback. I might have to pinch that for future use myself!

Surprisingly dark all-ages fantasy from Doug TOMMYSAURUS REX, CARDBOARD, BAD ISLAND, GHOSTOPOLIS TenNapel, which would greatly appeal to fans of BONE and AMULET.

He does like to stretch the little readers, our Doug. I’ve commented before that he doesn’t shy away from relatively complex storytelling, nor indeed such topics as the traumatic death of loved ones. I think it’s to be applauded actually. Kids have far more developed imaginations and inner worlds than we give them credit for, and this type of storytelling is a fine medium to be introducing those type of concepts, in small, digestible doses.

Just be aware, though, despite all that, that this might verge on being too scary for the weeniest of younger readers, not least because the villainous Lizzarks with their fangs and claws, plus their bulbous eyes are a rather fearsome sight! Even Whackers, who’s not remotely faint of heart, was somewhat perturbed by their appearance whilst I was reading it to her!


So, young Herk is a Nnewt, who lives with his parents, younger sister and unhatched eggs (who can speak!) in a peaceful rural Nnewtown. He’s got a disability of sorts, as his legs aren’t able to take his weight, so he has to stay in the hatching pool chatting with the eggs, who are just like babies and so drive him mad, or drag himself around the house with his arms, which is rather hard work. Whilst everyone is telling him he’s probably just a late developer, and he’ll soon be up and about, deep down they all know that’s not the case. Not even his father’s magic can help, for his dad is the town magician, though mad inventor might be a more appropriate designation. So was Herk born like that, weak of lower limb? Well, yes, but for a very good, hmm… bad… reason no one knows about. Yet. And as his beloved sister says, he might have little legs, but he has a big heart. He’s going to need that.


Urch, the greatest hunter in the region and protector of Nnewtown, meanwhile, is away foraging for food and resources for the community. In truth he’s been lured away. So when a raiding party of Lizzarks descend on the village, it’s murder and mayhem for the poor residents, and Herk himself barely manages to escape with his life. Other members of his family… they weren’t so lucky. There’s actually a very poignant and touching sequence as the souls of the massacred Nnewts head upwards into the night sky, beginning their journey into their astronomically astounding afterlife and certain people are reunited… Their sorrow in finding out they have passed on is ameliorated in part by knowing they can at least journey on together forever, but also by the joyful realisation of who isn’t with them… and thus must still be in the land of the living. For now at least…

This is just the beginning of Herk’s adventures as he has been seemingly targeted by a particular Lizzark Wizard. And so he’s headed on a very peculiar odyssey which is going to test his mettle and show him more of the world than he ever believed possible – and that’s just in the first volume! Along the way he’s going to learn precisely why, indeed who, is responsible for his malformed legs, and he might even discover some family he never knew he had… Urch, meanwhile, is simply hell-bent on revenge. He’s determined that the Lizzarks who destroyed his town will pay a heavy price. The odds are somewhat stacked against him mind, to say the least. Plus there’s one other survivor of the devastation, but their path lies in a very different direction…


Despite the death and danger lurking round seemingly every tree, there is a great deal of childish – and I mean that in a good way – humour in this work, as there is in all of Doug’s books. He really is a wonderful storyteller of great range. I was particularly amused by an argument between Urch and sidekick Odetto, concerning whether a sandwich which has cheese and ham in should be referred to as a cheese and ham sandwich or a ham and cheese sandwich. You can tell Urch is thoroughly exasperated by Odetto’s perpetual habit of reversing standard convention in such cases wherever possible. Odetto’s logic though when he gets into full debating mode has a certain veracity which is difficult to argue with. Even when Urch tries to let it lie by changing the subject Odetto still can’t resist getting the last back to front words in…

“Odetto, I won’t let even your incessant word-twisting ruin our time amidst the flora and fauna!”
“Fauna and flora…”

NNEWTS BOOK 2: THE RISE OF HERK has just arrived!


Buy Nnewts Book 1: Escape From The Lizzarks and read the Page 45 review here

Punisher Max Complete Collection vol 1 s/c (£25-99, Marvel) by Garth Ennis & Darick Robertson, Lewis LaRosa, Leandro Fernandez.

Highly recommended, this is by far the finest run on Frank Castle, finally given a socio-political bite by Ennis’ decision to swerve the Punisher’s targeted sights from superheroes to real-world pricks worth punishing like international sex-slave traffickers. This is the first of four thick volumes reprinting the original ten adult-orientated PUNISHER MAX books plus attendant mini-series which begins with events in Valley Forge, Vietnam, and which will be reprised in volume 4 with its final searing indictment of the false premises upon which America entered the war in the first place. As such it’s a coherent account of Frank Castles whys and wherefores, means and motivation.

“Hold on tight.”

He means hold on tight to what you have, lest you lose it.

“Hold on tight” if you have miraculously survived your third tour of Vietnam and the carnage that was Firebase Valley Forge. “Hold on tight” if the woman you love, the daughter you worship and the son who’s only recently been born are there to greet you at the airport upon your return, and you’re reminded of the deal you made with Death itself for “a war that last forever, a war that never ends” because you were so bloody addicted to combat.

There the three of them stand in front of you, alive and well, but framed in the legendary black and white Punisher skull.

“You remember I mentioned there’d be a price…?”

That Frank Castle will indeed soon embark on a relentless, remorseless crusade of violence back home, against gangsters and crime lords and drug dealers – or anyone he considers unfit for life – and that this vocation will be triggered by the slaughter of his wife and children… this knowledge is what lends the first story originally published as PUNISHER: BORN its ominous air of a crossroads being approached and which makes its punchline a killer.

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It’s 1972 and Captain Frank Castle is enjoying his third tour in Vietnam. If “enjoying” is too strong a term, he’s certainly deriving a grim satisfaction from doing his job well. It’s a job he’s spectacularly good at and Firebase Valley Forge is lucky to have him. The Marine garrison now stands as the lone lookout against enemy movements, yet it has been left undermanned without adequate supplies and its position is being so undermined by the ineffectual leadership of a feckless Colonel that an inspecting General threatens to close it down completely.

That’s something Castle cannot stomach because – from his patrols with the single platoon of twenty-nine motivated men he could muster – he knows that the Vietcong are stocking up for the most god almighty offensive.

All this is observed in measured terms by one Stevie Goodwin who is but 39 days short of going home forever:

“I will not die in Vietnam… I will not re-up and serve a second tour, will not become a combat-junkie like so many of the others… I will not fall in love with war like Captain Frank Castle.”

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Two scenes stand out for me: Frank’s reaction to the order to close down the camp, thereby leaving American positions elsewhere vulnerable to attack (and, by the by, depriving Castle of the action and adrenaline he thrives upon), and an attempted gang rape by the men under his command. I’m not going to spoil either for you, but the first reaction shows a level of cold-blooded ingenuity, the second a warped sense of what constitutes helping someone out. Neither prove predictable, and both leave one ambivalent, torn between wide-eyed horror and a grudging respect for the man.

Robertson’s art is the finest of his career so far. In the back he pays tribute to the soldiers he’s depicting and reprints some of the photographic source material including private photographs taken there and then, along with preparatory work and unused cover sketches. So many of the eyes are haunted and weary, distant and disillusioned.

With Tom Palmer’s smooth embellishment Darick’s jungles are such lush and dense affairs that anyone or anything could be hidden behind the forest of fronds. The tops of the trees behind a meagre clearing are way up in the sky, while the darkest vines and trunks frame the foreground perfectly. Energised during split-second combat, once the adrenaline subsides Castle is still standing strong but lurches, left as spent as the machine gun which threatens to melt his hands off.

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Paul Mounts’ colouring is invaluable to this intense heat which by the fourth and final chapter becomes a deafening, acrid, blistering inferno in torrential rain.

After this PUNISHER MAX proper begins and in the third instalment Irish factions invade Hell’s Kitchen in a turf war. If Ennis knows his military history, technology, terminology and deployment strategy – and he does, making the commands barked out in a crisis completely convincing (see WAR STORIES / BATTLEFIELDS), then he also knows his Irish Troubles all too well, and it begins with a bomb and the most hideous mutilations.

“For the first time in a long time I realise I don’t know what to do… Trouble with a bomb is there’s no one to get your hands on, no way to return fire.”

However, the chapter immediately following PUNISHER: BORN – with its family smiles but its promise of the price to be paid – cuts straight to the present day with that threat already fulfilled thirty years ago, and the juxtaposition is brutal and abrupt. It could so easily have been a maudlin mawkish cliché, but artist Lewis LaRosa presents three large single-panel pages of each of Frank’s family suffering such extreme, specific injuries you may wince. Ennis too rises to the challenge in white-framed black boxes above or below:

“I hit the ground beside my daughter. She’d been gutshot, badly, and when she saw the things that boiled and wriggled from her belly the expression on her face was not a little girl’s.”

Although all the perpetrators and orchestrators behind them are long since dead, Frank’s peace-time war has been relentless. Now he hits a mafia Don’s one-hundredth birthday party to which every family in the country has sent senior representatives, and he does so with military preplanning and precision whose payoff Lewis LaRosa choreographs like a freeze-framed ballet of blood. Frank’s also thorough: there are now forty-two funerals to “attend”.

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This doesn’t so much stir up as hornet’s nest because are few high-up hornets left to speak of. But the three invited back in after years of exile… well, let’s just say they were exiled from the mafia for extremism!

Unfortunately for Castle he’s in on someone else’s wish list too. A covert C.I.A. offshoot has targeted him for capture using the one man who might get the drop on him, not through brute force but through friendship: his former surveillance, intelligence and ordinance-prep manager, Micro. Unfortunately for them, they succeed. And there sits Frank, arms locked behind him, listening silently as Micro offers him permanent employment as a government-sanctioned assassin overseas. It’s an opportunity to kill terrorists using whatever means he deems necessary, only they choose the targets and Frank must do as he’s told.

I’m sorry, I’ll type that again: Frank must do as he’s told…

The extensive scenes played out in private between Micro and Castle while the mafia begins making its move are dark, stark and grim, coloured by Dean White in graveyard or abattoir blue. Lewis LaRosa – once more inked by veteran Tom Palmer – nails Castle’s stony silence, his implacability and most especially his age. It isn’t the age of someone worn out or run down, but the age of someone who acquired extra bulk, extra musculature through long-term endurance. What he has endured shows on his scarred physique and thick, knotted face. That he has endured it informs every single second they spend together, building the tension to its inevitable breaking point.

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It’s presaged to perfection by Ennis when – after Micro has finally finished – Frank tells him a story which occurred thirty years ago, shortly after his family’s slaughter in Central Park. A friend called Bob Garrett mentions in passing that he’s left his wife for another woman. He told Bob Garrett:

“I lost my wife. And you threw yours away like she was nothing.”
“Hey, Frank, look –”

For the PUNISHER MAX series Garth for the most part ditched the burlesque characters he’d populated PREACHER and his previous PUNISHER run with, but there are some residual elements here in the mafia misfits. Also in both the straight-shooting C.I.A. operative for some sexual arousal which will become an increasingly funny running gag, and her more easily intimidated male colleague who experiences a moment of arousal which may make your eyes widen. It won’t be the last time.

Lastly, let us return to unfinished business between Micro and Frank, beautifully built up then left to linger for a couple of chapters by Ennis:

“I want to know why you told me about Bob Garrett. The guy who dumped his wife and you beat half to death.”
“You missed part of it. I warned him first. I told him to run because I knew what I was going to do to him.”
“But why tell me…?”


Buy Punisher Max Complete Collection vol 1 s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Devolution #1 (£2-99, Dynamite) by Rick Remender & Jonathan Wayshak…

“But still, the war went on. Politicians debated for months before reaching a conclusion. It was clear to them all, in secret meetings of course, that the stem of the problem was religion… and science can cure that.
“They created a secret research team to produce a viral agent to neuter the part of the brain that believed in God.
“An international coalition of scientists devised the agent, named DVO-8, which would isolate the part of the brain associated with belief and devolve it, shrinking it away to nothing. Turning off the recipients’ belief in God

“Of course there were side effects, but nothing severe enough to preclude its use in a few tests.”

And of course they all lived happily ever after…

Ha ha, of course not. The clue as to what those pesky side effects might have been lies in the title… Yes, aside from a chosen few who were inoculated against the virus, and perhaps some with natural immunity, the entire animal population of the planet has devolved. Not just humans, who have regressed physically and intellectually to cavemen, but every living species has also devolved into far more toothsome, scary prehistoric versions of themselves, even the insects.


For those few humans not affected, the world has thus become considerably more hazardous, which is of course the exact opposite of what the great and good intended. But one such lady, our heroine Raja, is convinced the situation can be reversed. She believes there is a revolution agent antidote in a laboratory in San Francisco. She just has to make it there alive… Between the primitives patrolling the overgrown streets for food, and the survivalist remnants hunkered down in their fortified camps – including one run by a completely insane white supremacist with a penchant for hanging people she comes across – it’s clearly not going to be like nipping down to the local chemist for some paracetamol…


Another fascinating speculative fiction premise from Rick which once again isn’t that far removed from what could conceivably happen in the labs of meddlesome government scientists. Apparently this is an idea he’s had on the back burner for the last ten years, presumably whilst working on DEADLY CLASS, BLACK SCIENCE, LOW, TOKYO GHOST and myriad merry projects for Marvel. Fans of his previous stuff are certainly going to enjoy this. What I particularly liked was just as I was coming to the end of this first issue, thinking okay I know where this is going, the story then cut to a small base on the moon, where some uninfected astronauts are stationed. Well, at least they were… Hmm…


I wasn’t remotely familiar with the artist Rick’s working with this time, Jonathan Wayshak, though I thought I could recall seeing his stuff before. Sure enough, he did a LOST BOYS: REIGN OF FROGS movie prelude which we (very) briefly stocked. His style reminds me of Mark Texeira actually, just a tidier version. I rather like it and it certainly suits the visceral nature of the story. So, with apologies to the Beatles, say you want a Devolution, and we’ll add it to your standing order!

[You’re fired. – ed.]



Buy Devolution #1 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.

Envelope Manufacturer (£12-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Chris Oliveros

Izuna h/c (£22-50, Humanoids) by Bruno Letizia, Saverio Tenuta & Carita Lupattelli

Lazarus vol 4: Poison s/c (£10-99, Image) by Greg Rucka & Michael Lark

Nnewts Book 2: The Rise Of Herk (£8-50, Scholastic) by Doug TenNapel

Rick And Morty vol 1 (£14-99, Oni) by Zac Gorman & C.J. Cannon

Sweater Weather h/c (£14-99, FirstSecond) by Sara Varon

Tasmin And The Deep vol 1 (£9-99, David Fickling Books) by Neill Cameron & Kate Brown

The Comical Tragedy Or Tragical Comedy Of Mr. Punch (£14-99, Bloomsbury) by Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean

Abe Sapien vol 6: A Darkness So Great (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Mike Mignola, Scott Allie & Max Fiumara, Sebastian Fiumara

Bee And Puppycat vol 2 s/c (£10-99, Kaboom) by various

Batman By Ed Brubaker vol 1 s/c (£14-99, DC) by Ed Brubaker & Scott McDaniel, various

Swamp Thing vol 7: Seasons End s/c (£12-99, DC) by Charles Soule & Jesus Saiz, Javier Pina, various

Black Widow: The Itsy Bitsy Spider s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Devin Grayson, Greg Rucka & J. G. Jones, Scott Hampton

Inhumans: Attilan Rising: Battleworld s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Charles Soule & John Timms

What If ?: Infinity s/c (£10-99, Marvel) by various

One-Punch Man vol 4 (£6-99, Viz) by One & Yusuke Murata


Black Dog

ITEM!Announced! Dave McKean’s new graphic novel and performance piece for the Lakes International Comic Arts Festival 2016, BLACK DOG – THE DREAMS OF PAUL NASH

Rolling Blackouts cover

ITEM! Process piece: Sarah Glidden on designed her swoonaway cover to ROLLING BLACKOUTS from Drawn & Quarterly.

Daniel Danger

ITEM! Not comics but visually stunning! Daniel Danger’s Tiny Media Empire website. Dilapidated houses which match my lounge curtains all too accurately.

I once had a set of shower curtains so torn that they looked like props used in Psycho. I began to have baths instead.

Becky Cloonan

ITEM! Becky Cloonan’s Tumblr is always worth visiting for sensuality.

Age Of Bronze 1

ITEM! Attention Nottingham! Eric Shanower, creator of AGE OF BRONZE is in town! It’s a series I love so much I’ve reviewed all four volumes extensively. Eric Shanower’s Greek Mythology & Comic-Making Workshop at Nottingham University is open to all. Sunday 31st January 1-30pm-3-30pm.

Injection vol 1 2

ITEM! New Warren Ellis interview on INJECTION drawn by Declan Shalvey and storytelling structure.

Page 45 reviews INJECTION VOL 1 containing #1-5 and INJECTION #6 is out now.

Wicked And Divine vol 2 festival

ITEM! Brandon Graham reveals so many secrets about THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #17 while linking to writer Kieron Gillen’s own blog on the issue.

Page 45 reviews THE WICKED + THE DIVINE. Could I even sound more corporate?

wicked and divine pantheon tshirt

Page 45 still has some WICKED + DIVINE Pantheon t-shirts for sale. (Pictured above.)


ITEM! Tomer Hanuka’s website is ever so lush! Want to see more?

Page 45 reviews THE DIVINE by Tomer Hanuka & Asaf Hanuka

Page 45 reviews THE REALIST by Asaf Hanuka (one of my top two graphic novels of 2015).

Page 45 fully fails to review OVERKILL art book by Tomer Hanuka but at least we take the trouble to import it. Swoon!

I Love This Part 2

ITEM! Avery Hill Publishing announces its graphic novels for Spring 2016!

If you have any doubts as to why we are so excited, Avery Hill’s I LOVE THIS PART by Tillie Walden is Page 45’s current Comicbook Of The Month!

– Stephen

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