Page 45 Comic & Graphic Novel Reviews January 2016 week three

A Girl On The Shore (£13-99, Random House / Vertical) by Inio Asano.

“I don’t actually care if you die.”

From Inio Asano, the creator of NIJIGAHARA HOLOGRAPH and SOLANIN, this intensely melancholic work about two lost souls defies the category of romance. You won’t find it filled with flowers and sweet nothings. It’s more an astute, psychologically complex exploration of isolation even during the intimacy of being curled up on cushions.

Moments after the above is uttered by young girl Koume their fingers will link so tenderly.

Yet Koume and Keisuke only bond physically and sexually. Instead they are forever at odds in what they want – or think they want or say they want – from each other. Their relationship is never equal and its balance of yearning and disinterest will shift throughout. The most tentative and reluctant of communicators, opportunities will be wasted on both sides when the other reaches out and there will be so much remorse and regret.

From Keisuke at least there are lone moments of self-questioning like “What do I even want?” and more than a glimmer of self-knowledge:

“I hate the rain. Especially at night like this.
“It’s like I’m drowning. I can’t breathe.
“I keep breathing in, but it’s never enough. I get all spacy.
“I’m not someone who should be having sex and stuff. Every time we do it, I swear to God it’ll never happen again.
“But like, there really is no God, and when I remember that, I end up doing it again. And then I’m thinking “sorry” again in my head.
“It’d be so much easier if I could apologise and be forgiven. I don’t know who to apologise to, though, and here I am.”

Please don’t imagine that he’s feckless, however. He isn’t. He’s been traumatised into reticence and there is a panel so perfectly depicting his detachment from life, weary of it all, hair lank and head lolling to one side, the haze in his eyes as lifeless as a heroin addict’s as he cracks one off in front of his computer, head-phones on.

I wouldn’t ordinarily use language like that in a review, but you do need to know that this is explicit.

It isn’t, however, the sort of explicit that elicits prurience. Quite the reverse, it is almost clinical in places.

It wasn’t always like this. As I say, the balance shifts. As the story opens Koume is infatuated by the stud of the school, Misaki. She is doe-eyed in adoration and eager to please but Misaki blows hot and cold and she veers from excited and optimistic to rejected and dejected. She offloads all this onto Keisuke who himself veers from frustration – that his open proposals to Koume are rebuffed – to a resignation that he will happily take whatever he can get like a lap-dog, just to spend time with her:

“I’ve been thinking about it a ton. And I figure it’s totally fine if you don’t like me or whatever. I’m happy being a useful tool. And I don’t have any friends I could actually tell or anything. If you need to rant about Misaki, I’ll listen ‘til my ears bleed. I guess it’s okay if you just use me, like a toy.”

That final sentence should give you some indication that the previous four were economical with the truth.

It’s at this point we should break briefly to consider the term “like”, used throughout as a sort of halfway point for “love” and “fancy”. Maybe “have a pash on…” It’s not exactly evasive or euphemistic. It’s more like “like” should forever be accompanied by those inverted commas – shorthand for “like me in that way…”

“I know I should just shut up and I’m getting super annoying, so this is the last time I’ll ask. You don’t feel like you could ever like me?”

And I really do think that’s the last time he asks. It’s quite early on.

I don’t know whether I should tell you about the digital camera which Koume is given and for which Keisuke supplies an SD card he found on the beach. On it they find images of a girl on the shore. You thought that was going to be Koume, right? It provokes a terrible act of caprice, one of those terrible mistakes you can never take back – which you would give anything to reverse, anything – and the fallout is horrifying.

Equally horrifying are the moments before the central break which multiple camera angles extend like a ballet in freefall, and between which Asano presents the reader with a deafeningly silent, double-page landscape. It’s an external shot of the city as if from a very high window, having nothing whatsoever to do with what’s happening inside. It’s like a freeze-frame holding its breath and looking the other way, stretching the moment still further as the rest of the world continues, oblivious and indifferent.

The environment – both landscapes and the weather – play a vital role across this saga, and it is beautiful to behold. A lot of these silent sequences add a naturalistic sense of time and geography to the narrative: journeys back and forth.

If Keisuke hates the rain, well, there will be plenty of it, he will be out in it on a very specific day in the year and you too may start holding your breath. There’s also a gale which builds to a climactic moment, thrashing the trees like nobody’s business. There are glorious shots of the sea, but Asano relishes detail whether it lies in a grocery-store’s shelves, the graphic novels lining Keisuke’s bedroom bookcases or the intricate glint in a girl’s eye, so he delights equally in depicting the cat’s cradle of electric wires which criss-cross the roads. Even his urban sprawl is a joy.

There’s one particular shot near Keisuke’s house which is used repeatedly, looking down over a pedestrian street broken by a series of steps and way out to sea. Each time there is a lone figure outside seen variously during the day, at night under street light and then in the rain…

There’s a much wider cast than I’ve indicated here, partly to disguise the first central climax, although absence itself does play an active role.

Trust, too, plus presumption and, as I say, communication.

It’s a hefty four hundred pages which I read in a single sitting. Who knew that reader frustration could be so very addictive? Only if you’ve been made to care as deeply as this does.

“I don’t actually care if you die.”

And I think you lie.


Buy A Girl On The Shore and read the Page 45 review here

Filmish (£14-99, SelfMadeHero) by Edward Ross…

“You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talking… you talking to me? Well I’m the only one here.”

Eh dear, I do amuse myself sometimes. Right, got my Travis Bickle moment out of the way, let’s try that again.

“As film-making evolved and narrative cinema developed, the nature of performance changed. Legend has it that film-making pioneer D.W. Griffith invented the close-up to better reveal the beauty of his leading lady. The implications of this were enormous. No longer shot only at a distance, the subtlest facial movements were now as important as grand gestures, and actors were forced to become “maestros of their facial muscles and eye movement.”

Which as we all know reached its zenith with Roger Moore’s eyebrow…

In years to come, when someone does a graphic novel entitled Comicish, I suspect Edward Ross and this work will rate a substantial mention in the first-person talking-head non-fictional comics-as-means-of-explanation chapter. Pioneered by Scott UNDERSTANDING COMICS / MAKING COMICS / REINVENTING COMICS McCloud, more recently championed by Darryl PSYCHIATRIC TALES / SCIENCE TALES / SUPERCRASH Cunningham and Steve Haines & Sophie Standing’s PAIN IS REALLY STRANGE / TRAUMA IS REALLY STRANGE , this is as in-depth a treatise on a topic as any prose work could be. And just like Darryl’s SUPERCRASH this is far more entertaining and dare I say it, clear, than any prose equivalent could ever possibly be.

After all, cinema, like comics, is a visual medium. The only real differences between the two these days are the scale of ridiculous expense and armies of people that seem to be required to make a film. Although judging by how many artists often seem to be credited on a single volume of a DC superhero title – I have seen upwards of twenty artists which for six issues is frankly baffling – that perhaps isn’t 100% true. And clearly, there are still some independent film makers doing it on a shoe string with aplomb and getting the plaudits they rightly deserve.

But like comics, film for the masses has undoubtedly gone through an extraordinary evolutionary process, from its very humble beginnings back in the late 19th century to the sophisticated, nigh-on fully immersive medium it is today. Edward breaks down this journey into seven elements or themes: The Eye (camera work), The Body (specifically film’s approach to the human body itself), Sets and Architecture, Time, Voice and Language, Power and Ideology, Technology and Technophobia, and explores how each has developed, citing various examples of ground-breaking leaps forward and key moments in cinematic history.

Many of these choices, with the scenes illustrated exactly as on the big screen, albeit in Edward’s lovely clear, black-and-white art style, with his sage head inserted, will be familiar to even the casual cinephile, which I think is one of the great pleasures of this work. You’ll be nodding your head knowingly in recognition at the scene in question, before Edward then goes on to explain the relevance of his selection in cogently making his technical point. Obviously, many of the late 19th and early 20th century choices are completely unfamiliar except to those who have studied film extensively, as Edward has to Ph.D. level, but his exposition is so clearly delivered, it’s just a pleasure to let him educate you on the rich history of early cinema as well. You can see just how much hard work has gone into this, and I think it succeeds admirably on every level.


Buy Filmish and read the Page 45 review here

Cerebus vol 3: Church & State I (Remastered Edition) (£25-99, Aadvark Vanaheim Inc.) by Dave Sim.

The original art has been reshot then reprinted on such fine paper stock that the book’s already considerable girth has almost doubled.

“Anything Done For The First Time Unleashes A Demon.”

Around this time there was a CEREBUS cover whose only visual element was the hand-lettering of the sentence above, white letters on black. No picture at all. I don’t recall that being done before or any time since. As both a brave and successful attention-grabbing visual device and as a Truth, it has stuck with me ever since to the extent that I typed the sentence from memory rather than sought out my own issue.

It’s now that we start using the word ‘genius’. Not because I am drunk but because the writing and art have both ascended to the point of inspired precision.

Every look, every line has a weight to it. They’re so well refined and targeted, and amongst the targets are melodramatic superheroes in the form of Chris Claremont’s Wolverine, and organised religion. Not faith – that’s a very different thing. Which is fortunate, for Sim would go on to embrace God with a passion.

Prime Minister Cerebus is persuaded to enter the Church, to vie for the role of Pope which for Cerebus involves throwing babies off roofs to prove a point about obeisance and being careful what you wish for.

Please don’t think that Cerebus has been converted. He hasn’t. The most famous CEREBUS t-shirt has him dressed as Pope declaring, “He doesn’t love you. He just wants all your money.” Specifically, he wants gold.

But Cerebus achieves his status through an assassination out of his hands, and for the first time he observes that “Something fell!” It won’t be the last. It will ripple through time and, when uttered in the future, will become a catalyst for destruction.

This is where the subplot – hiding in the wings but very much in evidence for those who’ve either been looking for it or reading in retrospect – really kicks in. There is something evidently rather singular about our Aardvark. Also something of a duality. Things happen around him. There are the Mind Games, the Strange White Glowing Thing, and the gold evidently wants him as much as he wants it

Did I mention he gets married? If the first book begins as a parody of CONAN, you won’t be surprised at the inclusion of a character called Red Sophia based on female barbarian Red Sonja. What would perhaps surprise you is that Red Sophia’s mother is an extended homage to British cartoonist Giles. It’s brilliantly done, too.

More Mind Games, more chess pieces, more Jaka. Oh, yes, more Marx Brothers!

For more on CEREBUS – an overview or its story and an assessment of its structure, its art, its invention and its place in comicbook history – please see my reviews of every single one of its sixteen component parts making up 300 monthly issues written and drawn over twenty-three years.

Unusually I wrote them back to back just before Page 45’s website launched because a) most of the collected editions were published long before we wrote reviews so we had none, and b) CEREBUS is such a landmark series in the history of comic art and industry that I would not countenance a Page 45 website launching without every single edition being assessed to one extent or another.

Because I wrote them back to back, they constitute one complete and hopefully coherent review dealing with different elements like the lettering and art rather than repeating myself each time as an introduction. Begin at the beginning?



Buy Cerebus vol 3: Church & State (Remastered Edition) and read the Page 45 review here

Southern Cross vol 1 (£7-50, Image) by Becky Cloonan & Andy Belanger with Lee Loughbridge.

“Someone wants to be friends.
“And it’s not me.
“I guess it’s never been me.”

Congratulations to artist Andy Belanger: he made me stare into Alex Braith’s eyes on pages one and two for a good 15 minutes, trying to find the precise right words to describe the look of love she is empathically not giving the officious pen-pusher at customs. Combined with an arched eyebrow which puts even my ceiling-scrapers to shame, it’s this: defiance, contempt and cool-steel rage.

He’s stopped her before boarding the Southern Cross tanker flight 73 to Titan currently docked at a space ring orbiting Earth and pushed all Alex’s buttons: her time spent in jail for assault and battery ten years ago, and her reason for visiting Titan. You don’t visit Titan for pleasure.

Titan is Saturn’s largest moon which does have an atmosphere though it isn’t quite comparable to ours. It does, however, have a whole lot of ice. And oil – that’s what megacorporation Zemi is interested in, although drilling for it is dangerous. Alex’s sister Amber worked for Zemi right up until she died late at night, which is why Alex is flying to Titan: to collect her sister’s remains and effects. She also plans to collect some answers because however hazardous drilling for oil is, that’s not how Amber died. Amber worked in admin.

Now before you jump to conclusions, there are intimations from some of the earliest pages that this isn’t going to be straight, space-based crime like Antony Johnston and Justin Greenwood’s cleverly crafted police procedural set on THE FUSE. There are an awful lot of symbols and the atmosphere once the Southern Cross is boarded is dank and dimly lit – like working on a submarine – yet highly luminous. The cabins are equally perfunctory rather those of a pleasure cruise and I loved that water was rationed, allocated to each passenger and accessed via an ID card: you don’t want anyone leaving the tap running on a six-day voyage without the possibility of pulling in for top-ups.

Belanger and Loughbridge establish this luminosity right from the start. With its multiple, meandering boarding tubes glowing in the dark, that’s space ring’s scale is ever so impressive. It looks exactly like an international airport might if gravity wasn’t an issue.

But you wait until you see that Herb Trimpe space-tanker entering hyperdrive! Oh yeah, Belanger has got to be the most enormous Herb Trimpe fan. It’s in the faces, especially – the hair and the eyes from afar.

I was as immediately suspicious as Alex of almost everyone I met within the claustrophobic confines of the craft. I wouldn’t let my guard down, not even for affable Doctor Lon Wells or over-accommodating Captain Mori Tetsuya. He has a fulsome beard and that Herb Trimpe look in his eyes, but still I wasn’t sure. First mate St Martin I could at least empathise with because she’s so bloody busy.

As to smarmy Kyril who is not part of the crew, Alex recognises the tattoos on his knuckles and doesn’t want to get dragged into that line of work again, but he seems impossible to avoid.

Equally unavoidable is Alex’s unexpected roommate who’s already availed herself of the top bunk. Erin McKenna seems confident and courteous but fractious Alex isn’t a people person at the best of time, let alone when she’s been lumbered with a last-minute booking. Plus there are rumours in the mess hall that Erin McKenna is investigating Amber’s death. If only Alex wasn’t such a bricked-off wall she could have at least asked Erin, but when she wakes she finds Erin gone, her clothes on the top bunk arranged ever so strangely. She’s left behind her room key and ration card. She’s also left Amber’s case file.

What’s clear is this: Alex isn’t the only person interested in Amber’s death in one way or another and she won’t have to wait until reaching Titan for revelations. It is, however, bigger than you might think.

For all this while, as the leviathan hurtles through space with its newly installed gravity drive, there is a constant sense of it pulsing eerily, uncannily, unnaturally.

Things grow increasingly tense, sweaty and strange, then positively frantic as the panels lurch then take a turn for the triangular.



Buy Southern Cross vol 1 and read the Page 45 review here

Starve vol 1 (£7-50, Image) by Brian Wood & Danijel Zezelj…

“Gavin Cruikshank is a name that can attract unwanted attention. It’s also a name I gave up years ago. These two things are closely related.”

With very good reason. Gavin Cruikshank was once upon a time a feted celebrity chef, with a moderately popular TV show called Starve. But personal problems – including an extremely bitter divorce with his ex-wife who was a teensy-weensy bit shocked and upset at learning the love of her life and father of her child was suddenly ready to come out of the closet – meant that just disappearing seemed like a good option, even if abandoning his daughter broke his heart.

Plus he had begun to fall out of love with cooking as well, spending increasingly less time in the kitchen and more and more in front of the cameras promoting the Cruikshank brand. To his surprise, in a world where global warming and an increased sea level has wreaked havoc upon major conurbations almost entirely at the expense of the have-nots, vanishing amongst the hoi-polloi in distant south-east Asia was far easier than he expected. Suspiciously easy, perhaps.

Except, except… in this brave new world where most of the population are struggling to find anything decent to eat, the rich have elevated the consumption of excess and fancy to obscene new levels. And thus, during his absence of several years, and quite unbeknownst to him due to his off-the-grid lifestyle, Starve has become the number one rated television programme on the planet.

It’s not the simple cooking programme he left behind, though. It’s become something far more disgustingly voyeuristic than that. As those with all the money flaunt their boorish opulence with increasing abandon, Starve has practically become a culinary gladiatorial arena. These stellar ratings, however, must be maintained at all costs, and so someone came up with the idea to bring back Gavin Cruikshank, to see if he could hack it in this new cut-throat competition.

So the Network tracked him down, keen to keep up the juggernaut momentum of their entertainment behemoth, politely pointing out he was legally obliged to do eight more episodes from his existing contract, then not so politely pointing out if he didn’t they would ruin his life, and oh, he wasn’t likely to see a penny of income from selling his soul once more because his ex-wife now owned all his rights to Starve…

There are all sorts of little games at play here. I’m not sure I entirely believe the Network’s execs, his one-time colleague and rival Roman Algiers who is the current host of Starve, or Gavin’s cunning and still very bitter ex-wife, as to what is going on, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t either. It clearly isn’t going to be as simple as that. But he decides to take up their challenge, partly to find out what is going on, also because he wants to rekindle his relationship with his now grown-up daughter, and most definitely due to the healthy pinch of egomania that every top chef needs. He wants to take them all on at their own games and beat them. He trusts his daughter implicitly, though, and I do have to wonder if that isn’t going to be his Achilles heel…

Ah, he does come up with some good concepts for stories, Brian Wood, I must say. There are all sorts of sub-pots, sorry, plots, bubbling away in the background here, but basically this is going to be a character-driven story. You can see the look and personality of Gavin has been part-inspired by the original British enfant terrible of cuisine, Marco Pierre White, and then just given that little bit of a cocktail sexuality shake up before being served with a twist on the crushed ice of a collapsing, polarised society. Sounds tasty!

I really enjoyed Danijel Zezelj’s art here. It’s mean and moody, thickly lined and darkly coloured, with Gavin Cruikshank in particular looking like a brooding serial killer who’d be as likely to carve you up as fillet a fish, and who definitely prefers his steak dripping with blood. As I say, just like Marco Pierre White then. Intriguing palette cleanser of a premise which rapidly develops into a dégustation of deranged delights!


Buy Starve vol 1 and read the Page 45 review here

War Stories vol 3 (£18-99, Avatar) by Garth Ennis & Matt Martin, Keith Burns, Tomas Aira…

“Welcome back. He didn’t make it I’m afraid.”
“As a matter of fact, you’re the only one from your crew who did.”
“Joe Rehm didn’t have a mark on him…”
“Died of shock.”
“Do you mean to… Am I the only survivor of the whole thing? Out of forty men?”
“Oh, I see where you’re going. No. Your tail gunner’s ammunition cooked off in the fire. The B-17 behind your own was badly hit, the bombardier was killed and both pilots blinded. But the rest got out okay. So if you’re working on some kind of Jonah complex, you can forget it. Anyhow you got a little singed, and that cut on your head needed stitching up, but apart from that you’re fine.”
“And… then what?”
“They find you another crew, and another aircraft, I suppose. Then you get on with the war. So I’d advise you to rest as much as you can.”

Phew, that was a tough first mission, and a very warm welcome to Great Britain for American flyer Leonard Wetmore considering his plane didn’t even get off the ground. Well, I suppose technically it did, given how many pieces it exploded into when one of the bombs went off on the runway… A veritable baptism of fire therefore to Leonard’s wartime flying career. But the lack of altitude means it doesn’t even count towards his requisite tally of twenty-five missions before he’s allowed to go home a hero.

An action packed return for Garth’s brutally realistic tales of derring do and, well, also abominable suffering from conflict zones around the world. As always with this series, in both its WAR STORIES and BATTLEFIELDS incarnations, the tales are fictionalised retellings of true events, to a lesser or greater degree. And as before, he’s included a recommended further reading list at the back.

The three told here: Castles In The Sky, Children Of Israel and The Last German Winter, are of completely different content and indeed tone. The opener, concerning the aeronautical adventures of young Leonard fielding the flack both up in the clouds, and from the young son of the British widow he’s practically accidentally romancing, and the closer, featuring a German panzer crew, out of ammo and on foot deep behind enemy lines in their Russian occupied homeland, trying to escort a civilian family to safety in the depths of snowbound mid-winter, are clearly more of a conflation of general events and various peoples’ stories. Indeed, the last one is a chilling story in more ways than one about the devastating horrors that wholly innocent civilians caught up in conflict can experience. Sometimes, there are no heroes in war.

And yet, sometimes there really are people who save the day: the absolute right person in the right place, in the very moment they are needed most. The middle story, broadly biographical in nature, recounts the desperate tank battle defence of the Golan Heights that made the career, and name, of Avigdor Ben-Gal, who commanded the 7th Armoured Brigade against the relentless Syrian attack during the 1973 Yom Kippur war.

As seemingly one of the very few who actually believed (or perhaps more precisely no else wanted to believe) that another war was imminent, his brigade was the only Israeli Defence Force unit on a full war-readiness footing. A fact that very possibly saved his country from a catastrophic defeat, perhaps even being wiped off the face of the map forever. You can argue the politics of Israel’s very existence as much as you like (amongst yourselves, please), what can’t be denied, however, is that to the Israeli people, General Ben-Gal as he eventually became, is a true war hero.

It is always fascinating to see what stories Ennis will turn to next, which conflicts, and the various protagonists involved. The sad fact is he that has no dearth of material to work with…


Buy War Stories vol 3 and read the Page 45 review here

Snow Blind #2 of 4 (£2-99, Boom!) by Ollie Masters & Tyler Jenkins.

“The weird thing is, as much as this moment is built on a foundation as loose as mud… it’s probably the closest I’ve ever felt to my parents. And for one brief moment I didn’t care that they’d been lying to me.
“But it must’ve been the painkillers talking.”

A second-issue review happens maybe once a year. After the first you’ll have to wait for the book, but this confirmed all the promise of SNOW BLIND #1 (far more extensively reviewed) then took it to its natural next step, even if I failed to spot it in front of me and so tripped down its storytelling stairs.

Which is precisely what you want from a comic; real life – not so much.

Teddy has been lied to by his parents all his life. They don’t know that he knows that because since he found out he’s been lying to them. Finally he gives them the opportunity to tell him the truth and maybe they do and maybe they don’t. But Teddy’s going to presume that they’re still lying and thus continue to lie to them while he gets to the truth of the matter himself. The truth of a matter he exposed by mistake and which he will now make a great deal worse.

Partly because he’s jumped to one wrong conclusion and – sure as a leopard’s moulting fails to act as an organic stain remover – is about to jump to another.

Here he’s decided to track down last issue’s intruder by asking around in a bad part of town.

“If he’d any sense he wouldn’t be laying low in the nice part of town… He’d be in the parts of town where being nosey get it broken.”

Self-knowledge and self-guidance do not communicate with each other in Teddy’s head.

As I say, far, far more in my review of SNOW BLIND #1, still in stock at the time of typing.

This really is a complete and utter car crash. Every pun intended.

Art shown is from issue 1.


Buy Snow Blind #2 and read the Page 45 review here

Star Wars vol 2: Showdown On The Smugglers Moon (£14-99, Marvel) by Jason Aaron & Simone Bianchi, Stuart Immonen…

“I’ve seen your bounty alerts. Quite the price you’ve got on your head.”
“It gets even better. Your wife is a bounty hunter.”
“No! And she’s not my…”
“Suddenly this is all making sense. The rich princess in trouble. Yeah, Han could never resist those. How many times has he rescued you? Bet he even turned down the reward. Yeah, he’s holding out for a much bigger prize.”
“And exactly what sort of “prize” would that be?”
“That’s one of his best cons. He ran the same scam on the daughter of a sultan in the Boz Pity system.”
“What? None of that is true!”
“Really? Maybe we should go ask the sultan. I hear he’s still offering a moon in exchange for your head.”
“Leia, don’t listen to her, it was never like that.”
“Never like what? All a huge lie? Then why is your wife pointing a huge gun at me?”

Ha ha, sleazy Han Solo, he’s right up to his neck in it now. As if being held at blaster point by a deadly bounty hunter, who claims to be his not so dearly betrothed weren’t bad enough, there’s a squadron of Tie Fighters and a Star Destroyer rapidly zeroing in on their position intent on vaporising them all to cinders. Both of which pale into insignificance compared to the righteous indignation of one Princess Leia Organa, who can’t quite believe that ten minutes earlier she was finally starting to fall for his trademark Solo flannel and flattery. He’s going to need all of his smooth talking skills to get out of this situation that’s for sure!


This volume brings together the Han / Leia and Luke story arcs as their planned rescue attempt becomes increasingly more fraught with peril and peppered with pithy one-liners, primarily at Hans’s squirming expense. As with Gillen’s DARTH VADER (who conveniently pops up right at the end here to lead us into the forthcoming VADER DOWN cross-over, which is effectively volume 3 of both this title and DARTH VADER) it’s just great fun and the new characters of Sana Solo and imperial spy Sergeant Kreel add to the merry mayhem.


Buy Star Wars vol 2: Showdown On The Smugglers Moon 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.

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

Gravity Falls Cinestory Comic (£7-50, Joe Books) by various

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

Swords Of Glass s/c (£14-99, Humanoids) by Sylviane Corgiat & Laura Zuccheri

Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift (£9-99, Titan) by Meredith Gran & Carey Pietsch

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

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas h/c (£18-99, Top Shelf) by Hunter S. Thompson, adapated by Troy Little

Grayson vol 1: Agents Of Spryal s/c (£10-99, DC) by Tim Seeley, Tom King & Mikel Janin, Stephen Mooney

Grayson vol 2: We All Die At Dawn s/c (£10-99, DC) by Tim Seeley, Tom King & Mikel Janin, Stephen Mooney

Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars (UK Edition) s/c (£11-99, Marvel) by Cullen Bunn & Matteo Lolli

Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars s/c (£11-99, Marvel) by Cullen Bunn & Matteo Lolli

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

The Ultimates Ultimate Collection s/c (£25-99, Marvel) by Mark Millar & Bryan Hitch

The Ultimates 2 Ultimate Collection s/c (£25-99, Marvel) by Mark Millar & Bryan Hitch

Ultimate End: Battleworld s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley

A Silent Voice vol 5 (£8-50, Kodansha) by Yoshitoki Oima

Gizza Snog Valentine’s Card (£2-50, Paper Pipit) by Jodie Paterson

I Like Your Bum Valentine’s Card (£2-50, Paper Pipit) by Jodie Paterson

You Are Perfect Valentine’s Card (£2-50, Paper Pipit) by Jodie Paterson

You’re Well Fit! Valentine’s Card (£2-50, Paper Pipit) by Jodie Paterson


ITEM! Jade Sarson has FEELS LIKE NOODLES, her 24-Hour LICAF comic for sale on her website. If you enjoyed Sarah Burgess’ comic about struggling with feelings and a cycle of behaviour which I linked to last week I believe you’ll love this too. I did!

ITEM! Brandon Graham writes about his work on THE WICKED + THE DIVINE, divulging lots of secrets in the, err, process.

ITEM! Sarah McIntrye is back yet again with more inspiration for creating comics for all ages. It’s a massive blog. How does she find the time? She is a creative whirlwind of a woman! Don’t miss the link to her 24-page JAMPIRES jam-comic created with David O’Connell. It’s not the one I’ve just liked to (that’s the genius JAMPIRES picture book) nor is it the one reprinted below. No, it’s in her blog just above it!

ITEM! And Alex de Campi gives a lesson on lettering comics.

– Stephen

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