Page 45 Comic & Graphic Novel Reviews January 2016 week two

The Fox And The Star (£14-99, Particular Books) by Coralie Bickford-Smith.

An exquisitely beautiful book which is wise, gentle, kind and compassionate, its images are so integral to the storytelling that I will happily class it a comic.

Executed with an exceptional degree of control, it is in places like reading through William Morris wallpaper from which rectangles have been excised with a scalpel.

It’s also like watching through a window with its initial broad, white frames.

The early colours, trees and leaves – and indeed that meticulous, compositional precision – put me in mind of John McNaught.

That is the visual template set up early on, although even then a beetle or branch will softly breach the strictly allotted space, a hint of the much more organic to come.

It’s a template thrilling enough in itself but partly set up in order to be broken so that when it is, at precisely the right moments, the contrast is striking.

There will follow full double-page spreads which bleed right to the edges, and canopies or intricate bramble thickets through which you will read but one or two words, arranged just-so. There I thought of Rob Ryden’s THIS IS FOR YOU, but perhaps because I already had scalpels in the back of my brain – a sentence I hope never to type again.

Additionally, once I’d got the idea that the fox and the simplicity of its verbal narrative reminded me of John Klassen (I WANT MY HAT BACK and SAM & DAVE DIG A HOLE etc), I couldn’t get that out of my head, either.

As for the colours they range from pitch-black and silver to a star-strewn slate grey; and from warm, russet-red as the fox nestles amongst ferns to a blazing orange speckled with yellow as courage is found, hope takes hold and the world is explored anew.

It’s not always easy, is it?

“Once there was a Fox who lived in a deep, dense forest.
“Because Fox was small and the trees reached far higher than the tips of his ears, he was timid, and afraid to stray from his den.”

Those silver birches are so very tall that their trunks don’t thin one iota before leaving our sight above the pages’ frames, implying an almost infinite, unknowable and therefore unreachable, intimidating grandeur. Fox, his brush curled intimately round one of the birch’s base, looks up wide-eyed, innocent and daunted like The Herb Garden’s Parsley the Lion.

“And yet, for as long as Fox could remember, he would wake at night to the cool, calm light of Star.”`

It’s Star’s guiding light which gives Fox his courage to scamper around and forage in the forest for food and – oh – it is joyous, so joyous!. They race round together, “Star brightening the shadows ahead”.

But Star is Fox’s only friend.

And one dark night Star’s bright, shining light fails to appear.

What Bickford-Smith does with the colours and cramped confines there is truly arresting.


I own we are late to this party for it’s never been solicited through comicbook channels and I know I should be more on the wider, cultural ball – I know! Usually I am or we wouldn’t have Paul Madonna’s architectural eloquence ALL OVER COFFEE which I discovered in San Francisco or his subsequent EVERYTHING IS ITS OWN REWARD.

Nor would we have Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre’s all-ages PUGS OF THE FROZEN NORTH, OLIVER AND THE SEAWIGS and CAKES IN SPACE, let alone McIntyre & O’Connell’s JAMPIRES.

But in this instance I dropped the book-market ball and am enormously grateful and indebted to our customer Fuz who was also responsible for introducing me to A MONSTER CALLS. Don’t read that in public, by the way. There will be tears.


Buy The Fox And The Star and read the Page 45 review here

Deep Dark Fears (£10-99, Ten Speed Press) by Fran Krause.

“Every time I tell someone “I love you”, my soul is split in half. I worry that someday, I’ll have none left.”

No, that’s what happens when you stop telling people you love them.

The premise for this cute little hardcover is pretty straight forward and similar to Jesse Reklaw’s THE NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE. There Reklaw illustrated summaries of other people’s dreams. Here Krause does much the same thing for fears, superstitions and anxieties which are often instilled by others, so be warned that this may prove contagious.

Jonathan’s told his daughter so many inventive and elaborate porkies to keep her good and quiet that I’m surprised she’s not a neurotic mess.

In Fear #10 (of 101, only four belonging to Krause himself), a young kid eats a freshly picked blackberry only to be told by an older lad that the seeds would never digest but grow as thorny vines inside his arteries which would then turn to wood making it unbearable for him to move.

“He added that it would be very expensive to treat, so better not to bother my parents about anything and just deal with it.”

I love that he’s then patted reassuringly on the head by the big boy.

“I didn’t sleep for weeks.”

The full-colour, expressive illustrations are as “simple” as Jeffrey Brown’s and there’s a bit of Dan Berry in evidence as well. I say “illustrations” but often they’re interpretations too.

Fear #7 is a pretty sure sign that someone’s read or seen The Omen II which had no small effect on myself aged eleven, either. Some like #44 are purely physical. I too have a fear of gouging my eyes out but in my case it’s on our industrial-sized stapler with the most enormous handle. For Lizzie it’s on wrought iron fences after skidding on ice. Hilariously she worries “it’ll be too slippery to free myself”. Bit late to mind about, I’d have thought.

Others are more surreal. “I used to think that when I closed a book, all the characters would freeze in place…” begins #35 as an Austen-era young lady in a fulsome, floor length dress is depicted playing badminton on the lawn. “…And if I left them for too long,” it continues, “they could get up to mischief.” It’s actually the shuttlecock and racket that have frozen in place, mid-air, leaving the lovely to dash to off and – I don’t know – dote on some snooty single man in possession of a good fortune.

This was quite cute:

“My Mom said she had to be careful of bright lights while driving. At night, someone’s high beams might blind you. I thought she meant permanently, so I shut my eyes and prepared, in case my Mom was blinded and I had to take the wheel.” Aged 8.

TOMBOY and ALONE FOREVER’s Liz Prince’s Fear #47 is typically self-conscious and elaborate, and Krause portrait of Liz’s self-portrait is very much on the money:

“Death is a theatre, full of everyone you’ve ever met, watching a real-time replay of your life, with your every thought narrated out loud.”


Crikey. Lastly #85 reminded me of one of my own childhood fears when, after watching a Boris Karloff or Hammer Horror film late at night I would switch off the living room light whilst already out of the door and in the hall but still staring carefully in, then retreat in similar fashion upstairs, always switching off the lights behind rather than ahead of me.

I don’t think I have fears any longer if you discount cliff edges, sharks and smashing my teeth in. Although I do wish we hadn’t bought that bloody stapler.


Buy Deep Dark Fears and read the Page 45 review here

100 Bullets Book 4 (£18-99, Vertigo) by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso with Patricia Mulvihill.

“The Trust decided the Minutemen are obsolete. I’ve been instructed to get rid of you.”
“Get rid of?”
“Retire? Please, Shepherd… I believe the word was eliminate. That doesn’t sound like it comes with a gold watch.”
“No. More along the lines of a lead tie-pin.”

100 BULLETS is a crime and conspiracy comic so sprawling in scope but so tightly plotted and taut with tension that most who read it was a monthly got lost in the long-games and caught between the cracks of the shifting allegiances both overt and covert. Thankfully you don’t have that problem, especially now there are now new big, thick “books” rather than the slimmer “volumes” which are dropping out of print. They’re each of them reviewed.

It’s a war between the Houses of The Trust, The Minutemen they used to employ as keepers of the peace, and anyone Agent Graves believes he can use in his very long game of goading, guile and perfect positioning, even from the very beginning. They needed the Minutemen because each family judged the others’ honesty by their own. It’s not the sort of institution you’d then want to dissolve, is it?

“Medici has been whispering for years that the Minutemen were an obsolete institution.
“I prefer they think of us as rogue.”

Exactly my point.

The crisp lines and ink-pool silhouettes boast an elegance to match the eloquence of Azzarello’s pen. Risso’s shadows are even stronger than Miller’s in SIN CITY whilst Mulvihill has, throughout this series, balanced them with a warmth of colouring which, combined, makes for one of the most palpable atmospheres in comics. There are moments of explosive, balletic violence – more here perhaps than in any other book so far, for key characters are about to bite the desert dust – but they erupt from pages that are predominantly ominous and charged, as the dialogue dances between schemes and schemers who can look each other in the eye, lie through their teeth and grin while they’re doing so. Or, who knows? Maybe they’re telling the truth, or a truth, because the players are constantly taking the last speaker’s words and twisting them in their own personal direction.

Here are the remains of those Minutemen again:

“The deal The Trust struck with the rest of the world… Well, the world’s a lot smaller now.”
“And The Trust is a lot bigger. We live by the original contract. If we don’t… what are we?”
“About to break it.”

Azzarello’s characters do, of course, all possess more vocalised wit than humanly credible, with wordplay and power play galore, but that’s what makes this so hardboiled. It’s such a pleasure to see words dance in this deadly game of verbal fencing.

Everything about this series is serpentine – both coiled and deadly – so there’s no predicting where the layers of manipulation will lead, when the head will strike, or where it will strike. And sometimes the first strike is the decoy.

If you enjoyed our three Comicbook Of The Month choices, CRIMINAL, STRAY BULLETS and SILVERFISH, I recommend you now launch yourself into 100 BULLETS in the knowledge that it gets better and better and its reprints are almost complete. One more book to go!


Buy 100 Bullets book 4 and read the Page 45 review here

Age Of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians (£10-99, Dark Horse) by Ricardo Delgado.


Just when you thought it was safe to creep back into the Cretaceous shallows that lurk down the bottom of your tree-lined cul de sac if only you had the courage to leap over your neighbour’s fence and jump into their garden pond… *


The impeccably choreographed AGE OF REPTILES OMNIBUS of do-or-die dinosaur survivalism is a best-seller here. Who on earth doesn’t love dinosaurs?

These are all silent series for the dinosaurs are resolutely not anthropomorphised as they are in many recent family-friendly animations, but ferocious and vicious and if not malicious then at least more than capable of defending their territory whether they be predators or prey.

Size matters. Size splatters. And there is much to be said for safety in numbers.

All of which you will witness in this new graphic novel where there’s a lot less light and a lot more looming.

Gone on the whole are the arid plains and open, cerulean skies for very ancient Egypt wasn’t the desert you’re accustomed to but boasted many more trees (enormous), much more water and plenty of bloody big fish. There are two forewards on hand by outside experts to provide the geological and paleontological details, after which you’re left to fend for yourselves in a world which is teeming with life and indeed so much death that the pages in places become a blood-bath of angry red.

It stars a land-loving but equally subaquatic Spinosaurus Aegyptiacus. Imagine a crocodile but with longer legs and consequently greater agility but an equally considered, time-biding approach to getting what it wants most – food – while avoiding what it wants least: a crippling injury followed by death.

Our snaggle-toothed protagonist bears many scars suggesting that these are lessons learned through painful experience, but learned they most assuredly are.

Much of the first instalment is conveyed in slow and stealthy horizontal panels which are given a quick flick of movement in triangular fashion, whilst most of the epic this time comes in the form of the mighty weight of the vast herbivores rising up in numbers to bear down on our lone-roaming ronin.


Yes. Far from a pack hunter, this is a sole survivor.

Please see the first of Delgado’s four impassioned essays in the back in which he talks enlighteningly not about archaeology but about controversially coloured Westerns and the far from black and white films of Akira Kurosawa which inspired them.

* Your neighbour’s pond is indeed a trans-temporal gateway. You may claim that your neighbour has no pond – and so may they – but they do!


Buy Age Of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians and read the Page 45 review here

Aquila: Blood Of The Iceni (£18-99, Rebellion) by Gordon Rennie & Leigh Gallagher, Patrick Goddard…

“Raze Londinium. Burn it to the ground and piss on its ashes, as the Romans once did to Carthage. They will rebuild it, and send a legion… and then another one. And another one if need be… to punish and destroy you.”
“Is that why you’ve served the people who enslaved you and put you to the cross? Because you see no alternative to defying their power?”
“I have served them because killing is my stock in trade, and service in the legions of Rome is the quickest and easiest way to ply that trade.”

Originally published in three chunks over twenty-four 2000AD progs in 2012 and ’13, this is a bloody nasty bit of magic-infused, period mayhem set in the first century AD. For our main character, slave-turned-gladiator Aquila, it all starts over a century before that, though, with his part in the Spartacus-led revolt. Obviously we all know how that turned out, and Aquila was one of the six thousand rebels crucified right along the 132 miles of straight road between the cities of Capua and Rome. In his hour of need, however, upon the cross, he prayed to all the gods he knew for a swift demise. But whilst his prayers were answered, it wasn’t quite the salvation he expected that he received. Instead an inescapable immortal life of servitude awaited him, to Ammit the Devourer, to wreak destruction and death in his name.

After nearly 130 years of dispatching souls for the Devourer he’s unsurprisingly had enough of the bloodletting. So when he hears rumour that he might not be the only cursed immortal, invulnerable havoc-causer wandering around the battlefields of Europe, but that this one has slipped the mystical chains of his godly master, he decides to try and track him down. A certain Emperor of Rome, though, with a penchant for pyromania and stringed instruments, has designs of his own about not growing old gracefully and takes more than a passing interest in our long-lived chum…

Along the way even a certain Peter the Apostle makes an appearance, cropping up on the hit list of Nero and Aquila both! Oh and Queen Boudica who, quite understandably in my opening pull quote, is somewhat perplexed as to why Aquila would fight on behalf of those who nailed him to two planks of wood. She’s got a point, I feel. But when a man’s got to kill, a man’s got to kill. Particularly when there’ll be a certain demonical deity wanting to have a swift word if he starts coming over all soft and cuddly…

Ah, I did enjoy this mix of historical carnage and supernatural slaughter. Always nice to see something a bit different in the galaxy’s most zarjaz comic. I think Gordon Rennie has created a character here that will be reprised for several more story arcs yet. I mean yes, it’s arguably a variation on the Slaine-esque theme but when they totally done that particular character to death, what better to do than come up with an immortal alternative?! One for the followers of tartan-clad Mr. McRoth then certainly, but possibly also Miller’s 300 and Gillen’s THREE, I think. There’s sufficient historical content to elevate this well above a mere slashathon.

Suitably gritty art from Leigh Gallagher and Patrick Goddard which minded me of Darick THE BOYS Robinson in places. In fact this is exactly the sort of thing I could imagine Garth Ennis penning so if you’re a fan of his this might well be worth a look too.


Buy Aquila: Blood Of The Iceni and read the Page 45 review here

Darth Vader vol 2: Shadows And Secrets (£14-99, Marvel) by Kieron Gillen & Salvador Larocca…

“You guys are not team players.”
“Yeah, the wookie’s right, you better not have crossed us, Aphra.”
“Statement: you can’t hide from the bounty hunters.”
“Strictly speaking you can hide, it just tends to be ineffective. Running is statistically better, but only fractionally.”
“Comic murderous pedantry aside, the droid’s right. You all know I’ve got a fairly lax attitude to property rights, but do you think I’d cross four of the deadliest bounty hunters in the galaxy?”
“I think you’d think about it.”

Everyone in the galaxy seemingly has an opinion about the new Star Wars film. Most seem to run quite contrary to mine in that they wholeheartedly enjoyed it. My first, and still remaining thought, upon exciting the cinema was, why on Endor couldn’t they get a comic writer to do the script? Disappointed I was…

I mean, Gillen’s DARTH VADER has everything, absolutely everything I would want from a new STAR WARS yarn. An intricate, intriguing, interesting plot with more twists and turns than a womp rat scurrying for cover. Hilarious witty dialogue (right up there with Bendis in his pomp, I feel) that can raise a chuckle or make you shiver in trepidation in equal measure, from note-perfectly observed old characters but also delightful new creations alike.

His utterly selfish corsair Aphra and her psychopathic droid duo of Triple Zero and Beetee are simply brilliant, darkly reflecting Luke, C3PO and R2D2 in such an ironically twisted manner, I would dearly hope someone at Disney was paying sufficient enough attention to think, “You know what, let’s pinch them for a Darth Vader film.” Because no doubt surely there will be one at some point if they’re even making a young Han Solo flick… In fact, while Disney are at it, can they also get Kieron to write it, please?


Buy Darth Vader vol 2: Shadows And Secrets and read the Page 45 review here

Jessica Jones: Pulse – The Complete Collection s/c (£25-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley, Brent Anderson, Michael Lark, Michael Gaydos, Olivier Coipel.

JESSICA JONES: ALIAS volumes one to four constitute the finest comic series Marvel has ever published. It is the story of a brilliant woman trapped in a self-perpetuating spiral of self-loathing and self-destruction with a beginning, middle and oh so satisfying end.

Essentially a detective series with some of the deftest dialogue in any comics genre, it’s packed with anti-establishment attitude and thoroughly cathartic. It has very little to do with costumed fisticuffs and I commend it to almost all of you heartily, no matter what else you’re currently reading. Each book has been reviewed and praised to the heavens with zero spoilers.

Although there are several chapters here with ALIAS artist Michael Gaydos back on board which reprise the heart and spirit of the old title here – specifically when Jessica is introduced by Carol Danvers to Sue Storm and they do lunch (so, so good!) – this is not that, and I do believe the grotesquely twee, airbrushed cover says it all.


With one wince-worthy exception written over a decade ago I try to avoid spoilers. Even if I’m reviewing the fourth volume of a series, it’s essentially a sales pitch to new readers for the first book (if, you know, I love it) with some new angle to keep those already on board guessing.

Here I’m out of options so please, please read the whole of JESSICA JONES: ALIAS before you read this review.


I’m not even kidding you. Go away!

The first third of this has an identity crisis. It’s not sure if it’s a Spider-book or not. Jessica didn’t appear on a single one of its covers and with Gaydos unavailable Bendis brought in Mark Bagely, his artistic partner on ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN. I love what Bagley did there. He was perfect for what was a teenage-centric book, but here he makes formerly nuanced and ragged adult characters look like toy dolls.

Many writers are either inspired by their co-creators or write specifically for them. I know Bendis does, but here his trade-mark witty staccato banter, caught in the conflicting sensibilities, becomes a juddered mess of awkward exposition. I can hear it being typed, which is a no-no.


Seriously, just because I haven’t spoiled anything yet, I’m about to with the very next sentence not just for this book but for the whole of JESSICA JONES: ALIAS.

Now that Jessica is pregnant her priority is medical insurance. Self-employment as a private detective won’t provide that so she accepts a gig from J. Jonah Jameson as a columnist for the Daily Bugle, making reporter Ben Urich her partner and co-star along with boyfriend Luke Cage, the prospective father of her child. But just as she does so a fellow female reporter ends up dead in the water, having followed up one lead too many that takes her to Osborn Enterprises, home to the Green Goblin. Yeah.

The second sequence is a vast improvement, thanks partly to GOTHAM CENTRAL’s Michael Lark and ASTRO CITY’s Brent Anderson. The art is much more grounded, the characters very much a part of their environment which is about to become very uncomfortable. A superb evocation of frustration, fear and bewilderment, I’d recommend you read this in advance of Bendis and Dell’Otto’s SECRET WAR (singular, not plural – and it ties in directly) so that, being equally out of the loop, you can empathise with Jessica’s traumatised isolation and helplessness.

For here, in a split second, she finds a woman at her window, her apartment torn apart and her boyfriend blown into a coma. Because of Luke’s unbreakable skin surgeons find it impossible to operate. Then the terrorists strike again – this time at the hospital. The Emergency entrance becomes the emergency… and Luke Cage goes missing.

What do the terrorists want? Why are they doing this? What does it have to do with Luke’s past involvement with Nick Fury, and why will nobody – not even her employers at The Bugle nor her ex-boyfriend at S.H.I.E.L.D. – help her? It’s complete and utter carnage and – I would remind you – Jessica is pregnant. Everything about this book is about the baby.

The final instalment brings back Gaydos and everything feels right with the world again.

If Andi Watson’s LITTLE STAR was all about being a Dad, this is the closest thing in comics I can think of to being a pregnant Mum of the verge of giving birth. In a world where Dr. Strange is going to deliver your baby, sure, but the lunch with Sue Richards offering Jessica insight as to what to expect from motherhood was right on the money and written from experience.

Look this space, dappled light and shadow! I’d eat anywhere drawn by Michael Gaydos.

“Well, I’ll give you the good news… The good news is that once you’re a mom, all this energy you spend on yourself, all that self-involvement…”
“I have self-involvement?”
“The second your baby’s born… it’s all gone. It’s this huge weight – [to waiter:] thank you – this huge weight that you didn’t even know was there… and it’s lifted right off you. It’s such a relief. And that energy you used to put on yourself… now it’s all directed right at her. It’s all on her now. All of you is on her. The bad news is that it’s a horror movie that never ends. Just terrifying. Caring for a child. Just terrifying. I know you don’t want to hear this, but it is – it’s terrifying.”
“Because you can’t control so much of it. They fall down and split their lip — ugh. The boo-boos. They’re fine in five minutes. Me? I have to lie down for the rest of the afternoon. Oh my god! And — and you have to let them fall down. You have to. It’s life. It’s learning. It’ll kill you, but you have to.”
“Your kids have… powers.”
“Had. Yes.”
“Are you scared?”
“Oh my children? No.”
“Of what then…”
“Screwing them up?”
“Of course! But not because they have powers or because we’re superheroes… it’s because… Listen, you are talking to someone who has read every baby book written on this planet, and a few from other ones… no joke. And all I learned is this: There is no right. There is no wrong. There is only love and — and guidance and kissing the boo-boos. And you can do everything right… and they still might grow up to put on a big frog costume and jump around the city.”

Quite. If you wrap kids in cotton wool, you end up with the eponymous star of PERCY GLOOM.

The final chapters run with the first exploration in detail of “What if a woman with superpowers gave birth? What would that really involve?” and it’s done with careful consideration. Then Luke does something markedly un-Luke-like and it’s brilliant.



Buy Jessica Jones: Pulse – The Complete Collection s/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.

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

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

League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Nemo Trilogy (Slipcase Edition) (£26-99, Knockabout) by Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill

Lone Wolf And Cub Omnibus vol 11 (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima

Shutter vol 3: Quo Vadis (£10-99, Image) by Joe Keatinge & Leila Del Duca

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

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

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

Hellblazer vol 12: How To Play With Fire (£14-99, DC) by Paul Jenkins, Garth Ennis & Warren Pleece, John Higgins

Death Of Wolverine s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Charles Soule & Steve McNiven

Batman: Arkham Knight vol 1 (£10-99, DC) by Peter J. Tomasi & various

Flash vol 6: Out Of Time s/c (£12-99, DC) by Robert Venditti, Van Jensen & Brett Booth

Flash vol 7: Savage World h/c (£16-99, DC) by Robert Venditti, Van Jensen & Brett Booth

Guardians Team-up vol 2: Unlikely Story s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by various

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

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor vol 2: Fractures (UK Edition) s/c (£10-99, Titan) by Robbie Morrison & Brian Williamson, Mariano Laclaustra

Dragon Ball 3-in-1 Edition vols 31-33 (£9-99, Viz) by Akira Toriyama

Youth Is Wasted (£10-99, Adhouse Books) by Noah Van Sciver

Baltimore vol 6: The Cult Of The Red King h/c (£18-99, Dark Horse) by Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden & Peter Bergting

Judge Dredd: Dark Justice h/c (£14-99, Rebellion) by John Wagner & Greg Staples

Batman: Detective Comics vol 6: Icarus s/c (£12-99, DC) by Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato

Red Hood And The Outlaws vol 7: Last Call s/c (£10-99, DC) by Scott Lobdell & Geraldo Borges, various

Avengers: Time Runs Out vol 3 (UK Edition) s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Jonathan Hickman & Stefano Caselli, Kev Walker, Mike Deodato, Mike Mayhew

Avengers: Time Runs Out vol 4 (UK Edition) s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Jonathan Hickman & Stefano Caselli, Kev Walker, Mike Deodato, Dalibor Talajic

Darth Vader vol 2: Shadows And Secrets (£14-99, Marvel) by Kieron Gillen & Salvador Larroca

Tokyo Ghoul vol 4 (£8-99, Viz) by Sui Ishida

Souleater Not! Vol 4 (£9-99, Yen) by Atsushi Ohkubo


 Yippee! Philippa Rice’s SOPPY ‘s back in print! Dear Jodie!

ITEM! For fans of Allie Brosh HYPERBOLE AND A HALF, I give you Sarah Burgess’ beautifully observed, empathy-filled and organically structured single-page comic on a pattern / cycle of behaviour you may find very familiar!

ITEM! THE WICKED + THE DIVINE’s stellar Kieron Gillen on writing comics from story idea to finished script.

ITEM! Announced: Colleen Doran to adapt Neil Gaiman’s Troll Bridge to comics – Colleen’s own comments.

ITEM! Broken Frontier’s Comic Awards 2015. Who gone won the day?

ITEM! BOXERS & SAINTS’ Gene Luen Yang, the Library Of Congress’ National Ambassador For Young People’s Literature picks five graphic novels, each of which is stocked by Page 45. Please pop ‘em in our search engine!

ITEM! Article on10 comics which the Comibook Legal Defence Fund was forced to defend from censorship in America, so-called Land of the Free.

ITEM! Damien Walter on the women-hating, thumb-sucking menchildren in comics and games fandom. Let us counter this phenomenon with the wit-ridden wonder that is OffWorld games journalism.

ITEM! This a graphic novel, not an art book! It comes with a ltd ed signed bookplate and it looks pretty complex! THE ART OF CHARLIE CHAN HOCK CHYE by Sonny Liew coming soon. Paul Gravett interviews Sonny Liew himself and previews the graphic novel.

ITEM! Lastly, did you see the comics car-crash that was Angoulême this week?

Grand Prix d’Angoulême 2016 lifetime achievement award shortlist featured 30 nominees, all of ‘em blokes, then Franck Bondoux responded to criticism with “Unfortunately there are few women in the history of comics.”

Which is rubbish, obviously. I can’t recall how many tweets I expended, listing female comic creators off the top of my head, but ugh!!!

The Angoulême car-crash continued….

…threatening to become a multiple pile-up…

ITEM! Typically PUGS OF THE FROZEN NORTH’s Sarah McIntyre responded to Angoulême with a huge, constructive, empowering resource encouraging more people – women and men – to make comics.

Well done, Sarah!

 – Stephen

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.