Page 45 Comic & Graphic Novel Reviews March 2017 week one

FREE COMIC ALERT!

We’ve discovered a bold new talent, and have copies of Katie Kessler’s first publication to give you FOR FREE! Please see News under Reviews!

The Girl From The Other Side vol 1 (£9-99, Seven Seas) by Nagabe.

“Never, never allow yourself to sympathise with Outsiders.”

If that doesn’t ring wrong with you in this day or any age, then heaven help you. And heaven help the rest of us.

Isn’t mankind most excellent at scare-mongering – at spreading poison like a virus – and, in so doing, causing its own self-destruction?

It is also exceptional at viewing the world in binary, blinkered black and white. This is how the white soldiers perceive what is happening to them, perpetuating it through what is so often simplistic, dictatorial legend and lore.

None of what I write is random – including the virus – for what Nagabe has so very gently fashioned here is a fable all too pertinent to our times both created and told in black and white. By “created in black and white”, I mean this is a black and white comic; by “told in black and white” I mean something entirely different.

Shiva is an optimistic and surprisingly stoical young girl dressed entirely in white.

We find her in the protective custody of a kind and capable guardian whom she calls “Teacher”.

Her guardian is black from fuzzy, horned head to toe, but his compassionate eyes are white and they see so much more than he will let on, lest the girl in his charge become distressed. His duty, as he sees it, is to protect her from anything harmful, including the truth. His livery is mostly black too, though you will notice the soft folds around his collar and his billowing sleeves, both white. This elegant entity appears to be a human / goat hybrid, and haven’t we demonised goats?

They live together in a cabin, outside in the woods, and they make do. Occasionally they visit a deserted village to forage for much-needed food including bread. It’s probably quite stale by now, for it’s been a fortnight. Undeterred and ever-optimistic, awaiting the promised return of her unseen Aunt, Shiva maintains her childhood rituals of tea parties. Unwilling to break her illusion – to burst her balloon – her Teacher indulges these fancies.

But alone in his study, cluttered with books and notes and plants in bell jars, Teacher suspects that he probably shouldn’t have lied to her. She’s been abandoned. Her Aunt is never coming back.

The sense of quiet, tranquil isolation is emphasised by Teacher’s calm, short and soothing assents. It would be almost be a bucolic idyll if we weren’t reminded of that the village is deserted and cannot help wondering why. The self-sacrificial role of Teacher is made poignantly clear by his insistence that they must never touch.

Meanwhile soldiers are patrolling the woods all around them, maintaining an exclusion zone, a perimeter, lest any Outsiders invade their territory and spread the Curse. Indeed, they are already taking ruthless, pre-emptive action inside their towns against any they suspect of being cursed – on no discernible evidence – and, while disposing the bodies, they see Shiva alone in the woods.

She is outside, therefore by definition, she must be an Outsider…

I’ve another page of jottings amongst which I note the black umbrella – designed for protection – and the hole in it; the wreath which Shiva makes for her Teacher so that he won’t feel so alone once she’s gone; the story about the God of Light and the God of Darkness from which I will leave you to infer what you will, and the completely unexpected, startling new development at the end.

I wonder what you will make of the interior art which I’ve captured for you? It could be interpreted in several different ways. Note: one piece is obviously in another language than this English edition. Also note, if you Google for more, please be aware that there have been unlicensed online translations before which don’t quite capture the nuances of what you’ll find here.

SLH

Buy The Girl From The Other Side vol 1 and read the Page 45 review here

Snotgirl vol 1: Green Hair Don’t Care s/c (£8-99, Image) by Bryan Lee O’Malley & Leslie Hung.

This is the sort of comic in which the line “Ok, back to reality” will have you snorting at its delusion. It’s fresh, full of fun, and has more jokes per page than anything other than an Evan Dorkin or John Allison comic.

Meet Lottie Person, who seems so serene on the surface.

“I’m fresh.  I’m fun. It’s just who I am.”

A fashion blogger with glossy green hair and a high hit rate, her life is pretty much perfect.

Her fans are devoted (she knows).
Her blogs are the best (she believes).
And that goes without saying (she blasés).
New verb!

“Except my friends are all horrible people.
“And my boyfriend decided we’re on a break.
“And oh yeah –“

OH NO!

“I have allergies.”

She has such severe allergies that they rule her life. Under the carefully controlled camera conditions of fashion photography, she radiates, she glistens, she sheens. Leslie Hung and colour artist Mickey Quinn have her emanating girly-girl, cartoon sparkles and her hair bathed in wavy light as if seen through some sort sub-aquatic prism. But a surge in pollen or one moment of stress can render her centre asunder.

That’s the sort of knowledge that you carry with you wherever you go. Here’s her new doctor, offering her a brand new medication drug trial:

“So much pain in your eyes. You’re a flower afraid of the sun. Lottie… haven’t you suffered enough?”
“Yes, Dr. Dick,” she wells up to herself, “I have suffered enough. I’m a beautiful flower and I deserve to be extremely happy!”

Hmmm. Catch Lottie alone at night – free from prying eyes – with her laptop, her allergies, her issues and her tissues, and you’ll discover she is one angry, competitive, social-media mess with raging jealousies. Lottie has locked herself in to a life and a style that can’t handle criticism or blemishes of any other kind. She reduces her so-called friends, peers and even complete strangers to one-word labels, defining them by a single trait: Cutegirl, Trashboy, Normgirl.

“You gotta stop calling her that! It’s messed up. Even if it is dead-on.”
“Esther, you know I love my friends! They’re very dear to me! I just don’t think I’d be able to tell them apart without nicknames.”

Lottie doesn’t appear to like anyone except herself. Oh wait – she doesn’t like Lottie, either. As Marc Almond once sang, “Is it me who’s feeling insecure?”

Then she meets fluster-free, uninhibited, self-assured Caroline, a start-up blogger of extraordinary natural beauty whom she’s so taken by that she immediately christens her Coolgirl and agrees to meet at a bar. Lottie doesn’t go to bars, but…

“People can change! This selfie proves it!”

She takes a lot of selfies.

Nothing that happens next will you in any way see coming. Nothing! No, it’s not same-sex pash time. No, it’s not brand-new boyf-arama, either. But I have told you everything that you need to know. I do hope that no one else has spoiled this for you. Pick this up quick, before someone does! There is far more going on amongst all the comedy that I’ve so far intimated. For a start, it’s also a mystery.

The creator of SECONDS, SCOTT PILGRIM and LOST AT SEA has proved himself over and over again to be a shrewd observer of personal foibles and contemporary interaction. Here each page is packed with both, often combined in single sentences, like #selfcare hashtags or emoji-ridden texts sent through a cafe window instead of any meaningful one-to-one communication which could be achieved simply by stepping through its door!

“My life is pretty much perfect” is immediately followed by her cell phone display:

“0 new messages from your friends” in red
“75341 notifications from strangers” in green

This self-congratulation crowd’s priorities lie not in achieving success – that would imply actually doing something – but in achieving popularity. If you fall from grace, expect it rubbed in your face. It’s not just Lottie who’s the colossally callous, superficial, egomaniacal, vain, deluded imbecile here!

Leslie Hung’s sense of fashion is obviously vital to the success of this comic: she has an eye for the chic and the absolutely absurd. I particularly relished the ridiculous, large lime and orange segment pockets on Cutegirl’s white, billowing dress, reprised in reverse round her ankles. This is L.A. – or at least its veneer – so everything sparkles, from the front-cover titles to the welcoming sign over the Los Angeles Police Department’s Downtown Precinct. Inside you’ll find Detective John Cho, who is about to unleash not his peerless procedural prowess, but his long-honed love of fashion. I mean, obviously.

Why might he need to start digging? That I won’t tell you, but it’s the perfect excuse for me to type up my favourite line which could only have been written by Bryan Lee O’Malley:

“Being a fugitive from justice is honestly so boring. I highly non-recommend it.”

Hung and colourist Quinn have female flesh – specifically hands and forearms – down to a tee. It’s smooth and it’s soft, with just enough give and that’s more important than you might think here. Caroline uses physical contact more than once to attract and distract, to steer things in a specific direction – her way – and you can feel her fingers making contact. I’d watch out for that one. I mean, who manages to secure a private phone number from a fashion blogger mere moments after having met them – and who manages to do that by getting the blogger to write it on their arm in felt pen? Caroline is a well of hypnotic self-confidence.

“There she goes.
“She forgot her phone and she’s living her life anyway?
“Who does that?
“She’s so cool.”

I love how everything opens up (from the comparatively confined space) in the two pages where Lottie and Caroline have a meeting of minds over one ridiculously specific coffee. Later in the hot, dark, windowless bar the claustrophobia returns, the pressure ramps up, and you can almost feel yourself sweating and spinning thanks to Quinn’s Bourbon colours. They’re ever so good at watering eyes and green, dripping mucus.

“Shut up, brain. Stop thinking.
“Thinking only gets you into trouble.”

I don’t think you need worry about Lottie using her brain much. Trouble, on the other hand… she’ll find plenty of that.

Not sure if anyone else has pointed this out, but there are only four men in this entire collected edition, and one of them is only a brief, tangential appearance. That’s one of the things I mean by “refreshing”.

SLH

Buy Snotgirl vol 1: Green Hair Don’t Care s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Lake Of Fire s/c (£14-99, Image) by Nathan Fairbairn & Matt Smith…

“Listen well, boy. Right now there is no quarrel between us.
“No blades have been drawn and no blood spilled.
“I still have my wine and you still have your life. Get up now, walk away, and I will forget this.
“Continue to act the fool, though… and… It. Will. Cost. You.”

No, not Stephen suggesting someone ought to stop shuffling the superhero shelves like Paul Daniels performing some parlour prestidigitation with a pack of cards. Though frankly, we like that. NOT. A. LOT.

It’s actually Baron Raymond Mondragon, formerly the finest knight of the First Crusade and now a wine-swilling sot of a PTSD-afflicted psychopath indulging in a little campfire pep talk. He’s been press-ganged into investigating the strange goings-on half-way up the nearby Pyrenees by local liege Lord Montfort because he’s exactly the sort of no-nonsense lunatic you need when there’s talk of lights in the sky, rampaging demons and a scared witless local populace to ‘reassure’… Still, I guess that is exactly how they rolled, well, clunked along, in medieval times. Tough love and all that.

The lights in the sky would be a crash-landing spaceship and the rampaging demons hungry aliens, by the way… So perhaps the trembling villagers, who’ve holed themselves up in the local keep, might actually have a point.

So far, so DARK AGES by Dan Abnett & Ian Culbard. If you were a fan of that title, this similarly self-contained one-off will be absolutely 100% perfect for you. Nathan Fairbairn does a sterling job of creating an extremely dissolute cast of characters from the headcase heavies, foolish be-Knighted social fops, evil lackeys of the Church, heretics accused of witchcraft and, of course, lots of sacrificial serfs ripe for extraterrestrial snacking.

Many of the cast die gruesome and horrific deaths – it’s very ALIENS in that respect, which is a slight shame because they are great characters! I could really go as far as to say this is primarily a character-based story, there are that many individual sub-plots and points of inter-personal conflict going on. You might think they’d be better served spending more time worrying about the brutal beasties rather than arguing over religious points of principle and who is going to Hell. Because by the end even the few that survive will feel like they’ve been to the very lowest level of the fiery pit and clawed their singed way back out, as Baron Mondragon decides they need to beard the monsters in their lair and heads for the crashed spaceship. A gunboat diplomat right to the bitter end!

Excellent art from Matt Smith, not to be confused with the other artist Matt Dow Smith who does a fair amount for Marvel. This Matt Smith I wasn’t familiar with beforehand, but what a wonderful fine line he has, yet still manages to produce such strong vivid imagery. I should add a further note of appreciation for writer Nathan Fairburn as also he does the colouring and lettering. They make a fine team, these two, and I believe they are already hard at work on another series for Image.

JR

Buy Lake Of Fire s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Heathen #1 (£3-25, Vault) by Natasha Alterici.

“Do not be coy. We immortals live cyclical lives, playing out the same dramas over and over again.
“So when a key plot point changes, it’s bound to be noticed.
“And indeed someone has noticed.”

So speaks Ruadan, trickster god and spy.

He may well be immortal, but our protagonist Aydin most certainly isn’t.

She is, however, resourceful, fearless and well versed in the legends of Odin and his female Valkyrie.

“They were strong, beautiful, and struck terror in even the bravest men’s hearts.
“Charged with escorting the souls of fallen warriors to Valhalla, the Valkyrie were given power over death itself.
“But their power is not without limit, for Odin still dictates the fate of every warrior. No warrior lives or dies without Odin’s consent.”

Except that warrior one did: a king whom Odin determined would be victorious in war was struck down by Brynhild, leader of the Valkyrie, for which temerity Odin banished and cursed her, forcing Brynhild to marry a mortal and live out her endless days in exile.

Evidently, however, Brynhild was not without her bargaining power, for although she agreed to this sentence, she did so on her own terms: on the condition that she chose the mortal in question through a test of her own. As so often with these things, it was a test of worthiness. She ascended Mount Hinderfall and encircled herself in fire – magic fire – to await a mate capable of freeing her.

Every element of what I have told you is vital for what follows. Writer and artist Alterici has left nothing extraneous in the mix and thought everything through.

There is, for example, a degree of due ceremony both later on in Aydis’ construction of her helmet from fallen stag antlers – which male deer use in combat with each other for dominance in securing their mates – and in her telling of this tale to her horse. Just as a silhouetted Brynhild raises her arms to ignite the blazing curtain and in welcoming wait of whomever should succeed, so Aydis raises her own in front of her fire and welcoming that challenge.

“That story was passed through our clan for hundreds of years…”

Her arms drop down, lank, to her side, in time to a perfect moment of pomposity-puncturing deflation enhanced by a modern colloquialism:

“If it’s true, she’s been waiting an awfully long time.”

Alterici has made everything here look effortless, including Aydis’ hand-to-horn combat with the bull. Oh yes, that’s more male power conquered.

The choreography is exceptionally slick but, in addition, behold the energy in a broken line!

Alterici doesn’t seek to confine her virile steeds, stag or stampeding bull in a rigid outline, so sapping their movement and might; instead she suggests their exterior contours and body mass in relation to their environment with flurries and flashes of instinctive slashes, while her colouring is equally loose and lambent.

Now, I’m sorry to do this because Tess Fowler’s cover coloured by Tamra Bonvillain is beautiful: that is one mighty steed whose power – denoted by its muscles and exceptional weight – cannot be denied. It is most excellent! Objectively, however, when judging a book by its cover (and in this medium above all that ability should be essential) completely inappropriate for this particular comic and its pages within, on whose supple strength I first invested in HEATHEN way back when Grant Morrison was going to be bringing it to his aborted HEAVY METAL expansion.

Oh yeah, that’s how good this is.

Lastly, I promised you that nothing in Aydis’ opening recollection of the Valkyries (and Brynhild in particular) was random. It’s not. For Aydis too is in exile – a self-imposed exile for everyone believes she is dead. Moreover, she is in exile because she dared to break a taboo, and her father (not she) was given an ultimatum by the patriarchal Elders: execute his daughter or marry her off against her will to a man.

Thank the gods for one good soul, then, for he chose neither.

Instead he pretended to mourn his daughter at her graveside in order to cover her escape.

Two other things you should know about our Aydin in addition to being fearless, resourceful and very well versed: she is determined and ambitious:

“On some mountain top, a Valkyrie waits alone.
“And I intend to free her.”

Happy hunting!

The penny drops.

SLH

Buy Heathen #1 and read the Page 45 review here

The Belfry one-shot (£3-25, Image) by Gabriel Hardman.

Isn’t that a clever title?

Oh, you know what you get in belfries – besides bells, I mean – but it’s a figurative phrase which could not be more appropriate for the head-spinning horror in store for Bill and Janet on this dark and nasty night. It’s cleverly structured from the very first page, right to the last which carries on its wings no small degree of irony.

The wings within – and the flight paths they take – are a streamline, neo-classical dream worthy of Neal Adams, as are the page layouts. Shambling awkwardly about on the pit’s detritus-strewn floor, on the other hand, they’re closer to one of comics’ horror kings, Gene Colan.

The first page opens with ear-splitting, Sienkiewicz SKREEEES flooding the black panels in jagged white and lemon-yellow, the visual equivalent of onomatopoeia. There’s almighty KRAK and an explosion of glass before it falls tinkling past branches. With a cough, co-pilot Bill wakes up in the wreck on his passenger plane’s cockpit, everyone else unconscious or dead, one making ill-advisedly intimate eye contract with a tree.

Something lands on the fuselage.

And it was such a beautiful day.

Right, I leave you to enjoy the wings – such beautiful, unfolding wings! – and the tearing and shredding and full-frontal nudity. Equal opportunities, mind.

The lettering continues to add much sound and movement while the colouring’s all earth colours and khaki with just a few hints of flesh when there a just few glimpses of hope and humanity.

From the co-creator of INVISIBLE REPUBLIC.

SLH

Buy The Belfry one-shot and read the Page 45 review here

Eclipse vol 1 s/c (£8-99, Image) by Zack Kaplan & Giovanni Timpano

“You were one of the guys who helped the mayor on the day of the flare. You guys saved the city.”
“Not exactly.”
“Yeah, I heard stories about it. You were a hero.”
“Someone else, maybe.”
“Right. We were all someone else then, huh?”

I’m rather enjoying this post-apocalyptic yarn about a world where even the tiniest glimmer of sunlight will cause spontaneous combustion. Yes, arguably it’s a premise that rather stretches credulity, that a catastrophic solar event could make sunlight instantaneously fatal in such a spectacular manner. But putting that aside, the world Zack Kaplan envisages of a hunkered down underground civilisation by day, vibrant almost pre-event normal overground civilisation by night, where the disparity between the haves and have-nots has become even more pronounced, neatly sets up our storyline and worldview.

Someone with a grudge has a hit list they are working their way through. Someone who seemingly isn’t affected by the sun. The preceding death threats and biblical writings in blood at the scene only add to the drama. Given that access to the spacesuit-like equipment that allows egress during daylight hours is extremely tightly controlled, used only by a few essential ‘Icemen’ as they are colloquially known, the police are completely baffled. Which prompts them to call in solar engineer David Baxter to help them with their investigation as the next name up is the daughter of a prominent and extremely well connected solar industrialist. Elements of Baxter’s own past are somewhat… mysterious… though it’s very evidently clear he feels conflicted about getting involved at all.

In essence, this is a whodunit with a speculative fiction twist, in the vein of Antony Johnston and Justin Greenwood’s tremendous FUSE series. In terms of the art Giovanni Timpano’s ultra-fine linework verges on feeling almost too lightweight in places for me, but he makes up for it with some fabulous detailing. Troy Peteri’s choice of lettering font I also began to find a bit of a distraction, but overall, I certainly saw enough to make me want to read the next arc.

JR

Buy Eclipse vol 1 s/c and read the Page 45 review here

The Old Guard #1 (£3-25, Image) by Greg Rucka & Leandro Fernández.

That is one well equipped modern mercenary: combat boots, flak jacket… ancient, double-bladed battle axe.

Not quite standard issue.

From the writer of LAZARUS and BLACK MAGIC and – with Ed Brubaker – GOTHAM CENTRAL comes another impeccably researched but more action-orientated mystery of military manoeuvres across the globe. Across time too, and Andy is fucking sick of it.

Clue: her full name is Andromache and, if you know your Euripides, she had a pretty shitty time of it every since Achilles went and whopped her husband Hector. I mean, a really shitty time of it. The Greeks tossed her sprog over the Trojan walls then, just to rub it in, made her a slave to Achilles’ own son.

As the opening three pages make brutally clear the intervening centuries haven’t brought much more peace. She appears to have fought her way through them all. Which is one way to trying to work through your understandable anger issues. She hasn’t stopped fighting, either. Andy and her three male colleagues have one key advantage over others engaged in mortal combat: they’re not mortal. They cannot die.

Unfortunately in the 21st Century keeping that quiet is a tad more difficult than it used to be. You’ll see.

What you won’t necessarily see immediately – as Andy and co are on their way to South Sudan to rescue seventeen girls from heavily armed abductors – is what relevance there could possibly be in American marine Nile Freeman’s search of a family home in Afghanistan full of very frightened women. But you will, right at the end.

The initial scene inside the home is beautifully played by both Rucka and Fernández who delivers both day and night, throughout, in a style similar to 100 BULLETS’ Eduardo Risso: lots of silhouettes and shadows.

“We are searching for someone. We believe he is hiding her. This man. He has killed many of my people and many of yours. Have you seen this man?”
“No,” replies the old woman, staring at the photo in terrified recognition.
“No, there are no men here,” she says, glancing to the door behind which they are hidden, “and a man who would cower behind women… who puts them in danger and uses them as shields… he is no man at all.”
“I thank you for your honesty and help. We will leave you in peace… blessings on your house…”

Everyone’s in for some surprises, including you, which is why I stop here.

SLH

Buy The Old Guard #1 and read the Page 45 review here

New Editions:

Spaniel Rage (£14-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Vanessa Davies.

“Vanessa Davis’ principal character is a young woman whose Renoiresque form belies her seething inner life… The quotidian structure of much of SPANIEL RAGE presents the reader with glimpses of a life as it is being lived. We follow a young woman’s meandering path into adulthood in this beautifully drawn, intelligent portrait of Self coming into its own.”

 – Phoebe Gloeckner, creator of DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL

“Miss Davis’s comics are charming, funny and honest, with a mysterious, compelling rhythm that is all her own.”

 – Daniel Clowes, creator of WILSON, GHOST WORLD, PATIENCE etc

“Drawn in a line that is at once delicate, immediate, and genuine, SPANIEL RAGE captures all of the little moments that make up being alive. Vanessa Davis puts life to paper like no one else.”

 – Sammy Harkham, creator of CRICKETS, editor of KRAMERS ERGOT

“A very more-ish book. Tried to dip into it and ended up reading the whole thing. It’s only life and it’s only lines on paper but she’s got that Lynda Barry confessional tone and the awkwardness of Debbie Dreschler’s figures and a lot of Vanessa Davis in there.

“Friends, fights, misunderstandings, phone calls and more.”

 – Mark Simpson, co-creator of Page 45 (written May 2005).

He was always succinct, was our Mark.

MAS

Buy Spaniel Rage 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.

How To Create Graphic Novels (£4-99, LICAF) by Rodolphe Topffer

The Facts Of Life (£16-99, Myriad) by Paula Knight

BFF (£7-99, Microcosm Publishing) by Nate Beaty

Gauguin – The Other World (£12-99, SelfMadeHero) by Fabrizio Dori

Walking Dead vol 27: The Whisperer War (£13-99, Image) by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

Zonzo (£13-99, Fantagraphics) by Joan Cornella

Glitterbomb vol 1 (£8-99, Image) by Jim Zub & Djibril Morissette-Phan

Grim Death And Bill The Electrocuted Criminal h/c (£21-99, St. Martin’s Press) by Mike Mignola, Thomas E. Sniegoski

James Bond vol 2: Eidolon h/c (£22-99, Dynamite) by Warren Ellis & Jason Masters

Legend Of Zelda Art & Artifacts h/c (£33-50, Dark Horse) by various

Lucifer vol 2: Father Lucifer s/c (£14-99, Vertigo) by Holly Black & Lee Garbett

Lumberjanes / Gotham Academy s/c (£17-99, Boom! Box / DC) by Chynna Clugston Flores & Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Kelly Matthews, Nichole Matthews

Silverfin – The Graphic Novel (£9-99, Penguin) by Charlie Higson & Kev Walker

Starseeds h/c (£26-99, Fantagraphics) by Charles Glaubitz

Tales From The Darkside h/c (£19-99, IDW) by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez

Steven Universe: The Answer h/c (£8-99, Cartoon Network Books) by Rebecca Sugar & Elle Michalka, Tiffany Ford

Batman: Earth One vol 1 s/c (£13-99, DC) by Geoff Johns & Gary Frank

Suicide Squad vol 1: The Black Vault s/c (Rebirth) (£14-99, DC) by Rob Williams & Jim Lee, Philip Tan, Jason Fabok, Gary Frank, others

Titans vol 1: The Return Of Wally West s/c (Rebirth) (£14-99, DC) by Dan Abnett & Brett Booth

Doctor Strange vol 3: Blood In The Aether (UK Edition) s/c (£13-99, Marvel) by Jason Aaron & Chris Bachalo, others

Karnak: The Flaw In All Things s/c (£15-99, Marvel) by Warren Ellis & Gerardo Zaffino, Roland Boschi

New Avengers by Bendis Complete Collection vol 3 s/c (£35-99, Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis, Warren Ellis & Alex Maleev, Francis Leinil Yu, others

Power Man And Iron Fist vol 2: Civil War II s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by David F. Walker & Flaviano, Sanford Greene

Attack On Titan: Lost Girls vol 2 (£9-99, Kodansha) by Hiroshia Seko & Ryosuke Fuji

Fruits Basket Collector’s Edition vol 10 (£14-99, Yen) by Natsuki Takaya

Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor vol 1: Gaze Of The Medusa (UK Edition) s/c (£13-99, Titan) by Gordon Rennie, Emma Beeby & Brian Williamson

Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor vol 2: Doctormania (UK Edition) s/c (£13-99, Titan) by Cavan Scott & Adriana Melo, Cris Bolson

Dynamic Wrinkles And Drapery (£22-99, Watson Guphill) by Burne Hogarth

News

ITEM! NEW TALENT! FREE COMIC!

Katie Kessler is only 16 yet she has already created and published a profound, succinct and eloquent eight-page comic which I sincerely believe will resonate with so many of you.

It’s called VISIBLE.

“I have this recurring nightmare.
“I dream I’ve turned completely invisible.
“I have to steal because shopkeepers don’t acknowledge me.
“No post, no phone calls, no contact.
“Every pair of eyes looks straight through me.”

Here’s the kicker, though.

“It’s not that different from real life.”

Katie Kessler’s VISIBLE. What a landscape!

Page 45 is giving copies of Katie Kessler’s VISIBLE away for free because we believe in the comic and we believe in Katie, but we only have 50 so we want to make sure each one will be cherished by those picking one up at our counter. That means you’re going to have to ask, please. There are no strings except that exchange of words. You can do that!

If you’re a regular mail order customer, simply ask by phone or email, or if you’re buying something with us online, just add a message in your instructions asking for your free copy of VISIBLE.

Alternatively if you’re reading this blog and want to see what all the fuss is about right now, well, You can read the whole of Katie Kessler’s VISIBLE comic for free on her Tumblr

There’s far more to explore besides to explore on that site: https://lsdandkizuki.tumblr.com/

Katie Kessler evidently has plenty to say, and already learned the skill with which to say it.

Watch out for what this phenomenal new talent does next!

ITEM! The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2017 Brand-New Website & Creator Guests!

The international comic creator guests have been announced including Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, Chip Zdarsky, John Allison, Brendan McCarthy, Stan Sakai, Sergio Aragonés, Aimée de Jongh! et al and last week we ran an extensive feature on October’s LICAF Festival 2017 under Page 45 Reviews Blog February 2017 week 4.

THIS ONE SUMMER by Jillian & Mariko Tamaki

Now we’re extending our invitation once again to fellow exhibitors – creators, publishers, distributors et al – to join us in the KENDAL COMICS CLOCK TOWER which saw so much foot traffic last year BECAUSE ITS ENTRY IS FREE that…

Page 45 took £10,000 at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016!

You want some of that, right? Well, we’d love your company.

Invitation and Application Form: https://www.comicartfestival.com/exhibitors

ITEM! Last week was OCD Action’s Week Of Action!

But this is OCD, right, and it’s a serious condition so EVERY week should be a Week Of Action!

You can help them,
They can help you,
You can help yourself:

Four Steps To Fighting Back Against OCD. Choose what you’d like to do!

In addition, every penny of the £5 you spend on the £5 comic COELIFER ATLAS at Page 45 goes via LICAF in its entirety to help fund OCD Action.

OCD-orientated COELIFER ATLAS comic by Alex Paknadel, Dan Watters & Charlie Adlard, Dan Berry, Nick Brokenshire, Joe Decie, Mike Medaglia, Bruce Mutard, Ken Niimura, Jake Phillips, Bryan Talbot, Craig Thompson, Petteri Tikkanen, Emma Vieceli.

That’s two pages of HABIBI’s Craig Thompson you’ll find nowhere else for a start.

Please click on that link to read our review and remember, We Ship Worldwide!

ITEM! FREE BUNNY VS MONKEY T-SHIRT!

Buy a 10-week subscription to THE PHOENIX WEEKLY COMIC for kids at 40% discount AND receive a free t-shirt designed by Jamie Smart which is, umm, quite literally priceless!

You can choose sizes!

I may have mentioned this before [“YES, YOU’RE BORING US NOW, STEPHEN!”] but Page 45 unequivocally endorses THE PHOENIX. It is the exact antithesis of the anodyne pap you’ll find slapped on supermarket shelves, selling itself through the plastic tat attached.

THE PHOENIX is quality comics for kids!

It’s diverse, it is thrilling, and it is bananas, created with love in its heart by comickers who care.

Why else would Page 45 stock every single PHOENIX COMIC COLLECTION and review as many as possible? That has to be 90%, surely!

Page 45 is committed to kids’ comics and graphic novels at a time when the broadsheet newspapers give a mere, miserly 3% or their review space to kids books in general.

Last week two all-ages / children’s graphic novels – by Philippa Pearce, Edith and John Martz headlined Page 45’s Reviews!

 – Stephen

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