Archive for May, 2020

Page 45 Comic & Graphic Novel Reviews AND New Comics & Graphic Novels UNDERNEATH, May 2020

Friday, May 29th, 2020

New Comics and Graphic Novels are now flooding back in, and soon it will be time to open the shop properly once more! Meanwhile, Page 45’s Worldwide Mail Order Service Has Never Ceased! Please do check out all the New Releases below our reviews. Thanks!

The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir In Pictures h/c (£16-99, Harper Collins) by Noelle Stevenson.

“There are no concave lines on the human body – only overlapping convex lines.”

Yes, yes, yes!

And Noelle recreates an illustrative life-drawing sketch which she made at the time when this moment of satori first hit her!

Until I read this page I hadn’t fathomed this either, but what a vital piece of observation to impart to anyone embarking on a career in art – whether it be comics, picture books, illustration, design or those well serious fully painted things – and to anyone who has suffered from body issues, as Stevenson has under the tyranny of ubiquitous wafer-thin media models. Its scope is much broader still, but one has to begin a review somewhere.



Stevenson is still only in her mid-20s, yet her astonishingly honest, hard-won wisdom moved and impressed itself upon me as fiercely as Tilly Walden’s equally early autobiography SPINNING. And by “hard-won”, you will swiftly realise why this graphic memoir has been included in Page 45’s burgeoning and ever so vital Mental Health Section.

Noelle Stevenson is the creator of our Young Adult best-seller NIMONA, as well as the co-creator of Page 45’s smash-hit LUMBERJANES series, and her early success in both – detailed here in what could very much be regarded as a galvanizing, inspirational “How To” guide for so many young individuals now embarking on their first tentative steps towards honouring us all with their brand-new voices – comes in stark contrast to what you might assume would be a self-satisfied, artistically vindicated “the world is now my oyster”. Instead, even at the height of her triumphs (and with a tentatively discovered and supportive, newfound lover), Stevenson is plagued with the same crippling self-doubt which so many of us secretly harbour too.

“At night, you like awake and shake.
“You feel guilty all the time.
“It feels like a piece has been ripped out and left behind, but you can’t tell which piece and you can’t look back to check or you will surely fall apart.”

The illustrations which accompany these retrospective confessions are so tender and so fragile.



“Your fear of doing wrong is keeping you from doing good.
“This is what you wanted, ain’t you proud?
“You’re not evil, you are a mundane, selfish kind of bad and that is what you’ve always feared, isn’t it?”

There’s a profound humility here which informs the candour and self-awareness.

“You do kind things for praise, or to feel better.
“You fear hurting people, but maybe because you fear being disliked.
“You’re not strong or brave in the way you want to be.”



It’s a very rare kind of courage that can commit this to paper in order to help others who might be suffering the same serious self-assessment in silence, fearing that they are alone while the rest of the world waltzes on in oblivious abandon. Clue: most of the world isn’t, in my experience, waltzing on in oblivious abandon, whatever it looks like from the outside. So much of this certainly resonated with me.

If I were to summarise the overwhelming, prevalent, rare but vital humane quality on display here, it would be compassion: compassion, in retrospect, towards yourself.

Told in annual snapshots from 2011 to 2019, each chapter is divided into immediate impressions as they happen, then a considered annual overview of what that year actually brought about. There are sequential art sections, then integrated, illustrated prose.



The art morphs in rendition from a fragile, febrile even at times angry sort of Hayao Miyazaki (cf NAUSICAA), to bold, emphatically concave Philippa Rice forms (like SISTER BFFS) to a front cover illustration below the dustjacket that struck me very much as akin to Jan Ormerod. But those are just my personal references, not at all necessarily Noelle’s own.

There’s also an enormous, connected tenderness on display, especially when it comes to coupling – to spooning – with her girlfriend now wife, and if you enjoy the occasional photographic portraits interspersed throughout, I promise you will air-punch with unbridled glee at the final, glorious, giggling, and celebratory photograph which rounds off this journey of at times painful self-discovery with a “Yeah, you can do it too!” moment of exquisite, unequivocal and unconditional love.



Artless, exceptional, and recommended to all, this would be perfect as a gift to anyone embarking on a career in art, the arts, or this thing called life.


Buy The Fire Never Goes Out and read the Page 45 review here

Crash Course: If You Want To Get Away With Murder Buy A Car s/c (£14-99, Street Noise) by Woodrow Phoenix.

Do you drive a car? Please read this book.

A heart-felt, eloquent and surprisingly gripping indictment of our current obsession with cars, our behaviour on the roads and the vulnerability of the pedestrian, this is as Paul Gravett observes, “an extraordinarily human book… without showing a single human being.”

I’d hazard a guess that this very exclusion forms part of Woodrow’s argument that pedestrians have been relegated to anonymous and dehumanised second-class citizens whose rights are as nothing compared to those of us enclosed in thousands of pounds worth of hard, heavy metal. We’re what counts: we need to get where we going far more urgently than you lot on foot, so don’t you dare cross the road until you’re told to, where you’re told to, and I don’t give a shit if it’s raining outside because it’s not raining in here. Where’s that CD I burned last night?

Yes, that’s how old this review is, resurrected with tweaks for a timely brand-new edition with an infinitely more apposite title, CRASH COURSE: IF YOU WANT TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER, BUY A CAR.



I originally read this an hour before my own car was due in for its annual MOT and service, plus as a precautionary measure they changed what I believe is called the cambelt. If they hadn’t, they would definitely be changing it now. I’ve never understood a mate who was so concerned for his children on board that he turned on his headlights in broad daylight, yet happily answered his mobile phone whilst driving along, one-handed, distracted. For my own guilty part I’ve lit so many cigarettes over the years while driving. Yup, the first one to put his hand up is me. I’ll never do it again, and nor will you once you’ve read this. I feel wretched.




As Woodrow navigates motorways, turns at junctions and admires the view through his windscreen he muses on our self-delusion when it comes to safety, our attitude to death by driving (you kill someone any other way, and you’re in deep trouble; in a car, not necessarily so much), the horrors of the pedestrian underpass, the weirdness of an empty retail car park, and the absurd SUV 4×4 family arms race. It’s moving, compelling and even poetic in places, pared down to level-headed wake-up calls like this:

“There is a dreamlike quality built into the experience of driving. A car windshield is a big window. And also a screen. A windscreen. A long rectangular picture frame. Locations unwind on the other side of this rectangular glass almost as they do on a movie screen. The constant, smoothly unrolling scenery. The continuously changing vistas. It’s like the ultimate cinematic presentation. With you, the driver, as both the director and the star.”

It can be mesmerising too.



“It’s an intoxicating feeling to have the power to govern every aspect of your private world. You sit cocooned in your cabin. You control the temperature of the interior and you listen only to the soundtrack you have chosen. Everything outside your windows is contained, the rest of the world an arm’s length away.”

But no more than that for BMW drivers who tailgate.

That’s from about the least affecting couple of pages of this book (and they ring so true, don’t they?) as Phoenix assesses what your car says about you, why some arrogant arseholes refuse to budge out of the middle or even outside lane regardless of what speed they’re doing (my own biggest irritation with others, along with their failure to indicate – the consequences of which you’ll discover towards the end), and quietly relates some very real incidents of fatal failures to give a damn about cyclists and those on foot.

As to road rage:

“How did it happen that ridiculous, inappropriate eruptions of impulsive brutish aggression should have been thought to be adequately described by the handy appellation, ‘road rage’? It’s a phrase that hides more than it reveals. Designed to neuter and tidy away the truth. A sheet thrown over a misshapen lumpy ogre of violence. Almost legitimising the strange shapes that poke around underneath. Road rage is an indulgent, doting term, dignifying and excusing behaviour that has no dignity and no excuse.”



And so we come to the art. Roads. Roads and roads of roads. And rorries.

Is it even necessary? Would your experience reading this be any different if you’d just paid £1-50 for this week’s Guardian, and this was reduced to a single prose feature in the Weekend Supplement rather than 150 pages of chevrons? Yes. Yes it would, because the chevrons here are as hypnotic as they are in real life, and therein lies a point.

Anyway it’s not all roads: there is, for example, a small procession of human beings reduced from individuals to the faceless figurative forms that symbolise human beings on pedestrian crossings; and you’ll never take those for granted again, either. Best not think of all those actual lives now snuffed out: people who woke up and went for a walk but will never come home again.



The ideas I’ve expressed here are all Woodrow’s – ideas, not views: his views if not awful experience match my own seamlessly. I could never have done so without his prompting, and it worries me terribly that I may ever be careless enough to hit someone in my car. The chances of that after reading this, however, are at least a lot slimmer because I’ve been given a wake-up call, and we could all use a little reminding, surely?

Originally released as RUMBLE STRIP in 2008 (still in stock), this comes with a new essay by Woodrow Phoenix of PANTS ANT infamy, who co-curated the British triumph NELSON with its instigator, Rob Davis. Please note: some of the interior art comes from the original UK publication from Myriad and may have since been amended – for example to reflect other countries driving on the right – other images come from this new edition.


Buy Crash Course: If You Want To Get Away With Murder Buy A Car and read the Page 45 review here

American Jesus vol 1: Chosen s/c, American Jesus vol 2: The New Messiah s/c (£8-99 each, Image) by Mark Millar & Peter Gross.



The first collection is from over a decade ago!

“Can I ask you something, Father?”
“Of course you can. That’s what I’m here for, right?”
“Nah, you’ll just think I’m an idiot. I shouldn’t even be here. My mom and dad aren’t even Catholics.”
“Well, neither’s Muhammad Ali, but I’d still given him five minutes of my precious time. Just tell me what you want to know.”
“Do you think it’s possible I’m the returned Jesus Christ?”

Jodie’s a normal kid who’s been living the normal life a normal kid does: comics, salvaged porn and average grades at school. Then one day a truck careers off a bridge and lands right on top of his noggin, but Jodie walks away without a scratch – just a fresh fluency in any known language, an intuitive understanding of all forms of science and a complete encyclopaedia of history on tap in his head.



When his mother tells him she’s never had sex, he begins to entertain the idea that he’s the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, as do many of those around him with the emphatic exception of the local priest. As the priest explains, it’s common for people of Jodie’s age to think they’re a little different, especially after they’ve survived some sort of accident. It’s tempting to give in to grandiose presumptions of being special. Tempting, and dangerous.



Gross keeps suburban life real, whilst Millar keeps the suspense simmering, exploring what a young boy like Jodie might make of the situation. I loved the extended comparison Jodie comes up with between the Bible Testaments and the Star Wars Trilogy. Not only does it work, it’s just what a kid might do if they were suddenly that bright. As for what’s really at work, well, Jodie’s thirty-three as he looks back at these difficult days, so he’s evidently come to terms with how things have turned out.

One way, or the other…

As to the second volume from last year’s series (there will be three), we switch to a young girl at school with a kind, thoughtful boyfriend so respectful of her that he’s not even sure he should ask for a kiss. She falls pregnant but swears she’s never had sex. Against all imaginable odds, her boyfriend believes her unquestioningly. At which point, he became my favourite young man in the whole of comicbook fiction.



She’s telling the truth.

Then we fastforward, and I do believe that you will recognise some of these… institutions.



Buy American Jesus vol 1: Chosen s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Buy American Jesus vol 2: The New Messiah s/c and read the Page 45 review here

House of X / Powers Of X (£22-99 UK s/c; £49-99 US h/c) by Jonathan Hickman & Pepe Larraz, R.B. Silva.

Exceptionally eloquent and comprehensively thought-through elevation of the mutant legacy.

For the very first time the X-Men have a geopolitical power base and a global economy of their own. The latter derives firmly from the former, thereby securing its stature, and indeed future.

Didn’t you ever wonder how ridiculous it was that Charles Xavier could somehow sustain a Westchester mansion housing, feeding, clothing and presumably funding several dozen Playstations for nearly one hundred mutants…? For decades…? Let alone defend it!

All of this – all of it – is secured by their new base of operations and its “produce”. As if that weren’t clever enough, Hickman hasn’t even had to invent their home – it’s an established part of mutant lore – but he has extrapolated infinitely more potential from its nature than any writer has been imagined before.




Plus, mutants now have a language of their own for, without language, how can they hope to have a culture?

With all this now laid as bedrock, Professor Charles Xavier approaches the global stage with a positive, pro-active, worldwide agenda. He has economically enticing gifts – many revolutionarily beneficial for human health – to offer countries which would revoke their former genocidal hostility towards mutantkind, and engage openly, honestly and commercially instead with his new nation state.

Professor Xavier also has sanctions.



This is the most astute and entertaining X-MEN run ever, easily equalling Claremont & Byrne’s tenure on UNCANNY X-MEN, Morrison’s NEW X-MEN, then Whedon and Cassady’s ASTONISHING X-MEN.

Artist Pepe Larraz was a revelation, too. Svelte! His gesticulations are graceful, arms acting expressively when a face is concealed.

From the writer and designer of BLACK MONDAY MURDERS, THE NIGHT NEWS, THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS, EAST OF WEST, SECRET,as well as his fabulous new series, DECORUM #1.



It’s also from the writer and designer of the definitive FANTASTIC FOUR VOL 1 and FANTASTIC FOUR VOL 2, equally recommended and reviewed at greater length, this whopping edition collects HOUSE OF X #1-6 and POWERS OF X #1-6, and leads straight into X-MEN #1 which launches the new slyly composed and attitude-ridden series by Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu. At the time of typing, we’ve a complete run in stock.

This is twelve chapters long, I would remind you, and only the beginning…


Buy House of X / Powers Of X s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Buy House of X / Powers Of X h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Brand-New Arrivals: Comics & Graphic Novels

Before we get to the new graphic novel / collected editions, a quick word about all the comics on our shelves! Page 45 Has Been Mail Order Only for two whole months and, although we’re looking to open ASAP in June, because the comics on our website aren’t quantity-specific like the graphic novels (which, unless they say “Out Of Stock” are most definitely in stock) they’ve been kind of languishing on our shelves in the darkness. If you would prefer to check if we’ve specific comics in stock before ordering, please email and we’ll let you know, but FYI over the past few months These Current Comics have all come in through our doors, and we’ve plenty of older issues in those series too if you want to email and ask.



I can certainly confirm that we have a complete run so far of the new, exceptional Hickman and Yu X-MEN series which follows directly on from Hickman’s HOUSE OF X / POWERS OF X reviewed above, and a complete run of the NEW MUTANTS series which also spins out of it, one storyline of which is by Hickman & Reis and is very, very funny indeed. To save you the trouble of searching, I’ve linked to each below:

X-MEN #1, X-MEN #2, X-MEN #3, X-MEN #4, X-MEN #5, X-MEN #6, X-MEN #7, X-MEN #8, X-MEN #9

GIANT-SIZED X-MEN: JEAN GREY & EMMS and GIANT-SIZED X-MEN: NIGHTCRAWLER were also written by Hickman. The former and contains a major plot point; the latter is in stock regardless of the pre-order blurb.



X-MEN / FF #1, X-MEN / FF #2, X-MEN / FF #3 by Chip Zdarsky & Terry Dodson are also all in stock; you can also pre-order the final X-MEN FF #4. Thanks! Not read, ‘em, sorry, but isn’t it extraordinary how little help Sue and Reed Richards have ever offered our beleaguered mutants given that their son Franklin is a mutant too? That is the bone of contention.

By Hickman & Reis (one uninterrupted story; and, as I say, I laughed a lot!) NEW MUTANTS #1, NEW MUTANTS #2, NEW MUTANTS #5, NEW MUTANTS #7.



You might think you’ve missed something when you start reading that last one. You haven’t: it’s Hickman mischievously messing with the very notion of recaps!

By Brisson & Flaviano (in all honesty: not my cup of tea, but very few superheroes outside of MISTER MIRACLE, reviewed in depth, are these days) NEW MUTANTS #3, NEW MUTANTS #4, NEW MUTANTS #6, NEW MUTANTS #8, NEW MUTANTS #9

New Graphic Novels

Please click on images or the link to buy to, you know, buy, or learn more from the publishers. Cheers!

Akissi: Even More Tales Of Mischief s/c (£12-99, Flying Eye / Nobrow) by Marguerite Abouet & Mathieu Sapin

Buy Akissi: Even More Tales Of Mischief s/c from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Amulet vol 1: The Stone Keeper s/c (£8-99, Scholastic UK) by Kazu Kibuishi

Buy Amulet vol 1: The Stone Keeper s/c from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Bog Bodies s/c (£11-99, Image) by Declan Shalvey & Gavin Fullerton

Buy Bog Bodies s/c from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Family Tree vol 1 s/c (£8-99, Image) by Jeff Lemire & Phil Hester

Buy Family Tree vol 1 s/c from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Flake h/c (£18-99, Jonathan Cape) by Matthew Dooley

Buy Flake h/c from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Kairos h/c (£15-99, First Second) by Ulysse Malassagne

Buy Kairos h/c from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

The Phantom Twin s/c (£13-99, First Second) by Lisa Brown

Buy The Phantom Twin s/c from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Snotgirl vol 3: Is This Real Life? (£14-50, Image) by Bryan Lee O’Malley & Leslie Hung

Buy Snotgirl vol 3: Is This Real Life? from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Stranger Things: Six s/c (£15-99, Dark Horse) by Joudie Houser & Edgar Salazar

Buy Stranger Things: Six s/c from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Summer Spirit s/c (£12-99, Nobrow) by Elizabeth Holleville

Buy Summer Spirit s/c from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Tinderella s/c (£10-99, Uncivilised Books) by M. S. Harkness

Buy Tinderella s/c from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Transmetropolitan Book 3 s/c (£24-99, DC) by Warren Ellis & Darick Robertson

Buy Transmetropolitan Book 3 s/c from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Batman: Last Knight On Earth h/c  (£24-99, DC) by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo

Buy Batman: Last Knight On Earth h/c  from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

The Girl From The Other Side vol 8 (£10-99, Seven Seas) by Nagabe

Buy The Girl From The Other Side vol 8 from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

 Levius est vol 3 (£8-99, Viz) by Haruhisa Nakata

Buy Levius est vol 3 from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Demon Slayer vol 12 (£7-99, Viz) by Koyoharu Gotouge

Buy Demon Slayer vol 12 from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Dr. Stone vol 11 (£7-99, Viz) by Riichiro Inagaki & Boichi

Buy Dr. Stone vol 11 from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Knights Of Sidonia vol 5 (Master Edition) (£29-99, Vertical Comics) by Tsutomu Nihei

Buy Knights Of Sidonia vol 5 (Master Edition) from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Persona 5 vol 2 (£6-99, Viz) by Hisato Murasaki

Buy Persona 5 vol 2 from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Twisted Visions: The Art Of Junji Ito h/c (£25-00, Viz) by Junji Ito

Buy Twisted Visions: The Art Of Junji Ito h/c from Page 45 and / or read the publisher’s hype here

Lastly, our Jonathan wrote a big blog about the interim delivery of New Comics and Graphic Novels that arrived a fortnight ago after being held up in the Diamond UK warehouse, all linked up so you can buy some of those seriously excellent books!

Lastly, lastly, two Page 45 Young Readers Reviews from silly old me.





New Comics & Graphic Novels Now In Stock!!

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

Featuring a whole host of comics creators, but what’s most important is that this is ALL NEW MATERIAL! I’ll say that again because it sounds sooooo good… ALL NEW MATERIAL!!!!


We’ll get to showing you the new material itself I promise,  but just let me have a little informative ramble first… (but if you can’t wait do feel free to just skip straight down to it!)

Yes, now Diamond Comic Distributors UK are able to operate their warehouse safely, the UK’s comic shops have received the comics and graphic novels that were due for release on March 25th, so we are officially back in the new comics business!!

It is also hoped – and we will let you know as soon as we do* – that from next week there will once again be new comics and graphic novels arriving at Page 45 every single week. Obviously, physical in-store browsing at Page 45 isn’t possible just yet, so for the time being we will be continuing our “mail order for all” service.

(You can read more about that mail order service HERE if you don’t know about it already, but don’t forget, we ship worldwide, postage at cost.)

*As always, the best way to find out what’s going on is to follow us on social media. All the links to those various channels at the end of this post.

Now, given it is taking rather a lot of extra time to process deliveries and do all the wonderful mail order in the current circumstances, we haven’t actually had chance to read any of the new stuff ourselves, let alone review it. So we are going to try something a little different with this, and possibly future, posts. 

You’ll find below a link where to the new single issue comics are on our website and also a link to some release schedule information. Then you will also find each of the individual new graphic novels that have arrived alongside their covers and the accompanying publisher blurb.

Now remember that the blurb is their words, not ours, so don’t take anything you read below as a personal endorsement of quality, but do bear in mind our Stephen works immensely hard to curate / cull what is in Previews so that only the good stuff actually graces the shelves, and webpages, of Page 45.

The keen-eyed amongst you might also spot the CLICK HERE TO BUY! links which will take you to the relevant product pages. Right, that really is enough preamble from me…

So let’s start with the new comics…

Please note all the new single issues are always available for sale on our website month by month in the CURRENT COMICS section. We add them in as they arrive. (Before that they are in the PREVIEWS section.)

Therefore the ones that have just arrived have gone into the MAY 2020 section even though they are technically the March 25th comics.

We post up the week by week release schedule lists, usually a few days in advance HERE

Just picking out a couple of glorious individual single issue comic nuggets for you we have…

Love & Rockets Magazine #8 (£4-50) by Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez

In the new issue of the World’s Greatest Comics Magazine (sorry, FF), Rosy spends time with her dad and his wife – and discovers that her mother Fritz made a short film with her dad years ago and sees them young for the first time.

Also, Rosy visits the woman who raised her, for possibly the last time. Meanwhile, in ‘Princess Animus,’ lonely Lumina finally makes it home only to find out things aren’t quite the way she left them, and Tonta enrolls in Mr. Dominguez’s life drawing class. What could possibly go wrong?



Action Special 2020 One Shot (£4-99) by Garth Ennis, Ram V, Henry Flint and chums

Five new dangerously provocative stories by 2020’s most exciting creators…

Garth Ennis and Mike Dorey tell an explosive World War II story starring Hellman. Enter the controversial and anarchic world of Kids Rule OK by Ram V and Henrik Sahlstrom. Henry Flint reveals a new kind of horror in Hellmachine. Zina Hutton and Staz Johnson bring Dredger out of retirement. And Hook Jaw is back, depicted by Dan Lish, in the grudge match of the century against a special guest star!



Right, onto the new graphics novels! Exciting right?!


The Artist: The Circle Of Life h/c (£16-99, Breakdown Press) by Anna Haifisch

The Artist first appeared as a weekly strip on Vice and this second collection (the first was published in 2016) continues our hero’s attempts to break out as a fine artist while being plagued by setbacks punctuated by glimpses of recognition. It’s cynically satirical, but far more loving and affectionate than one might expect. The Artist is a modern hero for anyone who feels broken by the art world but continues on nonetheless.



The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir In Pictures h/c (£16-99, Harper Collins) by Noelle Stevenson

From the New York Times bestselling author-illustrator of NIMONA, comes a captivating, honest illustrated memoir that finds her turning an important corner in her creative journey. In a collection of essays and personal mini-comics that span eight years of her young adult life, Stevenson charts the highs and lows of being a creative human in the world.

Whether it’s hearing the wrong name called at her art school graduation ceremony or becoming a National Book Award finalist for her debut graphic novel, NIMONA, she captures the little and big moments that make up a real life, with wit, wisdom, and vulnerability.



A Gift For A Ghost h/c (£17-99, Abrams) by Borja Gonzalez

An untalented punk band and a parallel dimension-what could go wrong? Clever, haunting, and told with exceptionally original and expressive art, A Gift for a Ghost is a treat for readers and art lovers alike.

In Borja González’s stunning debut graphic novel, one that won him critical acclaim in Europe and Spain, we have two parallel stories reflect and intertwine in a tale of youthful dreams and desires.




Coffin Bound vol 1 s/c (£14-99, Image) by Dan Watters & Dani

Izzy Tyburn has promised the world that if it won’t have her in it, it’ll have nothing of her at all. Chased by an unstoppable killer, she’s retreading her life, leaving nothing behind but burned rubber, ash, and the sun-scorched bones of those who get in her way.

Ride shotgun on an existential road trip through the tangle of a blood-splattered life. Mad Max: Fury Road meets Neil Gaiman’s Sandman in this full-throttle, grindhouse fantasy epic!




Crash Course: If You Want To Get Away With Murder Buy A Car s/c (£14-99, Street Noise Books) by Woodrow Phoenix

A work of graphic nonfiction exploring the powerful, often toxic relationship between people and cars.

Using the comic book format, this book vehemently dispels the notion that traffic accidents are inevitable and/or acceptable on any level, insisting that drivers own their responsibility, and consider the consequences of careless and dangerous behavior.

It also addresses such timely issues as the use of cars as weapons of mass murder in places like Charlottesville, VA.



I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf h/c (£11-99, Abrams) by Grant Snider

It’s no secret, but we are judged by our bookshelves. We learn to read at an early age, and as we grow older we shed our beloved books for new ones. But some of us surround ourselves with books. We collect them, decorate with them, are inspired by them, and treat our books as sacred objects. In this lighthearted collection of one- and two-page comics, writer-artist Grant Snider explores bookishness in all its forms, and the love of writing and reading.



Masters of British Comic Art h/c (£39-99, Rebellion) by David Roach (editor)

Revealing the extraordinary history of the UK’s prolific comic book industry from the 19th Century to the 21st, this ground breaking volume celebrates the incredible artists who made a huge impact on British comics and would go on to revolutionize the industry on a global scale. Featuring a Who’s Who of talent, including Brian Bolland, Yvonne Hutton, Dave Gibbons, author and 2000 AD artist David Roach takes us on a journey through time detailing the surprising and fascinating evolution of the art from its humble beginnings to its current world-conquering status.



Once & Future vol 1 s/c (£12-99, Boom!) by Kieron Gillen & Dan More

The King is Undead. Long live the King. When a group of Nationalists use an ancient artifact to bring a villain from Arthurian myth back from the dead to gain power, ex-monster hunter Bridgette McGuire escapes her retirement home and pulls her unsuspecting grandson Duncan, a museum curator, into a world of magic and mysticism to defeat a legendary threat.

Writer Kieron Gillen and artist Dan Mora explore the mysteries of the past, the complicated truths of our history and the power of family to save the day… especially if that family has secret bunkers of ancient weapons and decades of experience hunting the greatest monsters in Britain’s history!



Pollock Confidential: A Graphic Novel h/c (£17-99, Laurence King Publishing) by Onofrio Catacchio

Forceful, tempestuous, and visionary. In an incredibly short and turbulent life Jackson Pollock changed painting forever. This vivid graphic novel delves into his pioneering physical approach to making art, highlights the key characters surrounding the New York mid-century art scene, and reveals the intriguing relationship between Pollock’s painting and the covert activities of the Cold War.




Portrait Of A Drunk h/c (£26-99, Fantagraphics) by Florent Ruppert, Jerome Mulot, Olivier Schrauwen

Guy is a mediocre mariner, able enough, but also a lazy, thieving, lying drunkard. All of which makes him more real than the swashbuckling Hollywood heroes that grace most pirate narratives. This tour de force of sea-faring gallows humor is also an international event in modern comics, teaming for the first time three titans of the field: Belgian comics master Olivier Schrauwen (PARALLEL LIVES) and the acclaimed French duo, Ruppert & Mulot (THE PERINEUM TECHNIQUE).



Swooshing onto the superheroes


Black Widow: The Things They Say About Her s/c (UK Edition) (£13-99, Marvel) by Richard Morgan & Sean Phillips, Bill Sienkiewicz

Some say she’s a traitor, some say she’s a murderer… and what most say about her isn’t even printable. But nobody denies that the former Cold War spy is a force to be reckoned with. The last man foolish enough to send killers after her paid the highest price, but his friends on Capitol Hill will ensure that Natasha doesn’t get off easy… and not even Col. Nick Fury can protect her this time.

On the run as the U.S. government declares her an Enemy of the State, Natasha escapes to Cuba, seeking out a former rival: Yelena Belova, the second Black Widow. Meanwhile, the survivors of Natasha’s last tirade start coming back to haunt her… and they’re starting to join forces. Collecting: Black Widow (2005) #1-6.



New Mutants vol 1 s/c (£14-50, Marvel) by Jonathan Hickman, Ed Brisson & Rod Reis

The new generation claims the dawn! The classic New Mutants – Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Mirage, Karma, Magik and Cypher – get together with new friends Chamber and Mondo for a new mission…tracking down their teammate Cannonball! Hitching a ride into outer space with the Starjammers, the New Mutants soon find themselves in trouble and on trial for crimes against the Shi’ar Empire!

But when Deathbird returns and throws the Empire into turmoil, the New Mutants’ happy reunion soon becomes a complicated struggle for galactic freedom! Who will claim the Shi’ar throne? It’s a star-spanning adventure from the mind of X-visionary Jonathan Hickman! Collecting NEW MUTANTS (2019) #1-2, #5 and #7.



Tales Of The Batman Marv Wolfman vol 1 h/c (£35-99, DC) by Mary Wolfman & various

Marv Wolfman, legendary writer of The New Teen Titans and Crisis on Infinite Earths, also wrote some of the most memorable Batman stories of the 1980s! Stories in this volume include ‘Batman: Year 3,’ which detailed the origins of the original Robin, and more!

Collects Batman #328-335 and #436-439, Detective Comics #408, The Brave and the Bold #167, World’s Finest Comics #288, The New Teen Titans #37, and Batman and the Outsiders #5.






Let’s highlight some new self-contained works and new series…

Downfall vol 1 (£9-99, Viz) by Inio Asano

From the Eisner-nominated, best-selling author of GOODNIGHT PUNPUN and SOLANIN comes a dark look at what happens when living the life of your dreams becomes your downfall. Selling copies is the only thing that matters.

So what if your manga series just ended and you have no idea how to start the next one, your marriage is breaking up, your pure love of manga has been destroyed by the cruel reality of the industry and nothing seems to fill the sucking void inside you…

Find the secret combo for a new hit manga series and everything will be okay. Right?



The Swamp h/c (£18-99, Drawn & Quarterly) by Yoshiharu Tsuge

The Swamp is the first in a series of books Drawn & Quarterly will be publishing by Yoshiharu Tsuge, one of the most influential and acclaimed practitioners of literary comics in Japan.

Bucking the tradition of mystery and adventure stories, Tsuge’s fiction focused on the lives of the citizens of Japan. These mesmerizing comics, like those of his contemporary Yoshihiro Tatsumi, reveal a gritty, at times desperate post-war Japan, while displaying Tsuge’s unique sense of humor and point of view.



Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku vol 1 (£8-99, Viz) by Yuji Kaku

Gabimaru the Hollow is on death row for crimes committed as an assassin when he’s made an offer: die in prison, or travel to a mysterious island to locate the elixir of immortality for the shogun. He soon finds himself trapped on an island full of otherworldly creatures, rival criminals and ruthless executioners eager to take the head of any criminal who steps out of line. For mature audiences.




Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru vol 1 (£6-99, Viz) by Masashi Kishimoto & Akira Okubo

Becoming a samurai seems like an impossible dream for Hachimaru, a boy who can’t even survive without the help of his father. But when a samurai cat appears before him, his whole life changes! A legendary manga creator and a rising star come together to bring you this science fiction samurai epic! For teen audiences.





Also, the next volumes of the following ongoing manga series have arrived…

20th Century Boys Perfect Edition vol 7 (£12-99, Viz) by Naoki Urasawa

Goblin Slayer vol 7 (£9-99, Yen Press) by Kumo Kagyu & Kousuke Kurose

My Hero Academia Smash!! vol 3 (£6-99, Viz) by Hirofumi Neda

My Hero Academia vol 23 (£6-99, Viz) by Kohei Horikoshi

One Piece vol 93 (£6-99, Viz) by Eiichiro Oda

Tokyo Ghoul re: vol 15 (£8-99, Viz) by Sui Ishida

Tokyo Ghoul re: vol 16 (£8-99, Viz) by Sui Ishida


Also arrived…

Errr… well, we’ve just done all that!

Hope you liked this format. Do feel free to let us know what you thought. Our very own Page 45 Reviews will be back at some point I promise, but hopefully this will keep you entertained in the meanwhile…


Stay in Touch

Follow Us On Twitter

Become a fan on Facebook

Click on our Instagram Page

Page 45 Graphic Novel And Picture Book Reviews Early May 2020

Sunday, May 3rd, 2020

Featuring Sarah McIntyre, Brigita Orel & Jennie Poh…

Don’t Call Me Grumpycorn Page 45 Signed Bookplate Edition (£6-99 s/c, Scholastic UK) by Sarah McIntryre.

First 100 copies come with a FREE, EXCLUSIVE PAGE 45 BOOKPLATE SIGNED AND DESIGNED by Sarah McIntyre!

Welcome back, my lovelies, for a brand-new all-ages adventure by our biggest-selling picture book creator, Sarah McIntyre! Please pop ‘Sarah McIntyre’ into our search engine or visit our dedicated Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre webpage here for all her other books and our reviews.

FABULOUS! It’s all going to be FABULOUS!

And discovery is everything, especially when it comes to friendship.



Dawn beckons you into a brand-new day of fresh air, enormous potential and limitless possibilities. And oh, but the patterns of colour!

The northern sun radiates dazzling displays of prismatic gold, and then streams across a quite chilly sea, rippling its liquid light over cool blue and purples.

Out on a wooden jetty, Unicorn has evidently been fashioning something very big and very exciting and very, very mysterious – and he has done so with a DIY diligence that puts me to shame.



It is a rocket!

“I’m going to discover the most FABULOUS planet in the universe,” he said.

Do you believe him? I do!

“This made him feel very pleased with himself. He already liked being an astronaut.”

He‘s certainly put a lot of work in; and a great deal of thought too. For as well as the buttons and switches and levers, as well as the gizmos and views screens and astronomical charts, Unicorn has decked out his new cockpit domain with hand-drawn portraits of his favourite friends (all his friends were his favourites, but too many more pictures and there’d be no room for doughnuts) and all the other essentials for intergalactic travel.

His tea and coffee making facilities won’t let him down!

There are biscuit dispensers and foil-wrapped boiled sweets in case his tummy rumbles or his mouth runs dry… I spy a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste too! Very wise! There’s a bell jar with a miniature fruiting orange tree inside. Underneath I spy a sleeping bag complete with cuddly Teddycorn! What else can you and your young ones spot? Sarah always packs her pages with so many fun things for bright eyes to discover and relish! Those ‘accelerate’ and ‘brake’ hoof pedals made me howl!!!

And that is a disco ball, yes!

There should always be disco! He might want to dance!



Unicorn might also want to get his ego back under control again too. Do you remember where he went wrong in GRUMPYCORN? I do!

For when Mermaid and Narwhal and Jellyfish are keen as can be to accompany him on His Expedition (for which he is secretly grateful – most of the best experiences are shared experiences and nobody wants to be left all alone), he doesn’t half make himself the centre of attention and demand that he must do everything FIRST and LOUDEST like…




Or whatever he booms: whatever he booms is bound to be FABULOUS!



Best beloveds, we have barely begun, but I’m going to leave you there to discover for yourselves what happens next.

Clue: they do discover a planet, and it is FABULOUS!

Another clue: Unicorn needs to get one – a clue. A clue as to what are really the most important things in life.

Final clue: the answers are true friends and friendship.

Mermaid and Narwhal and Jellyfish are thrilled with their voyage, as loyal as ever and so very patient with Unicorn’s self-centred commands, but he really does need to rein himself in!



Far from saccharine, like THE NEW NEIGHBOURS, this is another exuberant belter from Sarah McIntyre about getting your priorities right early in life and so setting yourself firmly on course for maximum fun and frolics.

Did I mention the details? There are no spoilers here, but you’re in for a riot of running jokes that grow cumulatively funnier, and a planetary sphere which could only be called Disco!


Buy Don’t Call Me Grumpycorn Exclusive Page 45 Signed Bookplate Edition s/c and read the Page 45 review here

The Pirate Tree h/c (£11-99, Lantana Publishing) by Brigita Orel & Jennie Poh.

“The breeze is generous and the ocean is wide before them.”

Look at the language there; it’s all so very positive!

The breeze is “generous” and the ocean is “wide”, plus it’s now a new shared experience: “them”.

This is such a thoughtful, poignant and positive book which, like Sarah McIntyre’s THE NEW NEIGHBOURS, has at its heart the warm welcoming of strangers.

But first, there are obstacles to overcome. Reservations, shall we call them.

‘The gnarled tree on the hill sometimes turns into a pirate ship. A rope serves as an anchor, a sheet as a sail, and Sam is its fearless captain.
‘Today, the tree watches as another sailor approaches.’



I love the warm antler-grey of the venerable tree and its long, feathery, willow-like leaves; the cool blue above them and the exotic orange blossom which is reflected, a little paler, in the stripes of Sam’s t-shirt. Then there’s the strong red of young Agu’s long-sleeved shirt, picked out in the parrot which later wears a pirate hat.

(Yes, yes, it’s a Macaw! A Macaw is a parrot. I was making maximum use of my ‘p’s!)

I also adore all the clean white space, so that those colours stand out and breathe.

‘“Can I play?” Agu asks, standing on the ship’s leeward side.
‘Sam hoists the sheet up over a branch and glares.
‘“I don’t know you. You’re not from my street.””

Ah yes, the reservations…



‘Agu’s face falls. He watches her struggle with a thick rope.
‘No one wants to play with him because he’s a newcomer.’

However, Sam hasn’t rejected him; she’s just so immediately swept up again in her imaginary game that she’s forgotten him. Nevertheless, the effect on Agu is profound, and Jennie Poh nails the boy’s body language, his arms drooping heavily to his sides in contrast to Sam’s wild gesticulation, his head bowed in introspection.



‘When Sam doesn’t as much as look his way, Agu’s shoulders slump. Auntie told him to be patient, but he’s been patient for days.’

Oh, the poor love! There’s no self-pity, merely dignity and disappointment. Unlike the pirate tree, he’s had the wind knocked out of his sails, once more.

But what makes all the difference in the world on the very next page is… well, Agu’s difference!  It’s his specialist knowledge that there are no diamonds in Nigeria. He tells Sam that he used to live in Nigeria, and he has sailed on a ship! His voice rising, Agu offers to tell her all about it, and that has Sam most intrigued!



“They set sail again.”

Hooray! Which is where we came in, but where will their shared imaginations take them?!

My heart soared while reading this book, and so will those of families so keen for their young ones to make new, exciting friends. I adore all of mine for their individuality and all the knowledge and mad skills that they possess which are way out of my current capabilities. I do love to learn, though!



Indeed, I’ve loved all the books I’ve seen published by Lantana like Chitra Soundar & Poonam Mistry’s YOU’RE SAFE WITH ME and YOU’RE SNUG WITH ME and YOU’RE STRONG WITH ME which are full of warmth, reassurance and maternal wisdom and the most meticulously composed, radiant illustrations.

You can see those on the bottom rung of our central Young Readers section here:



I also have enormous respect for Lantana’s committed, progressive policies, addressing the very real imbalance which persists in Young Readers Picture Books and comics alike:

‘In the United Kingdom, almost a third of school children identify as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) yet fewer than 5% of children’s books feature BAME characters and fewer than 2% of children’s book creators are British authors of colour. And the picture is even more bleak for those who identify as working class, LGBTQ+ or disabled.’

That’s truly shameful, isn’t it?

‘At Lantana, we’re changing the game and publishing inclusive books that celebrate our differences – whatever they may be. And because we all live on one extraordinary planet, we print our books with non-petroleum-based inks on Forest Stewardship Council certified paper to minimise our carbon footprint.”

They’ve won so many rewards. Please visit their website!


Buy The Pirate Tree h/c and read the Page 45 review here




Also Arrived Online & Ready To Buy!

New releases arriving imminently!

After two months delay due to all our suppliers’ warehouses being understandably closed, distribution looks set to begin again in a week or so.

We’ll keep you updated, but for the current situation about purchasing what we have in stock now, please read my recent blog…

Page 45 Temporarily Switches To Mail Order Only. We Ship Worldwide!




Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month – May 2020

Friday, May 1st, 2020

Normally retailing at £16-99 but a mere £13.59 for Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month members… this month’s selection is…

Altitude h/c by Jean-Marc Rochette with Olivier Bocquet

You can learn more and join the Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month here

Meanwhile, here’s our Page 45 review of Altitude…

Altitude h/c (£16-99, SelfMadeHero) by Jean-Marc Rochette with Olivier Bocquet

“That was the day I fell in love with mountains.

“Beauty in its purest form.
“And there was only one thought in my head: going up. All the way up.”

Which immediately brings but one thought into my head… What goes up has to come down, right?

One way or another…

I’ve never really understood the appeal of staring death in the face in which mountaineers seem to revel. Getting completely off my face, certainly, but the prospect of repeatedly daring the grim reaper to come and take me away has always seemed a bit much. I certainly can’t deny the power of a majestic snow-capped mountain range to induce awe in me, mind you.



I do believe, though, a not inconsiderable part of the appeal of mountaineering for most is the mental peace and quiet. Aside from the eye-watering vistas and the lung-bursting exercise obviously! But I do wonder whether seeking absolute overwhelming solitude in the near infinite and icy vastness of unforgiving mountains isn’t perhaps just a little about trying to escape one’s self too. Or find one’s true self, depending on your perspective. I’m just not sure dangling from a precipice by little more than my fingertips is the right angle of approach in that direction for me…



No, I’ll just read about it instead thank you!

I think there is definitely the risk of addiction to the adrenaline induced by such activity, though, which is possibly what encourages mountaineers to take crazy chances when perhaps the risk versus reward calculations don’t really stack up. In other words, they get over-confident, both in their own abilities, but also in that of the natural world not to prey upon them. Others yes, but not them…

Right, philosophical aside and the mildest of hints about the content of this work complete, I suppose I should tell you a bit more about it really!

From the creator of the epic post-apocalyptic trilogy SNOWPIERCER consisting of VOL 1: THE ESCAPE, VOL 2: THE EXPLORERS and VOL 3: THE TERMINUS, plus also now the pre-apocalyptic anticipatory lead-in with SNOWPIERCER: THE PREQUEL PART 1 EXTINCTION (all four reviewed by Page 45) comes this autobiographical tale of one young man’s burgeoning obsession with mountains, and indeed also learning to draw comics.

I found lone wolf Jean-Marc’s coming-of-age story inspirational and moving in equal measure. It’s not going to make me want to climb mountains, it’s had quite the reinforcing opposite effect in that respect, but I came to greatly admire his indomitable will, and also his complete absence of desire to conform. Sounds like he’d be perfect for a career in comics…



The seeming disinterest of his mother towards pretty much any part of Jean-Marc’s life whatsoever must certainly have contributed enormously to his sense of isolation, but I would imagine also helped to engender his immense independence.



Even the one true bonding attempt she tries to make, asking a teenage Jean-Marc if she can come climbing with him, inevitably takes a turn for the worse. Instead she seems far more interested in simply collecting the stipend from the French state for the loss Jean-Marc’s father in Algeria many years previously.

So it’s probably no surprise that upon attaining his emancipation from her with his 18th birthday, Jean-Marc promptly kicked her out of his life.



The control of his cash payout, which he would continue to receive for another three years, allowed him to pursue his love of mountaineering with a greater intensity. Indeed, we don’t see his mother again until a certain… disturbing moment… when even then, she seems far more interested in herself than her son.

It seems puzzling therefore that he actually dedicated this book to his mother…



I almost wonder whether it was entirely to prove a point. That despite her complete lack of maternal affection, he had succeeded in achieving his goals. Though I am sure it is perhaps far more complex than that. Still, she doesn’t seem to come out of this work with much merit at all.

Before that moment, though, there are a few far-too-close brushes with death for Jean-Marc and his coterie of climbing chums. It’s inevitable, of course, that eventually one of them will succumb, but when it happens, it’s still as much of a shock for Jean-Marc as it is for us. Not least because of the circumstances…



Does Jean-Marc learn his lesson at that point though? No, of course not… Nothing could happen to him, right?



So once again it seems the peerless natural wonder of mountains and their deranged devotees and denizens is the perfect material for brilliant comics! I am a huge fan of Jiro Taniguchi’s THE SUMMIT OF THE GODS, in fact it is one of my all-time favourite comics, being primarily a story of one of the most bloody-minded and singularly determined individuals ever to decide to do it just because it’s there. There‘s more than a little of that attitude going on here.

Also, Gou Tanabe’s exquisitely beautiful insanity inducing two-part adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s classic AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS. You might think that title isn’t an appropriate comparison to this work in terms of content, but I don’t know, it certainly seems to be that all mountains have a way of inducing a temporary insanity of sorts in those who become truly obsessed with them.

Rochette has buddied up for this project with writer Olivier Bocquet (who wrote the concluding part of the SNOWPIERCER trilogy) who I imagine has merely (I say merely, but who wouldn’t want a brilliant writer giving you a hand with your autobiography?!) provided some degree of input on that aspect to help his artist friend. Between them they’ve done a superb job. I was gripped from the off like a well-tightened crampon and the tension doesn’t just come from taut climbing ropes either as Jean-Marc finds himself under immense emotional pressure both at home and at school.



Which is why the mountains provide his escape route… where he finds a group of like-minded individuals with whom he comes to enjoy a true sense of camaraderie.



The art meanwhile is suitably rugged, yet subtly detailed, like an unforgiving rock face that reveals more and more complexity as you are required to pay it increasingly close attention. There are some lovely flourishes of colour too, an early trip to the museum providing an example of the sort of almost rapturous trance than our young Jean-Marc could concentrate himself into even then.



There’s actually a delightful reprise to that visit many years later which I thought was a brilliant touch.



Plus, it was truly fascinating to learn of the local pioneering legends of climbing in the French Alps. There are some brilliant anecdotes that Jean-Marc and his chums recount to each other of these early alpinists. His adoring respect for them and their part in opening up the mountains he loves is clear to see as he and his friends try to follow in their huge footsteps, whilst also dreaming of making their own marks for posterity.



Danger, however, is of course always only ever a misstep, a brief lapse in concentration or just a random moment of misfortune away. Much like comics really, read enough comics and you’ll get a paper cut eventually…



As we exit the book we find Rochette wisely leaving the mountains behind, but firmly in the foothills of a new and equally demanding odyssey, his ascent towards the pinnacle of the extremely treacherous and demanding professional world of the comics creator. I think there can be no doubt he has reached the summit.



[NOTE: Assistant Ed. – Just stepping outside of comics for a moment, if you do get chance, you really should check out the film version of Snowpiercer which was very loosely adapted indeed by director Boon Joon-ho, who of course recently won the Oscar for Best Film with Parasite. It is genuinely brilliant and I think a superb example of how an adaptation of comics material needn’t just be a slavish (if frequently abridged) copy of the original, but how the comics can instead provide the inspiration for something rather wonderfully different.

Also, there is a loose continuation of Snowpiercer coming to French TV soon, which I am rather intrigued about. Again, it looks like it is going to take inspiration from the comics rather than just be a direct adaptation / continuation. But it certainly looks to have just the right post-apocalyptic vibe from what I’ve seen so far, and I’m sure more than a few snow-capped mountains.]


Buy Altitude on the Page 45 website here

Online & Ready To Buy!

Well, there have been no other new arrivals recently, due to all our suppliers’ warehouses being understandably closed. That will be changing in the not too distant future, and obviously we will keep you updated on that.

But for the current situation regarding purchasing what we have in stock now, please read our Stephen’s recent blog…

Page 45 Temporarily Switches To Mail Order Only. We Ship Worldwide!