Posts in the ‘Various, Letters & Other News’ Category

Christmas Shopping at Page 45 2017

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Graphic Novel Recommendations for You!

And 36 out of 72 of them this year turn out to be British!

 

 

We adore Christmas at Page 45!

We’re never too busy to help, and we promise it’ll be your easiest, most serene shopping experience this year.

Ask for recommendations tailored to your friends’ tastes!

Come, conjure your friends in our minds’ eyes!
Tell us a little about friends or your relatives and – even if they don’t yet read comics – we’ll find you a selection of presents perfect for them, then show and tell you a little about each choice.
We’ll find you books for difficult Dads, all-ages beauties to make little eyes shine, and Young Adults excellence for even the most discerning.

 

 

Bring wish lists to the counter!

Be they long or short lists, we’ll find your books for you!
Not sure what the book you want is called? We know our stuff! A brief description is all that we need.
If a graphic novel is not in stock we’ll search the warehouses of different distributors: their delivery is ever so fast!

Buy Page 45 Gift Vouchers for in-store or on-line shopping!

Alternatively, Page 45 Gift Vouchers come in denominations of £5, £10, £20 and come with a free card either by Lizz Lunney or Philippa Rice.

 

 

Comics & Graphic Novels for Christmas!

There will be Christmas Present Classics below too, but first we present Page 45’s Very Best of 2017!

Please click on the links below to read our full reviews with interior art!

Important: if you see multiple covers, please click on any for individual reviews!

Buy to collect in store (no postage costs!) or…

We Ship Worldwide! (postage at cost only!)

Venice (£19-99) by Jiro Taniguchi.

Venice is a city of gently lapping water, of dazzling light reflected on its undulating surfaces; of bridges, of sighs, of the Bridge of Sighs; of echoing footsteps and silent facades which are no less impressive when crumbling. But more than anything, Venice is a city of surprises.

If Paris is a city of vistas re-designed to be seen through, under or over, so that wherever you roam you know where you are, Venice is far more tantalising. You can catch glimpses under and over its bridges,  but such are its circuitous and labyrinthine trails within the embrace of its serpentine Grand Canal that all is revealed only gradually and most unexpectedly, as you take one random turn then the next.

It is magnificent, it is mysterious and it is coquettish. It is my favourite place in the world.

And Jiro Taniguchi is my favourite Japanese artist. Match made in heaven.

Read the full Page 45 review of Venice and buy if you fancy!

Boundless (£16-99) by Jillian Tamaki.

Reveries, perspectives, freedoms, constraints…

Bodies, faces, fiction and fabrication…

Illusion, isolation, engagement and disconnection…

There’s so much to absorb in this phenomenally rich and varied collection of searching short stories. You neither know what you’ll get next nor know how it will be presented or indeed how each will end – except unexpectedly.

Each story comes with a narrative guile and its own art style. I suspect you’ll be grinning for weeks.

Read the full Page 45 review of Boundless and buy if you fancy!

Face (£9-99) by Rosario Villajos.

“Except that she doesn’t have a face…”

Playful and refreshing, rarely has a graphic novel surprised and delighted me so consistently throughout. But the ideas behind it are universally recognisable: a bit key, that.

Conforming to the norm is partly what this is about in so many ways, whether it’s society’s expectations, one’s looks, one’s search for a romantic partner or one’s dynamic within a relationship.

There’s so much to consider here from identity and self-perception to symbiosis, gravitation and assimilation. There will be a certain degree of alignment, as is so often the case, but in far from predictable ways! There are rules of attraction to consider and self-castigation will rear its ever so common head; the way we can end up making constant comparisons with the lives of others: their careers, relationships, creative successes, beauty, athleticism, entertainment value… and gardening expertise.

Read the full Page 45 review of Face and buy if you fancy!

The Worm And The Bird (£14-99) by Coralie Bickford-Smith.

“I am too busy to look,
“I can look another day,” thinks The Worm.

But The Bird is looking. The Bird, up above, is looking right down at the ground.

In this immaculately structured graphic novel – so much of whose story is image-delivered with shiny ink – the creator of THE FOX AND THE STAR, presents much to make us think, much to make us grin, with a drive of dramatic tension as the Worm hurriedly goes about its business oblivious to the patience of the early Bird up above.

Two different perspectives mirror each other, before a third is presented by implication.

Read the full Page 45 review of The Worm And The Bird and buy if you fancy!

Collecting Sticks h/c (£16-99) by Joe Decie.

In the countryside you will need sticks.

If you live in a city, be sure to pack plenty.

Welcome to the mischievous, autobiographical world of Joe Decie, for whom sleight-of-hand is a default setting. When I heralded his DOGS DISCO  as “the return of the pint-sized prankster”, Joe immediately fired back on Twitter, “I’m really quite tall, you know”.

He’d fit comfortably inside your pocket.

Here the family goes glamping – glamorous camping – and his young son Sam steals the show. “Do you believe in the olden days?” he inquires, earnestly. “In the ’80s they used spears.”

You will be beaming with recognition throughout. One of my two Books of the Year.

Read the full Page 45 review of Collecting Sticks h/c and buy if you fancy!

The Sound Of The World By Heart h/c (£22-99) by Giacomo Bevilacqua.

Our Jonathan’s graphic novel of the year.

Photojournalist Sam is on a mission to stay silent for sixty days in New York City, one of the busiest and loudest in the world. He takes meticulously composed black and white photographs. On some of them a mysterious red-haired woman begins to appear, in full colour. She wasn’t there when he shot them.

Soon the girl begins to appear in the real world, seemingly at every turn. Sam’s instinctive reaction is to turn away, to run, to flee. But what is he really running from, where will he end up, and who will be there when he does so?

A quiet, introspective journey of tenderness and beauty.

Read the full Page 45 review of The Sound Of The World By Heart h/c and buy if you fancy!

Unreal City h/c (£14-99) by D.J. Bryant.

David Lynch, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes.

Five stories in multiple art styles in which tables are turned. Relationships, perception, time, manipulation, reality, fiction… all these will be warped as D.J. Bryant presents you with puzzles to mess with your mind and his protagonists’. Control will be sought, control will be lost, and in ‘Objet D’Art’ control may never have been an option in the first instance – whichever instance the first one turns out to be. ‘Objet D’Art’ wouldn’t work in any medium other than comics.

Bryant’s art is meticulous and glossy, sexy and hypnotic. It’s also decidedly top-shelf for two of the tales.

Read the full Page 45 review of Unreal City h/c and buy if you fancy!

The Can Opener’s Daughter (£12-99) by Rob Davis.

Sequel to THE MOTHERLESS OVEN, my fave book of that year, wherein we learned that although it is commonly acknowledged that children are the products of their parents – both by nature and nurture – here parents are very much the mechanical product of their children.

Everything is familiar, yet looked at anew, askew or turned on its head. Words may have multiple meanings depending on intonation or a minor adjustment. Almost every panel demands a quotation, so dense is the wit on display. Perspectives are important, the fresher the better, so here is the second in Rob Davis’ trilogy, dovetailing precisely into the first to illuminate elements of what went before and leave us gasping desperately for more.

Read the full Page 45 review of The Can Opener’s Daughter and buy if you fancy!

The Best We Could Do h/c (£22-99) by Thi Bui.

“Proximity and closeness are not the same.”

My other Book of the Year, this profoundly moving story will win so many international awards, you mark my words.

So often the best route to true understanding lies in the lives of others.

Here Thi Bui seeks to understand her distant relationship with her parents, in order to relax into parenthood herself. To do so she explores their lives in Vietnam and the adversity – often cruelty – which they encountered from without and within, while trying to create a family of their own. That her mother and father met at all was a miracle; that they ever escaped to America was another.

Read the full Page 45 review of The Best We Could Do h/c and buy if you fancy!

Arthur And The Golden Rope h/c (£12-99) by Joe Todd-Stanton.

A most excellent quest involving Thor, Odin and the enormous wolf Fenrir. HILDA and ZELDA fans will lap this up, for Arthur is an Icelandic Zelda, addicted to exploration and acquisition, forever adding artefacts to his arsenal of treasured possessions.

Arthur will to need to summon old friends, all his courage and his quickest of wits to restore fire to his frozen town after its gigantic brazier is knocked down and extinguished by Fenrir. He’ll have to curry the Thor’s favour, and the only way to do that is to help him defeat the 500-foot Fenrir!

Present and correct: wit, rules and exploration for eyes with background details galore. There are swords stuck everywhere in Valhalla’s hall. Can you find them all? Its library is as vast as vast can be. Poor Arthur must read every dusty tome in his research. You can see him scampering up ladders, balancing books on his head, receiving a nasty surprise, but if you look really, really carefully…

Castle In The Stars vol 1 (£14-99) by Alex Alice.

Album-sized, all-ages excellence which had me thrilled by its visual majesty, gripped by its power-play, charmed by its adroitly delivered comedic notes, then caught anchor / line / balloon-ballast in its steampunk spell. I suspect you’ll weep with wonderment at the Aethership blueprints.

It co-stars the white-stoned “Wow!” that is Neuschwanstein Castle, constructed on such a sheer mountainous outcrop that I’ve always thought “How?!?” Alice makes the most of the vertigo-inducing terrain with iron gantries spanning the slopes, cable lifts  and the sort of magical glasshouse laboratory you find in games like Riven and Myst, buttressed out from the escarpment and over a waterfall.

Read the full Page 45 review of Castle In The Stars vol 1 and buy if you fancy!

Water Memory (£13-99) by Mathieu Reynès & Valérie Vernay.

Seagulls surf the sea breeze, directing our gaze to the lighthouse on an island not far from the shore. Beyond lies the fishing village, a yawning stretch of bright blue sky between sunlit clouds funneling our attention there too. Later a wave-break of white flowers flows through standing stones.

At the heart of this gripping YA graphic novel lies a mystery which may or may not contain a dark, fantastical element. Regardless, it involves local legends of emphatically not displeasing sea spirits. Its other heart lies in the relationship between Marion and her mother; its driving force any young person’s instinct and compulsion to explore.

Marion and her Mum are moving back into the family house after it’s been empty for 34 years.

Read the full Page 45 review of Water Memory and buy if you fancy!

Geis: A Game Without Rules (£15-99) by Alexis Deacon.

A Geis is a taboo or curse which cannot be broken, but invariably is, and the consequences are always dire.

Diabolically ingenious, every element dovetails precisely, be they the intense, concurrent action sequences of fight and flight or the games and the geis itself, all of which have rules if our remaining competitors from GEIS Book One could only perceive then understand them.

What are they competing for? The kingdom itself. What is at stake? Their very lives. Unfortunately they don’t know that. Only young Lady Io and the duplicitous Nemas have discovered the truth, and they have been cursed into silence. Rising from this rat-race for power is an inspiring spirit of altruism. PS. The colours are amazing!

Read the full Page 45 review of Geis: A Game Without Rules and buy if you fancy!

By Chance Or By Providence s/c (£14-99) by Becky Cloonan.

Was there ever an artist so in love with an era? I think not.

Three fiendishly clever, creepy, mesmerising and beguiling short stories which you will want to re-read the moment you finish, for hindsight is a funny old thing.

This also boasts the best selection of back-matter art that I can recall: page after page of lush, sensual, sexually charged portraits of men and women at one with their natural environment. “Tresses” is a word that evokes a particular period in which hair was worn bound for courtly consumption. As to the guys, you can  smell the male musk and built-up grease by the way the thick strands fall heavy over their eyes which glare up through their parted curtains in anger or seduction.

Read the full Page 45 review of By Chance Or By Providence s/c and buy if you fancy!

Heathen vol 1 (£14-50) by Natasha Alterici.

Under a cover as soft to the touch as a horse’s hide resides a tale of love, resilience and fortitude told with lithe beauty, great supple strength and the odd dash of light, bright humour.

It’s also constructed with precision:  nothing extraneous,  everything is thought through including Aydis’s unconventional construction of her helmet from fallen stag antlers which male deer use in combat for dominance in securing their mates. This is about male hegemony, yes.

Alterici makes everything look effortless, including Aydis’s hand-to-horn combat with the bull. The choreography is exceptionally slick with so much energy in a broken line! She 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.

Read the full Page 45 review of Heathen vol 1 and buy if you fancy!

Spinning (£14-99) by Tillie Walden.

Think of the telling title of teenage awakening, not the ostensible, ice-rink subject matter.

Keenly observed, discerning and wise, this eloquent autobiography comes with a mind-bogglingly well balanced sense of perspective which understandably eludes almost all of us aged a mere 21. Or 31 or 41 or 51.

Even more remarkable for someone in her earliest twenties, it is Walden’s fifth published graphic novel so far, two of which we made Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month. I am practically begging you to pop her into our search engine.

Unbelievably prolific (read: dedicated to her craft), Walden is the most insightful voice of so many to emerge in her generation of comics, and she communicates it with a quiet, controlled consideration and exquisite beauty.

Read the full Page 45 review of Spinning and buy if you fancy!

One Year Wiser: An Illustrated Guide To Mindfulness (£12-99) by Mike Medaglia.

“Love is everything. It really is.”

A very practical handbook guiding us all towards a greater sense of serenity; nor is it merely for beginners.

In 4 sections titled as seasons, Mike talks us through 24 topics from the all-important Mindfulness and Meditation to diverse jewels like Smiling, Anxiety, The Ego and Impermanence. Each proves powerfully affecting, in subtly different ways, both in their words and accompanying artwork.

For a subject as ineffable as mindfulness, Mike’s is an ideal approach for revealing and refreshing our knowledge of the universal truths we manage to so successfully obscure from ourselves on a daily basis, for we do already know deep down that love is everything.

Read the full Page 45 review of One Year Wiser: An Illustrated Guide To Mindfulness and buy if you fancy!

Porcelain: Ivory Tower (Signed Bookplate Ed.) (£14-99) by Benjamin Read & Chris Wildgoose.

 

Already our best seller this year, and it’s only been out six weeks!

Child came from nothing. Lady built much. But Mother’s another proposition altogether.

Mother has surrounded her family and estate full of sentient Porcelain creations with an impenetrable wall and built therein the most enormous tower which casts its imposing shadow over the city, drawing attention to its lofty self-seclusion. She had no choice: the military demanded her Porcelain as weapons for war and would not take “No” for an answer. Now everyone and everything she holds dear comes under assault and siege. She has done things in the interest of expediency which she prays no one will know.

But it’s all coming out now, and it’s all coming down.

Read the full Page 45 reviews of Porcelain and buy if you fancy!

Grandville: Force Majeure (£18-99) by Bryan Talbot.

The ultimate Christmas annual for adults!

Fast and furious final of five volumes, with 60 extra pages for a mere 2 quid.

Like Talbot’s equally epic LUTHER ARKWRIGHT, it is steampunk in nature and scathing in its socio-political critiques; but its anthropomorphic execution (with many a sly allusion) allows for a great deal of fun and many a pun alongside the visual wit and dexterity.

All unfinished threads are woven together and tied up by the end, along with several you never knew were still dangling. In addition, substantial chunks of LeBrock’s, Billie’s and sadistic, crime-empire building Tiberius Koenig’s most formative years are finally divulged, informing both what has already happened and what, I’m afraid, will come to pass.

“Keep clear of the badger: for he bites.”

Read the full Page 45 reviews of Grandville and buy if you fancy!

The Girl From The Other Side vol 1 (£9-99) 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 so causing its own self-destruction? It is also exceptional at viewing the world in blinkered black and white. This is how the white soldiers here perceive what is happening to them, perpetuating it through dictatorial legend and lore.

What Nagabe has so very gently fashioned here is a fantastical 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 else entirely.

Read the full Page 45 review of The Girl From The Other Side vol 1 and buy if you fancy!

The Little Red Wolf h/c (£17-99) by Amélie Fléchais.

Oh, but the luxurious landscapes stand out a mile! The anthropomorphic forms are delightful, the rich colours delicious and their harmony with a magically enhanced nature  reminded me of Isabelle Arsenault’s YOU BELONG HERE. There’s also a hint of dear Gustav Klimt.

Many have the riffs been on Little Red Riding Hood and I do not “do” trite nor twee. Rejoice, for this is neither! There is a grandmother but she is a wolf; there is a red hood, but that is worn by a wolf; there are  sprawling woods and navigation may indeed prove quite treacherous but the similarities to previous iterations end there. So many wicked surprises and a very real reason why the wolves are wearing such fine, woven threads.

It is dark, it is witty and although it is pretty, it has quite the lupine bite to it.

Are you all sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin!

Read the full Page 45 review of The Little Red Wolf h/c and buy if you fancy!

Nick Cave – Mercy On Me (£14-99) by Reinhard Kleist.

My own musical Holy Trinity is:

Nick Cave, David Sylvian, Billy McKenzie and Kirsty MacColl.

Because I simply cannot count.

One of our fastest-selling graphic novels this year, this exceptional exploration was (unusually, almost uniquely, for us) reviewed externally by Dr. Matt Green, Associate Professor of Modern English Literature at Nottingham University, and I implore you to read his eloquent, informed and impassioned review in full. It is the single most erudite offering on our website.

He conjures William Blake’s past while emphasising Nick Cave’s presence, but please believe that, as a fellow fan, you need none of Matt Green’s cerebral skills to appreciate Kleist’s devotion to this demi-god of dignity, indignity, passion and poignancy.

Read the full Page 45 review of Nick Cave – Mercy On Me and buy if you fancy!

You & A Bike & A Road (£10-99) by Eleanor Davis.

“I like going further than we tell ourselves is possible.”

Eleanor Davis cycles solo across America – 15 to 50 miles a day – at great cost to her knees. There are remarkable encounters: mostly  spontaneous acts of generosity we should all aspire to.

Her body forms are beautiful: such enormous weight from so few lines as Davis sets up her tent then sits up inside, filling the bright, cosy space while outside the night and unknown are contrasted in a dense, graphite darkness which radiates, as light might. Superb use is made of the shape of her legs, knees and thighs in black lycra, then the strength of her shoulders and the curve of her arms.

“While you are setting up your tent anything can get you. Inside your tent you are safe.” She stares out at us from inside with an expression which implies the qualifying addendum, “arguably”.

Read the full Page 45 review of You & A Bike & A Road and buy if you fancy!

SLAM! vol 1 (£10-99) by Pamela Ribon & Veronica Fish.

What a cover! If you don’t relish Roller Derby yet, you will!

Ribon delivers a fun-time comic entirely congruent with this post-patriarchal experience. Men are barely mentioned within. This is entirely about ladies getting together to rediscover themselves and their confidence without comparison points. There’s only one, and he’s a sweetie.

Fish’s art is ebullient yet controlled, depicting real women relaxed in their own space with tall socks , baggy shorts and occasionally war paint. When teams tear round the tracks, Fish’s ability to choreograph the balletic jumps of the jammers working their way through the packs (or falling flat on their backs) impresses upon you the players’ dexterity: the evident edge and pin-point precision required for such tricky manoeuvres. Love the subtle bruises by Brittany Peer who brings such warm tones to Fish’s tender expressions and such rich, vibrant hues to their sports kits.

Read the full Page 45 review of SLAM! vol 1 and buy if you fancy!

Kill Or Be Killed vols 1 & 2 (£8-99/£14-99) by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips with Elizabeth Breitweiser.

Psychological self-examination of one affable young man’s descent into mass murder.

It is riveting, full of perfectly reasonable self-justification and practicalities.

For noir you must crave to spend as much time as possible in the protagonists’ heads and Brubaker has proved he’s the best in CRIMINAL, FATALE and THE FADE OUT. His previous co-conspirators Phillips and Breitweiser unleash their all, for while Phillips maintains his three-tier structure which makes the comics accessible to all – even newcomers – his art’s gone full-bleed to the edge of each page, so that you’re not longer looking at panels from the outside, but immersed in the action’s environment and so fully engaged.

Read the full Page 45 reviews of Kill Or Be Killed and buy if you fancy!

Black Monday Murders vol 1 (£17-99) by Jonathan Hickman & Tomm Coker.

Ignorance is bliss. Things once seen cannot be unseen.

Clue: on the cover one of the co-creators is listed as Abaddon…

Big, fat-cat package of occult crime fiction exposing investment banking as a deal with the devil. In it conspiracy theory turns out to be decades of carefully constructed malpractice. Surprising no one.

This is about a cabal of rich dynasties controlling everything including the crashes, and it is all kinds of uncommonly clever. It’s only fitting for a crime comic that you’re invited to do some detective work yourself, so inside you’ll find tarnished, symbol-strewn pages as if hastily photocopied for a secret dossier. Please do with them what you will.

Read the full Page 45 review of Black Monday Murders vol 1 and buy if you fancy!

Beowulf h/c (£26-99) by Santiago García & David Rubín.

An underground river cascades through a bleak, black cavern below jagged stalactites and knotted, invasive roots. Lurking in the darkness, a pair of glowing, inhuman eyes incarnadine the gristly, reptilian, obsidian flesh surrounding them. Something has already had its fill.

Up above on the snow-swept, pink-dawn plains something hasn’t so much raised a dog’s hackles as left them buffeted weakly by the wind. A deafening murder of blood-stained carrion crows has formed and is feasting, fighting each other for the most prized pickings: the eyes. There appears to be a lot of carrion.

Please see our review in which I take the art fully apart including some devilishly deployed panel “windows”.

Read the full Page 45 review of Beowulf h/c and buy if you fancy!

Moonshine vol 1 s/c (£8-99) by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso.

‘Boardwalk Empire’ meets ‘An American Werewolf In London’.

Do I really need to add anything else? It’s brought to you by the same team that produced the wit-ridden, convoluted crime epic 100 BULLETS. At this point if you’re not reaching for your wallets, what is wrong with you?!

Messrs. Azzarello and Risso return with a mash-up so exquisitely flavoured, I suspect they’ve been supping direct from the mash tub. New York gangsters, desperate to get their hands on the good stuff, get a line on some top-notch moonshine being distilled by a clan of Hillbillies out in the sticks up in the Appalachian mountains. One slight problem: werewolves… Actually, there’s a whole load of other problems too, but the werewolves are kind of the major one.

Read the full Page 45 review of Moonshine vol 1 s/c and buy if you fancy!

Walking Dead: Here’s Negan h/c (£17-99) by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard.

Negan’s origin story which never appeared in the monthly comics!

Fans of the WALKING DEAD will already know that Negan’s favourite skull / piñata smasher was named after his late wife. Here’s the heartbreaking end of their marital story, pre-apocalypse, revealing how Negan gradually evolved / devolved, into the chilling yet articulate dictator he subsequently became.

He clearly always had the gags, but was he always such a complete and utter dick, or did he once have a romantic homespun heart of gold? As ever with the man whom we love to despise, it will not surprise you to learn he was always, shall we say, a “complex” character with slightly odious depths.

Read the full Page 45 review of Walking Dead: Here’s Negan h/c and buy if you fancy!

Baking With Kafka (£12-99) by Tom Gauld.

This isn’t a cookery book. I don’t think you’d want a Kafka cookery book. If you would, can you please back away?

‘Last-Minute Changes To The Politician’s Speech’:

“How’s your speech coming along, sir?”
“Almost done. I’m just trying to decide whether to end on the misleading statistics, the gross oversimplification, the glib soundbite or the blatant lie.”

The Art of Tom Gauld part one: innocently expressing an almost ubiquitously held derision from the horse’s unusually candid mouth. Then there are those little home truths we all secretly share, are already vaguely aware of, but recognise instantly upon their exposure. Take ‘My Library’. Is it yours too? Shop-floor guffaws would suggest so!

 

If I’ve yet to convert you, please try this, followed by clicking on our link for my fully engaged assessment, getting to grips with the art of Tom Gauld, the man who brought you much mirth in the form of GOLIATH, MOONCOP and YOU’RE ALL JUST JEALOUS OF MY JETPACK.

Read the full Page 45 review of Baking With Kafka and buy if you fancy!

Livestock (£16-99) by Hannah Berry.

Meet Clementine Darling, up for Best Female Singer And Political Spokesperson. It’s a single award!

A blisteringly funny, fiercely inventive and scathing satire which doesn’t content itself with blasting the blithe disingenuity of transparently mendacious politicians and vapid pop stars, but focuses its ire  on their equally unprincipled conspirators: spin-doctors who here have seen fit to combine their machinations in a coordinated affront on the public’s intelligence in order to benefit both parties and bury what little remains of the truth.

Free, signed, limited edition bookplate exclusive to Page 45.

Read the full Page 45 review of Livestock and buy if you fancy!

Big Mushy Happy Lump (£9-99) by Sarah Andersen.

Do you want to feel happier about your hang-ups?

Sarah Anderson is here to make that happen, and hilariously so! Perhaps you don’t have any hang-ups, neuroses or self-confidence issues: laugh at Sarah’s instead! Recommended to readers of Brosh’s HYPERBOLE AND A HALF, those who’ve read Andersen’s ADULTHOOD IS A MYTH will know she’s mischievous, open and honest; and honesty is vital for comedy that connects.

Tick your recognition boxes on the cruelty of memory which fixates on mistakes, on the squeeze of time, over-thinking things and jumping to conclusions. Andersen pole-vaults to them!

Read the full Page 45 review of Big Mushy Happy Lump and buy if you fancy!

Deserter’s Masquerade (£16-99) by Chloe Cruchaudet.

Aided by his wife, Paul becomes Suzanne to avoid being shot for desertion in Paris, post-WWI.

Most panels are borderless in black and white washes, the hazy, cameo effect reminiscent of early film-making. The bright scarlet dresses and scarf could be a more modern tinting, adding extra sensuality. Lines, noses and high Parisian fashion smack of early-mid Disney, while the exquisitely expressive character acting is pure Will Eisner.

Suzanne will act constantly for fear of being found out, but after an initial reluctance to feminise in order to fit in, Suzanne starts to relish it, and more. At which point, the couple’s lives grow increasingly complicated… It begins with a courtroom trial which informs everything as you read it: what what went wrong, when and why?

AGE ALERT: includes exotic, libidinous, nocturnal activity down the Bois de Boulogne!

Read the full Page 45 review of Deserter’s Masquerade and buy if you fancy!

Love Is Love (£8-99) by Many & Varied.

Love is a positive power which spreads joy.

Hatred is a small, nasty thing which festers inside and destroys all those who harbour it. Hatred is short-sighted, self-destructive and so often counter-productive.

On June 12th 2016 49 individuals were shot dead in a gay nightclub in Orlando. In reaction, comicbook creators from all spheres have much to say in surprising ways about loss, learned behaviour, carelessness, callousness and cruelty. But this overwhelmingly positive and profoundly moving anthology also celebrates courage and commitment and the refusal to be cowed.

All publisher proceeds go to Orlando’s victims, survivors and their families

Read the full Page 45 review of Love Is Love and buy if you fancy!

As The Crow Flies (£26-99) by Melanie Gillman.

Something for Young Adults to make your souls sing!

270 pages of warm, rich, full-colour beauty celebrating the majesty of nature and the impressive ability of young individuals to reach out to one another when people are complex and words can be careless indeed. History and religion are complicated too.

Charlie Lamonte is worried that this was a massive mistake: spending a week at a Christian youth backpacking camp where, it transpires, all the other girls are white. Charlie, you see, is black. She’s also self-aware, as painfully self-conscious as any teenager, queer, and beginning to question her formerly firm belief in God.

Read the full Page 45 review of As The Crow Flies and buy if you fancy!

Breaks vol 1 (£15-99) by Malin Ryden & Emma Vieceli.

“A love story… but a bit broken.”

BREAKS is an LGBT Young Adult love story: clean so very Mainstream.

It is, however, not remotely coy. There is a very funny toothpaste gag, for a start.

It’s brave, bold and urban with tensions that are ever so taut, and it’s going to grow dark indeed. But there are also moments so tentative and tender that your cold, black hearts will melt. Oh wait – that’s mine. Much love and mischief with some deliciously funny dialogue. I liked the distinction between “secret” and “private”.

Read the full Page 45 review of Breaks vol 1 and buy if you fancy!

Close Enough For The Angels h/c (£31-99) by Paul Madonna.

106 lush, predominantly landscape illustrations in Indian ink – line and wash – on watercolour paper, illuminating 450 pages of prose fiction, much of which takes place, or did take place, in Thailand. It is a mystery.

The endpapers tantalise with a path leading down a higgledy-piggeldy, hand-railed bank of bamboo steps towards an enclosure defined by a barricade of bamboo stakes and wooden planks, and a lychgate-like aperture: a gate off the latch and ajar, leading through to heaven knows where?

So many other drawings portray steps and bridges which beg the same question; as well as lush fronds, carvings and sculpture.

 

Read the full Page 45 review of Close Enough For The Angels h/c and buy if you fancy!

On To The Next Dream h/c (£11-99) by Paul Madonna.

More richly illustrated prose, this is Paul Madonna’s reaction to the gentrification of San Francisco and his real-life eviction following sky-rocketing prices. This short, surreal and scathingly satirical farce is ever so early Evelyn Waugh, Madonna casting himself as the central naïf in its first-person narrative, buffeted by the cut-throat market forces in this already overheated closed system.

In his search for new accommodation, he is bashed off the pavement into the path of cars, bundled into others, and caught constantly off balance, disorientated by the ever-shifting dream-like sequences.

One residence on offer is a cardboard box in a corner. You couldn’t afford it.

Read the full Page 45 review of On To The Next Dream h/c and buy if you fancy!

Katzines (£5-50 each) by Katriona Chapman.

These rich, classy covers and card stock interior pages have set a new, top-end benchmark for comics as much-treasured art objects.

They are mesmerising.

Chapman always has something to impart born of her considerable, well travelled experience that is so worth your time and attention, and will leave you pondering long after.

She releases these self-contained issues only with careful forethought as to what might command her readers’ interest, and with due diligence as to their soft-focus, pencil-shaded and humane execution. By which I mean that Chapman brings individuals alive, giving them their unique depths and perspectives. Pick a cover that you love then see what lies inside!

Read the full Page 45 reviews of Katzine and buy if you fancy!

Mann’s Best Friend (£14-99) by Sophie Rickard & Scarlett Rickard.

I turned the final pages slowly, closed the cover and thought, “Raymond Briggs would be ever so proud”.

Terry Mann owns a beautiful, thick-furred dog called Eric, so massive that he overflows a two-seater sofa. They live in silence, Eric eyeing his taciturn master from outside in the cold, or getting in the way of the FIFA results. He only wants to be talked to. Terry also owns a credit card with a £6,500 credit limit he’s maxed out. He’s collecting Final Demands. The bank he works for discovers client money missing.  “The IP address of that hack traces back to your home, Mr Mann.” You will not believe what Terry does next…

I loved Mia Singh’s more homely house with its low timber beams, shower that won’t work, window seats, thick front-door curtain to keep the cold, and the patchwork of rugs arranged so as to create a corridor along which bare feet might travel to collect morning milk or mail.

Read the full Page 45 review of Mann’s Best Friend and buy if you fancy!

A Thousand Coloured Castles h/c (£17-99) by Gareth Brookes.

“Unbelievable.”
“Absolutely typical.”
“Totally outrageous.”

And probably beyond the pale.

British tragicomedy full of singularly English gripes, Raymond Briggs devotees will find much to adore here too. Brookes has resurrected that era in the form of an elderly suburban couple in an equally insular environment. Fred is set in his ways, moaning about anything modern, while Myriam is bewildered by wonders galore spawning in the street, bursting from bookcases or sprouting from electricity pylons. Is she losing her sight or her mind?

With empathy and understanding Brookes evokes the bewilderment, frailty and helplessness of being lost or alone in old age, prospects diminishing rapidly.

Read the full Page 45 review of A Thousand Coloured Castles h/c and buy if you fancy! 

Crawl Space h/c (£17-99) by Jesse Jacobs.

Jesse Jacobs returns to mess with our heads in this full-spectrum spread.  I’ve a suspicion that were I able to see up into ultra-violet and down into infra-red, there would probably be a lot of additional madness happening on the page at those wavelengths too.

However, this is also a story of spiritual growth, of taking a profound journey towards realising an enlightened state of being. Or just getting completely off your proverbial trolley, depending on how you look at it.

A sensuous flow of precise parallel lines, perfectly smooth curves, interspersed with intense contorted shapes and bejewelled with mandala-like creations that combine to beguile and delight. And occasionally terrify!

Read the full Page 45 review of Crawl Space h/c and buy if you fancy!

Pantheon: The True Story of the Egyptian Deities (£12-99) by Hamish Steele.

“Warning: PANTHEON contains incest, decapitation, suspicious salad, fighting hippos, lots of scorpions, and a golden willy.”

Believe it or not, the “suspicious salad” is the worst offender of the lot, tossed without any mind to Health & Safety. But believe it or not (reprise), Hamish Steele isn’t making this up. Although he’s mined the mythology for maximum mirth – lobbing in every anachronistic, artistic armament he can find – this is honestly how the Egyptian legends of creation and indeed procreation played themselves out without any heed to the niceties of familial decorum, marital boundaries, genetic wisdom or avuncular beneficence.

Read the full Page 45 review of Pantheon and buy if you fancy! 

Dalston Monsterzz h/c (£14-99) by Dilraj Mann.

Within this fashion riot and monster romp there is much scathing socio-political satire about the gentrification of East London and the corruption that’s come with it – right at the top.

Dilraj has a fine eye for chic urban fashion, be it observed or imagined. His body forms are deliciously atypical while his faces can be so grotesque as to make monsters out of everyone, and it’s all so apposite here. The monsters began manifesting during the property development when ugly flats were torn down to make way for luxury accommodation for the stinking rich. Not for the many, but for the few.

Everything here is so masterfully connected. It’s only when you ascend this rollercoaster’s climax that you will comprehend exactly how each element mirrors, is distorted by, or was always going to engender the other.

Read the full Page 45 review of Dalston Monsterzz and buy if you fancy!

Bad Machinery (£ many prices) by John Allison.

TBH we recommend all things John Allison which you’ll find at the link, but BAD MACH is all-ages, and I do mean all-ages: perfectly fun and thrilling for all but largely bought by adults for adults.

Allison’s also one of the finest cartoonists we have, his pages bursting with movement and energy, supple forms and exuberant gesticulation. But more than anything its the astutely observed behaviour and friendships – whether of university students in GIANT DAYS, or adults in at a regional newspaper in BOBBINS or sleuthing school chums in BAD MACH – along with language and speech patterns. Lottie’s my favourite for that, her pronouncements so intense, elaborate and embroidered with emphasis as to be hyperbolic.  “Well evockertive,” as she once said.

Read the full Page 45 reviews of Bad Machinery and buy if you fancy!

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

Lottie seems so serene on the surface.

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).  Under the carefully controlled camera conditions of fashion photography, she radiates, she glistens, she sheens. But a surge in pollen or one moment of stress can render her centre asunder. Also, catch Lottie alone at night 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.

Also, she has an enemy she doesn’t know about.

Read the full Page 45 review of Snotgirl vol 1: Green Hair Don’t Care s/c and buy if you fancy! 

Relatable Content (£10-00) by Lizz Lunney.

The return of anthropological expert Professor Lizz Lunney, creator of AT THE THEME PARK, AT THE END OF YOUR GARDEN, STREET DAWGZ: BOX LIFE, TAKE AWAY etc is back with a big batch of full-colour comics you all can relate to. So long as you’re a socially awkward, cripplingly self-conscious, over-thinking, agoraphobic, responsibility-shirking, neurotic wreck. Lizz Lunney laughter is a tonic, laced with gin; a potion of a notion which you can administer like lotion and bring a broad grin to your face. It’s like physiotherapy for the soul.

We have free Lunney Money to give away at the counter, perfectly valid in Lizzneyland.

Read the full Page 45 review of Relatable Content and buy if you fancy!

The Practical Implications Of Immortality (£4-00) by Matthew Dooley.

14 full-colour, smile-inducing short stories including ‘A Series Of Things That I Spent My Childhood Thinking About That Have Barely Featured In My Adult Life’ which is astonishingly accurate! ‘Eight Potential Existing Threats For You To Consider’ sits opposite ‘Eight Methods For Distracting Yourself From Possible Existential Catastrophes’ and the possibility of civil breakdown is reprised later on. This is the threat which Dooley deems darkest but there are upsides to everything if you inspect enough angles: “affordable London property”, “new management opportunities” and “the easing of health and safety regulation”.

Other strips explore the gravity of a good night’s sleep, the tyranny of the bathroom scales and the lengths some go to minimise their measurement.

Read the full Page 45 review of The Practical Implications Of Immortality and buy if you fancy!

The Shape Of Ideas: An Illustrated Exploration Of Creativity (£11-99) by Grant Snider.

Inspiration, invigoration, encouragement and mirth.

Ideas come in all sorts of shapes and surprises, but you need to fish for them: they’re less likely to bob to the surface if you don’t. There’s a lot of witty wordplay in this collection of success and failure, hurdles and highlights, extreme pain before gain. There’s also a certain degree of poetry. ‘Imitation’ is bursting with novel ways of looking at traditional forms, colours and even art movements.

A  pre-emptive approach to avoiding disappointment is to set your sights low or eliminate them completely, but  inaction gets you nowhere. Openness to opportunity will prove key, but opportunity doesn’t half knock at inopportune moments. Still, dive in! Hanging about will only give you arm ache.

Read the full Page 45 review of The Shape Of Ideas: An Illustrated Exploration Of Creativity and buy if you fancy!

Something City (£10-99) by Ellice Weaver.

Look how many mowers suburbia holds per square metre! We really should share, don’t you think?

Ten interlinked short stories, each with its own colour scheme, the panels are relatively free from lines so that they resemble silk-screen prints. Your eyes are invited to explore the chapters’ initial landscapes populated by those going about their daily routines, some dancing, shopping, or stopping to throw up in the street after far too much booze.

The amenities are many and varied, the homes well appointed. There are dogs and cats and fountains and flowerbeds. Any fences or privet hedges are low, with neighbours gaily interacting. It’s all ever so relaxed.

Pffft! Beneath its gentle veneer, Something City is a hotbed of bitching, disgruntlement and conflict – except, ironically, in its prison. The book-end chapters come with a bite but otherwise Weaver gleans a great deal of comedy in these surprisingly satirical short stories with deft turns which will delight you.

Read the full Page 45 review of Something City and buy if you fancy!

Motor Girl vol 1: Real Life (£14-50) by Terry Moore.

From the creator of RACHEL RISING, STRANGERS IN PARADISE and ECHO, who’s made a career out of juxtaposing laugh-out-loud comedy with hard-hitting trauma. So it is here.

On the surface it looks like a burlesque starring Sam, a hyperactive desert-based, junkyard mechanic who’s tied at the hip to an anthropomorphic wry, dry mountain gorilla called Mike, who sasses and back-chats. Then there are the diminutive, comedy green aliens and Libby, the direct, gum-flapping old-age pensioner is even less likely to “do” intimidation than Sam.

But, as a Marine, Sam spent 10 months in an Iraqi prison, being beaten every day and generally having the back of her skull smashed in. And that’s after what she witnessed on her tour of duty which you will find… halting.

Read the full Page 45 review of Motor Girl vol 1: Real Life and buy if you fancy!

Pashmina (£12-99, FirstSecond) by Nidhi Chanani.

It’s harder to be a girl in India than you think.

Teenage Priyanka Das (she prefers “Pri”) has been brought up in America by her kind and practical mother, and attentive Uncle Jatin who is the nearest Pri has to a father figure because her own dad is a mystery – as is her mother’s past in India. She won’t talk about it, and it’s creating a rift.

Then Pri discovers a trunk containing loving letters from Auntie Meena (who still lives in India) and a pashmina embroidered with a glowing, golden thread. Its effect is transporting!

Magic realism aside, it is time for Pri to discover India for herself, and with it, her family’s past.

Read the full Page 45 review of Pashmina and buy if you fancy!

Tom’s Midnight Garden h/c (£12-99) by Philippa Pearce & Edith.

Exceptional deployment of colour and light!

To avoid catching his brother’s measles, frown-faced Tom is dispatched to his Uncle and Auntie’s who live in a drab flat in a dingy house in the dark hallway of which stands a grandfather clock belonging to the owner, upstairs. During a sleepless night Tom hears it striking 13! To see its face, Tom opens the back-yard door to let in more light… to be confronted by a sprawling green garden in full summer flower and in daylight!

It’s like an orchestra letting rip after mournful, wistful solos. Edith captures not just the scale but the variety of any such rambling estate. There’s the walled vegetable garden with its green door, an ornamental pond, formal walkways round mowed lawns and under organic tunnels of foliage, informal thoroughfares through more remote woodland under vast canopies of trees, shrubbery, flower beds, fences and gates, and a large greenhouse.

Read the full Page 45 review of Tom’s Midnight Garden h/c and buy if you fancy!

Four Points (£15-99/£17-99) by Hope Larson & Rebecca Mock.

I love that the covers above look like sequential art! More time has elapsed than it looks.

With the first’s energy, its urgency and its two young twins, it promises a YA period piece of adventure and opposition, But oh, how complicated the lives of these two individuals will become, with so many factions hot on their heels, hampering their progress and taking what little they have left, while repercussions conspire to keep them apart. One of them is a lass, disguised for a reason beyond gender impediment or safety’s sake.

This is no mere A to C while B seems insurmountable, though B does seem a pretty tall order for anyone so short. I was poleaxed by how many threads – and indeed threats – were so intricately woven within these two volumes.

Read the full Page 45 reviews of Four Points and buy if you fancy!

M.F.K. h/c (£16-99) by Nilah Magruder.

Out in the desert a storm is brewing: a storm of sand, and of confrontation and conflict. Hopelessly through one and haplessly into the other staggers young, wounded Abbie with her beautiful feathered steed.

More all-ages excellence which will thrill, chill and get you right riled up, alongside some slapstick comedy, a running gag about badly made pigeon soup, and one page that had me howling with its pitch-perfect timing involving an unattended window, four hot potato buns and an unfortunate cat.

This also deals sensitively with subjects like loss, loneliness, isolation and independence, and does so with ever such expressive eyes.

Read the full Page 45 review of M.F.K h/c and buy if you fancy!

The Nameless City (£10-99 each) by Faith Erin Hicks.

Faith Erin Hicks books are at their heart about friendships, and these have so much heart!

Dozens of pages are devoted to exploring their nuances if new, or history if old, and sharing and caring enough to listen. Hicks is a master of natural conversational triggers, and the way confidences then impact on consequent behaviour.

In THE NAMELESS CITY VOL 1 we learned that The Nameless City straddles the River of Lives at the bottom of an unnatural gorge which makes it the prime trade route to the sea. Over and again it has been conquered, and constantly under new threat. Unsurprisingly occupation – and what becomes of those occupied – is one of the series’ key issues.

Read the full Page 45 review of The Nameless City: The Stone Heart and buy if you fancy!

4 Kids Walk Into A Bank (£13-99) by Matthew Rosenberg & Tyler Boss.

4 bank robbers, fresh out of jail, turn up menacingly at Paige’s front door. But it turns out these are old mates of her dad, who did him a major solid by keeping him out of jail so he could raise her. Now they’ve come to enlist him for one last big score, so she decides to take the only sensible course of action to stop him. By robbing the bank first…

All she needs to do is organise her own very motley crew of kids into a well-drilled heist team, plus keep the not-so-bad guys at bay with a crazy selection of diversionary tactics. Oh, did I forget to mention her uncle is a cop? A very good detective as it happens… Fortunately her friends decide they are up to the challenge, and what ensues is one of the most hilariously catastrophic crime capers I’ve read in years. Strategy sessions frequently take place during online gaming sessions as they play out various scenarios through the medium of their favourite video games.

The general level of mayhem greatly reminded me of Fraction and Aja’s HAWKEYE!

Read the full Page 45 review of 4 Kids Walk Into A Bankand buy if you fancy!

Planetary Book 1 s/c (£25-00) by Warren Ellis & John Cassaday with Laura Martin.

Science fiction at its most wondrous, mysterious and thrilling, this is meticulously composed, vast in scope, broad in appeal and spectacular to look at. It also boasts a mordant wit, with superb cadence in conversation.

Archaeologists of the unknown, Planetary seeks to unearth all the weird science which has been foisted upon the Earth from other dimensions, or which we have visited upon ourselves. Some of their discoveries prove breathtaking treasures, but few are less than horrific, yet Planetary is determined to repurpose as much as they can disinter for the betterment of mankind.

Up against them are The Four, astronauts secretly launched into space in 1961 led by a scientific genius in “disciplines as long as your arm”. They returned changed… and they do not have our best interests at heart.

As PLANETARY kicks off, Elijah Snow – grouchy, suspicious but trained by the best in deductive reasoning – is invited to join them, unaware that he has been a member for years.

Read the full Page 45 review of Planetary Book 1 s/c and buy if you fancy!

Empress (£17-99) by Mark Millar & Stuart Immonen.

This is sleek, it is slick, it is sexy.

Does your friend love STAR WARS? Then this is for them.

It accelerates from nought to warp in under a dozen pages then continues on much the same flight path at spectacular speed. Implacable tyrant: big, burly and thriving on fear; a right old grumpy-chops with a sadistic smile. Disillusioned Missus: miffed that life with said implacable tyrant hasn’t turned out to be as exotic or erotic as it seemed. Children, sundry: allegiances varied until fired upon by Daddy’s Doberman Punchers. Captain Dane Havelok: loyal to miffed Missus, who effects swift departure from Terminal 5 (inter-planetary, non-domestic) before there’s a domestic.

Result: much maniacal spluttering in soup etc.

Read the full Page 45 review of Empress and buy if you fancy!

Brink vol 1 (£12-99) by Dan Abnett & I.N.J. Culbard.

Space-station procedural crime (see also THE FUSE), with a touch of pure horror lurking.

The Earth is dead, destroyed by a toxic mixture of pollution and greed. Humanity now lives in scattered, corporation-owned space stations known as Habitats or on the ‘Brink’ as it’s colloquially known. Crammed into such confines, with security provided by private firms, it’s not surprising the locals have a tendency to go stir crazy from time to time. Crime gangs run protection and peddle narcotics, cults spring up as people look for anything to grasp onto, no matter how nonsensical.

Under the disorientating cover which foreshadows the psychological component, there are outer-space shots of the vast stations whose crisp exterior beauty belies their squalid interiors. Action scenes are taut and tense and perfectly capture the claustrophobic confines of life in a floating tin can.

Read the full Page 45 review of Brink vol 1 and buy if you fancy!

Ab Irato h/c (£22-99) by Thierry Labrosse.

Science fiction in which the rich get richer and live even longer… so not actually fiction, then.

The Jouvex company is owned by the megalomaniac Norton who only sells its lifespan-extending vaccine to the select few who that can afford the ridiculous price tag. He had its inventor, Dr. Simon Gomar, murdered to keep it all to himself, but a suspicious Gomar destroyed his perfected formula, leaving only early-stage notes from which Norton’s created an inferior version. 26 years later, the efficacy of the vaccine is beginning to fail.

Set against the backdrop of considerable social unrest in what is already a dystopian society struggling with elevated sea levels, a damaged climate and a staggering wealth gap, Montreal is the proverbial fizzing powder keg getting ready to blow. This sucks. It blows.

Read the full Page 45 review of Ab Irato and buy if you fancy!

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

In which Dori nails Paul Gauguin on every level including visual emulation, and constructs a narrative structure, informed by Gauguin’s own art, to reveal the duality of the great painter’s heart.

Liberation was everything to Gauguin. In his paintings he sought to liberate himself from traditional, formal, physical composition, by concentrating on instinctive, suggestive harmonies of colour. He sought to liberate himself from the conservative, supercilious snobbery of the Art Establishment, from his financial failings and cold, grey Europe. He achieved all this in uprooting himself to Tahiti, absorbing its mythology and finding a lover too. Gauguin acknowledged that he found his freedom, his peace, his idyll, his Eden and his inspiration… and he threw it all away.

Because the one thing Paul Gauguin could never liberate himself from was the determination to win.

At the graphic novel’s centre lies Gauguin’s most mysterious celebrated painting ‘Spirit Of The Dead Watching’ or “Watching The Spirit Of The Dead”. You’ll see!

Read the full Page 45 review of Gauguin – The Other World and buy if you fancy!

Poppies Of Iraq h/c (£16-99) by Brigitte Findakly & Lewis Trondheim.

Guy Delisle fans will adore this. So many absurdities encountered!

The 1970s’ Iraqi government supplied farmers with wheat seed coated in insect-resistant pesticide, instructing that it to be used strictly for planting only.  Instead the farmers fed it to their cattle, which died – and ate it themselves, and died. In disgust, they dumped the rest into rivers. The fish all died.

That’s a fair representation of the nature, cameo style and story which Findakly tells so vividly: the gradual extinction of her treasured childhood and family in Iraq, recalled and evoked throughout with sunshine, charm and all-embracing individuality and illustrated with colourful cartooning by her husband, Lewis Trondheim. 

Read the full Page 45 review of Poppies Of Iraq h/c and buy if you fancy!

Threads From The Refugee Crisis h/c (£14-99) by Kate Evans.

Personal, painful, poignant and uplifting.

A reminder that everyone seeking sanctuary is an individual human being.

The most thorough and affecting documentary I’ve encountered on the refugee crisis, its concise, cause-and-effect analysis is irrefutable except by those with lies on their tongue and hatred in their heart. Contempt for others is never an attractive quality.

Kate Evans concentrates on her hands-on experience of helping out in the camps at Calais and Dunkirk in 2016: on the volunteers’ construction and distribution, on a great many asylum seekers she meets trapped there (often children without family), and on the French authorities’ atrocities, as when the police moved in en masse for what can only be described as a black-booted massacre.

Read the full Page 45 review of Threads From The Refugee Crisis h/c and buy if you fancy!

Graphic Science: Seven Journeys Of Discovery (£16-99) by Darryl Cunningham.

Seven biographies of scientists as fascinating in their everyday lives as they were for their discoveries.

Cunningham clearly expounds the theories for which they were celebrated – though few within their lifetimes – and demonstrates that these very different individuals all had a deep drive to comprehend the world around them despite the paucity of information available. What they struggled with personally and professionally helped shape their formidable minds and thus advance our collective human understanding.

As we move ever further into the modern era of collaborative big science – with huge teams of people working globally on petabytes of data, often provided purely by computer modelling as much as experimental output – it’s becoming harder to envisage individuals making such radical leaps in understanding, often against the conventional wisdom of the time.

Read the full Page 45 review of Graphic Science: Seven Journeys Of Discovery and buy if you fancy!

Corpse Talk Ground-Breaking Scientists (£9-99) by Adam Murphy, Lisa Murphy.

“Woo! Yeah! Science!”

– Charles Darwin on discovering the Galapagos Islands

Selected for this year’s Blue Peter Award, this gleeful fun-fest is packed with hard history and 100% accurate science history and scientific breakthroughs given a superb sense of context and explained with skill, clarity and a lateral thinking to match their much lauded (or shamefully side-lined) subjects.

Murphy digs up 18 old fossils – just as Mary Anning did before beardy blokes stole all her credit – reanimating their brittle bones to badger from them as much as he can before their corpses collapse under the weight of his truly awful puns.

Also recommended for kids: everything, like this, in Page 45’s Phoenix Comic Section.

Read the full Page 45 review of Corpse Talk Ground-Breaking Scientists and buy if you fancy!

A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars h/c (£15-99) by Seth Fishman & Isabel Greenberg.

Want to know what one sextillion looks like? 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

Sub-titled “Can you imagine so many…of anything?”, that is precisely what this book will facilitate in adults and Young Readers alike, along with how to name ridiculously big numbers from hundreds and thousands to millions and billions and trillions and quadrillions and quintillions and sextillions!

Visually it comes with a colossal sense of scale and an endearing diversity, exploring the plethora of life on this planet, and the mind-boggling numbers into which it has grown. Rabbits, raindrops and a slightly random fact about shark’s teeth, this is one big insight which will generate much household conversation along with a giggle or two.

https://www.page45.com/store/A-Hundred-Billion-Trillion-Stars-hc.html

Glister (£12-50) by Andi Watson.

Set in the same sort of English era as Oliver Postgate’s ‘Bagpuss’, Glister lives with her dressing-gowned Dad in Chillblain Hall which has deep-seated feelings, can change shape and teleport, so don’t call it rickety or it could go off in a huff, leaving you homeless on the village green.

Immaculate cartooning with its gnarled trees, organic architecture, tufted hair and anything-can-happen exuberance, and the language is far from patronising with words like ‘widdershins’ ‘dyspeptic’ and ‘philately’. There’s also much wit as when a new crowd stumbles upon one of Chilblain Hall’s many unusual features: “It’s the Abyss, whatever you do, don’t look into it.”

Extra: things to make or bake along with puzzles, games and an Andi Watson art lesson which comes with the reassurance that even Mr. Watson’s drawings go wonky sometimes!

Collects The Haunted Teapot and The House Hunt, The Faerie Host and The Family Tree.

Read the full Page 45 review of Glister and buy if you fancy!

The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse (£12-99) by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen.

“I may have been swallowed,” said the duck, “but I have no intention of being eaten.”

Comedic collaborators Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen follow on from their previous farcical frolics (SAM & DAVE DIG A HOLE, EXTRA YARN & TRIANGLE) with a most unusual story of symbiosis.

Our titular timid rodent, having been gobbled up in the forest by the roving wolf and fearing his story will thus come to a rather abrupt, early end is astonished to find himself greeted by a dashing duck and promptly introduced to a world of fine dining. It’s all inside the wolf’s TARDIS-like stomach, complete with a fully equipped kitchen and resplendent dining room…

Read the full Page 45 review of The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse and buy if you fancy!

Real Friends (£9-99) by Shannon Hale & LeUyen PhaM

“Let’s make the ‘I hate Shannon’ club.”

Fortunately the ‘I hate Shannon’ club only lasted one day.

The ups and downs – or rather ins and outs – of being young friends, this insightful, true-to-life study of playground behaviour will prove instantly recognisable to both kids and their parents alike. It can be mean, possessive or divisive, frequently making young Shannon’s life miserable, but this focuses just as much on Shannon’s true friends as the false ones, and it is interesting to see how those friendships first took root then developed over time, standing the test of it, as well as others’ calculating attempts to hijack them.

LeUyen Pham is brilliant at drawing kids with their myriad facial expressions that can go from ecstatic to devastated and back again in the space of three panels.

Read the full Page 45 review of Real Friends and buy if you fancy!

Wild Animals Of The South h/c (£20-00) by Dieter Braun.

    

Please click on the left-hand cover if your preferred trajectory is North.

You could tell that those animals were all from the North because it tended to be snowing, and several were to be found walking whippets. In the South animals are 80% wealthier, 90% healthier, and far less likely to visit the NHS Drop-In Centre, thanks to having a proper doctor’s surgery in every suburb. Generally there’s also a great deal more sunshine, although be warned that you can stray too far South and so finish back oop North. (See Antarctica / Eastbourne.)

Although you will honestly learn loads. Did you know, for example, that hippopotamuses aren’t especially good swimmers even though we see them doing that all the time with Sir David Attenborough, whereas the African Elephant is a very strong swimmer? I’ve only ever seen them wading. Perhaps the canal at the bottom of my garden’s not deep enough.

Absolute class through and through, these gorgeous all-ages art books have bugger all to do with comics but I am so far past caring because beauty! Please click on either covers for interior art and so see what I mean. Thnx.

Read the full Page 45 review of Wild Animals Of The South h/c and buy if you fancy!

Pug-A-Doodle-Do! (£10-99, Oxford Press) by Sarah McIntyre, Philip Reeve.

“Do you have any complaints about this book? Write them in the box provided. Please write clearly.”

The box is 5mm squared.

I have never read a funnier kids’ activity book in my astonishingly long life.

It is one big monkey-barrel of laughs; an immersive engagement between two co-creators and their soon to be enraptured, educated and inspired young audience. The idiots bounce off each others’ bonkers ideas, adding an extra flourish here and a cheeky post-script there until every page is jam-packed with all the irreverent exuberance that your sugar-buzzed bambinos could possibly cope with.

There are comics for you to read then comics for you to create: blank panels for you to fill in between a provocative kick-start and a cuddly conclusion. You’ll be encouraged to write, you’ll be encouraged to draw! You’ll be actively discouraged from flinging poo.

This is art. It’s entertainment. It is carefully controlled anarchy.

For fans of Reeve & McIntyre it’s like revisiting your favourite friends – then drawing all over them!

Read the full Page 45 review of Pug-A-Doodle-Do! and buy if you fancy!

The Spirit Newspaper (£5-00) by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips and many more!

Distributed Worldwide exclusively by Page 45!

Part of the art of the single-page story is a good, old-fashioned, unexpected twist, either within the tale itself or – in a homage – on whatever it is a tribute to. With love, respect and a great deal of grin-inducing wit, a stunning array of top-tier creators celebrate the centenary of the birth of Will Eisner (1917-2017) with as many twists as you could wish for in this broadsheet-sized 12-page anthology.

The culprits: Ed Brubaker, Brendan McCarthy, Graham Dury, Chris Samnee, John M Burns, Sergio Aragones, Peter Milligan, Seth, Jason Latour, Jonathan Ross & Sean Phillips, Becky Cloonan, Brendan McCarthy, Simon Thorp, Chris Samnee, John M Burns, Sergio Aragones, Duncan Fegredo, Seth, Jason Latour, Bryan Hitch, Michael Cho. Introduction by Neil Gaiman

Read the full Page 45 review of The Spirit Newspaper 1 and buy if you fancy!

The World Of Moominvalley (£35-00) by Philip Ardagh

We haven’t reviewed this because there were lots of words and I’m an awfully slow reader. But it’s bound to be brilliant because we’ve sold a bunch and Ardagh is ace.

Publisher says: “Filled with illustrated maps and family trees, facts about Moomintroll behaviour and habits, this gorgeous book contains all you could wish to know about the beloved characters from the original Moomin stories [by Tove and Lars Jansson] and the world in which they live.”

I have reviewed a bunch of other MOOMIN books, though, and indeed the tote bag which you can’t buy anywhere else in the world! Click on the link below for them all! Thanks!

Read full Page 45 reviews of Moonin books and tote and buy if you fancy!

 

 

Christmas Present Classics At Page 45

Please click on any covers for reviews!

Or, if on clicking on a cover, you see multiple covers of a whole series, click on any of those for the relevant review.

Also: use our search engine by title or creator, or use the category tree here: http://www.page45.com/store/index.html

We Ship Worldwide!

– Stephen

 

         

 

         

 

         

 

              

 

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Christmas Shopping At Page 45 2016

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Graphic Novel Ideas & Personal Service

We love Christmas at Page 45!

We’re never too busy to help, and we promise it’ll be your easiest shopping this year.

 

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Bring wish lists to the counter!

Be they long or short lists, we’ll find your books for you!
Not sure what the book you want is called? We know our stuff! A brief description’s all that we need.
If a graphic novel’s not in stock we’ll search the warehouses of different distributors: their delivery is ever so fast!

Ask for recommendations tailored to your friends’ tastes!

Come, conjure your friends in our minds!
Tell us a little about friends or your relatives and – even if they don’t currently read comics – we’ll find them some perfect presents and regale you with a little about of each.
We can find books for difficult Dads, all-ages beauties to make young eyes shine, and Young Adults excellence for the most discerning.

 

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Comics & Graphic Novels for Christmas!

There will be Christmas Present Classics below too – graphic novels which we’ve tested and proved huge successes – but for now we present Page 45’s Very Best of 2016!

Please click on links below each to read their full reviews with interior art.

The One Hundred Nights of Hero (£18-99) by Isabelle Greenberg.

A beautiful book about stories, storytelling and story spreading, this is riddled with mischievous wit – parenthetical asides and slapped-wrist remonstrations – addressing the reader directly.

It’s also the heart-warming triumph of love over patriarchal adversity, in a world where women are forbidden to read or to write, but nonetheless prove the best at spinning yarns.

“But his eyes still slid hither and thither.”

Read the Page 45 review of The One Hundred Nights of Hero and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Guardians Of The Louvre (£17-99) by Jiro Taniguchi.

Architecture lovers are in for a blissful experience as an artist visits Paris and its Louvre for the very first time.

You’ll gasp at the sight of the glass Pyramid with its astonishing steel struts which rises within the vast courtyard of the Louvre, not so much taking up space but informing it, redefining it, refining it. Taniguchi captures the exquisite semi-relief under Paris’ window ledges and eves, casting just so much shadow over the creamy stone.

Full-colour comics from Japan are a rarity, and oh, the colour!

Read the Page 45 review of Guardians Of The Louvre and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Black Dog: The Dreams Of Paul Nash (£22-99) by Dave McKean.

“Art is an empathy machine. Art allows one to look through a fellow human’s eyes.”

BLACK DOG is a clever, profound and eloquent beast.

With sympathetic skill Dave McKean has succeeded not only in communicating to a new audience Paul Nash’s vision and visions but, in doing so, furthered Nash’s goal to “bring back words and bitter truths” to remind us of the horrors and insanities of war which show no sign of stopping, and to counter those who would perpetuate them.

“I hope my ochres and umbers and oxides will burn their bitter souls.”

Read the Page 45 review of Black Dog: The Dreams Of Paul Nash and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Audubon – On The Wings Of The World (£15-99) by Fabien Grolleau & Jérémie Royer

Jean-Jacques Audubon was so obsessed with the feathered miracles of nature that he abandoned his wife with her blessing to travel throughout the perilous wilds of early 19th-Century North America and draw them in all their vivid glory.

The awe with which Audubon regarded the mysteries of nature would be lost or left weightless were the art in this book anything less than spectacular, but in every single instance Jérémie Royer captures that majesty.

It is infectious.

Read the Page 45 review of Audubon – On The Wings Of The World and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

A City Inside (£7-50) by Tillie Walden.

“You gave up the sky for her.”

A quiet and contemplative gem from the creator of I LOVE THIS PART

Told in the second person singular, a young woman casts her mind across her life. It’s so engrossing, so that you won’t notice the switch in tenses, and as it concludes you’ll have forgotten where you came in so that the final three pages are truly startling.

The lines are crisp, the shadows deep and the night sky positively glows.

Read the Page 45 review of A City Inside and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Burt’s Way Home (£14-99) by John Martz.

A perfectly formed, poignant little book, this is set amongst snowflakes, staring out at the stars.

Two alternating perspectives are presented to us: Lydia’s and young Burt’s. Lydia is a mouse of a certain age, homely in a long, pleated skirt, cardigan and glasses. She has many family portraits on her walls. Burt is a young, blue bird. He’s not in those photographs.

“I hope he’s happy here.”

All our copies are signed & sketched in.

Read the Page 45 review of Burt’s Way Home and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Mooncop (£12-99) by Tom Gauld.

“Living on the moon… Whatever were we thinking? … It seems so silly now.”

Laconic ode to a future that’s come and gone, like the lunar population itself. To be honest, it never really happened.

Like Gauld’s GOLIATH, there is an impressive sense of space extended by the overwhelming silence. There are very few landmarks. It’s mostly blue vacuum although, hilariously, there is the odd palm tree isolated in its own bell jar.

YOU’RE ALL JUST JEALOUS OF MY JETPACK’s short satirical strips also highly recommended for Christmas.

Read the Page 45 review of Mooncop and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Hellbound Lifestyle (£8-99) by Kaeleigh Forsyth & Alabaster Pizzo.

“I’m going to start wearing lipstick and if that doesn’t get me anywhere I’ll begin to address my emotional problems.”

A book of neuroses all the funnier for being delivered deadpan, these are succinct Notes To Self satirise bad behaviour, warped priorities and consumerist claptrap like editorial advertisements.

It’s also one big commiseration with those who feel – or are made to feel – lonely, inadequate or unfulfilled.

Read the Page 45 review of Hellbound Lifestyle and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

The Singing Bones (£19-99) by Shaun Tan.

For each of these 75 dark, fantastical, folklore fables from the Brothers Grimm THE ARRIVAL’s Shaun Tan has created sculptural stories: miniature tableaux distilling them to their core characteristics.

These moments of theatre are painted in contrasting colours then lowly lit, as you might find them in a museum, to create harmonious wholes. Inspired by Inuit art, they are mysteries for you to discover like ancient artefacts and unravel for yourselves.

Each visual tale in turn is accompanied by an artfully edited extract to form a specific, evocative vignette, while elegant synopses of the stories as a whole are provided in the back.

Read the Page 45 review of The Singing Bones and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

You Belong Here (£16-99) by M.H. Clark & Isabelle Arsenault.

You belong here. You really do.

Here is a brightly shining beacon of hope just when we need it the most, and it is beautiful to behold.

It is in part a love poem with a gentle lilt whose personal refrain of constancy and commitment is interspersed by an ode to the natural order of things. Free from fuss, it relies instead on its simplicity, its eloquence and its truth.

What follows is an assurance that every living creature is in its right place, wherever it chooses to be.

Read the Page 45 review of You Belong Here and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

The Comic Book History Of Beer (£14-99) by Jonathan Hennessey, Mike Smith & Aaron McConnell

Mmmm. Beer.

A fascinating and authoritative study of the world’s favourite beverage – globally people consume more beer than coffee, wine and even coca-cola – this covers its origins and history before coming to its current social and skilful resurgence in this enlightened era of craft brewing.

Have I just ruined the plot for you?

Read the Page 45 review of The Comic Book History Of Beer and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

For The Love Of God, Marie! (£16-99) by Jade Sarson.

This is a book so bursting with love that it will make your hearts soar!

If it’s kindness you crave, I present you with 225 pages of pure passion presented in the most heavenly, cohesive coupling of purples and gold. There will be many more couplings and, as the brilliant Baroness Benjamin once brightly advised, “It might have some sexy scenes”.

Just look at the cover with its natural, softly shaded flesh and flowing tresses as resplendent as Sandro Botichelli’s ‘Birth Of Venus’, the innocence of its daisy chain and the rosary beads broken – but why?

Read the Page 45 review of For The Love Of God, Marie! and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Arab Of The Future (£18-99 each) by Riad Satouff.

“On TV, they said that Gaddafi had announced new laws forcing people to swap jobs. Teachers would now be farmers, and farmers would be teachers.”

At which point Riad’s dad, teaching at university, decided it was time to leave Libya!

Welcome to a great big book of behaviour, all seen through the eyes of a pre-school Riad Sattouf and lavishly sprinkled with the brashest and rashest of generalisations from his perpetually pontificating, pan-Arabist father.

Riad Satouff is your new Guy Delisle. See also volume 2.

Read the Page 45 review of Arab Of The Future vol 1 and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

March book 3 (£17-99) by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell.

Blisteringly powerful first-hand account of the American Civil Rights movement.

In the first MARCH books we witnessed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee staging peaceful protests against segregation in schools, cafeterias and public transport. These were met with State-endorsed, governor-sanctioned, police brutality executed with relish.

What became shocking clear is the local refusal to obey federal law. When segregation at schools was outlawed nationally, State officials not only refused to enact those laws, they ordered the illegal arrest of those protesting the state’s illegal non-compliance. Now we move on to voting, and you’ll see the film Selma from another perspective.

Read the Page 45 review of March book 3 and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Tetris – The Games People Play (£12-99) by Box Brown.

Fascinating insight into both the genial genius of Alexey Pajitnov – who truly could have had no way of knowing what RSI-inducing monster of a time-thief he was about to unleash on an unsuspecting world – and the greedy, grubby shenanigans of big business, including one Robert Maxwell who engaged in a frantic scramble for the various rights for different territories and platforms.

The fact that they were all dealing with the inscrutable, hard-nosed Soviet party apparatchiks rather than a naïve game designer (thus being played off against each other beautifully) makes it all the more chaotically delicious a read.

Read the Page 45 review of Tetris – The Games People Play and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Equinoxes (£30-00) by Cyril Pedrosa.

“I’m thirty-one, I feel lost, I’ll have but one life, and it’s slipping through my fingers like a torrent.”

With a complex, intricate structure and a dazzling array of art styles, we’re introduced to initially unconnected individuals watching others go about their business seemingly with purpose while wondering where their own lies. They fear that they are useless or (worse) mediocre: that they haven’t achieved anything, are failing to achieve anything, and never will achieve anything.

“Memory’s not fair, is it?” It is not.

Read the Page 45 review of Equinoxes and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

The Fade Out Complete h/c (£44-99) by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips with Elizabeth Breitweiser.

“All he’d been thinking about the past few weeks is who could’ve murdered Val…
“He’d forgotten to ask why.”

Prime period noir set in Hollywoodland when the studios were insular and their secrets closely guarded. It was famous for its writing and acting and myth-spinning slights of hand. They’re lying professionally before they’ve begun to be truly mendacious.

Here you will see what an exceptionally vivid character actor artist Sean Phillips truly is.

THE FADE OUT also comes in 3 softcovers. See also CRIMINAL & FATALE.

Read the Page 45 review of The Fade Out Complete h/c and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Indeh – A Story Of The Apache Wars (£18-99) by Ethan Hawke & Greg Ruth.

“My grandson was ten years old before he understood that people died in any other way than violence.”

So there’s a sentence to dwell on.

The crisp, satin-sheen pages boast the most fluent storytelling through the most fluid choreography, and the tightest figure work rendered with loose, sweeping brush strokes.

The hand which reaches out to lift a young girl’s wrist from the palm of her mother’s is unmistakably both flesh and bone. Such is Ruth’s craft that you can feel not only the softness of skin and the tenderness of its touch, but also the emotion behind such a separation.

Read the Page 45 review of Indeh – A Story Of The Apache Wars and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Fight Club 2 (£22-50) by Chuck Palahniuk & Cameron Stewart.

ThisFight Club 2 cover isn’t some idle adaptation, vaguely endorsed, but written in full and especially for comics by Chuck Palahniuk himself.

Jonathan and I loved it so much that we fought to review the graphic novel before colluding on a co-conspiratorial compromise. Which is apposite enough – the conspiracy, rather than the compromise.

We also have  BAIT, a brand-new collection of short stories by Chuck Palahniuk illustrated by the likes of that there Duncan Fegredo.

Read the Page 45 review of Fight Club 2 and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Grey Area: Our Town (£7-00) by Tim Bird.

Tim Bird is a master at making you stop and think. Which is a tad ironic because his comics are all about the fluidity of never-ending motion through time and space, with the emotions such journeys can invoke. Except in Tim’s universe you don’t need a TARDIS to experience the miraculous or the momentous. No. It’s right there in front of you all along, a world of never ending wonderment, if you simply open your mind as well as your eyes and look…

Read the Page 45 review of Grey Area: Our Town and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

The Mirror (£13-99) by  Emma Rios & Hwei Lim.

“Nothing is entitled to anything.
“Only humans dream they are.”

A bright and beautiful comic full of fresh colours, ornate and organic designs, to read this is like being given glimpses through an open window.

There’s no hand-holding, no unwieldy exposition, just key conversations overheard about dominion, control, captivity, desire to be free, the need to be free and to be both recognised and understood as an individual.

An elevating tale of learning, change and growth, but a sober reminder that colonists are only visitors.

Read the Page 45 review of Mirror and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Habitat (£8-99) by Simon Roy.

On a vast, once thriving cylindrical space station now barely maintained by reclusive engineers, the rest of population has devolved into survivalist tribes, no longer understanding the technology around them.

The resultant, breath-taking environment, now overgrown with bamboo and trees, is resonant of Babylon 5, Mesomamerican culture and the Brutalist movement which spawned concrete multi-storey car parks and the tiered, balconied Alexandra Road flats in Camden Town.

Read the Page 45 review of Habitat and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Patience (£16-99) by Dan Clowes.

It would be fair to say that 2012 wasn’t a good year for Jack Barlow. Coming home and finding your pregnant wife murdered will do that to you.

When the cops prove disinterested, Jack attempts to solve the case himself… unsuccessfully for 17 years. That Jack is utterly convinced the killer is someone from Patience’s shadowy past only adds to his agony. But then he discovers a time-travel machine, heads back to 2006 to prevent his wife’s death in the first place, and complicates matters.

What follows as Jack is put through the emotional and temporal wringer, time after time, is as darkly comedic as it is disturbing.

Read the Page 45 review of Patience and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

The World Of Edena h/c (£44-99) by Moebius.

Writes Jonathan:

If you like the quasi-mystical malarkey going on in THE INCAL, you will love this, as it is undoubtedly the most philosophically inquisitive Moebius ever got in his own stories, covering pretty much all aspects of humanity, the structures of society, set against the backdrop of a so-called advanced civilisations and of course, the ever-enduring battle between omnipresent forces of good and evil.

Read the Page 45 review of The World Of Edena h/c and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Geis: A Matter Of Life And Death h/c (£15-99) by Alexis Deacon.

Fantasy, folklore, witchcraft and deceit.

Spectacular skies including an early shepherd’s warning behind the monumental composite of a castle whose cloisters we first looked down upon. An unfeasibly large Tolkien-esque fortress surrounded by minarets sits atop the base of an already gigantic, heavens-headed gothic cathedral, its architectural details bathed in brown shadow as the dawn behind it ignites in flaming reds, oranges, yellows and purples while the cold, spectral-blue shades of the challengers vying to rule the kingdom are whisked round and around then away.

Read the Page 45 review of Geis: A Matter Of Life And Death and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (£25-00) by Sonny Liew.

It’s not art-of-charlie-chan-hock-chye-coveran art book, but a sly sleight of hand: it’s the autobiography of an artist who never existed!

Charlie Chan – or Sonny Liew – masters classic comic art styles like Walt Kelly’s then uses them to tell stories using apposite language in their original tone which satirise Singapore history and politics.

Cumulative comedy comes from Charlie Chan Hock Chye’s entirely self-appointed status as “Singapore’s greatest comics artist” in contrast to his complete lack of commercial success.

Read the Page 45 review of The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Dogs Disco (£5-00) by Joe Decie.

Each copy comes signed and sketched-in, with unique song lyrics.

It’s the return of that cheeky Joe Decie, the pint-sized prankster for whom truth is of paramount importance. And who, when he read that sentence said, “I’m actually quite tall”.

Single-page four-panel comics in black, white and delicate grey washes, about Joe, his family and his surroundings, all astutely observed, endearingly individualistic and effortlessly funny.

He couldn’t make them up.

Read the Page 45 review of Dogs Disco and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Bobbins (£5-00) by John Allison.

Who calls their own comic BOBBINS?

Well, John Allison, obviously.

From the creator of sundry other BAD MACHINERY books comes a signed and limited edition comic of exceptional craft following the hapless employees of a British local newspaper called City Limit.

It only has one limit. And it’s not even a city, it’s the town called Tackleford.

The actual BAD MACHINERY books starring school-aged sleuths are among the best all-ages graphic novels we have. All self-contained, just a pick a cover you like! Some of Allison’s other books contain more adult elements.

Read the Page 45 review of Bobbins and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Delilah Dirk And The King’s Shilling (£13-50) by Tony Cliff.

Key words: energetic, refreshing; thrilling and funny.

Reputation is very much at the heart of this quick-witted, all-ages, action-adventure, dichotomous Delilah – as the cover suggests – having more than one to uphold.

Set in Portugal then Britain during 1809, Tony Cliff delivers landscapes with perfect perspectives and period detail, including both rustic country mansions and more Palladian affairs.

Read the Page 45 review of Delilah Dirk And The King’s Shilling and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Amulet (£11-99 each) by Kazu Kibuishi.

Nine-volume all-ages fantasy full of Hayao Miyazaki / Studio Ghibli flourishes which inspire awe, we have arrived at book seven and things are really heating up and coming full circle.

The only thing I would warn families about is that Daddy dies during the first ten pages. If that’s an issue for you, we understand. I’ve never revealed this in public before but: that death is not random.

To give you some idea of how highly I rate this, we normally let a series sell itself after a couple of graphic novels, but I have reviewed each and every one!

Read the Page 45 reviews of Amulet and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Hilda And The Stone Forest (£12-95) by Luke Pearson.

HILDA is a magical all-ages fantasy whose second instalment won the British Comics Awards as voted for by Leeds schoolchildren – and they are a mighty discerning bunch!

It stars a fearless young artist called Hilda who adores exploration. There will be maps and, in book one, the most perfect evocation of a night camping out under canvas.

Five books so far with a Netflix animation in development: Luke Pearson is personally involved.

Read the Page 45 review of Hilda And The Stone Forest and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Mezolith: Stone Age Dreams And Nightmares (£18-99) by Ben Haggarty & Adam Brockbank

Set in the unspoiled wilds on the eastern shores of Stone Age Britain, the luminous art is breathtaking beautiful.

There a boy called Poika takes his first tentative steps towards becoming a man, learning about hunting, survival and the balance of things. This is a world rich in folklore, and the oral tradition of passing down stories from one generation is key. Since knowledge came so often at a terrible cost and survival depended upon it, preserving as much as possible in the form of fables was essential.

Read the Page 45 review of Mezolith: Stone Age Dreams And Nightmares and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Compass South (£15-99) by Hope Larson & Rebecca Mock.

A cover makes a promise, but only the contents can deliver. With its energy, its urgency and its two young twins, this fine-line cover promises a period piece of adventure and opposition.

It certainly delivers. This first book’s 225 pages are packed with complications as Cleo and Alex strive to cross an entire continent while others – intent on tracking them down – hamper their progress and take what little they have left, while consequent repercussions conspire to keep them apart.

Read the Page 45 review of Compass South and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Lost Tales (£8-99) by Adam Murphy.

From the creator of CORPSE TALK which you’ll find in our PHOENIX COMIC Section which is a hallmark of Young Readers quality.

It contains eight exotic tales from across the globe and throughout the ages brought to wit-ridden life with an engagingly conversational, often conspiratorial twang sprinkled ever so merrily with current colloquialisms to wring maximum mischief from their ostensibly traditional form.

“The prince is here as well? You’re really in for it now…”
“Not helping…”

Read the Page 45 review of Lost Tales and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Carrot To The Stars (£6-00) by Regis Lejonc, Thierry Murat & Riff Reb’s.

“Some dream of love
“While dancing in the moonlight.”

A cautionary, all-ages fable, this has an elegant and eloquent simplicity, and a fearful symmetry whose missing element will haunt me for decades. Except that, as drawn by Riff, it isn’t entirely missing, and therein lies the power of its punch.

The cautionary note lies in entrusting your dreams to those with less beneficent interests than your own and it boasts a specific, all too awful pertinence to our wider world today..

Read the Page 45 review of Carrot To The Stars and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

We Found A Hat h/c (£12-99) by Jon Klassen.

Of course they did. Of course they found a hat.

“It looks good on both of us.
“But it would be right if one of us had a hat and the other did not.”

Awww! Kind and considerate, brotherly love. They’ll just have to leave it where they found it, in the middle of the desert, right? Hmmm…

From the creator of I WANT MY HAT BACK and THIS IS NOT MY HAT and the artist on SAM & DAVE DIG A HOLE and EXTRA YARN all of which convey the real story visually, no matter what’s actually being written or said.

Read the Page 45 review of We Found A Hat h/c and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

They Didn’t Teach This In Worm School (£8-99) by Simone Lia.

At Page 45 we stock very few illustrated prose books, but we will make every exception for Simone Lia, creator of all-time Christmas graphic-novel godsends FLUFFY and PLEASE, GOD, FIND ME A HUSBAND.

It’s magnificently ridiculous but far from nonsensical, for its howl-inducing comedy is derived from a witty worm logic challenged with deadpan abandon throughout. We all know what a worm is. We all know what a worm can do. We all know what a worm is patently incapable of doing.
Like learning Mandarin.

Read the Page 45 review of They Didn’t Teach This In Worm School and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Jinks & O’Hare Funfair Repair (£8-99) by Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre.

Our other chief exception is anything from this delinquent duo, like PUGS OF THE FROZEN NORTH.

There will be screams, there will be squeals; there will be giggles galore and dodgem-car dashes in this all-ages outrage, full of the fun of the fair: a mad, moon-based fair, accessible by interplanetary spaceship only. Sequester your sandwiches and hold onto your hats – you’re in for the ride of your life!

For very young readers we highly recommend McIntrye & O’Connell’s rhyme-ridden JAMPIRES.

Read the Page 45 review of Jinks & O’Hare Funfair Repair and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

The Trouble With Women (£9-99) by Jacky Fleming.

I howled with laughter throughout this book whose deadpan delivery is enhanced with immaculate timing.

It’s essentially a ridicule of the ridiculous: men’s crushing refusal to acknowledge any female accomplishment whatsoever and their inarguably superior capacity for patronising dismissiveness.

They cooked anything up to keep women in the kitchen and stitch-up the more privileged into leading a life of needlework bliss.

There are also bits which are made up, which is an outrage. I suspect that the author’s a woman.

Read the Page 45 review of The Trouble With Women and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Sent / Not Sent (£5-00) by Dan Berry.

The human race has strived with all its considerable, intellectual and inventive might to leave itself at the mercy of machines. Few institutions can function any longer if their computer systems crash.

Machines don’t need to rise up en masse and enslave the human race in a post-apocalyptic wasteland to be a cause of never-ending grief. As every one of us knows it is enough for them to sit there in our homes and offices, wilful and recalcitrant on a daily basis.

SENT / NOT SENT. SAVED / NOT SAVED. These things are sent to thwart us.

Read the Page 45 review of Sent / Not Sent and buy for in-store collection or shipping worldwide!

Christmas Present Classics at Page 45!

Please click on any covers for reviews!

Remember, the above and below represent but a slither of the 6,000 graphic novels we stock and what we’re continually recommending on our shop floor.

Search our website by title, creator or category tree here: http://www.page45.com/store/index.html

And I’d remind you once again that, for Young Readers, a handy shortcut is to go straight to our Phoenix Comics Section then to click on those covers for reviews! We’ve loads more besides but they are brilliant!

 – Stephen

         

 

              

 

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Page 45 Comic & Graphic Novel Reviews November 2016 week two

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Cerebus: Cover Art Treasury h/c (£67-99, IDW & Aardvark-Vanaheim) by Dave Sim, Gerhard.

If the 300-issue, cerebus-cover-art-treasury-cover6,000-page magnum opus that is CEREBUS remains one of the most inventive comics this medium has ever produced, with narrative innovations cascading from its pages at such an astonishing rate as to make Niagara Falls look like a domestic, dripping tap – and it does – then its covers were no less ingenious, iconic and iconoclastic, all at the same time.

What makes this luxurious, full-colour treasury even more of a thirstily devoured “Yes, please!” is that so many of these illustrations don’t just set the tone but actively inform the story within, which most modern readers have had access to only in the form of those whopping, black and white CEREBUS phonebook collections. They never reprinted the colour covers to keep their costs down, but some seen in sequence form comicbook narratives in their own right (#153 & #154) and they are bursting with clues.

The diversity of their approaches and angles – geometric or otherwise – was jaw-dropping, especially when one considers the relative, relentless homogeneity of the corporations’ covers competing for space on retailers’ shelves back then, and even more so to this day.

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You never knew what you’d be startled by next: stark silhouettes, spot-lit close-ups, balletic action shots, quiet reveries, dream-sequence deliria, architecture only, lunar photography, William Morris wallpaper either hung with framed portraits or used to frame pithy, telling snap-shots; typography only (ever so brave and oh so effective), images rotated sideways to reflect what lay within, woodland landscapes, a funereal flower arrangement, glistening bottles of booze placed in the foreground of drunken misdemeanours, film-poster parodies, cosmic chess matches….

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…, or Dave / David Sim drawing the divine Mick / Michael Jagger in precisely the same pose as Michelangelo once sculpted David.

No, I wasn’t perceptive enough to spot that little joke – and, trust me, I studied these long and hard as I acquired each treasured gem.

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The good news is that, thanks to the conversational back-and-forth between Dave Sim and Gerhard’s annotations on almost every page, you’ll be privy to even more process notes and private self-indulgences. Take the cover to #77. Here’s Gerhard:

“Dream covers are always fun. When I was drawing the water pouring from the statue, I thought it might be fun to have the water fill the letters M and T… as in ‘MT is full’. Say it fast, and you’ll get the joke… or not.”

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Dave was joined by landscape artist Gerhard in CEREBUS #65, though not on its cover which was the typography-only effort bearing the truism (which has stuck with me ever since), that “Anything done for the first time unleashes a demon”. There were some very, very fine titles: some portentous, some ripping the piss – out of themselves, readers’ expectations or Marvel’s melodrama – some simply playful yet salient, like “Sane As It Ever Was”.

From #65 onwards Dave continued to write and draw all the characters while Gerhard would render the backgrounds in meticulous detail, providing both textures and colour. The cover to #66 is a ripped-open version of #65, exposing Gerhard’s first cover and colour contribution.

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“It was interesting watching Gerhard tearing art paper carefully so it LOOKED like torn art paper.”

That’s what I mean by meticulous.

“It took me years to figure out that Gerhard LIKED doing precise measurements / vanishing point stuff: that it was his favourite part,” observes Dave of the phenomenal window on #68.

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Of #162’s extraordinary spectacle: “Vanishing point and applied geometry. It was there in front of me the whole time.” And once again of #164’s delicious, crystal-clear, blue-sky winter panorama with its single shattered skylight because we’d been there before.

Neither of the artists is here merely to pat themselves or each on the back, though. They’re both commendably candid about their mistakes, shortcomings and where things didn’t work out the way they had planned. But it was a monthly comic which only once fell behind schedule (towards the end of CHURCH & STATE) so at the end of the day, a) they had to go to print and simply strive to do better next time b) you simply don’t know what it will look like until the printed article appears right in front of you.

Sometimes I found myself shaking my head, bewildered by what one or the other considers a failure. The library cover to #151 with its tumbling book and exceptional sense of space has always struck me as one of the ten best covers ever to grace a comic, but Gerhard was so frustated by its colours that when he hung it on its clip on completion, he did so facing the wall.

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“In these situations,” writes Dave, “you take the hint and just hope it’s still on its hook, face to the wall, when you come in tomorrow. It’s HIS cover.”

Hilariously, however, Dave confesses that during much earlier days – the beginning to HIGH SOCIETY – he tried his hand at watercolours for the covers without comprehending that you were supposed to dilute them. You know, add water. So he used them as you would oil and acrylics, virtually smearing them onto the board. Such is the way of the self-taught artist. I actually liked those covers, but you can’t un-see something once you’ve been shown.

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Successful experimentations are equally well documented, like Gerhard’s discovery that using a toothbrush to flick white or red ink onto the boards was far more effective for snow, stars and blood than an airbrush. There are lots and lots of different space and star effects in evidence. Also, in one instance, a book bearing bloody finger prints. They’re Gerhard’s, if that ever proves forensically relevant.

You may have noticed by now that the covers are presented in different ways. The majority are shot from the originals before some or all of the lettering and extra effects have been added which, with attendant notes, gives extra insight into the process behind them. I find it fascinating to peer behind the curtains to see bits pasted on here and there, and what was entrusted to the printers instead.

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Others are reproductions of the covers as we encountered them complete with the ever-evolving CEREBUS logo and other typography. I learned a new word: “majuscule”. Sim has long been hailed as one of the medium’s all-time greatest letterers, sliding sentences up and down, giving them an extra lilt or cadence (when Thatcher is speaking, for example), and deploying the visual equivalent of onomatopoeia in places. At least one is the result of Sim and Gerhard revisiting a cover, recreating it for a commission.

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They’re reproductions or recreations because some of the originals have been sold, and so many more have been stolen. I’ll leave the introduction to fill you in on that aspect.

So yes, there are practical and commercial considerations as well as artistic ones assessed. From time to time, Dave’s Inner Business Manager retrospectively smacks himself upside the head to much comedic effect when either carelessly or wilfully making design decisions which ran the risk of thwarting his own sales.

When getting it right on #52 he writes: “Cerebus breaking a chair over the head of a barbarian. Yes, Dave, BRANDING. What is it you’re not ‘getting’ about what you’re trying to sell here?” In addition both Cerebus and the logo are found at the top, so easily seen even in shops with semi-tiered shelves which obscure some comics’ bottom halves. Everything is a learning curve including copyright infringement, though Dave did get away with it on satirical grounds.

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“The three ‘Wolveroach’ covers which I really just did to show Frank Miller and Joe Rubenstein how the WOLVERINE mini-series covers SHOULD have been done – more like Neal Adams. Thus overshooting the ‘Branding’ runway and smashing through Marvel’s intellectual property fence and leaving this mixed metaphor jackknifed into their swimming pool with its tail in the air.”

Of the second in the series, #55: “Now that you mention it, it DID look sort of familiar”.

From the ridiculous to the sublime, we finish where Dave Sim and Gerhard concluded, with the final ten issues sub-titled CEREBUS: THE LAST DAY. For this Gerhard supplied a detailed 360-degree view of the room divided into nine covers which conjoin seamlessly with each other and at each end.

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This in itself constitutes sequential art when considering that time passes ever so slowly inside, but the pan is paused with #298 for a halting juxtaposition.

That’s what I meant when I wrote at the start that the exterior art informs what lies within and – at times – creates a narrative all of its own.

This is a gallery we never thought we’d see because of those aforementioned colour costs which would have jeopardised the self-publisher’s finances, so bravo to IDW for enabling this miracle.

I’d only add that to close this book immediately after the final cover is to feel almost as bereft as Mark and I did after reading the very last panel on the final page of CEREBUS itself twelve years ago.

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Although: lo and behold, here comes the brand-new CEREBUS IN HELL? #0, on Page 45’s shelves this very week!

SLH

Buy Cerebus: Cover Art Treasury h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Cormorance (£18-99, Jonathan Cape) by Nick Hayes.

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“This summer I went swimming,
“This summer I might have drowned,
“But I held my breath, and I kicked my feet,
“And I moved my arms around,
“I moved my arms around.”

– ‘Swimming Song’ by Loudon Wainwright III

It’s Nick Hayes himself who chose that epigraph to this otherwise wordless graphic novel, and it could not be more appropriate. It speaks to the heart of the struggle inside the story, both figuratively and otherwise.

I say “wordless” but it’s far from silent. It is bursting with the guttural calls of the cormorants, and on one of its many spectacular double-page spreads the late-night “toowheet” of an owl observing all gives way to the “chip chip” “peep peep” of an early dawn chorus. Framed by foliage, to the left a crescent moon shines over the city and its suburbs, soothing what was a heart-rending, glass-shattering day, while to the right the sun rises over the still of a disused reservoir in the process of being reclaimed by nature, one’s eyes drawn there following the flight path of ever-present cormorants.

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It is a book of staggering beauty told in aquatic shades of blue and green adorned here at there with spots of warm orange, all printed on rich, creamy paper. Maximum use is made of form and textures of wood-grain and water, wings and feathers, or the skeletal shapes of tree trunks and branches beneath so many different leaves. The old-fashioned diving arch of the indoor and outdoor municipal swimming pools looms large in the second section, before the third act wherein the first two conjoin lets loose an orgy of free-flowing nature at its most energetic.

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That whirlwind and flood of movement is heralded by a thrilling format surprise which opens up an oasis within the industrial and a moment of calm in the turbulence – with nature buzzing, nature calling – immediately followed by a plunge whose depth is delivered in a burst of air bubbles and concentric ripples. Then the cormorant dives too.

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Nick Hayes’ THE RIME OF THE MODERN MARINER was an early Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month and a ridiculous clever reprise of Coleridge’s ancient original to mourn man’s mismanagement of nature. Here nature’s healing power both over one’s heart and itself is celebrated instead, as long as we take the trouble to connect with it.

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I can’t say much more even of its structure for fear of spoiling your own experience, but it begins with a boy then it begins with a girl. Commemorative photographs taken of the family on each of his birthdays are dear to the boy; soon he will be eight. Badges awarded to the girl on achieving new swimming lengths are lovingly sewn onto her swimsuit by her mother; she’s aiming for 100 metres next. The boy’s mum sends him to school with fresh packed lunches with a heart and kisses drawn on slips of paper each day which he keeps inside his school desk. The girl’s mum teaches her swimming which they both adore; but the boy’s not terribly good at it.

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Each will have reason to break into the disused reservoir surrounded by wooden fencing and wire mesh fencing, and their journeys are not that dissimilar.

SLH

Buy Cormorance and read the Page 45 review here

Saving Grace (£17-99, Jonathan Cape) by Grace Wilson…

You’re here? You better have come to fix the house or you can leave.”
“My girls! You are all so feisty! I love it! RAAARR!
“Well, my darlings… Grace, exuberant Vicky, elegant Jessica and punky rebel Maxine, you’re right, the house is in disrepair, and something needs to be done.
“SO I’M RENOVATING THE ENTIRE HOUSE!
“And then, I shall sell it.
“But, I’m an organised man, so you have four weeks’ notice.
“But hey, if you come across £1,000,000 then call me.
“I’ll see myself out…”

Well, Mr Zanetti, the landlord of Grace and her chums is just the most delightful chap, isn’t he? He drops his little bombshell just after telling Grace the best cure for her spots, which apparently even Anthea Roddick of Body Shop fame swears by, is male semen… Grace is mid-swig of her cuppa and ends up exhaling tea through her nose halfway across the table. Which is when exuberant Vicky, elegant Jessica and punky rebel Maxine arrive to save the day and here we are…

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House hunting seems a rather tedious prospect for our ladies, so when a deluge of rain floods the basement and forces them out of Mr Zanetti’s slimy clutches even sooner than anticipated, a £99 package holiday to sunnier climes seems the most elegant and entertaining solution to their immediate accommodation anxieties.

What it actually does is end up exacerbating tensions between our quartet and pretty soon Grace finds herself hunting for a room in a shared house by herself… It’s even more of a humbling experience than looking for a job… She’s currently working on a zero-hours contract in an art supplies shop, dealing with customers who think asking for a 12” hog hair is a prime opportunity for some unwelcome innuendo…

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Ah, good old London town. Not that I personally think there is anything remotely good about it, and this highly entertaining graphic novel only serves to reinforce my prejudices against the Big Smoke. I just can’t understand how young people can possibly manage to survive, never mind thrive, in such a ludicrously expensive environment, whilst earning so relatively little. It’s like student life forever with a fraction of the fun to me. Simultaneously, meanwhile, there are artisan bakeries and other hipster joints springing up everywhere charging ever higher prices for what are, in essence, the basic essentials revamped and all tarted up. No, give me the marginally lower priced pleasures of the provincial life every time. Well, Nottingham anyway!

Grace, like most young Londoners going nowhere rapidly, doesn’t consider leaving the city an option, and so instead we are able to enjoy her mis-adventures at a mildly smug (on my part at least) remove. Well, unless you are someone in exactly her position I suppose! In which case you will no doubt be nodding sagely and wincing in sympathy in equal measure. Presumably this work draws upon the creator’s own experiences, and for a first graphic novel it is excellent. The slightly untidy art style might not be to everyone’s taste, but it neatly captures the down at heel lifestyle Grace and her friends are living!

JR

Buy Saving Grace and read the Page 45 review here

Motor Girl #1 (£2-99, Abstract Studio) by Terry Moore.

“Samantha?motor-girl-1-cover
“Are you okay?”

So you think you know what to expect from this comic.

It’s a burlesque starring a hyperactive desert-based, junkyard mechanic who’s tied at the hip to an anthropomorphic wry, dry mountain gorilla who sasses and back-chats, right? You may even have seen Terry Moore’s new avatar on Twitter – of a diminutive, comedy, green alien, so you’re in for those too?

Hmmm. No, that’s okay, you’re not wrong: they’re all here, present and correct, along with Terry’s persistent, consistent campaign against cretins who use cell phones whilst driving. Which is deadly as well as ever so slightly illegal.

But is that all you’d expect from the creator of RACHEL RISING, STRANGERS IN PARADISE and ECHO (and HOW TO DRAW)? Oh ye of little faith!

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All it takes is a single, un-signposted panel (if you’re alert enough to spot it) to suggest that you’re in for a lot more than you first bargained for – either as well or instead.

So yes, new shorter-form series before Terry returns to STRANGERS IN PARADISE – hooray! – starring a hyperactive, desert-based, junkyard mechanic, a highly sardonic anthropomorphic mountain gorilla, diminutive, comedy, green aliens, a sympathetic landlord and a lot less sympathetic, land-grabbing mystery man.

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Fab, flapping hair once flying about on a quad bike, superb use of grey tones at night, and – oh dear, Libby, I’d really get off that cell phone if you want to outlast this series.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got for you this time.

Hey, after the RACHEL RISING OMNIBUS s/c (just £49-99, half the price of its component parts!), I think I’m allowed a succinct Mr. Moore review!

SLH

Buy Motor Girl #1 and read the Page 45 review here

Muhammad Ali h/c (£17-99, Dark Horse) by Sybille Titeux & Amazing Ameziane…

“And then muhammad-ali-coveryou meet Malcom X…
“All of Harlem is ready to follow him, but you are the one he chooses.
“You like him as much as he likes you, and he knows how to put your thoughts into words. You never leave his side, you are like soulmates finding each other in a sentimental movie.”

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this biography. If you’ve read a few comic biographies you’ll know that much like prose ones, often they can feel rather dry and not really present a fully-formed picture of the individual in question. Perhaps that is even more true with comic biographies actually, given the much more concise amount of time and space the creators have to present their take on an individual.

I’m happy to report to I did really enjoy this work.  It wisely picks some interesting scenes and episodes from Ali’s life that it wants to focus on and then presents those in very detailed fashion, often with quotes from a fixed cast of talking heads. Again, the cast is chosen carefully, a narrow selection of his opponents, (including Henry Cooper who so very nearly beat Ali, then Cassius Clay at Wembley Stadium in June 1968), his inner circle of boxing coaches and people like Malcom X and Elijah Muhammad.

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A relatively small portion is given over to his boxing bouts, just the most famous ones like the bout with Cooper, his two match-ups with Sonny Liston, the Rumble In The Jungle with George Forman and the Thriller In Manila with Joe Frazier, which I think is probably the right choice. And even these are seen mainly from the perspective of his opponents or coaches looking back, which provides an informed, relatively objective viewpoint, rather than Ali’s bombast.

The majority of the book actually focuses on his socio-political awakening and subsequent cultural influence. For some of my generation and younger, especially an ocean away, who only ever knew Ali the hero, it’ll perhaps be surprising to learn how reviled and feared he was by the white American populace at large at the time once he converted to Islam, Malcom X by his side as he rejected Cassius Clay as his slave name, and joined the Nation Of Islam, led by Elijah Muhammad. He was already regarded as an obnoxious braggadocio by a lot of people, perhaps not unreasonably so given some of the more unpleasant trash-talking antics he submitted his opponents too.

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But once he embraced Islam it was open season on him, which ultimately culminated with his imprisonment at his refusal to fight in Vietnam. His impassioned speech on that topic, encompassing the inequalities still faced by blacks at the time, was an immensely powerful oration, and it is portrayed superbly across a double-page spread. It also earned him a prison sentence of 5 years, a fine of $10,000 and a ban from boxing of 3 years. He managed to avoid prison whilst the case was appealed, but his boxing licence wasn’t returned for nearly 4 years.

Given the FBI’s then covert COINTELPRO program to engage in covert surveillance against black leaders and groups, with the justification that they were infiltrated by communists, to “increase factionalism, cause disruption” that definitely contributed (at the very least…) to the assassinations of Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr. it is perhaps surprising that Ali himself wasn’t the subject of an assassination attempt.

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The work also shows the one act he truly regretted for the rest of his life, turning his back, figuratively and literally on Malcom X. Malcom had already split from the Nation Of Islam, perceiving Elijah Muhummad as someone who wasn’t a true Muslim in heart or practice, and choosing to whole-heartedly embrace traditional Islam, including a pilgrimage to Mecca. Ali, meanwhile, was touring various African countries at the behest of the Nation Of Islam when a chance meeting outside a hotel occurred in Ghana (not Nigeria, as the creators incorrectly suggest here). Malcom called out to Ali, delighted to see him, and Ali simply turned and walked away for the entire world to see. Within a year, Malcom X was dead, and Ali always deeply regretted both the snub itself, and then not ever making amends with his friend.

Ali’s early life and latter post-boxing days bookend the meat of the story, told in sped-up fashion so as to encapsulate his whole life. I thought overall this was a very well presented work. I did struggle slightly with some of the narration at times, purely because much of it is worded in the second person as though it is spoken to Ali himself. It’s a distracting conceit I personally didn’t particularly care for though after a while you do stop noticing it. The art is excellent, with lots of interesting page and panel composition devices, and some nice period touches. In summary, it might not be the greatest biography but it is a very good biography of The Greatest.

JR

Buy Muhammad Ali h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Aleister & Adolf h/c (£17-99, Dark Horse) by Douglas Rushkoff & Michael Avon Oeming…

“Your pathetic sex aleister-adolf-coverrituals don’t stand a chance against the power of the swastika.”
“The symbol isn’t yours, Rudolf.”
“The blood of thousands will make the swastika a Nazi sigil forever. The Jews, they will power it with their lives.”
“Their deaths, you mean. God will forsake you! I will bring such horrors down upon you!”
“We are creating horrors you cannot even imagine. Filling our sigil with the deaths of millions. Death is more powerful than sex.”

So that would be Aleister Crowley interrogating Rudolph Hess with the aid of massive amounts of mind-bending chemicals whilst being observed by (Bond creator) Ian Fleming! This is a fantastically nonsensical, sex-filled, drug-addled black and white romp where we are requested to believe that her Majesty’s government have enlisted the Beast (as Crowley liked to be known) to defeat Adolf Hitler through the power of Magick.

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This is one of those classic take a pinch of truth (Hitler’s obsession with the occult and astrology) and spin a yarn only fractionally more unbelievable than some of the strange secret missions that did actually take place during WW2. Our story is told through the eyes of a young agent called Roberts, entrusted to keep an eye on proceedings and report in to his superiors. He quickly falls under Crowley’s influence, however, becoming an acolyte of the Beast, though he likes to try and convince himself he is merely operating undercover.

We actually first meet Roberts in 1995, dying of cancer in New York City, when a young web designer, utterly baffled by the fact that he can’t prevent the logos on a new webpage for his corporate client from moving around, is sent to speak with him for some arcane reason. I was actually enjoying the ‘40s period part of the story so much I had forgotten about the modern opening by the conclusion! Rest assured, though, the story does come very neatly full chalk drawn magical circle.

Excellent art as ever from Oeming, perfectly capturing the noir tone of Rushkoff’s writing. Nice to read something that is as disturbing as it is amusing. Though I think what perturbed me most is how Aleister Crowley looks more than a little like Brian Michael Bendis!! It only occurred to me due to Oeming’s long collaboration with Bendis but once I had thought the thought, the similarity could not be unseen!

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I do also in fact wonder whether it might not be a little conceit on Oeming’s part, much like Moebius making Jodorowsky the likeness of Professor Alan Mangel in MADWOMEN OF THE SACRED HEART. Not least because there is also a very specific sexy synchronicity between those two works involving three-way action. I would love to believe so, but actually, I think Bendis just does happen to have a remarkable resemblance to the Beast! Still, some would say Bendis is quite the magician in his own right… Marvel certainly would!

JR

Buy Aleister & Adolf h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Northlanders Book vol 2: The Icelandic Saga s/c (£26-99, Vertigo) by Brian Wood & Davide Gianfelice, Becky Cloonan, Paul Azaceta, Declan Shalvey, various, Massimo Carnevale.

“Nothing comes free or easy. northlanders-book-2The good life always requires a turn through the shit from time to time.”

Ain’t that the truth? Some turns are shittier than other, and the good life is not guaranteed.

Each one of these self-contained Viking sagas is as exceptional as it is varied: you never know what you’ll find dug up from its history and hammered into narrative next. Here Brian Wood conjures ten generations of Icelandic family feuding beginning in 871 A.D. when its earliest settlers – a family of three – heaved their scant possessions salvaged from Norway onto its far from fecund soil. Life was hard but at least they were free. Within a year, however, they were followed by others driven out by the land-grabs back home, fleeing the rule of hated King Harald. These were larger families bringing strength in numbers backed up by the weight of their swords.

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So it is that Ulf Hauksson’s merchant father takes it upon himself to toughen his son up in the most brutal of fashions, thereby creating a monster.

“Neither of them could look at me for weeks.
“This was valuable time for me. It allowed me the chance to detail and catalogue my hatred, to fully articulate, in my mind, who deserved what and why.
“That morning my parents had a son. By that evening, as a result of my father’s efforts to teach me cruelty and violence, they had something very different on their hands.”

What follows is that afternoon’s legacy: two centuries of ever-escalating struggles for power as the population expands and sustainable self-governance crumbles under the weight of numbers, the influence of those still in thrall to Norway and corruption in the form of Christianity and its Holy Men with their insidious schemes to divide, conquer and then reap the spoils in the form of hegemony and wealth.

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Marriage plays no small part in this. Indeed it’s all about family and two fathers are going to find out precisely how sharp the serpent’s tooth is before their lives are done.

Structurally, ‘The Icelandic Trilogy’ is stunning. Three chapters each devoted to three separate snapshots spanning two hundred years. The first barely boasts a population to speak of, but by 999 A.D. a port has been established and the Haukssons have built a heavily fortified compound.

It isn’t, however, impervious. Here is a daughter:

“I was taught to keep books when I was six years old. I am literate where Mar is not. The Hauksson men fight, the women administrate.
“And together we dominate. The society of Iceland is balanced on our stacks of silver and gold, our sword at its throat.
“Which makes the attempt on my life unthinkable.”

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The family’s gained ground through guile and good judgement, but it’s not immune to being goaded – and it’s about to meet its match. As for 1260 A.D., it is to despair but then so it goes, eh?

NORTHLANDERS has played host to a magnificently strong set of artists and Azaceta is on glorious form in his tale of innocence bludgeoned to death, while Zezelj’s jagged plains of ice and snow and treacherous, shadow-strewn ravines are freezing. You wouldn’t cross them without a thick pair of boots.

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His hair and beards are as matted as you can imagine and probably crawling with lice. There’s one page which starts out with a lamb so startlingly lovely you wonder what it’s doing there – it’s quite the contrast to what’s gone before. By the time you reach you bottom, though, you’ll be thinking, “Oh, well, that makes sense!”

This volume also includes ‘The Girl In The Ice’ illustrated by Becky Cloonan, Brian Wood’s cohort on DEMO, ‘The Sea Road’ and ‘Sven The Immortal’. There are more of these thicker “books” repackaging the slimmer “volumes” to come, but in the meantime Brian (personal favourite graphic novel being LOCAL with Ryan Kelly) has returned to this era on very fine form with BLACK ROAD illustrated by Garry Brown, whose first collection is out now and reviewed by our Jonathan.

SLH

Buy Northlanders Book vol 2: The Icelandic Saga s/c and read the Page 45 review here

The Intercorstal 683 (£4-00, self-published) by Gareth A Hopkins.

I don’t know, is the answer. I don’t know what’s going on except that it’s quite the experience.

Anything this abstract is open to interpretation, and I have no crib sheet to copy from. I never do and never will and I truly wouldn’t want one.

I love experiencing new art for myself. That’s something I touched upon sarcastically in my review of ANCESTOR wherein technology has evolved to render everyone all-informed. That too will give you much pause for thought.

I found this thrilling. In spite of the chaos of the full-colour cover, this black and white orgy of interlocking forms strikes me as highly disciplined. It doesn’t look random at all.

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It’s like a carefully choreographed ballet as performed by crisply delineated yet thoroughly malleable, constantly morphing techno-organic entities whose forms appear to coil round each other, perhaps merge then separate.

None of the images I have for you here are consecutive and, with hindsight, that might have been an error on my part for it’s all about sequence. Nor is each dance brief, so the result is a rightfully indulgent, extended eye-bath and I promise you that seeing is believing: you really do need to pick up a physical copy from our shelves for yourselves and decide what you make of it.

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Are those individuals in space-suit armour crouching in a simian fashion, awaiting orders from the taller one to the left?

I simply don’t know.

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Just over halfway through there appears to be a blinding light eroding these forms during which Hopkins demonstrates a superb sense of negative space before a robed, monocular individual rises and strides, best foot forward into the foreground (possibly).

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After which darkness descends and the formerly stark art is splashed with swathes of sweeping black ink and – to me – a lone survivor emerges to sit on a large cushion tapping into its laptop.

This has no words.

I have no words.

If I was any more egomaniacal than I already am, I would swear blind that this was created purely to make monkeys out of reviewers, Gareth A. Hopkins chortling in private at our flailing public attempts to do justice to what was for me a so-far unique experience. I suspect I have just taken a Rorschach Test.

It’s very beautiful. Let’s leave it at that.

SLH

Buy The Intercorstal 683 and read the Page 45 review here

Mulp: Sceptre Of The Sun #3 of 5 (£4-99, Improper Books) by Matt Gibbs & Sara Dunkerton.

Thrilling foreshortening on this best cover yet, for which I am reliably informed Sara built a model from steel wire and live bees.

It’s possible I may have misheard that last bit.

We’ve so far seen little other than rodents in this all-ages, anthropomorphic, transglobal adventure: lizards for transport and beetles for heavy lifting at the Egyptian archaeological dig, and now bees for the Antarctic sledge race to track down the legendary Sceptre Of The Sun before a less benevolent faction gets its purloining paws on it.

It was the startling discovery of an ancient stone in MULP #1 which catalysed this quest. On it were two remarkably similar accounts of an apocalyptic event in both Egyptian and Greek, albeit seen from their respective mythological perspectives. Most intriguing, however, were the Mesoamerican drawings in between the other two records on that self-same tablet, the most prominent of which is an image reminiscent of Viracocha, creator of the sun, the moon, and the stars, holding two sceptres and surrounded by ferocious, fanged beasts. This Incan myth backs up at least one of the other two in implying that the apocalyptic event may have been, furthermore, an extinction-level event for at least one species of giant. And, hey, for the mice to have evolved now to the level of human Victorians, their natural predators must have surely died out too.

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The legend ends with the creation of a second race divided into groups and taught divergent customs, languages and songs. To guide them Viracocha gave his most favoured son, Manco Capac, one of the two golden sceptres, the Tapac-Yauri.

The search for this led our intrepid band of explorers to Peru, all the way up to Manchu Picchu where, sequestered deep beneath the ruins of a solar observatory, they discovered an engraving which seemed to confirm the links between the three civilisations and imply both beneficial and fiercely destructive uses for that sceptre, all centred on the sun. So now things are really heating up, because if our own mouse mates don’t find the fabled sceptre first then the less altruistic expedition – which was already proved itself ruthless – won’t be using it to light candles or nurture crops.

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For now we’re on ice, as our furry friends attempt to weather the freezing conditions they find themselves in. But will it all end in fire?

I love how so many visual clues have been embedded in the various mythical accounts, along with extra allusions to the likes of Prometheus. It all ties together so satisfyingly.

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Some startling, starry skies and other lovely low-light colouring from Dunkerton, even by day, but otherwise for this third instalment I’m going to leave you to expect the unexpected, especially at night, and to hunt down my own hidden clues.

SLH

Buy Mulp: Sceptre Of The Sun #3 of 5 and read the Page 45 review here

Good Dog, Bad Dog: Double Identity (£8-99, David Fickling Books) by Dave Shelton.

“Oh, can we give you a ride back to town, Mr. Wiener? Only it’s awfully draughty in here… now.”

Now that you’ve shot a hole in his roof, McBoo.

“Umm, after we’ve got our car out of the ditch, that is.
“And some of the ditch out of our car.”

That one wasn’t McBoo’s fault, surprisingly. The ditching was down to fellow detective Kirk Bergman’s malfunctioning map-reading skills in the pouring rain, but whatever the weather this dysfunctional duo are a car crash waiting to happen.

If they’re going to solve any case it’s going to be by accident. Fortunately, at those they are specialists.

Here they are summoned to Weiner Bros Studios by a certain Sam Weiner on account of death threats received by Dunstan Bassett, an aging film star whose career has gone to the dogs. Alas, award-winning Sam Weiner seems otherwise engaged; it’s his brusquer brother Jack who greets them just in time for Dunstan’s stunt double to get blown up on set, leaving nothing behind but his boots.

For rapacious Jack this is far from inconvenient: releasing that footage will be a money-making goldmine. But for Bergman and McBoo it’s a sure sign that the danger in Dunstan’s death threats is all too real so they swiftly set about piecing together clues. It’s only when those pieces fall off that the pieces, the clues, and the clue in the glue start sticking together to make sense.

We have only just begun, for what they should be investigating is staring them right in the face. It’s a shame, then, that McBoo’s attention span is shorter than a squirrel’s.

“McBoo, I don’t know what you’re doing… but I really hope you’ll have stopped by the time I turn around.”

From the writer of two of our very few books of illustrated prose, which are commended to you with all my heart – THIRTEEN CHAIRS and A BOY AND A BEAR IN A BOAT – I present you with all-ages pun-tastic, slapstick comicbook crime from The Phoenix for which I can find flip-all usable interior art online. Again.

PUBLISHERS, THIS IS A VISUAL MEDIUM.

Please see Pager 45’s Phoenix Comic Book section for more from this stable.

SLH

Buy Good Dog, Bad Dog: Double Identity 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

Good grief, there are normally 30-odd here!

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Sandman Overture s/c (£17-99, Vertigo) by Neil Gaiman & J. H. Williams III

The Return Of The Honey Buzzard (£14-99, SelfMadeHero) by Aimee De Jongh

Where Do I Belong? (£9-99, www.silentarmy.org) by various, edited by M.P. Fikaris

Instruction Manual For Lonely Mountains (£14-99, www.silentarmy.org) by Nicola Gunn & M.P. Fikaris

DC Comics / Dark Horse Comics Crossovers: Justice League vol 1 s/c (£22-99, DC / Dark Horse) by various

Deadpool V Gambit: The “V” Is For “Vs.” s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Ben Acker, Ben Blacker & Danillo Beyruth

Rocket Raccoon And Groot vol 2: Civil War II s/c (£14-50, Marvel) by Nick Kocher & Michael Walsh

The Ghost And The Lady Book 1 (£15-99, Kodansha) by Kazuhiro Fujita

Psycho Pass: Inspector Shinya Kogami vol 1 (£10-99, Dark Horse) by Midori Gotou & Natsuo Sai

News

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ITEM! LOST TALES by Adam Murphy wins Young Readers British Comics Award as voted for by Leeds school children. Such a beautiful, witty collection of short stories from around the world – pop it on your Christmas lists!

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ITEM! Matthew Dooley wins this year’s Observer/Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize 2016 with this fabulous piece!

Interview with Matthew Dooley here.

At the time of typing Page 45 still has a limited number of copies of Matthew Dooley’s sold-out MEANDERING in stock and reviewed. Oh, whoops, we sold out overnight. Still, you can read the review!

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ITEM! Watch Jamie Smart a spectacular BUNNY VERSUS MONKEY panel right before your eyes!

You’ll find Jamie Smart’s all-ages books in Page 45’s Phoenix Comics Book section.

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ITEM! Dan Berry (SENT / NOT SENT and COELIFER ATLAS etc – pop him in our search engine!) drew me as a bird, from life, right in front of me. He even drew my eyebrow ring. I’m so totally plucked.

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ITEM! First page from the most recent HELLBLAZER #3 (this isn’t a wind-up. It’s like the old scathing, anti-authoritian HELLBLAZER). Too, too funny:

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ITEM! Primary school in Scotland scraps homework in favour of reading books and comics instead.

  1. Yes, they recommended comics!
  2. Both pupils and parents were balloted and they voted in favour
  3. The whole endeavour was reported by the Daily Mirror factually, with a balanced, level head and not one single sound-effect or careless semi-caustic remark.
  4. Progress!

– Stephen

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Tony Cliff’s Delilah Dirk & The Turkish Lieutenant. You should be able to click on this image to read our review.

Page 45 Shatters Sales Record At Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016!

Friday, October 21st, 2016

But first: Bryan Lee O’Malley (SECONDS etc) kicks of his Page 45 LICAF Sunday signing by sketching on a guitar. Of course he does! See later for the results!

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“What Do You Mean By Shattered, Stephen?”

I mean obliterated.

In 2014 at LICAF Page 45 broke its all-time weekend sales record by taking £5,000.
In 2015 at LICAF Page 45 broke that weekend sales record by taking £5,500.

Now at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016 Page 45 has smashed its own weekend sales record to smithereens by taking over £10,000!

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That’s double two years ago and with just 1% of the range of our stock: it’s all we can fit into the van.

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Also: that’s just one room in Kendal’s Comics Clock Tower where there are vast halls for others who pack in to exhibit.

Over £2,000 of Page 45’s takings this year go directly to LICAF to fund its following Festivals.

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“Why Is This Happening?”

Well, our graphic novels are very beautiful books, and perhaps there are too few shops stocking them at all or promoting them properly.

Of equal importance: At The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016 ENTRY IS FREE so the Kendal Clock Tower draws in the crowds!

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It’s especially attractive to those new to comics, who wander in out of curiosity then love what they see. That’s always been Page 45’s primary mission: to bring the widest variety of quality comics and graphic novels into contact with as a many new people as possible in an honest, informed and eloquent manner.

This is the Festival’s fourth year. The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2017 will run from 13th to 15th October. Potential visitors and prospective exhibitors, please pop those dates in your diary.

We’ve only just begun.

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Page 45 Upstairs In Kendal Clock Tower’s Georgian Room

Every year Page 45 is entrusted this entire room to ourselves, curating it as we see fit, and cluttering it up with creators whom we adore. Click on any photo to enlarge and pop creators or titles in our website search engine!

Look, here’s Emma Vieceli!

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Tillie Walden and Katriona Chapman with AveryHill Publishing, centre-stage, where they belong!

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This year we launched Dave McKean’s Dark Horse edition of BLACK DOG: THE DREAMS OF PAUL NASH.

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Dave even took the trouble to bring enormous, framed original paintings for all and sundry to gawp at. (They did.)

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Tom Gauld defaced MOONCOP and our very own Tote Bags!

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Sean Phillips drew Prince right in front of us!

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Isabel Greenberg sketched on Saturday.

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Hannah Berry rolled up on Sunday after being made full use of right through the festival!

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Jonathan Edwards and Felt Mistress were with us all weekend, with Eugune manically minding their stall overnight.

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John Martz made his first-ever UK appearance! With us! Hooray!

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Where’s Dan Berry and Paul Thomas? I forgot to take photos, so sorry!

Ben Haggarty and Adam Brockbank!

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Craig Thompson popped in unannounced three times to sign and sketch in his books!

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That head is an original sketch, yes.

Darryl Cunningham sketched in all his graphic novels – and he wasn’t officially with us, either!

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Riff Reb’s even sat down to draw in LICAF’s edition of CARROT TO THE STARS, letting Jonathan and myself get a glimpse at his original artwork.

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Jake Phillips showed off his pages of COELIFER ATLAS, this year’s 24-Hour Comicbook Relay Race Marathon (£5-00 each) written by Alex Paknadel, Dan Watters and drawn by Dan Berry (editor), Craig Thompson, Charlie Adlard, Emma Vieceli, Petteri Tikannen, Bruce Mutard, Nick Brokenshire, Bryan Talbot, Ken Niimura, Joe Decie, Mike Medaglia and that there Jake Phillips.

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Finally, during his signing Bryan Lee O’Malley created two entire pages of original comics right in front of us!

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Possibly.

Oh, and here’s Bryan with that guitar again.

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Luring In Punters, Crippling Credit Cards And Whipping Wallets

At The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016 ENTRY IS FREE, so many walk in from the street or travel from afar to discover comics for the very first time! How cool is that? So Page 45 brings a fresh supply of gorgeous graphic novels to LICAF every year… but they don’t half take some getting there!

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40 gigantic boxes brought down from the office. To get from the till to our Vertigo section with its Neil Gaiman throne, I had to take a detour of 3.75 miles! Or climb.

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Two rows in and with twice as many boxes to cram into the van, this is where we find out if Jonathan is better at Tetris than me.

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Here are those boxes, lugged up to our Georgian Room, and that Georgian Room before we begin.

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Now I have to magic the two together. Comics is a visual medium, so it’s vital they’re displayed at their best. It takes me four $£%* hours!

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Please click on PHOENIX COMICS for our dedicated webpage then on each cover for reviews!

Jonathan AKA J45

That is, however, the easy bit. None of this would be remotely possible without our Lord, Master and logistical, technological genius, Jonathan.

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It’s Jonathan who sources all our extra stock, organises its delivery and transport, populates our second till with products, designs our signs and banners, beats the credit card terminal’s wonky reception into reluctant submission and makes sure we have packed everything we need from carrier bags and Sharpies to such extreme amounts of change that it took the two of us to lug it down the hill into Kendal from our snow-capped, mountain-side hotel.

And that’s just LICAF.

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LICAF Comics & Merchandise

CARROT TO THE STARS is reviewed and available worldwide from Page 45!

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COELIFER ATLAS, this year’s 24-Hour Comicbook Relay Race Marathon (£5-00, now reviewed!) is also available worldwide from Page 45 with every single penny going to OCD Action.

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You can order the following merchandise – which is exclusive to LICAF and was on sale in our room, with 20% of the proceeds going to OCD Action, the rest to help fund LICAF itself by emailing julie@kendalartsinternational.com

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Prints at £25 each:

Charlie Adlard Beatrix Potter
Luke McGarry Beatrix Potter
Duncan Fegredo Beatrix Potter
Dave McKean Black Dog signed
Gilbert Shelton festival giclee
Jordi Bernet festival giclee
Ken Niimura festival giclee

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Festival lapel badges £2.50 each

Sets of 4 Beatrix Potter Re-Imagined postcards featuring Hannah Berry, Charlie Adlard, Luke McGarry and Duncan Fegredo £2 each

And, wait for it…

Sean Phillips Kill or Be Killed signed screenprint (50×70) festival variant £50 each

For more of those images, please see page 43 of The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016 Programme.

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Panel To Empower New and Prospective Creators

We thought this important.

Every week I’m asked at the counter, “What’s the best way to get my comic published?”, “How do I maximise my exposure?” or “How do I get my self-published comic onto your shelves?” On Sunday we answered their barrier-breaking questions.

Our Team Supreme from multiple disciplines:

Ricky Miller (Director, Avery Hill Publishing)
Katriona Chapman (self-publisher of KATZINE, freelance for larger publishers and in addition part of Avery Hill)
Andy Oliver (Editor-in-Chief of pioneering review website Broken Frontier, and brand-new self-publisher)
Stephen L. Holland (Festival patron, Page 45 retailer and prize buffoon)

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I’ve seldom received such phenomenally positive and grateful feedback – nascent creators who said they felt far more confident now that they finally understood how the comics industry works.

There was plenty of laughter, each of us contributing equally, and we talked over each other not once. That’s rarer than you might think. Let’s do it again!

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Multiple Thank Yous and A Big Fat Teaser:

Thank you to all our creator guests for agreeing to sign with us so enthusiastically, for regaling their loyal fans and brand-new readers with mirth-making stories and gossip, and making our room so much more attractive with their wit, wares and camaraderie.

Thank you to everyone who dropped in, swanned round and snapped up graphic novels so we didn’t have to carry them back home.

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We came up a day early to explore! Near Ambleside.

EXTREME thank you to the LICAF #redshirtbrigade volunteers, one and all, for making our lives so much easier by solving last-minute hitches, marshalling our queues and caring to cater for us throughout the day.

Thank you to our Dee and Jodie for their immaculate organisational skills in preparation for the Festival and running Page 45 HQ all extended weekend long while we doubled our presence in Kendal.

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High above Keswick where lurks the Castlerigg Stone Circle.

Thank you to John Freeman of Down The Tubes for his LICAF promotional activities and exceptional generosity.

Thank you to LICAF Patron and comics creator Sean Phillips for all his personal support throughout the year and his truly tireless promotion of the Lakes Festival and all its endeavours, without which it wouldn’t attract so much attention.

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Those Castlerigg Stones. Am I successfully selling you the weekend experience that is LICAF?

Thank you to Sharon Tait for welcoming us into the Clock Tower on our very first day back in 2014.

Thank you to Carole Tait for her logistical genius without which the Lakes International Comic Art Festival would be utter chaos.

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Magically, Castlerigg Stone Circle, lit up for 15 minutes before we left.

Thank you above all to LICAF director Julie Tait for entrusting us with the Georgian Room in the first place back in 2014, welcoming Page 45 firmly into the fold as fully-fledged, pro-active Patrons in 2015, and for providing the sort of leadership which sweeps you up alongside her in its enthusiastic wake. Without Julie Tait there would be no Lakes International Comic Art Festival to attend: no Festival, no guests, and no banners all over town proudly proclaiming our shared love of comics.

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Reminder: The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2017 will run from Friday 13th October to Sunday 15th October with the Kendal Clock Tower open for exhibitors on the Saturday and Sunday.

Page 45 Credentials

Page 45 is a proud Patron of The Lakes International Comic Art Festival.
Page 45 won the first ever award for Best Independent Retailer in Nottingham 2012.
Page 45 won the Best Independent Business in Nottingham 2013.
Page 45 was shortlisted for the Bookseller’s Independent Bookshop Of The Year 2014.
Page 45 won the only ever Diamond Comics Award for Best Retailer in the UK in 2004 before links began.

Stephen was on the judging panel of the British Comics Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2015.

Why are we listing our credentials? Hahahaha! There is a reason.

We’ve one more massive Page 45 / LICAF surprise for you shortly!

Oh, and here’s your reward for scrolling this far: Bryan Lee O’Malley interviewed live on camera at LICAF – From Scott (Pilgrim) to Snot (Girl).

– Stephen

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Church in Kendal at night. So you’re all coming next year, right? 🙂

 

 

Page 45 Announces Free Signings at Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

We bring glorious graphic novels and very own special creator guests:

Adam Brockbank, Ben Haggarty, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Dan Berry, Dave McKean, Emma Vieceli, Felt Mistress, Hannah Berry, Isabel Greenberg, John Martz, Jonathan Edwards, Katriona Chapman, Paul Thomas, Sean Phillips, Tillie Walden, Tom Gauld and the magnificent AveryHill Publishing!

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Oh, How We Adore The Lakes Festival!

Kendal is kindness personified, and Page 45 is back in our very own Georgian Room upstairs in the Clock Tower on Saturday & Sunday October 15th & 16th 2016 with swoonaway comics and comic stars.

Entry is Free!
All-Access by Lift!
I’m on a Panel for creators on how to get stocked, promoted & even published!

New Service: pre-order any graphic novel for collection, postage-free!
Details below, you’ll see!

Page 45’s Creator Guests

Everything below occurs in our Georgian Room upstairs in the Kendal Clock Tower and is it FREE!

Dave McKean: signing Saturday 10-30am

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Page 45 is proud to launch the Dark Horse editions of BLACK DOG: THE DREAMS OF PAUL NASH which will be published that very week. Please click on those covers at thank link for reviews.

We’ll have copies on the day, but to guarantee your copies in case they sell out (especially the limited edition oversized hardcover!) please order at either link now then select “Collect in Kendal”. No charge for postage. All you have to do is ask for your copy on the day.

 

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You can also have any other Dave McKean graphic novels waiting on the day by popping him into our search engine, ordering, then selecting “Collect in Kendal”. Postage-free but ASAP, please! I’m a particular fan of PICTURES THAT TICK VOL 2.

Isabel Greenberg: signing Saturday 5pm to 6pm

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THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF EARLY EARTH was my fav graphic novel of that year!
THE ONE HUNDRED NIGHTS OF HERO (already reviewed!) may well be my next!

We will also have:

DISCOVER THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS
DISCOVER THE ROMAN EMPIRE

But only a few so pre-order, please, then select “Collect in Kendal”.

Tom Gauld: signing Sunday 10am to 12am

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We’ll be giving FREE preview copies of MOONCOP away all weekend long! Suggest you pick up on Saturday, absorb overnight, then high-tail back to us on Sunday for the signing!

We’ll have the MOONCOP graphic novel itself available all weekend too, but to guarantee your copy in case they sell out, please pre-order then select “Collect in Kendal”.

We will also have limited quantities of:

GOLIATH
YOU’RE ALL JUST JEALOUS OF MY JETPACK

But I suspect by now that you know what to do if you want your copies guaranteed on the day.

Sean Phillips: signing Sunday 2pm to 3pm

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That would be one of the Lakes Festival founding Patrons. Ever so slightly stoked.

We will have on the day:

CRIMINAL
THE FADE OUT
FATALE

More, including DESTINATION: KENDAL by Jonathan Edwards & Feltmistress – also in our room so get it signed by them too! – and photographed by Sean, with a cameo appearance himself! But to guarantee your copy of anything Sean-centric, please pop him in our search engine, pre-order and… yeah, you’ve got it.

Bryan Lee O’Malley: signing Sunday 3pm to 5pm

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LICAF is Bryan’s only UK appearance this year! See Festival Guide below for his multiple contributions, then pop back here for our farewell signing! We will have many things including:

SECONDS
SCOTT PILGRIM colour editions
LOST AT SEA
SECONDS HELPING co-starring Mr O’Malley himself.
SNOTGIRL depending on whether we have any stock left back at Page 45 HQ. Sales have been phenomenal, especially since it was our last Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month!

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For the last Page 45 / Bryan Lee O’Malley Print (Worldwide Exclusive!), you MUST pre-order for collection in Kendal, please.

Fun fact: Page 45 is the only comic shop which Bryan has kindly signed with on every UK visit.

Page 45’s Creator Residents

Selling, signing and sketching in our Georgian Room upstairs in the Kendal Clock Tower for FREE! Names linked to their websites!

Tillie Walden and Katriona Chapman with Avery Hill Publishing almost ALL weekend long!

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They will be bringing:

KATZINES by Katriona
A CITY INSIDE by Tillie
I LOVE THIS PART by Tillie
THE END OF SUMMER (new deluxe edition launch!)

And dozens of the exceptional comics and graphic novels for which Avery Hill is renowned.

Dan Berry signing Sunday am

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Dan will be orchestrating a brand-new 24-Hour Comics Relay Race which we will be selling on Sunday, hot-off-the-press, including brand-new stories by Craig Thompson, Charlie Adlard, Emma Vieceli, Joe Decie, Mike Medaglia Bryan Talbot and more! He will also have some of these for sale – and much more besides – depending on what’s still in print:

24 BY 7
CARRY ME
SENT / NOT SENT
THROW YOU KEYS AWAY
THE END

Hannah Berry signing Sunday pm

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We will be bringing:

ADAMTINE
BRITTEN AND BRULIGHTLY

Who knows what besides Hannah will bring? Mischief and quick-fire wit, guaranteed! Chuffed to be reunited a year after our 21st Birthday party.

Emma Vieceli signing Saturday pm

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Another LICAF Patron! We will be bringing:

ALEX RIDER: SCORPIA
BREAKS PROLOGUE
DOCTOR WHO: THE EIGHTH DOCTOR
VAMPIRE ACADEMY VOL 1
VAMPIRE ACADEMY VOL 2
VAMPIRE ACADEMY VOL 3

And more, including – we hope – a sly surprise for Emma.

Jonathan Edwards & Felt Mistress As their events allow

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They will be bringing: all kinds of crazy.

Plus McFelty’s new book on making your own creatures and Jonathan’s swoonaway landscape prints.

We will be bringing:

DESTINATION: KENDAL, remember, which you can get signed by Sean Phillips as well from 2pm to 3pm on Sunday!

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Last Minute Additions:

John Martz who will be bringing BURT’S WAY HOME and signing Saturday all morning!

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Paul Thomas of AN UNRELIABLE HISTORY OF TATTOOS signing Saturday 1.15pm

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Ben Haggarty and Adam Brockbank of MEZOLITH VOL 1 and MEZOLITH VOL 2 (we will have stock) signing Saturday 3pm

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“But Where, Oh Where, Is La McIntyre?”

 Do not doubt us, my darlings!

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 This is the first year that the legendary Sarah McIntrye has been unable to appear with Page 45 in our Georgian Room. Last year Sarah was even joined by co-creator Philip Reeve to sign their PUGS OF THE FROZEN NORTH etc!

Sarah and I could not bear to disappoint the loyal following of families she’s built up at the Festival so Page 45 will be bringing the brand-new JINKS & O’HARE FUNFAIR REPAIR… and Sarah in spirit! How…?

Sarah has very generously drawn four original sketches which we will give out FREE OF CHARGE to the first families to buy a copy or twelve of JINKS & O’HARE FUNFAIR REPAIR during the weekend and who then declare:

“I read your blog, and I’ve got a sprog!”

Terms & Conditions: Adults must be accompanied by a child (which is a nice twist, don’t you think? This is such a family-friendly festival!). Also, the rhyme above is mandatory.

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Yes, this is one of those actual sketches! That’s how much La McIntyre loves you!

Page 45 Panel To Help & Encourage Emerging Creators!

Sunday October 16th, 1pm to 2pm in the Clock Tower Council Chamber

You Ask, We Tell! Helping Creators Pitch To Publishers, The Press and to Comic Shops.

This bit will cost you £8 plus a £1-50 booking fee, I’m afraid (see link), but consider it an excellent investment in your creative and commercial future! Here’s why:

Independent publishing and self-publishing isn’t just a means to critical acclaim but to concrete, commercial success.

 

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Collage created by Down The Tubes’ most excellent John Freeman

 

Page 45’s biggest-selling graphic novel of 2015 was PORCELAIN: BONE CHINA, independently published by Improper Books and beating everything from DC, owned by multi-millionaire mega-corps Time Warner.

Page 45’s biggest-selling comic was EXPECTING TO FLY, self-published by John Allison and beating everything from Marvel, owned by multi-billionaire Disney.

With independent publishers you can retain creative control, ownership and be nurtured like nowhere else, fostering long-lasting, personal relationships with retailers and review sites like Broken Frontier which will prove invaluable throughout your career. We’ll show you how.

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On that experienced, hand-picked panel:

Ricky Miller (Director, Avery Hill Publishing)
Katriona Chapman (self-publisher of KATZINE, freelance for larger publishers and part of Avery Hill)
Andy Oliver (Editor-in-Chief of pioneering review website Broken Frontier, and brand-new self-publisher)
Stephen L. Holland (Festival patron, award-winning retailer at Page 45 and prize buffoon.)

Every week I’m asked at the counter, “What’s the best way to get my comic published?”, “How do I get myself covered by Broken Frontier?” and “How do I get my self-published comic onto your shelves?”

We’re about to answer your questions.

Page 45 Brings Glorious Graphic Novels to Kendal

Graphic Novels 1

N.B. A previous year’s spread. What will we be bringing this year?

Newcomers to comics and seasoned veterans:

Ask for recommendations tailored to your specific tastes!
We’ll be providing show-and-tells on any book you fancy all weekend long!
We’ll help find your friends presents too!
And yes, of course we’ll have all-ages beauties!

Graphic Novels 5

Another previous year’s spread, though many will return!

Important: Page 45 will be accepting cash AND credit cards!

New Service: Pre-order For Collection in Kendal, postage-free:

As ever we’ll be selecting the very best current crop of graphic novels to bring, but now you can choose which graphic novels we bring for you! Simply select any of our 6,000 different graphic novels at the Page 45 Website and instead the postage options please select “Collect In Kendal” for free!

Pick Up In Kendal

Offer closes Tuesday 11th October. We’ll be all packed up by then and ready to roll.

More Lakes Festival Information

Twitter: @comicartfest
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016 Programme online now!
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival website
Buy Tickets for the Ticketed Events
Plan Your Visit!
Includes Accomodation & Travel Information, Family Zone etc

Follow Page 45 on Twitter @pagefortyfive as other creators pop in to draw free, impromptu sketches like last year!

Page 45’s photo-filled review of The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014!

Kendal Brewery Arts Centre 1

Page 45 credentials

Page 45 is a proud Patron of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.
Stephen was on the judging panel of the British Comics Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
Page 45 won the first ever award for Best Independent Retailer in Nottingham 2012.
Page 45 won the Best Independent Business in Nottingham 2013.
Page 45 was shortlisted for the Bookseller’s Independent Bookshop Of The Year 2014.
Page 45 won the only ever Diamond Comics Award for Best Retailer in the UK in 2004 before links began.

 

Trophies

 

Lakes Festival Director Julie Tait, said:

“Stephen, your eloquence, enthusiasm and encouragement inspires me!”
Also: “I think three bottles of Sauvignon Blanc is enough for this morning, don’t you?”

Lakes Festival Patron and Page 45’s Stephen L. Holland said:

“I’m writing this blog; why are you quoting me?”

Remember, Entrance to all our events and the Kendal Clock Tower with so many other creators is FREE!

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 habibi

And all the above is just what’s happening in our room alone! OMG there is so much more on offer: HABIBI‘s Craig Thompson for starters!

But if you want to attend creator talks or our very own panel, there is a nominal fee.

Buy Tickets for the Ticketed Events

Please book in advance and as soon as possible and – oh look! – here’s our Jonti Edwards and Poblin again:

1 LICAF tickets

Page 45 Resists Price Rises All Over The Shop!

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Panic not, my loyal lovelies, for we offer lots of sugar coating to offset today’s bitter pill.

You may have read that – following the pound’s plummet against the dollar thanks to our politicians’ self-serving shenanigans – the UK arm of Diamond Comic Distributors has, quite understandably, increased their converted sterling prices to retailers for American comics.

But, as I’m sure you can already see from that single sentence, that is far from the full picture!

Static 1

From John Cei Douglas’ STATIC

Page 45 Has Over £100,000 Of Comics & Graphic Novels Whose Prices Won’t Rise!

Those prices won’t rise because:

  1. They’re already in stock.
  2. So many of Page 45’s comics & graphic novels are British! Hooray! Those prices won’t rise even when restocked!
  3. So many of Page 45’s graphic novels come from other sources. Hurrah! Those prices won’t rise when restocked, either!

Page 45 Is Now Even Cheaper To Buy From Abroad!

I’m a silver lining kind of a guy. And, as we’re ever so fond our reminding you….

We Ship Worldwide! ™

Why yes, should you be from one of our cherished fellow European countries, from America, or almost anywhere in the world, Page 45 is now even more affordable to buy from Worldwide!

Simone and Hannah Signing

Pop Simone Lia and Hannah Berry into our search engine! Then let them out from time to time to breathe.

Page 45 Heartily Encourages Other Retailers To Buy British!

The British Comic Publishing Industry has undergone a complete metamorphosis since Page 45 opened 21 years ago.

Thanks to so many phenomenal self-publishers and the likes of SelfMadeHero, Avery Hill Publishing, Improper Books, Myriad Books, Walker Books, Jonathan Cape, Soaring Penguin Press, Knockabout, Phoenix Comics etcetera a huge proportion of Page 45’s best-selling comics and graphic novels are, as I said, British.

LICAF advert unlikely alt

Our biggest-selling comic and graphic novel last year were both British! Please see Page 45 Announces Independent And Self-Publishing Century in the News under Reviews here!

Their prices won’t rise.

Porcelain Bone China bookplates many

So Many Prices Won’t Rise. Yippee!

Please don’t fear the worst; always assess the whole story.

Please don’t blame Diamond UK whom we all adore.

But you know what to do at the ballot box instead, right?

– Stephen x

Sally Heathcote page79

Sally Heathcote, Suffragette

Page 45 At The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2015

Monday, September 7th, 2015

Page 45 Guests Signing & Sketching For Free (linked to their websites):

Jon Allison, Dan Berry, Jonathan Edwards, Sarah McIntyre, Felt Mistress, Philip Reeve, Jade Sarson, Richard Short, Emma Vieceli

        

Competition! Win Free Tickets To 9 LICAF Events

See Dave McKean, Stuart Immonen, Darwyn Cook, Mary Talbot, Bryan Talbot, Ian McQue and Jock for free! Normal cost nearly £100. Please see below!

Page 45 Brings Beautiful Graphic Novels to Kendal

 

On Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th October Page 45 will have multiple tables stacked high with gorgeous graphic novels, quality kids comics and special creator guests in The Georgian Room upstairs in the Comics Clock Tower. The entire room is ours and entry is free!

Ask for recommendations tailored to YOUR specific tastes!
We’ll help find your friends presents too!
We’ll be providing show-and-tells on any book you fancy all weekend long!

Important: Page 45 will be accepting cash AND credit cards!

Sarah McIntyre & Philip Reeve Signing & Sketching for free!

 

 

Thrill to the fabulous Sarah McIntyre & Philip Reeve signing & sketching in their all-ages books! Do bring a camera: I promise you a spectacle!

The venue: Georgian Room upstairs in Comics Clock Tower
The date: Saturday 17th October 2015
The time: 2.30pm for as long as we can keep them!

Entry is free, no tickets required but please turn up on time to avoid disappointment.

Books on sale (reviewed with interior art):

PUGS OF THE FROZEN NORTH
OLIVER AND THE SEAWIGS
CAKES IN SPACE
JAMPIRES
24 BY 7

& more!

Page 45’s Creator Special Guests

Also selling their wares in our room throughout the weekend, signing & sketching for free, the heroes of the Lakes 24-Hour Comics Marathon 2015:

 

     

Jon Allison
Dan Berry
Jonathan Edwards
Jade Sarson
Richard Short
Emma Vieceli

With even more ‘special’ guest, Felt Mistress.  She’s the co-creator of DESTINATION KENDAL!

Warning: she may not actually look like this.

 

 

Warning: she actually does.

Follow us on Twitter @pagefortyfive as other creators pop in to draw free, impromptu sketches like last year!

Page 45’s review of 24 BY 7, the collected edition of the Lakes 24-Hour Comics Marathon 2014

Page 45’s photo-filled review of The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014! Oooh, graphic novels!

 

Win Free Tickets To 9 LICAF Events!

Thanks to the kindness of customer Craig Dawson we have a set of the following fab events normally costing nearly £100 with for you to attend for free! Craig has effectively curated your stay! Each event has been linked to so you can see exactly how lucky you’ll be.

 

 

DAVE MCKEAN presents LUNA (15) on Friday, 8-15pm-10-30pm, Brewery Arts Centre Screen 2

A VISION OF UTOPIA: MARY TALBOT on Saturday, 10am to 11am, Comic Clock Tower

THE ART OF JOCK on Saturday, 11-45am to 12-45pm, Brewery Arts Centre Theatre

NEW FRONTIERS: THE ART OF DARWYN COOKE on Saturday, 2-30pm to 3-30pm, Shakespeare Centre

CHAMELEON: THE ART OF STUART IMMONEN on Saturday, 4pm-5-30pm, The Shakespeare Centre

DAVE MCKEAN PERFORMS: 9 LIVES on Saturday, 8-15pm to 9-45pm, Brewery Arts Centre Theatre

THE ART OF DAVE MCKEAN on Sunday, 11am to midday, Brewery Arts Centre Theatre

ARKWRIGHT: WHERE BRITISH GRAPHIC NOVELS BEGAN on Sunday 12:00 to 1pm, Brewery Arts Centre Screen 2

THE BIG COMIC DRAW on Sunday, 1pm to 2-30pm, Brewery Arts Centre Theatre

The Immonens are amazing! See our review of RUSSIAN OLIVE TO RED KING

 

 

To enter: simply email page45@page45.com with “I’m Coming To Kendal Competition!” in the subject header and your name and address (and Twitter handle if you have one) in the body and we’ll get a random customer to draw one lucky winner in a fortnight’s time and send you the physical tickets! You don’t even have to answer a question!

Buy other tickets:

Lakes Festival Saturday Events in full!
Lakes Festival Sunday Events in full!

 

Keep up to date with the free, open-door Festival:

Twitter: @comicartfest
Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2015 Website
Full Festival Programme 2015
Festival Family Zone
Accommodation And Travel

Page 45 credentials

Page 45 is a proud Patron of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.
Page 45 is the executive sponsor of the British Comics Awards.
Stephen was a judge of the British Comics Awards in 2012 & 2013.

Page 45 won the first award for Best Independent Retailer in Nottingham 2012.
Page 45 won the Best Independent Business in Nottingham 2013.
Page 45 was shortlisted for the Bookseller’s Independent Bookshop Of The Year 2014.
Page 45 won the only ever Diamond Comics Award for Best Retailer in the UK in 2004. That was pretty sweet. Thank you!

Kids Comics Are Cool!

And we will be bringing so very many of these!

 

Page 45’s 21st Birthday Party! Simone Lia & Hannah Berry signing plus evening Booze Bash!

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

There will be prizes! There will be sketches!
I will be speechless! You will be there!

   

“OMG! What Will Be Happening?!”

Laughter! There will be lots and lots of laughter.

Also: hugs & kisses (optional) and a great deal of alcohol (mandatory).

Yes, Page 45 will be celebrating its 21st Birthday on Saturday October 3rd 2015 with a comicbook treasure trail beginning in the afternoon with FLUFFY’s Simone Lia and ADAMTINE’s Hannah Berry signing & sketching for free at the shop, then a right-old knees up at the Canalhouse in Nottingham which is open to all!

Whether you’re past, present or future customers – in store or mail order – Jonathan, Dee, Jodie and me would be delirious if you could join us!

There will even be free drinks if you begin at the beginning.

This is the beginning:

Simone Lia & Hannah Berry signing & sketching at Page 45 for FREE!

The time: 4pm to 5-30pm
The date: Saturday 3rd October 2015
The place: Page 45, 9 Market Street, Nottingham NG1 6HY

Stick around! We may open things up around 5pm with a public Q&A like we did with Scott McCloud. They are great friends and very funny ladies!

Although Hannah Berry’s ADAMTINE is one of the scariest books I’ve ever read. Brrr…

We Have:

FLUFFY by Simone Lia.
ADAMTINE by Hannah Berry
PLEASE GOD FIND ME A HUSBAND by  Simone Lia
BRITTEN AND BRULIGHTLY by Hannah Berry

NELSON with pages by Simone Lia
ABOVE THE DREAMLESS DEAD with pages by Hannah Berry
Pack Of 8 Fluffy Postcards by Simone Lia
Fluffy Visits Page 45 Postcard by Simone Lia

    

Free Prize And Drinks Tickets For Party!

Everyone attending the signing will receive:

1) Free impossible-to-forge drinks ticket which, when signed by Simone Lia and Hannah Berry, can be handed in at The Canalhouse bar for (you’ll never guess) a free drink!

2) Free raffle tickets for each comic or graphic novel by Hannah and Simone which you bring or buy on the day for the evening’s multiple prize draws!

Win pieces of Page 45 history dear to our hearts!

Complete 14-issue set of rare original EXIT issues by our website artist Nabiel Kanan!
Bryan Talbot GRANDVILLE Le Brock badger print bigger than you are!
Framed print signed to the shop by Bryan Lee O’Malley & Hope Larson!
ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY standee with its original pockets constructed by Mark!
We have so many treasures upstairs including original art! Also:
More prints! Graphic novels! Items of Interest! A pen chewed by Stephen!

Raffle tickets can only be gathered at the afternoon’s signing; the prize draws will be held in the evening!

Page 45 Party at the Canalhouse in Nottingham from 7pm

The time: 7pm until we collapse
The date: Saturday 3rd October 2015
The place: Canalhouse, 48-52 Canal Street, Nottingham, NG1 7EH
Tel: 0115 9555060 Scroll down for map

Access For All: We’re upstairs in the function room (far exterior door) but there is access via a lift. Please phone the bar on 0115 9555060 when you reach the courtyard and they will open the door and escort you up! We think of these things. Hurrah!

Hannah, Simone, I.N.J. Culbard and Team Page 45 will be with you between 7-30pm & 8-00pm to greet you with glee.

Jonathan will be juggling!*
Simone and Stephen will be dancing the flamenco!**
Hannah will be judging for posture! ***

There will be speeches around 8pm!
There will be all those prize draws a little later!
And you’ll have those free drinks tickets from the signing, won’t you? You will!

“Do we have to come to the signing first?!”

Of course you don’t, though we hope that you will! Simone and Hannah are two of our all-time favourite comicbook creators and if they’re not already two yours, they will be after you’ve read their gorgeous graphic novels!

ITEM! Simone Lia’s website: prints, shop, blog, weekly comic strips for the Guardian / Observer & news about FLUFFY BOOK TWO!

 

ITEM! Hannah Berry’s website: shop, blog, preview of next graphic novel LIVESTOCK and free preview of ADAMTINE. Though if you’re planning to take the last train home on Saturday 3rd, I’d probably avoid that. Brrrrrr….

Follow Hannah Berry @streakofpith
Follow Simone Lia @simoneliadraws
Follow Fluffy himself @FluffyPulcino  (I’m not actually kidding you)
Follow Page 45 @PageFortyFive (I’m afraid that it’s Stephen; sorry etc.)

* Hopefully untrue
** Decidely untrue
*** Almost certainly true

Page 45 pronounced Patron of The Lakes International Comic Art Festival

Friday, February 20th, 2015

 

    

Nottingham’s Page 45 has received the highest honour in its 20 years of comicbook retail.

Director Julie Tait has announced that Stephen L. Holland, Page 45’s co-creator and co-manager, has been made a fully fledged Patron of The Lakes International Comics Art Festival, effective today.

The festival’s original Patrons from 2013 are comicbook creators Sean Phillips, Bryan Talbot and Mary Talbot. In 2014 they were followed by fellow writer and artist Emma Vieceli and are now joined in 2015 by legendary French creator Boulet… and silly old till-monkey me!

“It Is An Honour To Serve”

It really is. Though I doubt you can play that video.

I cannot recall the last time I have fallen so head-over-heels in love.

Page 45 has always been committed to promoting quality and diversity in comics by introducing as many new readers as possible to the most glorious graphic novels available from Britain, America, the European continent and beyond… and doing so with a warmth, honesty and informed eloquence.

As soon as we met, Page 45 discovered that The Lakes International Comic Arts Festival’s goals were identical.

The Lakes International Comics Art Festival 2014

Page 45 Celebrated Its 20th Anniversary in October 2014 at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 where Jonathan and I played host to 12 comic creators in The Clock Tower’s Georgian Room including Scott McCloud, Glyn Dillon, Sarah McIntyre, Lizz Lunney, Dan Berry.

 

In addition I presented The Art Of Selling Comics ticketed talk to creators, publishers, distributors and fellow retailers then performed free, extemporised show-and-tells – The Secrets Of Graphic Novels and Kids Comics Are Cool! – to the general public.

During the same weekend Page 45 broke its Christmas weekend sales record so that clinched the deal and I swiftly wrote this:

Ebullient, photo-filled blog announcing Page 45’s presence at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival exclusively and forever.

Page 45’s success was entirely down to LICAF’s strengths:

  1. Taking over the entire open-air town of Kendal like Angoulême’s festival in France. Yes, all towns are open-air, but comic conventions are indoors! Vive la différence!

  

  1. Free access to the general public made curious about comics through The Lakes International Comic Art Festival‘s year-long publicity campaigns. Most conventions charge a fee before you’ve walked through that off-putting door. Not so, Kendal’s Clock Tower! It was entirely free so the public swept in and encountered their first-ever graphic novels!
  1. Director Julie Tait’s exceptionally generous and imaginative, “can-do, will-do” energy and attitude to making every single one of our co-conspired ideas work during 200 hours of painstaking preparation which we found, frankly, hilarious. Yes, Julie Tait spent approximately 200 hours on Page 45’s appearance alone. You know how big this festival is, right? Mind-boggling!
  1. The coordination and implementation with military precision by Julie Tait, Sharon Tait, Jenny Graham and Sandra Wood. We own all four of them everything
  1. LICAF’s army of tirelessly, infectiously enthusiastic volunteers. One of them brought me throat lozenges, completely unsolicited. I almost cried
  1. Kendal itself: Kendal is kindness personified.

I kid you not.

And then there were the hundreds of comicbook creators signing, sketching and teaching Young Adults how to create their own comics like this: LAKES HISTORY MYSTERIES!

Behold, The Future!

The Lakes International Comics Art Festival 2015 takes place from Friday October 16th to Sunday October 18th with weeks of major events leading up it. Page 45 will be back in the Kendal Clock Tower with brand new ideas built on last year’s experiences.

And I will be up long before that in 2015 giving show-and-tells to Cumbrian schools so that Page 45’s 20-year commitment to Young Adult Literacy and School Libraries is expanded even further.

Then in 2016… Heh. Julie and I have hatched new plans already.

Keep Up To Date:

LICAF

The Lakes International Comics Art Festival website
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival Twitter: https://twitter.com/comicartfest
That’s where Julie constantly links to even more breaking news on LICAF’s Facebook.

Page 45

Page 45’s website news
Page 45’s Twitter https://twitter.com/pagefortyfive

If you have any questions please email page45@page45.com or phone 0115 9508045.

This news was first broken by John Freeman on his Down The Tubes website. I would imagine it’s far more coherent, plus there’ll be a lot more on Boulet! Go take a little gander, why not?

Cheers,

– Stephen @pagefortyfive

Page 45 won Best Independent Business in Nottingham in 2012 and 2013, and the only ever Diamond Award for Best Retailer in the UK in 2004.

Stephen has a degree in English Literature and The History of Art about which he is suspiciously keen to remind people. He was the only judge on The British Comics Awards to have been invited to sit for two successive years.

Scott McCloud will be signing THE SCULPTOR at Page 45 on Sunday March 8th 2015!

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Scott McCloud, creator of UNDERSTANDING COMICS, will be signing his new graphic novel THE SCULPTOR at Page 45 on Sunday 8th March, 2pm to 4pm!

And I tell you right now: it’s my book of the year.

    

“OMG, Stephen, it’s only February!”

I know. I do this. I do this a lot. But:

In 2012 I was right about Glyn Dillon’s THE NAO OF BROWN, wasn’t I? Then it won the British Comics Awards for Best Graphic Novel.

In 2013 I was correct about Isabel Greenberg’s THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF EARLY EARTH. That too won the British Comics Awards’ Best Graphic Novel.

In 2014 I was also spot-on about Rob Davis’ THE MOTHERLESS OVEN and if that doesn’t win the British Comics Awards then there will be words!

My review of Scott McCloud’s THE SCULPTOR with interior art: www.page45.com/store/The-Sculptor-hc.html

Behold, The McCloud!

UNDERSTANDING COMICS was so eloquent, so incisive and so important that Mark and I named Page 45 after its 45th page. I’m not even kidding you.

The time: 2pm to 4pm
The date: Sunday 8th March 2015
The place: Page 45
Admission: Free!

No tickets, no fee, just turn up and see one of comics’ greatest craftsmen and most forward-thinkers and ask him what he thinks – about anything!

Also: Scott will sign everything!

By Scott McCloud we have:

THE SCULPTOR
UNDERSTANDING COMICS
MAKING COMICS
REINVENTING COMICS
ZOT!

“Aargh, I SO want some signed but I live in Tibet!”

Good on you! We love Tibet!

I follow the Dalai Lama on Twitter and I do believe that the skiing is brilliant.

Order THE SCULPTOR online now (and indeed any of the other graphic novels) and ASK FOR YOUR COPY TO BE SIGNED BEFORE DISPATCH in the comments box and it will be done! You’ll see! Otherwise your copy will go straight out to you because Page 45 dispatches almost everything within 24 hours.

Orders to be signed must come in by March 1st, please.

“Will you have copies on the day? I’m not sure I can make it!”

THE SCULPTOR‘s out so buy it! Just look at my awe-struck review!

If it sweeps out of print like Bryan Lee O’Malley’s SECONDS did before our 2014 signing (250 copies sold by the end of the day) then I really cannot help you. But you can help yourselves!

If you want a copy of THE SCULPTOR (and any other books) to collect in-store on the day to be signed in your presence OR during your last-minute absence, order it online now!

If you select “collect in-store” with “THIS IS FOR THE SIGNING” in the comments box then all copies will be added to our signing stash which you can collect on the day or – if you don’t make it due to last-minute snafus – we will pop under Scott McCloud’s nose to sign afterwards. Hurrah!

Orders to be signed must come in by March 1st, please, but I’d do it now in case THE SCULPTOR goes straight out of print.

Keep Up To Date:

Scott McCloud’s website including tour dates
Scott McCloud’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/scottmccloud

Page 45’s website news
Page 45’s Twitter https://twitter.com/pagefortyfive

If you have any questions now or on the day, please phone 0115 9508045.

… Stephen