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

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 excpetional 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!

Avery Hill

 

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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

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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

Philippa Rice & Luke Pearson signing & sketching on Valentine’s Day 2015 at Page 45

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Page 45 flirtatiously presents a love-struck liaison:

Philippa Rice & Luke Pearson co-signing the new SOPPY h/c

 

We are infatuated!

SOPPY #1 by Philippa Rice and co-starring Luke Pearson has sold over 200 copies at Page 45 with SOPPY #2 some 150! Who says self-publishing doesn’t sell?! (Rhetorical.)

Now SOPPY becomes a pocket-sized hardcover so substantially expanded that it is a brand-new beast with a narrative all of its own. Oh, those early days of tentative texting and waiting for one back!

Learn how Luke and Philippa first met! See them at the cinema for the very first time! Dote on them dining out!

 

 

Warning: there will be brief bursts of domestic ding-dong as the two fall out over nothing. Sound familiar? Behold the miraculous, healing power of a milkshake! Behold the miraculous, healing power of a “Sorry” then moving so swiftly on!

There will be free promo items on the day!

Oh, my sentimental souls, there will indeed be free promo items supplied by Square Peg / Random House like the Philippa Rice postcard above and the wrapping paper below AND by and Flying Eye / Nobrow like these very Luke Pearson HILDA postcards!

*SQUEALS!*

 

 

The time: 4pm to 6pm
The date: Valentine’s Day, Saturday 14th February 2015
The place: Page 45
Admission: Free

Just queue at the counter and we’ll run it like clockwork!

 

Also: Free Scribbles And Squiggles!

Philippa and Luke will sign all their own books – as many as you care to bring or buy on the day – and they will each sketch in one of them for free!

The sketch doesn’t have to be in SOPPY – though they will co-sketch in that if you fancy – Philippa’s sketch, for example, could be in WE’RE OUT wherein Page 45 appears on its 45th page! Luke’s could be in one of his glorious, British Comics Awards-winning Young-Adult HILDA graphic novels on sale at Page 45, as ever, on the day.

More on both creators’ books below, but here for the very first time is our preview of the SOPPY hardcover published on 8th January 2015.

Soppy h/c (£10-99, Square Peg / Random House) by Philippa Rice.

Rarely have I been so immediately, directly and profoundly touched by such an intimate work of art. There is a purity here both in the content and in the lines and shapes which depict this autobiographical insight.

It’s dedicated to Luke Pearson, creator of the glorious, thrilling, luxurious, British Comics Awards-winning Young-Adult HILDA graphic novels and Philippa’s own beau as he bends down gently to photograph a flower. That pretty much sets the scene for this most tender of relationships.

“We’ve had a letter addressed to both of us!” declares Philippa on their first shared envelope and they beam at it as proudly as parents.
“So what is it?”

A house-warming welcome? A Christmas card? A Wish-You-Were-Here…?

“Our first gas bill.”

See them trudge through the rain hand in hand, P’s hoodie high while Luke buries his chin in his scarf! Oh, but there’s grumpy old pout on Philippa’s rosy-cheeked face! I defy you not to emulate it the second you see that page: it is infectious.

Once home with Luke working late, Philippa pops her head round the door of his study then returns wrapped in an enormous, brightly spotted duvet. The next and final panel sees her face-down on the floor, sunk into the thick, billowing folds of the duvet which looks a big, furry carapace, only the top of her head poking out, tortoise-like, to read a graphic novel, hands-free.

Everything is so perfectly placed: the two of them shifting round their bed at night, back-to-back then wrapped round each other in rotating combinations. The curves there are delicious: the contours of Luke’s pants round his bottom and Philippa’s night shirt round her waist and chest. She has an incredible sense of form and body language. It’s actually very brave of both of them to bring such joy to the world by revealing so much of themselves. Though there was a bit of a misprint which revealed far more!

Far from cloying, this is above all gently comical. You might think you know all there is to know about Philippa’s craft from WE’RE OUT, ST. COLIN AND THE DRAGON, LOOKING OUT, MY CARDBOARD LIFE and RECYCLOST, but this is cut from completely different cloth, and it is absolutely beautiful.

Here’s Luke and Philippa on the couch in front of their television set which is filling the late-night living room with the most lurid scenes of gore and evisceration. Philippa shrinks into Luke’s shoulder, hiding behind his knee.

“If I got zombied, would you shoot me?” asks Luke later, his arms wrapped around her.
“No,” she replies looking up into his eyes. “I’d let you bite me.”

Luke presses his forehead into her hair, blissed out by the answer, but it’s the expression on Philippa’s face which does it: utterly aghast and taking the question quite, quite seriously.

It’s romantic precisely because it is not some far-flung, far-fetched, passionate whirlwind set against the backdrop of an exotic Africa, desperately trying to save several species in decline while corrupt politicians connive with poachers to fur-line their pockets from the indigenous and the endangered. It’s Philippa Rice and Luke Pearson reading in bed or doing the dishes, falling asleep on top of each other in front of some late-night TV. The daily domestic routines are the best: Luke, hands in marigolds so diligently deep in the suds-filled sink, racking up a stack of clean bowls and plates; Philippa deciding that now is exactly the right time to make herself a sandwich. It’s the final panel that does it, as Philippa deposits her dirty plate by the sink with most beatific smile in the world, Luke pausing with a soapy hand on his hip.

As to walking home with the shopping, I am exactly the same: fresh baguettes, eh? I never can wait.

One of the funniest pages begins with a little mardy misdirection, because I’ve never seen this expression on Philippa’s face. I’ve seen ‘puzzled’, I’ve seen ‘thinking the question over’, and I’ve seen ‘seriously concerned for others’. But mostly all I’ve witnessed is ‘radiating happiness’ like the best dressed sunshine imaginable. I’ve never seen the cross-patch here, deep-furrowed frown accentuated by enormous blotches of fire-red cheeks as if there’s a furnace of rage burning inside.

In fact I find this so unlikely that I call Philippa on it: I think she’s doing a Joe Decie and making it up.

Includes two different end-papers which I reckon are worth the price of admission alone. You’ll see!

SLH

Buy Soppy h/c and read the Page 45 review here

“That sounds amazing, I need to pre-order!”

You really do!

The book is out now and we ship worldwide but you can also order SOPPY from Page 45 in advance of the signing (and everything else that you fancy) and select “collect in store” then it will be ready and waiting for youwith no postage to pay on Valentine’s Day. We will not sell your copy to anyone else!

If you can’t make that day Page 45 guarantees that all orders placed from anywhere in the world, online or in store, before 7th February will be signed by Philippa Rice and Luke Pearson for free but you must ASK for this service or they will be dispatched immediately upon ordering, squiggle-free!

By Philippa Rice, we have:

WE’RE OUT
ST. COLIN AND THE DRAGON
LOOKING OUT
MY CARDBOARD LIFE
RECYCLOST

Plus

NELSON
HIC & HOC ILLUSTATRATED JOURNAL OF HUMOUR (UK)
Page 45 Philippa Rice greetings card

By Luke Pearson, we have:

HILDA AND THE TROLL
HILDA AND THE MIDNIGHT GIANT
HILDA AND THE BIRD PARADE
HILDA AND THE BLACK HOUND
EVERYTHING WE MISS
SOME PEOPLE

Plus

NELSON
FAIRY TALE COMICS h/c
ABOVE THE DREAMLESS DEAD: WWI IN POETRY & COMICS

Keep Up To Date:

Page 45’s website news

Page 45’s twitter @pagefortyfive

If you have any questions now or on the day, please phone 0115 9508045.

Happy New Year!

– Stephen

 

 

Look, this is US! It is Page 45!!! x