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

Page 45 Reviews October 2014 week four The Lakes International Comic Art Festival Special

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Page 45 took more money at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 – with under 5% of our shop’s range – than we have during our busiest-ever Christmas weekend.

 - Stephen on an all-time high. There will be a great deal of name-dropping!

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 (£0-00 totally free, LICAF) by Julie Tait with the best Festival Volunteers the world has ever known.

A round of applause for Julie Tait, please, for this was magnificent!

Kendal is kindness personified, and I was ecstatic for every second that I spent there.

I cannot think of many other experiences in my life about which I can say that. And I can’t think of any I can say that about when I was so hilariously ill.

I lost my greatest asset – my voice – after the preceding night while projecting in a very loud bar full of creators and customers whom we call friends, all celebrating Page 45’s 20th Anniversary. Yippee! But the more one projects, the more others project and soon the room is one great big Brian Blessed!

TAKE AWAY‘s Lizz Lunney & me:

Jonathan and I were so thrilled with everyone who turned up: shop-floor customers like Lou and Rob Lewis, mail order customers like Craig Naples, Lou and Chris Powell whom we so rarely see, creators we’d known for 20 years like Mary and Bryan Talbot, Ivy and Scott McCloud, Gary Spencer Millidge, the dapper Woodrow Phoenix who pinched my cheek (*swoons*) and THE UMBRAL’s Antony Johnston who’s one of the kindest men you will ever meet! Vijaya and Jeff Smith with whom we’d only corresponded briefly via email or snail mail dropped in; more recent comic buddies from whom we make so much money like Lizz Lunney, Becky Cloonan, Dan Berry, Ian Culbard, Sally-Jane Thompson, Paul Duffield and Emma Vieceli after a nightmare drive up with Pud. Still they both came!

Customers Lou Powell, Craig Dawson, Chris Powell:

THE GIGANTIC BEARD THAT WAS EVIL‘s Stephen Collins & THE SUITCASE‘s Dan Berry:

I met up with reviewer Richard Bruton and his missus for the first time in yonks. His daughter Molly wears MOOMIN, and quite right too! I met Nora from Knockabout. And Titan. And Soaring Penguin Press. And Foyles. And… I’m not sure where Nora doesn’t work.

There were comicbook creators we’ve long-loved but never met in person like Sara Dunkerton, Matt Gibbs, Stephen Collins, Joe List, Rob Davis, Adam Cadwell, Jorg Tittel, John Aggs and the festival mascot creators Jonathan Edwards and Felt Mistress (we may have hatched plans!). I think Joe Decie floated in. Please forgive serious omissions for I got somewhat plastered and I promise I’ll get round to you later!

Even the magnificent Julie Tait, the Festival’s director, popped her head round the door in spite of being so ridiculously busy with final preparations. That was a bit special. We’d been planning Page 45’s appearance since the July 1st 2013 but never once met. I can honestly say that other than Team Page 45 I have never before worked with someone so tirelessly enthusiastic, so ridiculously well organised, so can-do, will-do, imaginative, innovative and generous. None of this would have been possible without her – the entire festival, I mean!

So that was a moment.

We did all this at Ruskins run by Philip Walker (who’s a sweetie( and his staff who were each of them legendary including Nina Pengelly, Fergus Atkinson, Rory Swords, Dane Wallace and Sally Thompson. They presented us with champagne (I am rather partial) and a beautiful cake which blew me away.

Look, here’s J-Lo and me cutting into it!

I think this means we’re now married.

Not a single crumb was left over. Lizz Lunney saw to that almost single-handedly, growling proprietorially every time Felt Mistress came near!

This, then, is my Page 45 Lakes International Comic Art Festival Diary seen from a guest’s perspective. A first-time guest at that! We’ve never done a festival or convention before. It was time to learn stuff. Please click on any image to enlarge.

Warning: this is ebullient!

Thursday 16th October

Boxes of comics on our shop floor, waiting to be loaded. At this point Jonathan phones for a bigger van. They don’t have one.

Thankfully it transpires that our J-LO is a comic box ninja. Total Tetris level-up!

Hint on Twitter that there may be Page 45 20th Anniversary Blog with previously unseen photos of our beardly beloved Mark. My great mate Monkey Marc Laming, one of comics’ most marvellous artists, gets very excited indeed. He is a lovely.

Friday 17th October

8.30am Publish the Page 45 20th Anniversary Blog. Wonder if anyone will care.

Tweet blog, phone taxi, return to Twitter and almost burst into tears. Apparently people care quite a lot.

Thank you for that, by the way.

Taxi to J-Lo’s, quick ciggie and it’s The The, Beck, Depeche Mode and Madness all the way to Kendal.

Arrive 1pm and oh my days, Kendal’s gorgeous! Autumn colours against a blue sky.

Attempt to find The Brewery Arts Centre. Discover the circuitous delights of Kendal’s one-way system. This takes five minutes. Drive past The Brewery Arts Centre and contemplate what another circuit would mean. Jonathan pulls up and reverses slowly down what is a one-way street.

A police van drives past. I kid you not.

We hold our breath but apparently so many heinous crimes are being committed in Kendal that their presence is required elsewhere. Either that, or they’re hungry. It’s lunchtime.

Discover The Brewery Arts Centre. Turns out that’s gorgeous too.

The Festival Volunteers direct us to Kendal’s Clock Tower. Apparently the route is… circuitous. J-Lo parks outside The Kendal Clock Tower and guards the van while I jump out and enter gingerley. I’m really quite shy, you see.

That’s when I meet Sharon Tait, and from that very first second I realise this festival is going to switch from being very, very hard work… to a joyous holiday. That woman, I tell you, is a goddess! I receive immediate hugs, complete reassurance, our festival passes plus a tour to The Georgian Room upstairs which has been dedicated solely to Page 45. Guess what? Turns out that’s bloody gorgeous as well.

I start beaming. I don’t stop for next 60 hours.

The box-carrying cavalry arrives in the form of Craig Dawson, Retail Director of That’s Entertainment and record holder of the biggest single non-librarian spend at Page 45: over £1,500 in one afternoon. And he’s in at least four times a year.

During our 15th Anniversary Booze, Craig and his fiancée challenged me to get their impending wedding blessed by Alan Moore. I don’t know Alan Moore. We’d only met once. But I do know Eddie Campbell and wee Hayley Campbell and a couple of months later I found myself boozing in Nottingham’s Olde Trip To Jerusalem with Eddie Campbell and Michael Eaton who were creating a graphic novel about Charlie Peace which turned into a fabulous play. (Click on that sentence for Eddie’s astonishing stage set designs!) We all went to see it together this time last year with Eddie’s lovely lady,  The Time Traveler’s Wife’s Audrey Niffenegger.

Anyway the very next day, Eddie was set to meet up with wee Hayley Campbell and Alan Moore in Northampton. So this happened.

 

 

 

Mission accomplished, but I digress.

Sally-Jane Thompson arrives with birthday chocolates and robot mug and together we decide how to organise the tables to show off the stock and all our creators in residence to best effect. Having a comicbook creator like Sally around is quite an advantage for that! A lovely bloke called Stephen comes in to drape the tables in black, Sally and Craig unpack and I take three whole hours arranging all our gorgeous graphic novels!

 

 

 

Andy Diggle wanders in. Hurray! I’ve never met Andy before. Thankfully he introduces himself: I’ve no idea what so many comicbook creators look like. You’ll remember I said that later! *cries*

Mary and Bryan Talbot wander in and introduce us to Vijaya and Jeff Smith. I’ve never met them before, either. Hurrah!

Ivy and Scott McCloud wander in.

Oh, them I’ve known for just over twenty years. We named Page 45 after the 45th Page of UNDERSTANDING COMICS (for the full story see the Page 45 FAQs here). It’s why they insisted on signing with us at the festival. Lucky us!

Then a career highlight: I introduce the Scott McCloud to a graphic novel that he’s. Never. Heard of: THE RIVER by Alessandro Sanna.

It’s Scott who introduces you to comics you’ve never heard of!

Second career highlight on the trot? A tall man I don’t recognise starts inspecting all our meticulously arranged lavish, hardcover graphic novels. “Oh, these are marvellous, beautiful, fabulous books…” Or words to that effect. I can’t really remember. I think I introduce myself and explain what we’re doing over the weekend. I can’t really remember that, either. My memory’s rubbish isn’t it? Do you want to write this blog instead?

Anyway, he has a French accent so that was a clue. Turns out it was Boulet! And if Boulet believes you have beautiful books… Well, I began to believe we might have brought the right graphic novels!

 

 

J-Lo returns from the hotel, we pop up our signs (note for next time: we need more, and bigger ones!) and wander down to reception wondering where Ruskins could be.

It was at this point we began to discover the festival’s greatest asset:

THE LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL VOLUNTEERS CANNOT DO ENOUGH FOR YOU!

Seriously. They bring you tea and coffee and water all weekend round. Ask for anything: an extra table, some tissue paper to absorb the excess watercolour on Glyn Dillon’s brushes… Ask for anything at all and ye shall receive within seconds. They’re constantly and consistently asking if you need anything. One wonderful woman fetched me throat lozenges and I didn’t even ask! She’d simply spotted that I’d started struggling.

There were always several on hand in the lobby with Sharon Tait and outside offering programmes to the public passing by – smiling, never flagging – and one young man (everyone’s a young man to this Methuselah) didn’t just point us in the right direction, he took us to Ruskins – right to its door.

Which, I believe, is where we came in: Page 45’s 20th Anniversary Booze Bash.

Have a photo of Festival Volunteer Alex Valente. I tried introducing comicbook creators to Alex Valente but almost all of them knew him already. He’s that kind of guy. What a star!

Saturday 18th October

We’d been booked in to The Best Western Green Castle Hotel. Hey, guess what? It was gorgeous. Breakfast had quite the view.

There were a lot of comicbook creators booked in there, but mysteriously none of them made it to breakfast quite as early as we did. I’d pop in a wink but it turns into a smiley on blogs and they bug me.

Sorry…? Nope, I don’t get hangovers. I am immune. But apparently not to a ragingly raw throat. I rasped my way right through the festival.

9.30am and our first roster of rotating creators begins to arrive in the Georgian Room. Rotating? Sarah McIntyre positively pirouettes! Here she is with Ivy!

 

They start setting up their stalls of self-published comics backed up with their books which we’d brought with us from various other publishers. Look, here’s Kristyna Baczynski!

Kristyna with the 24-Hour Comics Marathon maestro, Dan Berry!

Jack Teagle on the right, Joe Decie to his left, with a seemingly invisible left hand!

Warwick Johnson-Cadwell popped in later. You’ll see him in the 24-Hour Comics Marathon photo later on! Ooh, and Oliver East swings by to make sure all ten of issues of his comic THE HOMESICK TRUANT’S CUMBRAIN YARN are on sale in our room. They are, and readers have already been asking about specific journies. (I have to tell you, Oliver is looking so hot these days. I had to tell him too, because some days I have no internal editor).

The public begin drifting in. The public start surging in. The public start browsing our books. The public start buying our books!

One of the most rewarding aspects of this Festival is how many members of general public – The Real Mainstream, many of whom had never come across adult graphic novels or quality Young Adult and Younger Reader graphic novels before – flooded into the Clock Tower. It’s because it’s such an attractive venue in the centre of town and the whole of Kendal is taken over by comics way in advance. Unlike some other conventions, you cannot accuse The Lakes International Comic Art Festival of failing to advertise – they do it months in advance!

Also: NO ENTRANCE FEE! Nice one! Why wouldn’t they meander in and take a look? I would. I did! I might have put in some work.

Another equally rewarding aspect this year was how many of The Real Mainstream who never knew they were in search of Real Mainstream graphic novels like ours then studiously picked them up and leafed through them. Then another! Then another! Not “Oh no, this isn’t for me!”

And then there were families! Oh my days, there were families! Thankfully early on I’d decided to devote an entire round table to kids’ comics because kids’ comics are cool!

 

 

Look, here’s Captain Stoopid himself, the gorgeous Gary Northfield, sketching in our copies of TEENYTINYSAURS and GARY’S GARDEN!

That man is a star! He was over in The Phoenix Comic area at the Shakespeare Centre doing workshops with Adam Murphy and Neill Cameron et al, teaching Young Readers and Teens HOW TO MAKE AWESOME COMICS. He didn’t have to zap round to Page 45 and sketch for us too, but he did! And guess what? Over the weekend, we sold out!

Similarly Adam Murphy slipped round early Sunday to sign CORPSE TALK but we were already down to three copies! And then there were none.

It was RAINBOW ORCHID’s Garen Ewing who declared, “Children aren’t the future of comics; they are the present!” Quite right too! Pop quality kids’ comics in front of bright, shiny eyes and they will devour them. And fibre is awfully important in any diet.

10am to 12pm: our Scott McCloud signing!

So that was a thing.

This really is Scott with Aliki Chapple to the left:

It was at this point, I think, that mail order customer Derren Phillips popped in with birthday cards both for the shop and for silly old me. He’d secretly contacted J-Lo to supply him with our logo and typeface and replaced “PAGE 45” with “AGE 49” and “AGE 20”. So cool!

1pm. I announce to a packed room – rather bravely, I thought – that it is time for my first show-and-tell. Like Tom Waits with a loud hailer (I can project, sore throat or not!) “Who’s here for my show-and-tell on The Hidden Secrets Of Graphic Novels?”

Deafening silence. The creators howl with laughter.

Bums, I think, but launch in anyway with the wonderful Jade Sarson helping me unravel Joe Sacco’s THE GREAT WAR to great gasps! Immediately I have an audience! I am utterly astonished. Then on I charge through Shaun Tan’s THE ARRIVAL and David Mazzucchelli’s ASTERIOS POLYP showing them how each creator had so cleverly composed those graphic novels with secret tricks that only the comics medium can muster. I’m not sure how many books we cover. Maybe a dozen, perhaps? I love every minute of it.

Throughout the weekend some of that audience come back and buy graphic novels, asking me to remind me which ones they were. So it worked after all. Never miss an opportunity to spread the good word, I say! Turn every obstacle into an opportunity!

1.45pm and we are approaching our Glyn Dillon signing.

I have publicly declared Eddie Campbell’s ALEC OMNIBUS to be the finest single body of work in comics, and it is. Eddie is comics’ finest raconteur as everyone attending his talk at the festival found out and his autobiographical musings are as profound as they are laugh-out-loud funny. Whenever I spend time with Eddie he is always full of stories and almost always half-convulsed with laughter.

“But enough of Eddie Campbell!” (cries his entire family), we are here for Glyn Dillon right now, and I am rather excited! I have known Glyn Dillon via Twitter and e-mail for three or four years having publicly declared THE NAO OF BROWN to be the book of the year… six months before it was published. I’m rather brash with my public declarations, aren’t it? But I’d already seen enough. On publication it turned out to be substantially more: the finest piece of comicbook fiction of all time.

He’d already shown me so much support and so many behind-the-scenes kindnesses like during the only time I can recall ever having been attacked on Twitter – by someone in our own industry whom I’d always supported. That was an odd evening.

But. Glyn and I have never met. Just as I’m getting very, very excited in walks this well-handsome man with a gentle demeanour and asks how we’re doing.

“Oh, tremendously well, cheers!” I croak. “I mean, look at this lavish room the festival has given us! We’ve a rotating cast of creators all sketching and selling away! We’ve all these jaw-dropping graphic novels the public are lapping up. And. And. In fifteen minutes time we have the great Glyn Dillon not just signing or sketching but painting in THE NAO OF BROWN!”
“Who on earth do you think I am?”

If ever you had any doubts (I know you don’t), I am indeed an utter buffoon.

 

As revenge we keep Glyn busy for a full two hours and I even pronounce his brilliance rather loudly across the room in order to ensure extra sales and make the man blush. Both worked rather well, I thought.

You can buy THE NAO OF BROWN t-shirts we had on sale here.

Next up at 4pm is my Kids Comics Are Cool! show-and-tell and thankfully an audience arrives for that. Smaller than the last one, I grant you, but then I’d already given a private showing to mail order customer Marcus Nyahoe. Marcus Nyahoe is one of my favourite people anywhere in this world. He wanted recommendations for his young son called Max. So I ask what Max likes and he likes ninjas and stoopidity and –

I didn’t have to hear any more.  I showed him a lot but I focussed on Jamie Smart’s FISH HEAD STEVE. This is the result: one happy chappy!

Yeah, that’s my favourite photo of the festival as well!

At 6pm Jonathan shows me our Z Read. That’s when you find out how much you’ve taken.

J-Lo has been in charge of the till, by the way. He’d created a hybrid of our original Ronnie Barker ‘Open All Hours’ till drawer (it is rapacious!) and a modern console which thanks to J-Lo’s inexhaustible ingenuity meant that we could take credit cards as well as cash. It might sound like I had been working but while J-Lo was stuck behind the till I had snuck off for some smokes. Such a slacker!

There I’d finally met up with my Duncan Fegredo and festival patron Sean Phillips whom I’m begun to fear that I’d miss. Duncan Fegredo was the reason that Page 45 couldn’t do the festival’s first year because of this. That’s right, blame Duncan Fegredo! *eyes wander skywards innocently*

“BUT WHAT ABOUT YOUR TAKINGS, YOU NAME-DROPPING NUMBSKULL?”

Oh. We’d taken already taken more money on the first day than we expected to in our wildest dreams all weekend. Page 45 took more money at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 – with under 5% of the full shop’s book range – than we have during our busiest-ever Christmas weekend.

Time to celebrate!

 

Back we go to The Brewery Arts Centre where people with passes get fed. For free! Alas, we have mislaid our meal tickets, but here comes FREAKANGELS’ Paul Duffield who has been buzzing all weekend long. I’ve never known him as hyper as this! On Saturday night he was stood at the taxi rank with Emma Vieceli and Pud then abruptly changed his mind and bolted right back to Ruskins. Hurrah!

Paul takes the time and trouble to scout round his table for spares just for us and, oh, but the food is delicious. I hadn’t eaten for 48 hours. Well, I had breakfast but unfortunately my throat decided against it and my loss was the toilet bowl’s gain.

We have dinner with Hannah Berry for whose ADAMTINE we ran a chilling – and I mean chilling – campaign when Hannah designed these replica notes which we snuck into other graphic novels all round the shop. Read the review and all will become clear! That’s my letter knife and old keyboard, by the way. One is slightly shinier than the other. Theatrics are important!

Also sitting with us: Jade Sarson, Darryl Cunningham, Stephen Collins, Corinne Pearlman from Myriad Publishing along with their Gareth Brookes and, oh, there’s Joff Winterhart – two of Page 45’s Comicbook Of The Month creators sitting next to each other! I never got to speak to Joff Winterhart – I didn’t want to interrupt – but apparently lovely things about Page 45 were said in his talk. I don’t quite know what but Sharon Tait said it was so. Thank you, Joff!

Once everyone packs up along come replacements Eddie Campbell, Audrey Niffenegger and Dan Franklin. Eddie and Audrey, I know. But Dan Franklin is essentially the commissioning editor of graphic novels and beyond at Jonathan Cape. He’s Bryan Talbot’s editor. He’s Salman Rushdie’s editor. I am slightly intimidated.

Oh wait, no I’m not. I don’t do intimidated; I do drunk. I campaign relentlessly. Every obstacle is an opportunity etc! I should probably have done intimidated.

Left to right: Matt Green, J-Lo, this idiot, Craig Dawson, Eddie Campbell, Audrey Niffenegger, Dan Franklin:

Scottish-born then Australian-bound Eddie insists I tell everyone about my big gay bed. He does this every time.

I think we may need a little context.

Eddie Campbell’s entire family came to stay with me some 18 years ago. I’m guessing at this point, but 18 years sounds about right. Hayley was about 10, wee Callum was roughly 4 and Erin was there in the middle. Eddie and Anne had my en suite guest room, Hayley had my double bed, Erin had the spare room’s single and Callum had the couch. Everyone went to bed and Callum dozed off while Eddie and I blathered on until 4 in the morning about everything from comics to ancient Greek statues. That was when I first learned – from Eddie – that Greek statues weren’t white. They were very brightly coloured.

Anyway, I have a thing for black sheets and Hayley decided they were gay.

Now I cannot recall if wee Hayley knew I was gay but knowing wee Hayley I suspect this is so. Regardless, she certainly wasn’t using “gay” in its pejorative sense, as in naff. *Kicks you in the cods if you use it that way!* She’d decided my black-sheeted beds were gay. Or used for gay purposes. *snorts*

And the very next morning – after I’d spent the rest of the early hours on the sofa watching Disney films with four-year-old Callum who’d woken up just as Eddie collapsed into bed – Hayley Campbell declared that I had a “big gay bed” and a “wee gay bed”.

That night I had no gay bed.

“But enough about Eddie Campbell!” (shrieks his entire family). “What happened next?”

Next was Bryan Talbot!

Now, I’ve known Bryan Talbot for years. THE TALE OF ONE BAD RAT – set, of course, in The Lakes District – catalysed our friendship: an impeccably composed graphic novel whose Beatrix-Potter-inspired cover sold itself to The Real Mainstream, it was one of our very first golden winners. When Bryan first came to sign we sold  a copy to a blue-rinsed octogenarian Tory who’d wandered in by mistake. She recognised specific landscapes in Bryan’s book and was instantly converted to comics.

Later, Mary Talbot came to live with me for a year while lecturing at Trent University. She showed me healthy salads; I showed her my fridge.

I even appear on Bryan Talbot’s GRAPHIC NOVEL MAN DVD, popping up when you least expect it. I’m so sorry about that.

Blame its director, Russell Wall. I’m quite good at this blame game, aren’t it?

So there I am chatting to Bryan, Mary, Russell and Kate Charlesworth, illustrator of their SALLY HEATHCOTE: SUFFRAGETTE, when somehow their friends Dougie Braithwaite and Dave Gibbons are mentioned and I’ve never met either. Bryan fixes that immediately. They’re both here! Doug has an exhibition on at The Brewery Arts Centre.

So I finally met Dave Gibbons in person and tweet that I may have been squiffy. The great man replied, “There’s no “may” about it.”

And frankly, there really wasn’t.

Sunday 19th October

Yup, up, yup, up bright and early!

Did I mention I’m immune to hangovers? Sorreeeeeee!

Now new stars appear in our Georgian Room who’d been there the previous day but post-2pm! Donya Todd and Jade Sarson who kindly helped with Saturday’s Show-And-Tell!

Fumio Obata! Such a gracious man!

Joe List and Lizz Lunney!

Lizz Lunney made us a present! How cool is this?!

10.30am The Art Of Selling Comics.

This was completely new territory for me.

Well, selling comics isn’t, obviously, nor putting that dark art into such card-crushing practice that some poor customers have found themselves careening from healthy savings account to second mortgage in six seconds flat! But although I’ve enjoyed delivering loads of interactive, hour-long show-and-tell sessions with librarians and book clubs, I’d never constructed a PowerPoint presentation with a sort of set “script” dictated by the order of slides. I love learning stuff – it’s empowering and the construction itself was great fun.

Dr. Mel Gibson kindly volunteered to act as compère and took me took the Council Chamber hidden behind closed doors at the back of the Clock Tower. It was quite the revelation: ornate wooden panelling, with rows of seats raised round the room above the central presentation point with its screen. It felt a bit like a courtroom (there was even a gavel!) in the round. Every seat had a microphone, and maybe I should’ve used mine because my tongue by now felt like it was made of red-hot barbed wire. But the one thing I can always do is project, and I was determined to keep it as lively and theatrical as possible, kicking off with how I hand-sell Isabel Greenberg’s THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF EARLY EARTH directly to customers on the shop floor.

Fortunately my routine for that contains multiple jokes: all education should be entertainment to keep your audience engaged, whether it’s a review, a presentation or Twitter! Also, by good fortune, that routine contains almost every element I wanted to explore on The Art Of Selling Comics which I’d bullet-pointed on two sheets or paper – one addressing retailers, the other addressing creators and publishers – both of which I’d left by each seat because a) I had no idea who would be which and b) to show that they’re pretty much identical. Whether it’s a review for readers or a preview for retailers, both are sales pitches and both, to my mind, should reflect the spirit of the book that you’re selling.

As it happens Jared Myland from OK Comics kindly came, as did Corinne Pearlman from Myriad Publishing and, at a guess, 30 more?

Sharon Tait told me it generated a big buzz in the lobby afterwards and it certainly got a lot of laughs during the talk, but if I am brutally honest with you it was the one part of the festival for me which didn’t go according to plan. Sorry! Having a throat that sore and a voice that raw is distracting. I forgot a few things (I read from no script, relying instead on the slides to prompt me on the elements I’d rehearsed, because reading from a script can be crushingly dull and you don’t meet the eyes of your audience), I overran painfully to the point where I’d just ten minutes left to address publishers properly and there was no time for questions except afterwards. I could really have done with an extra half hour. My bad, I know! Still, live and learn!

I took a particularly good question outside from two young creators currently creating a comic which reminded me of a crucial First Second article on building your fanbase, and my advice was to start getting pages online well in advance of pitching to publishers or pitching directly to retailers like me, then hitting Twitter  and spreading the word.

Hmm. I appear to have slipped into past tense.

Returning to our room I discover Eddie Campbell has sidled by to sign the ALEC OMNIBUS, THE FROM HELL COMPANION etc, then Jeff Smith squiggles in RASL.

Mary Talbot signs SALLY HEATHCOTE, SUFFRAGETTE, one of my biggest books of the year:



She so chic!

2pm. Time for the 24-Hour Comic Marathon celebrations!

A phenomenal achievement, Jack Teagle, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Donya Todd, Dan Berry, Fumio Obata, Joe Decie and Sarah McIntyre (left to right) had all created comics in just 24 hours then the printers miraculously turned them around in under 12!

Here they are artfully spread around by the marathon’s instigator and coordinator, Dan Berry, creator of THE END and THE SUITCASE etc. (Pop Dan into our search engine – we’ve loads of his comics!)

 

Awards were presented by Dougie Braithwaite, and there was a roar of laugher as Sarah McIntyre wrestled with getting her medal over one of her legendarily large and ornate hats! Here’s Sarah McIntyre’s ‘A Peak At The 24-Hour Comic Marathon’! Her blogs are the best! Such fun photos!

Shortly afterwards I served comics maestro Hunt Emerson and FATALE’s Sean Phillips dropped in for a chat, reuniting me with WALKING DEAD’s Charlie Adlard.

Charlie and me went to school together – we even attended the same art class every week! Guess which one of us is now one of comics’ most successful artists and which one’s the till monkey! We hadn’t actually spoken since school: Charlie wasn’t even sure it was the same Stephen Holland at Page 45 that he went to school with. And now we’re back in contact! Hurrah! Do you think we may have hatched plans?! Hahahahahahaha!

And then suddenly it was all over and we had to pack up.

Once again, without the help of the help of the Festival Volunteers this would have been so much more arduous. There was time for a final round of hugs, two swift smokes then into the van. Leaving Sharon Tait was such a wrench.

Jonathan and I had a riot on our way back, manically exchanging anecdotes and planning for even more fun in the future at what I honestly believe to be the greatest UK Comicbook Festival of all time. It was our first, it was fabulous and we made so much money selling great graphic novels and comics to those who’d never encountered a single graphic novel in their lives. We have ideas! Oh, so many ideas!

And we will be back, I promise you. We will be back with a vengeance!

Always finish with a flourish and a startling surprise.

Page 45 Announces Its Presence At The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2015 Oct 16-18

We will be back upstairs in The Georgian Room with more gorgeous graphic novels and rotating creators signing and sketching for free just like this year. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Why’s that a surprise?

Page 45 had promised in public to hold its 21st Birthday Party and my own 50th Birthday Party on Saturday 17th October 2015 in Nottingham. It’s the very same day: we opened by chance on my birthday.

I hate breaking promises. Moreover, I don’t normally celebrate my birthdays any longer and Page 45 customers will understand why I couldn’t possibly celebrate my 40th birthday in any way shape or form: we’d just lost our Mark. So I’d set my heart on being in Nottingham that day with friends, relatives and customers if only for one year only.

I can promise all of you this: Page 45’s 21st Birthday Booze Bash will be in Nottingham on a subsequent Saturday which we’ll announce as soon as humanly possible. And we will make it special!

But all weekend long we were asked if we’d be back to LICAF next year in the sort of tone than implies “Please!”

We reached The Real Mainstream, converting hundreds of new people to comics and that has always been Page 45’s prime stated mission.

In doing so we took more money this year at LICAF than on our biggest-ever Christmas weekend with under 5% of the range of our books.

Those two paragraphs are not unrelated.

Then Festival Director Julie Tait and Sharon Tait asked us back immediately in two eloquent emails which moved me like few others I have ever received in my life.

Lastly, when the momentum is a strong as this, when a Comic Art Festival in only its second year does such enormous good for our beloved medium of choice, it would be insane not to commit yourself to it every single year. So that’s my second announcement:

Page 45 Announces Its Presence At The Lakes International Comic Art Festival Exclusively & Forever

We now have the courage to take our shop roaming to the Book Festivals too, where we can continue our crusade to bring comics and graphic novels to new readers. But for comics Page 45 has found its natural home in The Lakes International Comic Art Festival. That’s where we’ll be every year.

Thank you for reading, thank you for coming; I hope you’ve had as much fun as us.

I’ve had the time of my life. See you in Kendal next year!

THE GIGANTIC BEARD THAT WAS EVIL‘s Stephen Collins & THE SUITCASE‘s Dan Berry:

SLH

Here’s The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 Programme It was pretty fabulous, yes!

Lakes History Mysteries (£1-00, Langdale Primary) by school children assisted by Jim Medway.

“I think I’ve invented the Plinky Plonk!”

Haha! Genius!

This is as hilarious as only young minds like the great Gary Northfield’s can be. Please see TEENYTINYSAURS and GARY’S GARDEN.

It costs one whole Earth Pound which I know is outrageous, but all funds raised go to a cancer charity and we’ve already paid them at full cover price, so hurrah!

Created by Lakes District school children then hand-sold by those same young entrepreneurs all around The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014, it boasts a startling line up of comicbook stars in the making:

Tarantula Ninja Squad, Jellyfish Egg Lazer, Angry Bird, Mini Haribo. 3 D.S., Robot Hedghog, Jim Bob, Mr Jellytime, Hyper Squirrel, Magnetic Squirrel, Appl Craver, Trigger Button, Alligator Wigwam, Jelly Lemon Biscuit, Coconut Cracker, Electric Bubble Water, Jammy Nutellacustard, Turquoise Wallaby, Isla Maize King, TrGo Fenfer, Kally Elly Pepper, Sam Gutter!

Do you think Hyper and Magnetic are related?

Some of the creators in our Georgian Room like Joe List and Donya Todd thought fast on their feet and got their copies signed so they could soon be worth a small fortune. I’m not even kidding you. If you’re confident enough to co-create then sell a comic at ComicArtFest and already thinking about page composition at such a tender age, the chances are you’ll go far.

Also, how kind was that? Established comicbook creators treating the young girls and boys as their equals and make them feel as special as they are. That’s one of things I love about the comicbook industry and I swear I almost cried.

LAKES HISTORY MYSTERIES is a relay race of artists and writers telling speculative stories about Necessity’s daughter Invention along with her close living relative Accidental Discovery over the last 5,000 years.

Inspired by local artefacts like a lithophone and prehistoric stone tools, each creator pops on their thinking cap and wonders how or why these objects were invented. Also: who were their first casualties and what do you think happened next? It definitely has the “Whoops!” factor.

The consistency of line is astonishing, every three-panels-per-page layout is as clear as clear can be, plus the paper stock has an attractive satin sheen which shows off the black ink beautifully.

Brilliant! Congratulations to all and good going, Jim Medway, creator of PLAYING OUT on his two-day workshop which evidently worked wonders.

Sincere apologies to any creator whose immaculate handwriting fell foul of my fumbling fingers in transcription.

Signed,

Typo Turtle Twit

SLH

Buy Lakes History Mysteries and read the Page 45 review here

Destination: Kendal! (£1-50, Lakes International Comic Art Festival) by Jonathan Edwards, Felt Mistress, Sean Phillips.

There is nothing I love more than mischief.

And when it comes cloth-covered in kindness, I love it even more!

I love it when writers and artists – or indeed anyone else – understand and trust each other to the point where they relish having fun poked at them!

Me and our Dee are constantly teasing each other on the shop floor. We’ve worked with each other for nearly twenty years now, mocking our own mannerisms, our failings and foibles whilst poking each other in the metaphorical ribs all day long. It makes me so happy.

This too makes me very happy indeed!

Produced to promote The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 and on sale there all weekend, this laugh-until-you-cry comic stars its Poblin’s Gang of hyperactive, completely deluded yet infectiously exuberant red, furry mascots.

Designed by POP! A COMPLETE HISTORY’s Jonathan Edwards, brought to lush, three-dimensional life by CREATURE COUTURE’s Felt Mistress and then photographed here by FATALE’s Sean Phillips, the Poblins are each as individual as the Banana Splits and are en masse an insane force of nature to be reckoned with. Now they are coming to town!

The town is Kendal, home to The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 in this, its second year, and the town doesn’t quite know what’s hit it.

These gleeful nutters have made studious notes on which comicbook creators will be appearing where and when (Scott McCloud, Becky Cloonan, Jeff Smith, Mary and Bryan Talbot, Glyn Dillon, Lizz Lunney, Dan Berry, Eddie Campbell, Junko Mizuno et al) but seem singularly fixated on artist and patron, Sean Phillips.

“We really hit it off when I visited his studio,” claims Poblin. “When I climbed up his drainpipe to wave at him through his studio window he screamed with delight that I was back again!”

Poor Sean! As for Poblin’s unauthorised helping hand to TRAINS ARE MINT’s Oliver East and his painstakingly painted, black and white murals, it was at that point that tears of laughter ran down my face right there on the bus back home.

This too, from queen of the zines, Zinny:

“My first was called “Zinny’s Zine” then I teamed up with my friend Dan on “Zinny’s Zine With Dan”, then I thought it would be funny to do a zine about Zinedine Zidane with Dan called “Zinny’s Zinedine Zidane With Dan”. Then I got writer’s cramp.”

Poblin himself is the most manic and crush-worthy creation in town! Fall for his lop-sided lunacy, gawp at his gormless grin and then hug him to death for his wide-eyed naivety and the most tactile, svelte pelt in history!

Photographed by Sean Phillips against Kendal’s green grass and then framed on the reddest paper in history, our comic-crash casualties come truly alive! Those colours are to die for.

I so, so want to meet them. I wonder if they’ll wander into Page 45’s Georgian Room in Kendal’s Clock Tower where we will have over £12,000 worth of the most diverse and individualistic comics and graphic novels on sale and where we are playing host to so many of those creators noted earlier?

If so, I pray they will allow themselves to be photographed with us and by us – unless poor Sean has recovered enough from Poblin’s last apparition to stop by himself. I want this so much. I don’t normally fall for the hirsute but if Poblin ever exhibits any, you know, “tendencies”, then I’ve begged the magnificent Felt Mistress to let me know.

I’d send Poblin flowers, but he’d probably eat them.

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 takes place from 17th to 19th October. This is the Lakesfest website! This is the Lakesfest 2014 programme!

All proceeds from our sales go directly to the Lakesfest: we’re not taking a penny. We’re doing this because we believe in this festival with all our hearts plus its director and curator, Julie Tait, is a complete and utter star.

There: I’ve said it.

Big hugs also to the Lakesfest’s Sharon Tait, Sandra, Jenny and all the volunteers without whose organisational acumen – equal only to Julie’s – exhibitors would be dazed and confused. You are all so loved and thank you.

SLH

Buy Destination Kendal 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. Neat, huh?

 

A Quiet Disaster (£5-00, Avery Hill Publishing) by Alex Potts

Adventure Time: The Art Of Ooo h/c (£24-99, Titan Books) by various, edited by Chris McDonnell

BPRD Plague Of Frogs vol 1 s/c (£14-99, Dark Horse) by Mike Mignola & Guy Davis and many others

Grey Area – From The City To The Sea (Signed) (£6-00, Avery Hill Publishing) by Tim Bird

Last Days Of Nobodies (Numbered Edition of 100 & Signed & Sketched In!) (£7-00, Avery Hill Publishing) by Mike Medaglia

Meanwhile #1 (£4-95, Soaring Penguin Press) by Gary Spencer Millidge, Sally Jane Thompson, Chris Geary, Yuko Rabbit, David Hine, Mark Stafford

Sandman: Annotated Sandman vol 3 h/c (£37-99, Vertigo) by Neil Gaiman & Leslie S. Klinger

Storm h/c Signed Slipcase Edition (£20-00, Orion Books) by Tim Minchin & DC Turner

Storm s/c (£12-99, Orion Books) by Tim Minchin & DC Turner

The Garden Of Words (£10-99, Vertical) by Makoto Shinkai & Midori Motohashi

The Last Temptation (Signed Edition) h/c (£55-99, Dynamite) by Neil Gaiman & Michael Zulli, David Curiel, Dave Mckean

Zenith: Phase One h/c (£20-00, Rebellion) by Grant Morrison & Steve Yeowell

Gotham City Sirens Book 1 s/c (£18-99, DC) by Paul Dini, various & Guillem March, various

Harley Quinn vol 1: Hot In The City h/c (£18-99, DC) by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti & Chad Hardin, various

Suicide Squad vol 5: Walled In s/c (£12-99, DC) by Matt Kindt, Sean Ryan & Patrick Zircher, various

Hulk vol 1: Banner DOA s/c (£13-50, Marvel) by Mark Waid & Mark Bagley

Original Sin: Hulk Vs. Iron Man s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Mark Waid, Kieron Gillen & Mark Bagley, Luke Ross

Supercrash: How To Hijack The Global Economy (£14-99, Myriad) by Darryl Cunningham

Sunny vol 4 h/c (£16-99, Viz) by Taiyo Matsumoto

News!

ITEM! Page 45 is 20 Years Old. I wrote that blog about it!

Thank you for reading and thank you for everything during the 20 best years of my life.

Good night!

- Stephen x

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today…

Friday, October 17th, 2014

We hope you have enjoyed the show!

Page 45 opened twenty years ago this very day! When I, quite clearly, was five.

Look, that’s me above with Mark to my left at our opening night’s Booze Bash!

I’ve had customers live with me, find love on our shop floor, and made friends for life with the people I am so, so lucky enough to work alongside.

Here’s a stat to knock your socks off: in those twenty thrilling, remarkable years only one member of staff has left Page 45 voluntarily: Tom Rosin, after ten years’ tenure to pursue his career as a chef.

Well, that’s not quite true: our original member Dominique has tried to get away three times, but she’s always come back, without once returning her leaving presents.

Dominique has promised never to leave Page 45 again. I hold this to be true, for I have refused to write Dee another reference. So ingenious are Dee’s innovations and so meticulous her systems (she labels everything – our labels have a label saying “labels”) that we couldn’t function without her, so there’s no escape now.

I think that stat speaks volumes about how much fun this job is: introducing such beautiful books to such brilliant people and you are, all of, you brilliant! Without your loyalty, hard-earned cash and shared enthusiasm for our chosen medium Page 45 would not be here today.

You pay our wages and we recognise this to be true.

Of course without our beardly beloved Mark we wouldn’t be here today, either. Here he is with the great Huw Feather, artist of Soft Cell and early Marc Almond single sleeves, album sleeves and videos. I have some original Huw Feather art! Oh yes!

Together we co-designed Page 45 and you can  see those early designs here.

Twenty years for any Independent Retailer maintaining diversity on our increasingly homogenised High Streets is an accomplishment indeed. I may have an announcement to make about our next twenty years in about a week’s time – what a tease!

In the meantime, more never-before-seen photos of our first Pan print and the colour separations for its t-shirt. Highy collectible!

(My first-ever job was as a screen-printed t-shirt designer.)

 

 

So much has changed in these last twenty years, almost all of it for the better. For a start, back then there were only a couple of hundred graphic novels worth stocking and now we have over six thousand! Six thousand different graphic novels so that each and every genre – from straight fiction to politics, autobiography, travel, crime, sci-fi, humour and horror with a burgeoning gay content too – is bursting with breadth and depth to appeal to all tastes, and Young Readers’ and Young Adults’ graphic novels are fizzing with sophisticated thrills to get our kids reading again!

The UK comics industry, which Mark and I both firmly believed in (and staked a substantial amount of money on) twenty years ago, has properly come of age and is flourishing! Just one look at Page 45’s Comicbook Of The Month Club shows how many of our selections – a disproportionate number considering how many of our graphic novels come from America – are British. We didn’t choose them because there are British, we chose them because they were the best.

And almost every day someone completely new to comics comes through our door because the message is finally out there, spread all over the broadsheets, that comics are cool, that comics have so much substance that graphic novels like Mary and Bryan Talbot’s DOTTER OF HER FATHER’S EYES can beat prose in the Costa Book Awards, and the comics are now seen as so respectable that a comic shop like Page 45 won Nottingham’s Best Independent Business Award two years in a row.

I wish Mark could be here to see it today. I really do. But sadly Page 45’s co-creator Mark Simpson died in 2005. I like to think – no, I know – that Mark would be proud of what we’ve accomplished since in his memory, and would especially proud with what our Jonathan has achieved in bringing Page 45 bang up to date with the website you’re now reading this on which comics’ Kieron Gillen called “crush-worthy”!

It is a beautiful beast, is it not? I particularly adore Page 45’s website front-page illustrated by another British comicbook legend, Nabiel Kanan. It’s a comic. It really is. Not just because it has panels, but because it tells a story in two sequential images: young women and men arrive at our door, thrilled by what they might find, then come to our counter where we whip their wallets and utterly traumatise their credit cards.

But if I can be serious for one moment, none of that would have been possible without Jonathan arriving in the nick of time some six or seven years ago as my new business partner with a vision for Page 45’s future.

No word of a lie: if it wasn’t for Jonathan, there would no longer even be a Page 45.

We certainly wouldn’t be celebrating Page 45’s 20th Anniversary at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014.

I can sell a comic. Heh, I can really hand-sell a comic as so many of you know to your cost! But I don’t have that same incredible acumen for technology and organisation that Dominique and Jonathan – equally adept at frisking you financially – do! They’re also very, very good teachers.

Jonathan has been my absolute rock for the last six or seven years, both professionally and personally. If something goes wrong at home on my computer or whatever it’s, like, “Jonathaaaaaan…?”

These days on the shop floor and on Twitter I’m basically front-of-house. No, wait: I’m essentially the shop dog!

It’s Jonathan, Dominique and Jodie on our worldwide mail order you should be thanking, and that is what I hope I’m doing here.

I’m also thanking you. Without you there would be no Page 45, either.

Thank you for your support, thank you for your extraordinary kindnesses – customers and creators alike – and thank you for what is truly an endurance test as I make so much booze-addled mischief @pagefortyfive on Twitter.

Know this, please: I am so, so grateful and you are so loved.

A toast then in closing, if I may, on Page 45’s 20th Anniversary:

“To quality, diversity and creativity in comics!”

Cheers,

- Stephen

Page 45 is a comic shop. We are:

Jonathan Rigby
Dominique Kidd
Stephen L. Holland
with Jodie Paterson

Quite often with Bryan Lee O’Malley!

Bryan Lee O’Malley signing, sketching at Page 45

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Page 45 loudly and proudly presents

Bryan Lee O’Malley signing SECONDS

5pm to 8pm
Monday 18th August 2014
which is the exact

10th Anniversary of SCOTT PILGRIM!

You are allowed a little squeal.

“Advise me to pre-order SECONDS, Stephen!”

Hey, SECONDS is on sale NOW! Not only that but it is already out of print!

SECONDS was released early in the UK by SelfMadeHero and there will be no new printing in time for the signing. Copies are now scare, so please order in advance of the signing!

You can order SECONDS from Page 45 (and everything else that you fancy) and select “collect in store” then it will be ready and waiting for you on the day itself – or immediately, if you fancy. All orders placed now are guaranteed. We will not sell your copy to anyone else!

 

“What if I can’t make it on the day in the end?”

We will get your copy signed and mail it on if necessary. But only if you order now, before our online sign says we’ve sold out!

“What if I know I can’t make it and select mail order?”

We will get your copy signed if you ask and mail it on accordingly. But only if you order before our online sign says we’ve sold out!

I’d basically order now. Click this sentence to order SECONDS!

Your card is never charged here until your pre-order arrives.  In any case, this is no longer a pre-order: we have SECONDS in stock, right now!

We Also Have:

LOST AT SEA 10th-Anniversary H/C
SCOTT PILGRIM
HOPELESS SAVAGES

Page 45’s World Exclusive 2012 Signing print

On The Day:

Entry is free, no tickets required.

Please turn up early, buy stuff, buy more stuff, join the queue outside the door (the queue starts outside the door but not in the actual doorway, please), then wave one of us down if you need anything at all. We won’t leave you hanging there!

Traditionally we start with any one book sketched in and whatever you fancy signed.

What happens later depends on the length of the queue which is usually cut an hour before the end. Please, please get here early to avoid disappointment.

Keep Up To Date:

Bryan Lee O’Malley’s tumblr
Bryan Lee O’Malley’s twitter @radiomaru

SelfMadeHero’s website news
SelfMadeHero’s twitter @selfmadehero

Page 45’s website news
Page 45’s twitter @pagefortyfive

If you have any questions now or on the day, please phone 0115 9508045. After all, we’re already on your speed-dial, aren’t we?

Brilliant!

- Stephen

Page 45 Graphic Novels For Schools 2014 update

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Young adults, families, teachers and school librarians!

I am passionate about reading, obsessed with art and completely committed to comics.

Page 45 has been invited by the School Libraries Association in Staffordshire to bring 60 glorious graphic novels to its AGM in June to provide a new, up-to-date, interactive Show and Tell demonstrating the quality and diversity of contemporary comics for all ages.

Right now I am kicking off a campaign to get THIS ONE SUMMER by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki taught in schools as an officially set text. As I wrote in my review:

So many mistakes in childhood are made through lack of information, lack of empathy and in the realm of a deafening silence. Communication is all, and I can think of a dozen subjects raised by key moments here which would make for ideal classroom discussions.

Why are there still no graphic novels on the national curriculum? It’s bonkers!

The Books

Each title below has been linked to our site so you can read its review which is always honest. Over 25% of our sales come from personal recommendations built on trust, so I take our responsibilities very seriously. If a series of books appears, please click on any individual cover to read the review.

If you want specific recommendations for a specific Young Adult please ask for a shop-floor Show And Tell. If you’re not local, then you can use our Want A Recommendation facility online.

Action / Fantasy

Amulet
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Battling Boy
Beanworld
Bone
Coraline
Courtney Crumrin
Grandville
Hawkeye
Hilda
Mouse Guard
Porcelain
Robot Dreams
The Arrival
The Happy Prince
The Lost Boy
The Lost Thing
The Recruit
The Sleepwalkers
The Unsinkable Walker Bean
Zita The Spacegirl

Contemporary

Anya’s Ghost
Chiggers
Friends With Boys
Jane, The Fox & Me
This One Summer

Comedy

Bad Machinery
Fish Head Steve
Gum Girl
Life Sucks
Scott Pilgrim
St. Colin And The Dragon
The Suitcase
The Terrible Tales Of The Teenytinysaurs!

Educational

99 Ways To Tell A Story
Boxers & Saints boxed set
Ethel & Ernest
Evolution: The Story Of Life On Earth
Judenhass
Making Comics
Persepolis
Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea
Sally Heathcote, Suffragette
Science Tales
The Rabbits
Understanding Comics

Manga

A Distant Neighbourhood
Bleach
Dragonball
Legend Of Zelda
Naruto
Nausicaa Of The Valley Of Wind
One Piece
Pluto
Sunny
Vampire Knight
Yotsuba

Younger Readers

Glister
I Want My Hat Back
Magic Trixie
The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish
The Shark King h/c
This Is Not My Hat
Vern and Lettuce
Wolves In The Wall

The Strategy

The key to a successful manga and graphic novel section in any school library is three-fold: quality, diversity, contemporary. Unlike larger distributors, we know exactly which titles young adults are choosing to spend their own money on and there’s no more telling sign than that.

Young male literacy especially is down, but the good news is this: we’ve had a headmaster phoning us up mere days after a delivery and delightedly reporting his male pupils were fighting – fighting over the graphic novels! I’d call that a win. Well, he did.

The recognition factor should not be overlooked: if they already know about a title from animation, television, cinema, prose or – in the case of ZELDA – games, then that’s a lure which often proves irresistible.

It is just a launch pad, though, and the books I’ll bring with me will take both you and your pupils further.

Useful Information

Page 45’s dedicated Library page including discount levels, free delivery, invoicing, and how we can help you with our hands-on experience.
About Page 45.
Contacting Page 45.
Browsing Page 45’s website

But basically this: we’re here to help. Email, phone or pop in yourselves. Don’t feel you need to make appointments – our regular customers don’t, so why should you?

Proof Of The Pudding Post-Script

Confession: I was a reluctant reader. My Mum couldn’t get me to read at all until she bought comics. But they worked, I lapped them up voraciously and – many more moons ago than I care to confess – I grabbed myself a B.A. Hons in English Literature and the History Of Art.

They’ll work for your schools too.

Don’t misunderstand me: graphic novels have never been a poor man’s substitute for prose. This medium is magnificent, firing up adult imaginations all round the globe which is why I’m still here and loving it!

– Stephen

 

BOXERS & SAINTS

THIS ONE SUMMER

BATTLING BOY

SALLY HEATHCOTE, SUFFRAGETTE

Page 45 Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary At The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014!

Monday, February 24th, 2014

BREAKING MID-SEPTEMBER NEWS:

The brand-new Lakes International Comics Art Festival 2014 programme is up online for free! So much to see, so much to do, yet so very clear to navigate through. What a cover! Please click on that link.

More later on, but now for our own announcements…

Scott McCloud signing for free at the Page 45 Tables

The venue: The Georgian Room in the Comics Clock Tower
The date: Saturday 18th October 2014
The time: 10am to midday
The books on sale: UNDERSTANDING COMICS, MAKING COMICS, REINVENTING COMICS, ZOT!

20 years ago Scott McCloud called myself and Mark out of a meeting in London to congratulate us on the shop and our name – inspired by the 45th page of UNDERSTANDING COMICS – which he described as “Style positive, content neutral”. Now he has graciously agreed to sign with Page 45 during our 20th Anniversary! What a way to kick off the festival!

Entry is free, no tickets required but Scott must leave on time.

Glyn Dillon signing and sketching for free at the Page 45 Tables

The venue: The Georgian Room in the Comics Clock Tower
The date: Saturday 18th October 2014
The time: 2pm to 4pm

The book on sale: THE NAO OF BROWN It’s my all-time favourite piece of comicbook fiction!

Yes, Page 45 will be kidnapping THE NAO OF BROWN’s Glyn Dillon from SelfMadeHero whom I hereby challenge to sell more copies than ourselves. Let’s keep a running tally on two great big blackboards – as if it were a cricket match, only interesting.

No tickets required and I have seen the beautiful paintings Glyn graces his book with for free. If you want me to show you the book, just ask!

3 Free Show and Tells at the Page 45 Tables

The venue: The Georgian Room in the Comics Clock Tower

Saturday 1pm: The Hidden Secrets Of Graphic Novels*
Saturday 4pm: Kids’ Comics Are Cool!**
Sunday 1pm: The Hidden Secrets Of Graphic Novels*

Entry is free, no tickets required, just congregate in The Georgian Room then I will evangelise!

* An interactive introduction to graphic novels combined with insights using graphic novels chosen specifically for their secret devices. Similar to the Page 45 Broadway Bookclub evening. All the books on that blog are linked to.

** An interactive introduction dedicated to parents, children, school librararians and teachers showing just how thrilling, inspiring, literate and diverse modern comics are for Young Adults and those younger still! Similar to the Page 45 School Library Assocation evening in June. All the books on that blog are linked to.

Remember: anyone can ask for specific Show and Tell recommendations tailored to your tastes throughout the weekend.  Just ask at our tables!

The Art Of Selling Comics by Stephen L. Holland!

Hello! *waves*

I hereby invite retailers, creators and publishers plus the curious public to an interactive hour all about getting your message across and your books sold.

I will be speaking of community, communication, loyalty and trust; of integrity, diversity, eloquence and enthusiasm; of building relationships, selling to comic shops and comic shops promoting fresh comics to reach the Real Mainstream! I will also talk about reviews, Twitter, courage and kindness.

Alternatively: The Covert Art Of Blatant Self-Publicity

The venue: The Chamber (!) in the Comics Clock Tower
The date: Sunday 19th October
The time: 10.30am to 11.30am
The price: £7-00 a pop to help fund the festival
The link for booking tickets: The Art Of Selling Comics by Stephen L. Holland

Please note: unlike all the above, this one is a ticketed event which you will need to book in advance, please.

Now then, here’s an updated version of our original announcement with extra links to the festival itself.

Page 45 Hosts 11 Creators, Throws Party, Brings Books!

Surprise!

They’ve got Scott McCloud!

They’ve declared Jeff Smith!

And now…

Page 45 is honoured to announce that to celebrate its 20th Anniversary on Friday 17th October 2014, we’ll be hauling our asses oop north and contributing to an entire weekend of special guests and glorious graphic novels in Cumbria’s picturesque town of Kendal during the UK’s finest, European-style comics convention, The Lakes International Comic Art Festival!

 

There’ll even be a Page 45 20th Anniversary Booze Bash on Friday night itself, and you are invited. Yes, you!

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is vital to the profile of comics. It brings the medium out of the bedsit and into the open for the whole world to see! It’s our very own Angoulême, celebrating this medium in all its diversity, attracting connoisseurs and the curious alike to its exhibitions, interviews, workshops and creators merrily signing and sketching all weekend long.

This is Page 45’s first-ever road trip!

What We’ll Be Doing

On Saturday and Sunday Page 45 will have multiple tables stacked high with beautiful books and special guests in our very own designated palace, The Georgian Room in the Comics Clock Tower.

Oh, it is opulent, and the entire room is ours!

Free entry too!

Jonathan and I will be on hand to answer your questions and provide recommendations, whether you’re a regular reader or completely new to the medium. All age ranges too! We do this for a living, and love it.

In addition, Jonathan will be whipping your wallets while I provide 3 free, extended and interactive show-and-tells in that very same room

I’ll also be giving a ticketed talk close-by on a subject close to my heart.

My liver, possibly.

“Who Are Your Guests?!”

Among the wandering wastrels we’ll be sheltering throughout the weekend are some more of Page 45’s favourite comicbook creators! Pop ‘em in our search engine and see what we sell! These are their blogs, all linked to!

Lizz Lunney
Dan Berry
Sarah McIntyre
Fumio Obata
Joe Decie
Kristyna Baczynski
Jade Sarson
Jack Teagle
Joe List
Glyn Dillon

There will be more guests too, some of them spontaneous, and I may bust my thumbs on Twitter @pagefortyfive!

It all kicks off on Friday 17th October 2014, the exact date of our 20th Anniversary with the…

Page 45 20th Anniversary Booze Bash 2014!

The town: Kendal
The venue: The Batcave at Ruskins (I’m not even kidding you)
The date: Friday 17th October 2014
The time: 7pm then sliding down the walls until one in the morning

We’ve taken one of the two rooms at Ruskins, but everyone is welcome. You don’t need a ticket nor will there be bouncers otherwise I’d never be let in myself.

Some of our creator friends will be popping in from time to time. Keeling over too, I’d surmise. You know what comic creators are like. It’s a fabulous spectator sport.

Please introduce yourselves, we would love to meet you and I mean that!

Don’t know what we look like? Left is Jonathan, and then yeah…

      

Sorry.

Keep up to date with the Festival:

Twitter: @comicartfest
Website: http://www.comicartfestival.com/
Guests Attending: http://www.comicartfestival.com/guests-of-honour-2/
Other Workshops: http://www.comicartfestival.com/tag/workshops/
How To Get To Kendal etc http://www.comicartfestival.com/visiting-kendal/The Brand-New Full Festival Programme issued September 2014:  http://issuu.com/licaf/docs/licaf_main_programme2014issuu?e=13522171/9279963

Big, big love and gratitude to The Lakes International Comic Art Festival’s killer combo: curator and publicist Julie Tait for inspiration and exhortation and Jenny Graham for assignation and implementation.

I am so stoked! Are you?

 - Stephen @pagefortyfive

Page 45 credentials

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 won the only ever Diamond Comics Award for Best Retailer in the UK in 2004.
Page 45 has been shortlisted for the Bookseller’s Independent Bookshop Of The Year 2014
Stephen was a judge of the British Comics Awards in both 2012 and 2013.
Jonathan used to market biohazard suits.

Christmas Ideas At Page 45 & How We Can Help!

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Christmas shopping at Page 45: it’s the easiest shopping you’ll ever do!

“I am sceptical!”

And I am a lush. What’s your point?

You love your friends! You love your relatives! Even though one of them is a traffic warden.

But you have minimal time so each year we revel in the military exercise of finding the right book for the right person, even if it’s from a list scrawled in drunken biro. Also, we love providing show-and-tell recommendations tailored to your specific needs!

We also sell Page 45 Gift Vouchers both for use online, and printed versions for in-store redemption which come with free cards designed by Philippa Rice and Lizz Lunney.

Scenario A:

1. Make a list of the graphic novels you’d like to receive for Christmas.
2. Distribute this list between your friends and relatives.
3. Tell them they can present that list at the counter and we’ll find those books for them. They will be so relieved!
4. If they buy something you already have – so long as you bring it back in prime condition – you can exchange it for anything else later on. Absolutely no scowls that you’ve taken us at our word because it is our word, and here we’re renowned for sticking to it. We’ll simply thank you or your friends for having shopped with us in the first place.

Scenario B:

1. Ask your friends and relatives to surprise you! Tell them to ask us for extemporised show-and-tells based on your specific tastes. We do this half a dozen times each day, let alone at Christmas, and it gives us so much pleasure!
2. We’ll give them four or five options to choose from.
3. See 4 above. Also if, for some rare reason we’re wrong, bring it back and swap as usual: personal recommendations at Page 45 come with a swapsies guarantee all year round!

Scenario C:

1. If you want to convert your friends to comics then we have 45 years of professional experience between us in doing that.
2. Come to the counter, tell us what they love in other media and we’ll come up with several suggestions for a great introduction based on their wider tastes.
3. See 4 in Scenario A
4. See 3 in Scenario B.
5. Throw a 6 and move on to haberdashery.

Scenario D:

1. We have Page 45 Gift Vouchers available in denominations of £5, £10 and £20 for shopping online or instore.

2. By “denominations” we mean the smallest increments available, but £10,000’s worth of Page 45 Gift Vouchers are easily purchased and popped in an envelope through credit card transactions or a worldwide money laundering service which we will happily take care of for you!
3. We cannot redeem book tokens, sorry. Please ask for Page 45 Gift Vouchers instead!
4. For the printed versions we have exclusive Page 45 Gift Cards designed by Philippa Rice and Lizz Lunney which come free with an envelope, plus smiles and thanks to all.
5. You or your friends can now go on insane, guilt-free spending sprees.

Scenario E:

1. Do nothing at all and receive socks.
2. Wear socks, read nothing.
3. Wash socks, lose one sock in the wash and then grumble.

Comicbook Recommendations for Christmas 2014

Here are some recommendations. If you click on a link and it shows several covers rather than a single book, click on those covers for reviews! Cheers! And yes, WE SHIP INTERNATIONALLY!

Prime British Fiction plus comedy bonus:

THE NAO OF BROWN by Glyn Dillon (winner: British Comics Awards 2013)
NELSON by Rob Davis & friends (winner: British Comics Awards 2012)
MRS WEBERS OMNIBUS by Posy Simmonds (winner of an MBE)
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF EARLY EARTH by Isabel Greenberg
THE LISTENING AGENT by Joe Decie (he’s my Mum’s favourite!)
THE SUITCASE by Dan Berry
THE PARK by Oscar Zarate
DAYS OF THE BAGNOLD SUMMER by Joff Wintherhart

Outright comedy:

WE’RE OUT by Philippa Rice – particularly if you love Oliver Postgate or Nottingham!
YOU’RE ALL JUST JEALOUS OF MY JETPACK by Tom Gauld
GOD IS DISAPPOINTED IN YOU by Mark Russell & Shannon Wheeler
HYPERBOLE AND A HALF by Allie Brosh
ADVENTURE TIME Brand-new stories by everyone ever!

It is so Christmassy:

FAIRY TALES OF OSCAR WILDE: THE HAPPY PRINCE by P. Craig Russell
UNFORGOTTEN by Tohby Riddle
STRANGERS IN PARADISE OMNIBUS by Terry Moore
MOOMIN by Tove Jansson
THE ARRIVAL by Sean Tan

Inexpensive Stocking Fillers:

AT THE THEME PARK by Lizz Lunney
SOPPY and SOPPY #2 by Philippa Rice (they double as Christmas cards too!)
CAT ISLAND by Dan Berry

Artefacts

TINY PENCIL. Oh, so many secrets and so much fun!
BUILDING STORIES by Chris Ware. It is a chocolate box of comics!
PAPERTOY MONSTERS You make them; it’s crafty!

Your Dad’s into war (and the anniversary is imminent):

THE GREAT WAR PANORAMA by Joe Sacco
GODDAMN THIS WAR by Jaques Tardi

Socio-politics, history, travel, autobiography:

DOTTER OF HER FATHER’S EYES by Mary Talbot & Bryan Talbot. (Winner: Costa Book Award for non-fiction!)
ETHEL & ERNEST by Raymond Briggs
ALICE IN SUNDERLAND by Bryan Talbot
ALEC OMNIBUS by Eddie Campbell
A CHINESE LIFE by Philippe Otie, Li Kunwu
Everything by Guy Delisle. Pop him in our search engine!

Younger Readers:

HILDA AND THE MIDNIGHT GIANT by Luke Pearson (Winner: British Comics Awards For Kids 2013, now with Christmas, sparkly spine edging!)
A BOY AND A BEAR IN A BOAT by Dave Shelton
FISH HEAD STEVE by Jamie Smart
TEENYTINYSAURS by Gary Northfield
AMULET by Kazu Kibuishi
BONE by Jeff Smith
MOUSE GUARD by David Peterson
MONSTER ON THE HILL by Rob Harrel

Horror, Crime and Compassion:

FATALE by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips
CRIMINAL by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips
FROM HELL and FROM HELL COMPANION by Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell
FISH+CHOCOALTE by Kate Brown

Science Fiction with heart and humanity:

SAGA by Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples
PLANETARY by Warren Ellis & John Cassady

Manga:

TROPIC OF THE SEA by Satoshi Kon
A DISTANT NEIGHBOURHOOD by Jiro Taniguchi
SUNNY by Taiyo Matsumoto
NAUSICAA BOXED SET by Haiyo Miyazaki
PLUTO by Naoki Urusawa

Superheroes, accessible and perfect for Christmas:

SUPERIOR by Mark Millar & Yeinil Yu
MARVEL 1985 by Mark Millar & Tommy Lee Edwards
THE INHUMANS by Paul Jenkins & Jae Lee
HAWKEYE by Matt Fraction & David Aja
YOUNG AVENGERS by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie

We have so many more to suggest tailored specifically to your loved one’s needs. Just ask at the counter, all year round! Yay and yippee! (TM @Lizzlizz)

Page 45 is open:

Monday to Saturday 9am to 6pm. Sunday: 11am to 4pm
Closed only Bank Holidays, so in this instance Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day.
We shut around 4pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve because we are thirsty!

9 Market Street
Nottingham NG1 6HY

Tel: 0115 9508045

New Releases Christmas 2013

New Comics Day is Wednesday every week of the year, but for Chrismas Eve and New Year’s Eve only, it is Tuesday! Hurrah!

Merry Kissmas, everybody!

- Stephen xxx
This has been a transparent marketing ploy on behalf of Page 45, posted in good time to be emulated by everyone else.

Above: BUILDING STORIES by Chris Ware

Page 45 Graphic Novel Evening at the Broadway Book Club

Friday, September 13th, 2013

On Thursday 26th September at 7-30pm I’ll appearing at Nottingham’s Broadway Cinema to host a very special, hands-on, interactive, graphic novel evening for Pam McIlroy’s Broadway Book Club. I will bring books; we will explore secrets!

Plus I’ll be providing extemporised show-and-tells on some of those same graphic novels and answer any questions you fancy. You’ll dictate how the evening will go.

Please note: space is in short supply, so if you’re not a member, please book ahead directly with Pam herself either via Twitter @Pamreader or using the contact form on Pam’s blog to the left of the screen under members: http://www.pamreader.blogspot.co.uk/

The Hidden Secrets Of Graphic Novels

Playwright Edward Albee once declared that “Symbols should never be cymbals” and I concur: whether prose or comics, readers should be allowed to bathe in their brilliance and beauty without necessarily comprehending why. For maximum immersion you should never “hear” a writer typing or “see” a pen or a paintbrush pulled across the page – unless a fourth wall is undergoing extreme renovation.

Nevertheless, there are tricks to the trade and techniques to be delighted in, and I hope to provide both an introduction to graphic novels to those new to the medium, and some insights to their craft for those wishing to delve deeper with these graphic novels chosen specifically for their secrets. Ooooooh!

The Books

This evening has been planned as an introduction so you need not even look at these now – it’s more of an after-care service to jog your memory later – but here are the books I intend to bring with me. Each title has been linked to its Page 45 review, often with interior art.

We have autobiography, travel, history, historical fiction, contemporary fiction full of humanity, crime, horror (to steal someone’s hat is horrific), silence is golden, comics as a relay race, stoopid (I rather like stoopid), and maps. Yes, we have comics as maps. And 99 Ways To Tell A Story.

99 Ways To Tell A Story

Acme Novelty Library #20: Lint

Acme Novelty Library: Jimmy Corrigan

Alice In Sunderland

Asterios Polyp

City Of Glass

Criminal: The Dead And The Dying

Dragonslippers

Habibi

Hawkeye vol 2

Nelson

One Soul

Persepolis

Phonogram: The Singles Club

Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea

Solipsistic Pop 4

Some People

St Colin And The Dragon

Tamara Drewe

The Arrival

The Great War

The Mire

The Nao Of Brown

The Rabbits

This Is Not My Hat

I Want My Hat Back

Understanding Comics

Further to silence is golden, I wish I could represent the genre fourteen-component-parts-is-a-mind-melt but Chris Ware’s Building Stories would fill my suitcase on its own. And I’m bringing a suitcase, yes, like an old-school door-to-door salesman. Thankfully one with wheels: pulped, dead tree is very, very heavy.

I’ve Done This Before

I’ve done this before, but for the Windsor conference for school librarians 2012, so if you fancy a look at a similar suitcase of books for teenage and younger readers – plus their reviews and indeed school library information – try this link: Page 45 School Library Workshops.

And please, whenever you visit Page 45, just ask at the counter for recommendations just like this evening, and we’ll tailor them specifically to your particularly tastes.

The Broadway Book Club

The Broadway Book Club meets at the Broadway Cinema on the last Thursday of each month at 7pm. They’ve been going since January 2011 and the club currently has over 75 registered members. Learn more here: http://www.pamreader.blogspot.co.uk/

The Page 45

Page 45 convenes every day from 9am to 6pm (except Sundays from 11am to 4pm, and Bank Holidays when we sleep). We’ve been going since October 1994 and currently have 3 certified members: Dominique, Jonathan, Stephen.

In 2012 Page 45 won the first ever award for Best Independent Retailer in Nottingham.

The Pulitzer Prize for World Peace has so far eluded us nor do we have any knighthoods.

 - Stephen

Eddie Campbell Designs Set For Michael Eaton’s new play Charlie Peace

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

‘Charlie Peace: His Amazing Life And Astounding Legend’ debuts at the Nottingham Playhouse on Friday 4th October 2013 and runs until Saturday October 19th.

Written by Michael Eaton MBE, all the projections used on the play’s sets have been designed by comics’ own Eddie Campbell – indeed Charlie Peace was originally conceived of between the two as a graphic novel!

You can find an interview with Michael Eaton on Charlie Peace and new images by Eddie Campbell at http://www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/

Tickets from £7-50 to £27-50 are on sale now! Alternatively phone the Nottingham Playhouse Box Office on 0115 9419419, follow them on Twitter @SkyMirror and even enthuse with the hashtag #charliepeace

“The greatest celebrity villain of the Victorian age, Charlie Peace’s life became legend. He was a master of disguise, an accomplished musician and irresistibly attractive to women.

On the run, having murdered his lover’s husband, he holed up in the warrens of Nottingham’s Narrow Marsh. This modern musical melodrama asks the question why, now as then, are we terrified of crime but fascinated by criminals?”

 

 

I still want to see that graphic novel, please!

The Amazing Remarkable Mister Campbell

All of which gives me the perfect excuse to pitch you Eddie Campbell’s glorious graphic novels. Hurrah! Please click on any of the titles for the full review – and even to buy, if you fancy!

Alec: A Life-Size Omnibus boasts 640 pages of autobiography arranged into a sweeping tapestry of love, lust and drunken misdemeanours; ambitions, self-doubt and self-deprecation, observing human behaviour in all its foibles and cogitating on its wider implications. Published over many years as separate graphic novels, one of the more recent sections comes in the form a “letter” sent by Eddie Campbell as a successful artist to himself in his early twenties telling him how to get where he is today.

Once collated, I described it as “the single finest body of work in comics anywhere in the world to date” – which is a pretty good cover copy!

The Playwright, written by Darren White then drawn and painted by Eddie Campbell, is a comedic study in social inadequacy and sexual anxiety, depicting the imaginary sex life of a celibate man, libidinous beyond his middle-aged years.

The Lovely Horrible Stuff is money. It’s also more autobiography, because Eddie Campbell is useless with it.

The Fate Of The Artist, meanwhile, is a big bag of mischief for it is a multi-layered fiction disguised as autobiography, in which Eddie Campbell has gone missing. Clue: the artist is very much alive – you can tell by his set designs for Michael Eaton.

From Hell, written by Northampton’s Alan Moore, is the harrowing tale of a respected surgeon’s execution of a royal cover-up, fuelled by his Masonic obsession with carving a male sigil across the heart of Victorian London by slaughtering the women of the street. It is a bleak, unsanitised, dark and stark London which Campbell scratches indelibly on your mind.

The From Hell Companion is a wit-ridden exploration by Eddie Campbell of that graphic novel’s composition based on the original scripts of Alan Moore. Along the journey Eddie explains his approach to each segment while expounding on his wider theories about comics’ construction from individual pages’ layout to what is required and what should be avoided in any work’s climax and conclusion.

A Disease Of Language features Eddie’s two adaptations of Alan Moore’s performance pieces and an extensive interview with the man which is very, very funny.

The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard composed by Eddie and Dan Best is a romp in the vein of Voltaire’s Candide. Its protagonists constantly pray “May nothing occur…”, only to discover that everything that could possibly occur – and quite a lot that couldn’t – occurs.

Next year, I pray, will finally see Campbell’s modern (and ancient) mythology Bacchus reprinted as two volumes, each the size of the Alec Omnibus!

Eddie Campbell was born and bred in Scotland, moved down south and then further south still to Australia.

- Stephen

 

 

 

 

Duncan Fegredo signing & sketching at Page 45 Wednesday October 23rd

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Also: exclusive Page 45 signed bookplate free with HELLBOY MIDNIGHT CIRCUS! I’d probably reserve one of those puppies now!

 

Isn’t that gorgeous?! And yes, it’s available for mail order!

Please note: actual puppies not included.

Page 45 & GameCity8 proudly present:

Dear Duncan Fegredo defacing your books til it hurts!

HELLBOY MIDNIGHT CIRCUS Book Launch & Bookplate!

Yes, Wednesday 23rd October sees the launch of Mike Mignola & Duncan Fegredo’s HELLBOY MIDNIGHT CIRCUS original graphic novel (all-new material, never serialised), and Page 45 will have Duncan signing and sketching here on its very day of publication!

He will sign any and all books you bring, and sketch in one too.

BUT! You don’t have to do any heavy lifting: just buy HELLBOY MIDNIGHT CIRCUS on the day! Better still, buy it now by clicking on that link and selecting “collect in-store” thereby guaranteeing you a free, signed bookplate! First come, first served! Then collect in-store!

Duncan Fegredo is one of this medium’s most gifted artists. I’ve often compared his dynamic forms, weighted hands and gesticulations to celebrated French sculptor Rodin.

On the other hand, Duncan is also a complete wastrel, as addicted to late-night gaming as I am, which is where GameCity8 comes in. With his artist’s eye and creative experience, Duncan will be appearing there too!

“When? Where? Why?!”

When: 5.30pm to 7-30pm, Wednesday October 23rd 2013
Where: Page 45, 9 Market Street, Nottingham NG1 6HY
Why: Money!

Sorry – I mean beauty! Also laughter: Fegredo is one of the funniest folks I know. You should follow him on Twitter as @duncanfegredo

Please note: the signing itself is free! Everyone welcome! Come early, ask questions, spend money!

Duncan’s GameCity8 appearances are to be confirmed (watch this space – take breaks for coffee, but watch this space!), and see links below to keep up to date!

Warning: it is not inconceivable that I too will be involved in those events. Sorreeeee.

Hellboy Midnight Circus Preview:

We Have:

HELLBOY MIDNIGHT CIRCUS
Signed bookplate exclusive to Page 45 limited to 150 copies!
Published Wednesday 23rd October – reserve yours now!

TALES FROM THE CLERKS written by that Kevin Smith!
NELSON winner of the British Comics Awards 2012
VERTIGO RESURRECTED: THE EATERS

HELLBOY VOL 8: DARKNESS CALLS
HELLBOY VOL 9: THE WILD HUNT – more fulsome review, there!
HELLBOY VOL 10: THE CROOKED MAN AND OTHERS
HELLBOY VOL 12: THE SOUND AND THE FURY

There’s also far more: stick Duncan Fegredo into our search engine at the bottom of Page 45’s front page! Then please let him out or we’re in for a cold, empty evening.

“What Else Is Happening?”

GameCity8 will be taking over Nottingham city centre from 19th to 26th October 2013 with two giant screens occupying the open Market Square, rotating overnight, and dozens of  exhibitions, panels and performances in key locations around the city including Antenna and the Broadway Cinema. This includes live, hands-on gameplay of innovative new games – some still under development – from independent game makers, the chance to meet their writers, artists and directors and hear them talk.

GameCity has always been about breaking down the barriers, encouraging individualistic creativity and enabling fledgeling enterprises through education, which is why Page 45 has been so proud to be in partnership with them over the last couple of years. We even gave GameCity the Page 45 window in 2012 created by Philippa Rice.

Duncan will be appearing there, but I have been strictly forbidden to mention this year’s major new development, only hint. (It isn’t the big screen – though comic readers will want to watch out for news on that score too!)

Big love to Iain Simons and Lee Nicholls at GameCity for their co-conspiratorialisation. It’s something I’ve cherished but still cannot spell, so last year I made the word up.

Keep up to date with GameCity announcements here:

 @gamecity

GameCity

GameCity8 Festival

GameCityNights

Keep up to date with Duncan Fegredo here:

@duncanfegredo

Duncan Fegredo

Keep up to date with this dissolute ding-dong here:

@pagefortyfive

Page 45 Reviews

Page 45 Other News

For last minute enquiries please phone Page 45 on 0115 9508045.

Please spread the news by any and all means necessary - carrier pigeon included!

Cheers,

Stephen

Strangers In Paradise Omnibus

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Breaking news! OMNIBUS WITH FREE SIGNED PRINT IS IN STOCK NOW!

Win Original Terry Moore Art!

Is this print not one of the most beautiful things in the world? Yes it is, and it comes free with every copy of the STRANGERS IN PARADISE OMNIBUS bought from Page 45.

Not only that, but Terry Moore has sent Page 45 the original art to this print, and we spent a full hour swooning on delivery day when we blatantly should have been working. Sorry about the queue that built up!

It could be yours!

“How? How is this possible?!?”

 

Everyone ordering and paying for the STRANGERS IN PARADISE OMNIBUS by the end of September at Page 45 (online or in person) will be eligible for the original, signed art. That includes everyone who has pre-ordered up to this point, and can I thank all of you who have done so. Your pre-orders gave us the confidence to invest an unprecented amount of money so that Page 45, a single shop in the UK, is responsible for a whole 10th of Diamond Comics Distributors’ worldwide sales.

This knocked Terry senseless. So senseless that he gave us this original art. Thank you, Terry Moore!

We now give it to one of you because, miserably, none of us here are eligible.

The winner will be drawn from the hat by Ian Culbard, the comicbook creator of all those beautiful HP Lovecraft and Sherlock Holmes books, and artist on THE NEW DEADWARDIANS. We haven’t even asked him yet, but he’s a good sort and will keep it all above board.

Original Blog, Links To Reviews, And Ridiculously Affordable Postage Details

Limited edition! We desperately need your pre-orders now!

August 2013 sees the release of the ultimate edition of one of our all-time favourite series, Terry Moore’s  STRANGERS IN PARADISE. One of the key comics through which Page 45 earned its reputation for promoting quality and diverstiy, SiP was so many women’s first comic fiction which – with its craft, heart and humanity – then made them customers for life.

It will come complete, slipcased with a brand-new black and white print signed by Terry Moore which, for Page 45 customers, will be free of charge!

Incorporating every page, every story-ever pertaining to STRANGERS IN PARADISE, it will be a whopping 2,400 pages long and estimated to weigh a hefty 9lbs.

It will be rendered uncensored!

This will be STRANGERS IN PARADISE  as nature intended.

For the first time ever, Terry has restored pages previously self-censored to their original condition. I will be fascinated to see how much hit the cutting-room floor as well as which pages they were!

“Yes! I’m In! How do I order?”

Pre-order direct from Page 45 in the UK here: STRANGERS IN PARADISE OMNIBUS UK. It will cost £75-00.

Postage for the UK will be just £4-99 if you select “3 to 5 days shipping”.

Postage for the rest of Europe (including Belgium) will be £24-40.

Postage is for the entire package including the free, signed print.

We ship everywhere in the world so please email page45@page45.com for other postal rates, but if you live closer to America you should obviously buy direct from Terry Moore himself.

Pre-order direct from Terry Moore in the States here: STRANGERS IN PARADISE OMNIBUS USA. It will cost $100 plus p&p.

“Why buy from Terry Moore?”

Because, my kittykins, although you won’t be eligible for our original art raffle, Terry’s own copies IF ORDERED BEFORE PUBLICATION (I WOULD HURRY UP!) come with a completely different print free of charge (please note: this is not it). Also, Terry Moore will make all the money from copies bought on his website. Also, also: shipping will be infinitely cheaper if you live in the US of A!

Terry won’t mind you ordering from us, which is why he is recommending Page 45 as the go-to source for UK/ European pre-orders. On the other hand: that other print, eh…?

“I will buy both!”

That’s the spirit!

“Why should we pre-order? We can buy it whenever we want, correct?”

Corr-wrong!

It’s a limited editon and the previous hardcover editions sold out immediately.

Also, we cannot possibly order 100 copies of a £75-00 book for the shelves. It would break our bank. Remember: we sold over 100 copies of PORCELAIN in a mere 10 days.

Here Terry Moore explains why pre-orders are vital to the success of this project. Please help us to help him and help you!

“There are very few comics on this planet with the power to move me like Strangers In Paradise. So much happens, so much is said. So much of it should never happen to anyone and so much of it should never have been said. That’s life.”

That would be me. Although I should emphasise that it’s also very, very funny.

Click on any cover of the STRANGERS IN PARADISE books for their full reviews. Except for the final volume. You wouldn’t want to know what happens there, right? One of the best endings ever in comics!

Tee-hee!

Stephen