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.
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.
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.
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.”
Guardians Of The Louvre (£17-99) by Jiro Taniguchi.
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!
Black Dog: The Dreams Of Paul Nash (£22-99) by Dave McKean.
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.”
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.
A City Inside (£7-50) by Tillie Walden.
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.
Burt’s Way Home (£14-99) by John Martz.
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.
Mooncop (£12-99) by Tom Gauld.
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.
Hellbound Lifestyle (£8-99) by Kaeleigh Forsyth & Alabaster Pizzo.
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.
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.
You Belong Here (£16-99) by M.H. Clark & Isabelle Arsenault.
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.
The Comic Book History Of Beer (£14-99) by Jonathan Hennessey, Mike Smith & Aaron McConnell
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?
For The Love Of God, Marie! (£16-99) by Jade Sarson.
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?
Arab Of The Future (£18-99 each) by Riad Satouff.
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.
March book 3 (£17-99) by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell.
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.
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.
Equinoxes (£30-00) by Cyril Pedrosa.
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.
The Fade Out Complete h/c (£44-99) by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips with Elizabeth Breitweiser.
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.
Indeh – A Story Of The Apache Wars (£18-99) by Ethan Hawke & Greg Ruth.
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.
Fight Club 2 (£22-50) by Chuck Palahniuk & Cameron Stewart.
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.
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…
The Mirror (£13-99) by Emma Rios & Hwei Lim.
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.
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.
Patience (£16-99) by Dan Clowes.
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.
The World Of Edena h/c (£44-99) by Moebius.
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.
Geis: A Matter Of Life And Death h/c (£15-99) by Alexis Deacon.
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.
The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (£25-00) by Sonny Liew.
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.
Dogs Disco (£5-00) by Joe Decie.
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.
Bobbins (£5-00) by John Allison.
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.
Delilah Dirk And The King’s Shilling (£13-50) by Tony Cliff.
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.
Amulet (£11-99 each) by Kazu Kibuishi.
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!
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.
Mezolith: Stone Age Dreams And Nightmares (£18-99) by Ben Haggarty & Adam Brockbank
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.
Compass South (£15-99) by Hope Larson & Rebecca Mock.
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.
Lost Tales (£8-99) by Adam Murphy.
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…”
Carrot To The Stars (£6-00) by Regis Lejonc, Thierry Murat & Riff Reb’s.
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..
We Found A Hat h/c (£12-99) by Jon Klassen.
“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.
They Didn’t Teach This In Worm School (£8-99) by Simone Lia.
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.
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.
The Trouble With Women (£9-99) by Jacky Fleming.
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.
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.
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!