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

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!”


- 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

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?


- 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

Avatar: The Last Airbender
Battling Boy
Courtney Crumrin
Mouse Guard
Robot Dreams
The Arrival
The Happy Prince
The Lost Boy
The Lost Thing
The Recruit
The Sleepwalkers
The Unsinkable Walker Bean
Zita The Spacegirl


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


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


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


A Distant Neighbourhood
Legend Of Zelda
Nausicaa Of The Valley Of Wind
One Piece
Vampire Knight

Younger Readers

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






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

Monday, February 24th, 2014


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

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!


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…



“We Have To Go To Kendal For Your Anniversary?!”

We hope that you will, but only for our 20th Anniversary.

Oh, my kittykins, we have thought of this!

Page 45 duly announces the…

Page 45 21st Birthday Booze Bash 2015!

The city: Nottingham
The date: Saturday 17th October 2015
The time: Of your life!

Can you keep a secret? I mean, seriously, because if this gets out I will never pull again.

It’s my own 50th Birthday that very night, and I want to spend it with you!

Keep up to date with the Festival:

Twitter: @comicartfest
Guests Attending:
Other Workshops:
How To Get To Kendal etc Brand-New Full Festival Programme issued September 2014:

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 LISTENING AGENT by Joe Decie (he’s my Mum’s favourite!)
THE PARK by Oscar Zarate

Outright comedy:

WE’RE OUT by Philippa Rice – particularly if you love Oliver Postgate or Nottingham!
GOD IS DISAPPOINTED IN YOU by Mark Russell & Shannon Wheeler
ADVENTURE TIME Brand-new stories by everyone ever!

It is so Christmassy:

UNFORGOTTEN by Tohby Riddle
MOOMIN by Tove Jansson

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


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):

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
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

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

Science Fiction with heart and humanity:

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


TROPIC OF THE SEA by Satoshi Kon
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:

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



Hawkeye vol 2


One Soul


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:

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

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:

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

HELLBOY VOL 9: THE WILD HUNT – more fulsome review, there!

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:



GameCity8 Festival


Keep up to date with Duncan Fegredo here:


Duncan Fegredo

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


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!



Strangers In Paradise Omnibus

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013


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 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?”


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!




Page 45 Window 2013 & Competition Time!

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Winners Announced!

Comic Artists In Our Window Revealed!

Please See Bottom Of The Blog!


Would you look at our spanking new window!

This is the new-look Page 45: a complete overhaul designed by Jonathan and put into practise by J-Lo himself and our very own Dominique Kidd.


Philippa Rice’s three-month installation – the first time we have ever allowed someone else inside out window – was a startling sorbet which attracted squeals of public delight.

But this has been fermenting in Jonathan’s noggin for well over two years: a simple, stunning template, rich in information, that can be adapted month after month and yes, believe it or not, for the first time ever it features physical copies of real graphic novels.

Why? Also: What Took You So Long?

Things have changed. In the Page 45 interviews we gave during our first fifteen years I emphasised that our windows featured not comics themselves but three-dimensional constructs inspired by them, in order to lure in an unsuspecting public.

But, in the UK, comics have since transcended the stigmatic preconceptions formerly attached to them due to sager broadsheet coverage, the Guardian First Book Award, the British Comic Awards, the Costa Book Award, and the tireless efforts of the more discerning comicbook retailers. Also the quality and diversity of the graphic novels themselves: we owe it all to the comicbook creators.

The shift in perception in Nottingham is such that year Page 45 won the first ever British Independent Retailer Award as judged by the captains of local industry. If those suited and booted approve, then we have arrived!

(No, I didn’t need their approval, either, but it’s lovely to have it.)

A Little Competition Is Healthy!

In fact, it’s downright exciting, so here is our new prize competition. I want to see everyone peering manically into our window, even if you smear it a little. You could wear gloves.

1. Name five of the artists featured on Dominique’s two monoliths and three winners drawn out of the hat will receive £5 Page 45 Gift Vouchers (physical) or £5 Page 45 Gift Vouchers (virtual)!

2. Name ten of the artists featured on Dominique’s two monoliths and two winners will receive £10 Page 45 Gift Vouchers (physical) or £10 Page 45 Gift Vouchers (virtual) !

3. Name twenty of the artists featured on Dominique’s two monoliths and one ridiculously well informed winner will receive a £20 Page 45 Gift Voucher (physical) or a £20 Page 45 Gift Voucher (virtual)!

It will be your choice which vouchers you receive: physical or for online shopping. I didn’t even know we did 50 quid online gift vouchers until typing this blog tonight!

Competition Rules

Rules are rubbish andI break so many on principle. However.

Entry is free! Which is neat.

Entries must be sent in via email ( or handed in on the shop floor. You can grab pen and paper from behind the counter, but remember to pop some contact info on those, please! Also: do not send entries in via Twitter, although please do retweet! We need physical copies or those we can print out, pop in that hat and contact you later. Simples! *shoots self in head*

This Bit’s Exciting!

All entries for the twenty artists will be drawn first. Those that don’t make it will also be included in the draw for the ten artists. Those that don’t make it for the twenty artists or ten artists will also be included for the five artists. It’s only fair! But even if you can only name five artists, you still stand a chance. Three chances!

And there’s no reason you can’t do a little sneaky research inside, heh heh.

All entries will be pulled out of a hat by former Page 45 window wonder Philippa Rice herself, so there is no sort of bias. (We haven’t told her that yet.)

Deadline: February 28th 2013.

Have Some More Pictures

Dominique and I popped the window up on Friday night and we shot some slightly blurry snaps then. Still, it glows beautifully although it looks infinitely snazzier in realy life.

I think Jonathan deserves a round of applause. It’s radically different but ever so Page 45.

- Stephen


The Artists Above And Below!

As far as Dominique can recall and we can discern, these are her monolith’s featured sources and artists: 

Fluffy – Simone Lia
Phonogram -  Jamie McKelvie
Beanworld – Larry Marder
Rachel Rising  – Terry Moore
Scott Pilgrim – Brian Lee OMalley
Wasteland – Carla Speed McNeil
Wasteland – Christopher Mitten
Everything Is Its Own Reward – Paul Madonna
Blankets – Craig Thompson
GNBCC – Seth
A Distant Neighbourhood – Jiro Tanaguchi
Fun Home – Alison Bechdel
Vagabond  – Takehiko Inoue
Kabuki -  David Mack
Milk and Cheese  – Evan Dorkin
DMZ – Brian Wood (he is an artist, yes)
Cerebus – Dave Sim & Gerhard
Uzumaki -  Junji Ito
Acme Novelty Library – Chris Ware
Krazy Kat & Ignatz  – Herriman
Peanuts – Charles Schultz 

The Winners!

Thanks to everyone who entered! Almost everyone who entered correctly identified Bryan Lee O’Malley, Simone Lia, Dave Sim and Craig Thompson. In lieu of a hat (we appear to have no hats), MY CARDBOARD LIFE’s Philippa Rice drew the winners out of an opaque paper bag while independent adjudicator, EVERYTHING WE MISS’s Luke Pearson, looked solemnly on. 

£20 Page 45 Gift Voucher goes to Chris Powell
£10 Page 45 Gift Voucher goes to Leigh Hobson
£10 Page 45 Gift Voucher goes to Dan Pawley
£5 Page 45 Gift Voucher goes to Brian Manton
£5 Page 45 Gift Voucher goes to Duncan Wilson
£5 Page 45 Gift Voucher goes to Lee Glanville 

We have your email addresses and will be contacting you shortly, cheers! 

 - Stephen