Page 45 Review by Stephen
In the end it was quick at least.
Hed not been right for weeks.
That happens as you grow older.
Some young men took him away for tests.
He put a brave face on it but I could tell he was scared.
They kept him in for the night.
And I came back to a strangers home.
Sometimes you notice whats missing more than you notice whats there. A gap in your familiar landscape can prove haunting.
I once had a cat that would race to the door. I was worried that whenever I opened it he would rush onto the road. I used to open the door gingerly, carefully, cautiously; and for weeks after I had Felix put down I would open that door in exactly the same tentative manner, expecting a cat to dash past. He didnt.
Composed of six shorts, four of them silent, this is one of the cleverest comics of the year. Im not even going to tell you the title of that one for fear of giving its game away, yet here is a clue: what you have read up above is but prose. Read the same sequence as a comic and you will realise what Rob has done. Read the same sequence as a comic and it is, as they say, a very different story!
Dump is its reversal, in which some unusually accommodating bin men take care of some no-longer-desired, discarded property and boasts two terrifying panels whose power lies in the implication of what will happen off-stage. A chisel is involved.
From the creator of WINTERS KNIGHT, then, comes an assortment of mysteries yes, thats what they are for you to decipher and devour. All of them are surprising and each is composed in a markedly different style, one of which unexpectedly as a tribute to Frank Millers SIN CITY. But then Franks SIN CITY was all about the shapes, just like Roberts main output.
In Jack our modern, spotty teenager in a tracksuit acquires some magic beans. From a supermarket. As per tradition, Mum is unimpressed and lobs those bobbins beans out of her council estates high-rise window. Jack will find treasure all the same.
Nest boasts two of the most blinding pages of all here: a double-page landscape of urban buildings stacked up a very steep hill, looking just like the back end of Nottinghams Lace Market seen from the London Road roundabout. Their sloped roofs gleam brighter the closer they climb towards the full moon. In it a husband declares that We cant go on like this. Why? His wife has an over-acquisitive nature, her objects of desire even curiouser than her means of obtaining them.
DARK TIMES opens with Animal.
Hes here again is the uh-oh signifier, coupled with the Indian waiter peering anxiously through a narrow, horizontal window at their recurrent, difficult diner whose take on their menu is perhaps wilfully misconstrued. He has
The wit there lies upon wordplay but even without that I would relish Roberts art. Its all about the shapes and the colours. In terms of shapes, the waiters face appears between a snapped-in-two poppadom, as crisply delineated as those thick wooden segments were sawn from then slotted into our Early Learning jigsaw puzzles. In terms of colour, the waiter is all greens and browns just like the curries he serves, while the diner is composed of cold, cold blues with top teeth protruding predatorily through saggy-jowls and a wan, worn, elongated face which screams take this social-skills loser away.
Im thinking Norman Tebbit. Its enough to make you queasy.
Signed: all our copies are signed.