Page 45 Review by Jonathan
"There was a gap in the fence.
"I still think about it sometimes.
"I wonder if it's still there.
"Maybe the fence has been repaired.
"Maybe the land was sold to developers.
"There could be a housing estate there now.
"Or a supermarket.
"Maybe it's not how I remembered it.
"Was there a gate?
"Did we climb the fence?
"It isn't marked on the map."
Goodness me, if he hasn't gone and done it again! Tim Bird is a master of 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...
After his (now out of print) treatise to the mighty motorway in GREY AREA: THE OLD STRAIGHT TRACK and his paean to a passage from capital to coast in GREY AREA: FROM THE CITY TO THE SEA (which won the 2015 award for Best British Comic), this GREY AREA sees Tim integrate the lives of two people in a most remarkable manner, utilising the power of well placed origami, set against the backdrop of their mutually shared locale. I'll let Tim use his characters to explain in a far more imaginative manner than I ever could...
"Our paths crossed."
"Our maps overlayed."
"Time and place aligned."
"Our boundaries broadened."
I've said it before, but the man is a poet.
Years later, having also moved on geographically, our characters return, just passing through on the train and deciding on a whim, triggered by a very poignant motif, to revisit those old haunts imbued with their shared love. The final dramatic full page spread, I'm not ashamed to say, made my heart swell and occasioned a solitary tear to roll down my cheek...