Page 45 Review by Stephen
Have you ever wondered where your childhood treasures have ended up?
Maybe you or your parents gave them up to a charity or a car boot sale?
Maybe you let them go reluctantly - oh so reluctantly! Or perhaps during your teens you felt them embarrassing or redundant before regretting their abandonment later in life. Buying back your childhood on ebay is far from unheard of, you know!
Maybe you simply lost stuff. I once left behind a cushion which was the equivalent of a comfort blanket in a caravan on an Isle of Anglesey holiday one early year. A sentence which I immediately regret typing like almost everything I say on Twitter.
Well, imagine that suddenly all those lost lovelies turned up, en masse, in toto, in a Lost Property Department...
From the creator of THE TEA COLLECTION which Page 45 popped together from its constituent parts comes this new Nobrow publication in its 17X23 imprint, so called after the comics' size in centimetres. They're all one-off spotlights for new creators to help kick-start their careers and hopefully herald longer works which is a clever and constructive strategy that I pray pays dividends.
This comes with the same "quiet" cartooning and soft, almost old fashioned colours - lots of sage greens and browns - so that when the really rich colours kick in at two key moments they stand out a mile.
Poyiadgi's very subtle like that, and satisfying. He's one of those creators who demand you linger longer and it invariably pays dividends.
His use of the beard in THE TEA COLLECTION's 'On Reflection', for example, was so very clever, differentiating the man from his doppelgänger. The beard's introduction, however, was equally sly and made sense.
Here all the connecting elements including the lost and found items are arranged carefully and ingeniously so that the final revelation in the form of a last lost item - an unopened letter - comes with maximum impact. And when one realises how they're connected, one cannot help but smile.
Gerald Cribbin is postman, a job whose duty is to safely deliver items to their correct destinations. One morning, however, he accidentally drops a letter knife engraved with his name in a garden. Thankfully the resident repays Gerald's diligence by handing it into a Lost Property Office down the road. When he goes to collect the knife, Gerald spies a boat in the office's window which seems oh so familiar.
"I used to have one just like that."
"It's one of a set. Quite beautiful, really. Would you like to see?"
"Only if it's no bother."
And so it is that down in the basement it gradually dawns on the unassuming Gerald that every single item once belonged to him, from the boats which he would build with his uncle and which Gerald would then paint right down to the hat knitted by his mother who had sewn his school name tag inside. And when Agatha, the office's assistant, sees the tag which reads "Ged Cribbin" rather than Gerald she realises she knew him at school. She can see he's bewildered - it's that same worried look on his face he used to have at school - but since the office is due to close she suggests he comes back the next day. When he does so, he learns that his old belongings had been handed in on various days over the last eight years and that another item had materialised that very morning: his old tool kit.
Now, I'm going to have to leave it there for what happens next must come as a surprise. But I can assure you that everything is connected - the school, his worried look, even the way when he receives the initial phone call that Ged idly arranges his fork, cup,coin and condiments into a lost, flailing man.