Page 45 Review by Stephen
Page 45 has been with us now (At the Time of Typing) for twenty-three years and five months.
I was seven when we opened, obviously.
During that time I have, on average, enthusiastically presented some 50 shop-floor show-and-tells per week. You do the maths.
What happens is this: whenever someone asks for recommendations, if I've yet to become intimately acquainted with their taste in comics and memorised their credit card pin number, I ask them what they've already enjoyed in this medium or, if new to it, what they've adored in prose, television, cinema or interpretive dance. After considering their reply I whoosh round the shop like a seasoned contestant on Supermarket Sweep, snapping up between three and six comics or graphic novels tailored to their specific tastes, then proceed to show and tell them just enough about each to intrigue!
I know exactly which punchline to pull back on for maximum impact and the immediate induction of such seriously severe withdrawal symptoms that you'd think I'd mainlined them crack cocaine then kicked 'em through a locked door whose only key lies in the depths of our till.
Did you do the maths...? I've performed this task approximately 60,000 times. I am actually quite good at it, otherwise you wouldn't have taken out your second mortgage (so sorry about that),"sexy" Jamie McKelvie wouldn't have continued to read comics long enough to become one of this medium's most lauded artists and dear Lenny Henry - an infinitely superior performer to me - wouldn't keep popping back to Page 45 every time he's on tour.
Yet occasionally the recipient will cut me off, a mere three sentences in, with "No Spoilers, please!"
It's an entirely understandable worry but a wee bit insulting: I don't even spoil the first collection of a series when reviewing its fifth! I want to intrigue you to buy, not impress upon you how much I know.
In the spirit of which, however, (because it just happened to me again today, but hey, he bought the book in question anyway), I present you with a tweaked review of Ryan Heshka's previous MEAN GIRLS CLUB anarchic away-day (still stocked!) while telling you zilch about this brand-new material.
You make think this lazy. And it is.
But there's bugger-all interior art online for this book that I could have used to illustrate it with anyway. All bar one image is from the previous pamphlet. So I told you a story instead.
Original MEAN GIRLS CLUB, then:
"Lurid, burlesque, groovy and grotesque!
"Meet the vamps of the Mean Girls Club: Wanda, Wendy, Pinkie, Blackie, Sweets and McQualude!
"You'll only do it once.
"These sisters are most emphatically doing it for themselves: self-examination, self-medication, on-the-spot diagnoses followed by auto-operations and even instant euthanasia, if you define euthanasia as putting someone else out of your misery.
"This is a pill-popping, binge-drinking, hallucinogenic adrenaline rush / overdose with snakes, rats, bats and Venus Flytraps everywhere. Innocence is upended, boutiques are broken into and lingerie scattered all over the road. Guns, clubs, hypodermic needles and, err, dress-up paper dolls.
"Imagine Bettie Page in a rage and you're pretty much there."
Suggested Soundtrack: The Cramps' entire back catalogue.
If you love The Cramps, you'll be ravished by this.
I constructed that sentence quite carefully.