Page 45 Review by Tom
A break in the formula in the latest issue. All the stories are autobiographical and written by James Martin, but illustrated by an alumni of zinesters. The only names I know are Hellen Jo (JIM & JAM) and Vanessa Davis (SPANIEL RAGE, MAKE ME A WOMAN) which is brilliant as that just means I have more to discover! Like the anthology NELSON, each story here is reflected exquisitely by the artists style. But these stories have more space to play out as they aren't trapped by the march of time as the creators in NELSON were. Jesse Reklaw resonates with the style of crayon-drawn superheroes in The Weeper while managing to not look amateurish in the slightest. And in Scenes From The Fire, Calvin Wong captures the smoke-damaged remains of James' life when his house was turned over, first by a fire, then the firemen!
I'll always remember that fateful day when I discovered LOVE & ROCKETS, EIGHTBALL, BLACK HOLE, THB and OPTIC NERVE. My eyes opened, my brain expanded with each subsequent panel, it was my radioactive truck accident, a comic bomb for my senses. Opening a copy of PAPERCUTTER reinvigorates my love for comics in exactly the same way; each issue of this anthology introduces new old favourites and makes me want more in a most satisfying way. Plus on a purely aesthetic level, these anthologies tick every box for me. They're printed incredibly well on great stock with attention to detail, but better than that they're affordable, you could walk away with a handful of culture in any given issue, for under a fiver. And that in many ways is what this medium is all about.