Page 45 Review by Stephen
My favourite single, self-contained comic of the year so far, if there were any justice in this industry, it would sweep up on the Eisners.
(There isn't; it won't.)
All our copies have been signed.
"It isn't true to say the city never sleeps.
"The city is an insomniac."
They're too very different propositions, aren't they? The first suggests abundant, eternal energy, the second a debilitating mental malaise. I've been in both camps.
"Awake at night, it re-runs the day's worries on a treadmill of anxiety.
"Preparing contingency plans for traffic flow, dirty bombs, concrete corrosion and flood.
"Forgetting them all in the fog of morning."
Someone appears to have spent a great deal of time inside what I thought was my private head.
To begin with we soar above the city at night, composed of so many individual and individualistic sky-scraping entities, clustered together and perhaps communing. But they're also cramped in a confining night-sky that appears to be rubbed something raw: so many voices, batting and battling about in your head.
The fog of morning lifts them clear from each other in a calm, cool grey and cream sunshine. It is a blessed relief!
But the cycle never stops, does it?
We'll return to this first of four short stories in a second, but what I am promising you here are twelve succinct pages of meticulously composed, wit-ridden sequential art inside an exquisitely designed cardstock cover. It's the first of twelve such mini-comics with a chic, matching trade dress which we're calling The Andi Watson Collection. They really are that classy, and each will make you grin from ear to ear. Previously available solely to Andi's patreon subscribers (https://www.patreon.com/andiwatson), the section will expand as Andi releases each one in turn to Page 45, and we could not be more honoured.
Known to so many families as the creator of GLISTER, GUM GIRL and PRINCESS DECOMPOSIA, Watson's more adult-orientated material like BREAKFAST AFTER NOON has sadly languished out of print for a shamefully long period now. We made his LITTLE STAR about being a Dad - and it doesn't get much more mass-appeal mainstream than that - our first-ever Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month. So it is a joy to once again promote his prime contemporary fiction, for Andi Watson is one of the finest British creators that this medium has ever known.
'Garden Party' in green will bear strange but all too familiar fruit, and 'The Eaters' will make you choke in recognition.
But 'The Killer Inside Me' you will never see coming.
And once you have read it, please remember I wrote that.
I was initially perplexed yet intrigued by its page construction in black, pink and purple, but do please trust me when I type that if I continued to describe or analyse its very specific panel layouts in any detail at all, then we would all be spilling into the sad realm of spoilers.
Instead let's return to where we came in with the next line of our somnolent city.
"The city never sleeps but it does begin to feel drowsy around mid-afternoon."
That's not the punchline by any stretch of the imagination, though that would do fine for me.
No, Andi's imagination stretches much further than that. As, I hope, you shall see.