Page 45 Review by Stephen
How To Sell Comics: A Textbook Example.
Look at that cover! It boasts such gorgeous greens!
Laugh at that title! How daft is our language?
It's so full of contradictions and hilariously vestigial nomenclature once history's moved on.
When America imported its language from England to receive a right royal twatting it was just waiting for a comic like this. North Americans call toilets "bathrooms". Long have their bathrooms been without baths. But then, so have ours: I have two bathrooms at home and one of them has but a shower.
As ever with Joe Decie (I BLAME GRANDMA, THE LISTENING AGENT etc) this is sliyly suspect autobiography with a mischievous punchline delivered deadpan.
In this case it concerns a night on the town during Canada's Toronto Comic Arts Festival with fellow comicbook creators like Dan Berry, spent in an open-all-hours cheap pizza establishment rumoured to be run by gangsters. It would have been a much more relaxed meal for Joe if he hadn't needed the loo. Or at least if the loo had been a little more sanitary. You will not believe what's in there. Or who.
There's usually something magical about a Joe Decie tale whether it's tall or not. For I don't mean magical / fantastical (though that's not out of bounds), I mean odd encounters or flights of thought, and this is no exception. How Joe reacts to them is always worth a smile.
I BLAME GRANDMA was created within 24 hours so the drawings were necessarily less embellished than the positively lush washes here. It verges on photorealistic. He's a magnificent portrait artist too. Unlike many autobiographical cartoonists you can recognise Joe Decie immediately from his art - though he's about half a foot shorter than I imagined - and his Dan Berry's so lifelike, it's eerie!
There are some fabulous gesticulations and comical expressions, my favourite being the bluff as Decie nods earnestly in agreement to something he couldn't even comprehend.
Love the background winks to fellow creators Joe List, Liz Lunney and John Porcellino.