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GREAT BRITISH COMICS

A Review By: Page 45

Stephen Holland is a pioneering comics retailer and co-founder of the Nottingham-based, Page 45, one of the best comic shops in the UK.

The great man’s done it again… Lots here for the student of comics, be they in search of enlightenment or an actual degree.  After the fascinating introduction, rich in social context, Mssrs. Gravett and Stanbury embark on a treasure hunt of lost gold and current currency, then showcase it with all the clarity and style Gravett displayed in Graphic Novels: Stories To Change Your Life, with pages reprinted whole.  Separated into genres or markets, it’s a far more engaging affair than last year’s less colourful effort by someone else, and just to be clear, Paul isn’t bound by the rule of where something’s published.  As Paul and I discussed during his initial sweep for material, it’d be stupid to ignore the likes of Andi Watson, the most British of British comicbook creators because he’s published in America owing purely to the logistics involved (i.e. the population of America dwarfs that of Britain so it sustains a healthier publishing base; it therefore makes more financial sense to print/publish there and ship the smaller fraction over here, rather than print/publisher here and incur the costs of shipping the majority of a print run there).  I tried to get Milkkitten in here, but in truth this isn’t the proper venue for the more recent, experimental stuff that hardly anyone’s ever heard of.  It does, however, include Simone Lia, who was always going to be a British Great, and comes in as a strong, engaging retrospective with a fine sense of perspective, and a great deal of eye candy.

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