Page 45 Review by Stephen
"So what's the next step in your master plan?"
"Genius never tells. Or sleeps. But snacks are very important."
Also important are colours, and you're in for an eye-full!
This charming, fantastical, anthropomorphic mystery and call to floral arms bursts with warmth and spectacle, along with a delightfully daft political powder keg waiting to explode.
The Prime Minister of an old, rustic European country is planning a grand event to celebrate ushering in a new age of prosperity (for the already wealthy, at least), and is determined to have an ice sculpture as its centre-piece, carved by one Edward Goodwill. Unfortunately, in its run-up, citizens are going missing and a cell of masked Eco Anarchists has embarked on a campaign of urban vegetation detonations. The Prime Minister is convinced that the two are not unrelated.
Crocodilian art dealer Evelyn rather likes the Eco Anarchists which she calls Flower Wizards instead: "Such aesthetically daring activism!"
Edward Goodwill, meanwhile, one of her best-selling sculptors, discovers that it's not only people who are disappearing. The sculptor's decorated wooden figurines are vanishing too. Edward takes to a bar to ponder both the puzzle and the Prime Minister's commission in private, only to be befriended by a fox called Faustine who is self-assured, extremely assertive and exceedingly resourceful. She is determined to get to the bottom of the twin mysteries, help a faltering Goodwill complete his governmental commission, then perhaps have a right old cackle into the bargain.
Good golly but the pages vibrate with light and colour, right off the electromagnetic spectrum.
The colour, washed over such delicate thin and crisp lines, provides so much depth and energy that you won't even notice the eschewing of spot-blacks or textures.
We begin with an essay in aqueous blue and lemon yellow for an opening page of nocturnal tranquillity, harmony and indeed melody as Edward's widower neighbour, on the opposite side of the street, sings to herself about love. Edward decides to call it a day, and pops a work in progress onto the shelves only to discover that another one's gone missing. Cleverly, there, red is first introduced.
Bathed in blue, Goodwill falls sound asleep as we pan up above the city to see a silent, paved, solitary street with one particularly grandiose house with its equally ornate facade jutting out from its peers, and so focussing our attention upon it. Yellow and red washes re-emerge quietly, so quietly, shhhh....
That's going to take some pruning.
But back to Faustine the fox, and her cunning plan to solve all of the city's mysteries in one fell swoop:
"There, do you see?"
"I thought genius never told."
"Genius is showing you. Shut your face."