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Author Topic: The Letters Beast - Online!  (Read 41033 times)

Buttonman

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #210 on: 21 December, 2021, 10:00:45 PM »

Well hello there. Take off that snow covered coat and step into the warmth of the LETTERSENTERTAINYOU Christmas party for 2021. We understand that certain restrictions are in place, but some people are above the rules, and that certainly includes people who write letters into a comic. We would ask that if you are collared that you say that only dropped in for an eye test or to molest some badgers. Don’t say you are in the Government - our brand couldn’t take the tarnish. Little bit of politics there!

The party is attended by all 41 writers on The Beast all time table and it’s great to be in the company of 39 celebrated letter writers. Tom Proudfoot is here too, but only because he has a long white beard and can dress up as Colonel Sanders and feed the masses.

Predictably enough we are doing a Christmas party theme this week and our well planned gags about all the attendees being INCEL men before it became fashionable has been upset with that rarest of beasts - a lady writer! Get the guts sucked in lads, Kathryn Morton of Leeds is here to show us how it’s done.

Kathryn is a regular Mary Christmas as she adds a touch of glamour to the sea of Primark jumpers and Blue Harbour jeans. This is Kathryn’s first letter, but  amazingly she’s not the first lady Morton as she joins Miranda of Aberystwyth who is still mentioned in dispatches following her Prog 406 appearance. To add to the fun we also have Rob and Ron Morton who appeared in Progs 1059 and 1079 although that may be him having fun or a Beast input error. Hardly likely!

Kathryn is an occasional reader who is celebrating her longest run of purchasing the Prog in ages. She’s liking it so much that she’s reading all of the stories - high praise indeed. She waxes lyrical about her favourite strips and suggests an all female creative team for Judge Anderson. I wonder what Alan Grant will say when Mek-Quake shows up with the scissors! Overall an enthusiastic and complimentary letter. Down with this kind of thing.

Next up we’re having a gang bang, which can only mean that John Bateson of Grantham has commandeered the tape deck with his ‘Black Lace’s Greatest Hits’ cassette. John is an old hand with this being his fourth outing on the letters page. His last offering, in Prog 2133 was a letter of the week as was is first in Prog 1555 in 2007. He has always lived in Lincolnshire but has become more open in his last two letters by being more specific with his Grantham listing. Had to Google that - please be more consistent when writing your letters!

Despite his Lincolnshire abode John is clearly from the Land of the Righteous but lets us all down with a bit of patois - c’mon John, only Elaine C Smith and Rab C Nesbitt actually talk like that! To be fair it looks like John hasn’t forgotten his roots as he’s clearly been on the bevvy with this outpouring of consciousness.

Secret Santa time now as Iain Harper of email unwraps his first gift to the lettering masses. He joins two other Harpers ‘DG’ in Prog 490 and Matt in Prog 2041. Sadly the gift will have to go back and be exchanged for Matalan vouchers as this one isn’t for the keeping. Iain  likes the Regened Progs but thinks that decision time has arrived. Tharg agrees and says he’s sticking with it, so there. Iain lets his 8 year old read the Prog so maybe the lad can explain ‘Proteus Vex’ to us?

Right stop the party. Someone has spewed up over the coats and passed out - better call in Dr (call me Doctor) Rob Beattie of Blainslie - which is in Scotland (Google again). The good Doctor is pushed to the floor by  Dr Rich Evans who holds 10th spot on the Beast all time list on 27 and doesn’t appreciate anyone encroaching on his territory. The two other Beatties on the list  Chris (Meg 8) and Jack (Prog 281) try to assist but their single letter scores don’t get them by the bouncer.

Dr Rob’s letter is a bit hard to follow - I blame the handwriting - but we think he’s saying his kid likes the Regened issues and he’s into ’The Out’ - it’s all inconsequential as he leaves with his Christmas cake - and his teeth - in a bag, out the emergency exit.

Well that’s us past the halfway mark and time to roll out the buffet. Sadly the order got mixed up in the pandemic chaos and it’s three sheets of toilet paper for everyone washed down with a cup of hand sanitizer. We’ve had worse nights. None of which were spent with Gary & Zack Pickup of Salford. We’re not clear why they are named after a truck but it does explain why they are drinking cans of Monster. Zack is a new entrant on the Beast Database but this is Gary’s 3th offering following a quick double header in Progs 1405 and 1409 in 2004. Guess he must have lost interest in writing in and started seeing women. What a weirdo!

The letter reveals the truth as Gary used his Prog money to procreate and now has Zack to continue the cycle. Gary is onside with the Regened issues (Can we have a moratorium on this topic please?!) and Zack is now a convert much to Tharg’s delight. One of us! One of us!

As the night begins to wind down the lights go up and the celebrity guest is revealed - It’s Steve Frame from Thurso! Yay. Steve is the only Beast Leader board participant to get a letter printed and for that we have to say ‘damn it’s always a double pager at Christmas, what was I thinking?!’ This is Steve’s 33rd letter to see print and it cements him in his longstanding 4th place over all, fewer than a dozen behind Grant Goggans on 44. Steve has his place on the LETTERSENTERTAINYOU Mount Rushmore, but over to the side a bit. Next to Jimmy Carter.

Steve first letter was in Prog 1405 which amazingly was the same as that for Gary Pickup in the letter above! A Christmas miracle! Steve uses the tired and tested method of having a theme, saying that things are ‘Smart’ and ‘Dumb’. We have our own -  ‘Boring’ and ‘Predictable’. Boring : This letter! Predictable: also this letter! Good to have you here Steve!

The lights are beginning to dim and it’s time for the erection section in the company of Will Fairbairn of East Lothian who celebrates his 3rd offering with this issue. In Will’s first two letters printed in Progs 1930 and 2039 he went by ‘Willie’ - don’t hide your light under that bushel Willie, we’re all friends here.

Willie gets a ‘one hit wonder’ in by asking a single question and getting out. It’s a good scheme as Tharg loves to be pitched soft balls that he can knock out the park with a big Pluggg!

Right the caretaker has arrived and you can all bugger off and take that tinsel with you. Someone in no mood to argue is Anthony O’Connor of Email who has gotten merry on this his fourth letter to see print. In his first three he was in Ireland starting with his Prog 1940 début n 2015. He was last seen in Meg 372 in 2016 so he has five years to make up for which he has done with aplomb and with Happy Shopper cider.

Being tired and emotional Anthony barely manages a sentence in his letter before passing out. Sleep well sweet prince and come up with something better next time.

Right that’s it - we’re off to pull some crackers and we don’t mean have relations with ladies.

Happy Christmas!

norton canes

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #211 on: 21 January, 2022, 11:42:34 AM »
So with the 'Brimful of Thrills...' feature apparently a fixture on the inside back page, is that it for readers' letters for the foreseeable?

Proudhuff

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #212 on: 24 January, 2022, 03:01:46 PM »
apparently not(e)!
DDT did a job on me

Buttonman

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #213 on: 29 January, 2022, 03:02:49 PM »

What to do when your self-indulgent thread loses all its readers and generates no replies? The answer is of course to team it up with a previous thread that was equally unpopular and create a hybrid that allows people not to read two threads at once! This ‘Exciting news for all readers’ event will be a one off as the diet bus has pulled up outside and delivered some rice cakes and taken away all the booze and chocolates. At least we still have letters and holiday snaps. Yay.

First out of the blocks is this deceptive salad number :



We didn’t get into out hotel in Tenerife, the GF Isabel, until after dinner had finished but they had left us some grub in the canteen. This was unexpected and certainly derailed my plans to explore the town’s kebab options. This was enjoyable however, with nice ham and chorizo and a soft roll.

The letters from Prog 2266 are found in a strange mid Prog location with the coveted back page taken up with some history thing. We do get 7 letters, none of which are too long, and only one Beast Leaderboard contender for our troubles.

Someone who may not be hungry, but is in Hungary is Charlie Robinson in the Letter of the Week berth. Charlie, with his debut offering,  scores the 4th Magyar letter to see print with Sas / Stuart Durrant nabbing the first two in Progs 866 and 982 followed by David Jakoi in 2002’s Prog 1315.

Charlie does the always favoured ‘lost but now found’ routine and tells a happy tale of finding the latest Prog in an Airport shop  and then signing up for the long haul. It’s a happy tale well told and Tharg ,as always, laps this stuff up.

Our hotel was all inclusive so we didn’t each out too much. It may be a bit bland but it’s free! The hotel food was fine but sometimes you want something a bit special and cooked as a meal rather than some nuggets and a bit of pizza. Here’s me with an excellent chicken biryani at the Ganges restaurant in Costa Adeje.



Iain Benson popadom downs the next letter from his Manchester lair. Iain , who was possibly a butler in the 80’s, enjoys his second outing here having debuted in Prog 2140 in 2019. He is now one behind ‘Best Benson’ Freiya who had her third offering published in a Letter of the Week appearance in Prog 2202.

Iain basically rehashes the first letter, five years on, and feels a kinship with Tharg as they are both in their 45th year.  Means nothing Iain, We’re the same age as Starbucks and it doesn’t mean free coffee! (you can fill up on sugar packets if no one is looking though).

The best part of buffet dining is the breakfasts - you can pick out all the crispy bits of bacon and fill up on Sugar Puffs and pastries. You do need to work at it though. Here’s me with my shop bought HP sauce and butter infused bacon sandwich. It was so good my photographer grabbed a bite before agreeing to take the photo!



Not needing any additional sauce is Craig Grannell of Fleet who scores his 28th Beast entry with this outing, which cements his 9th place spot on the Beast scoreboard, only one behind Alan Holloway. This early score means Craig has had at least one letter published in each of the last 6 years. He first appeared as the enigmatic ‘CN Grannell’ in 1998’s Prog 1089 which means his letters Silver Anniversary is approaching fast.

Craig goes all controversial and says ‘The Out’ is better than ‘Halo Jones’. not sure about that, but both are better than ‘Dead meat’ that’s for sure. Tharg likes a bit of debate and will probably reissue ‘Halo Jones’ once again, in a new edition, just to cash in on the controversy.

More dining out now as we headed for The Ibrox Bar for the Rangers v Stirling Albion clash. They didn’t do food but they allowed the restaurant next door to deliver. This Mexican pizza was nice but a bit unusual as it had no cheese topping and was like hot vegetables and grey beef on a pizza base. Still scoffed the lot.



Someone who needs no toppings but some more ‘Brass Sun’ is Luke Murthwaite of Peterborough who makes his debut this Prog. This is the 30th letter from The Posh with Graham George (didn’t he used to manage Arsenal?) the long time leader on 4.His last outing was in 1994’s Prog 896 so he may have stopped reading or gone to manage a team in Vietnam or somewhere.

Luke’s bugbear is when “a decent narrative never reaches a conclusion”. We know what you mean Luke - this man of restricted intelligence went to a stables to ask for a job and the blacksmith asked if he had ever shoed a horse and…right we’ll leave that there.

Here’s an early buffet lunch selection that shows how not to create a well balanced meal - pizza, burger, chips, nuggets - it’s like a 5 year old’s birthday party. All very nice but an unsatisfying repast.



Time to calm down now and take your time in the company of Tony Green from Bullseye, er, Wooton. Tony enjoyed ‘Dredd : Trinity’ and thought it was super , smashing , great. Wait, that’s the other guy. This is Tony’s first ever letter - let’s see if he manages to get two in a bed. He has a few to match the Jolly Green Giant Kelvin who has 4 letters to his name, the last of which we saw in Prog 1550 in 2007.

Next up is our second dine out where I had this mammoth T-Bone steak in a place called ’Hawai’. It was OK but not well cooked and certainly beyond my requested ‘medium’ in places. The chips were of the oven variety and the veg was non-descript. Not great for the 90 odd Euros spent.



Better value is Paul Newrick of Bridport who has his second appearance served up in this Prog, following his opening bow in a Letter of the Week showing in Prog 2225, last year. Paul was a big fan of ‘Trinity’ and would like to see more of the Sly Stallone Dredd. Stop or every fan will shoot! He makes a funny point of the present day being even crappier than the dystopian worlds Tharg dishes out and basically tells the Alien that he needs to up his game.

A better hotel dinner selection this time with meatballs accompanied by a fried chicken fillet, some green chillies and some caviar. As you do. First time having caviar and I wasn’t impressed. Fishy and a strange texture.



We finish with a Last Tango in Halifax in the company of Paul Broadhead who, like Paul Newrick above,  is also on his second letter with his first also appearing in the same Prog of 2225! What a coincidence!, It’s almost like only 30 folk ever write in! Paul finished the page with  his musings as lapsed then returned reader. He’s off to buy 20 years of back Progs and we’re off to the buffet!

norton canes

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #214 on: 29 January, 2022, 09:24:31 PM »
This is utter genius

The Enigmatic Dr X

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #215 on: 29 January, 2022, 11:17:49 PM »
Every time this thread pops up, I think that I should write to Tharg.
Lock up your spoons!

Richard

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #216 on: 30 January, 2022, 11:07:40 AM »
I only write to Tharg to get my letter reviewed here!

Link Prime

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #217 on: 31 January, 2022, 11:55:54 AM »
Mesmerizing entertainment.

blixab

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #218 on: 31 January, 2022, 11:57:44 AM »
Should I be worried when I say that I look forward to this thread every time a letters page appears! May yet write one into Tharg starting "long time reader, first time I've written in....."

Proudhuff

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #219 on: 31 January, 2022, 12:28:09 PM »



Prosecco for brekkie? lightweight!
DDT did a job on me

Dandontdare

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #220 on: 31 January, 2022, 01:52:24 PM »
And "picking out the crispy bacon"? - Philistine!

Buttonman

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #221 on: 01 February, 2022, 08:13:33 PM »

Prosecco for brekkie? lightweight!


Cava you Buckie merchant!

Proudhuff

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #222 on: 02 February, 2022, 04:06:45 PM »
Classy
DDT did a job on me

Buttonman

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #223 on: 01 March, 2022, 11:03:27 PM »

We’re back…but for how long? Yes your favourite letters blog is under attack from the forces of good taste and from the mechanised advanced brigades of  ‘The London Review of Letters’. The phoney war is now over and the battle is underway with puns, grammar and sitcom references all under threat from the pervading forces of measured criticism and informed debate.

We will keep broadcasting for as long as possible and start off with the Letter of the Week from Prog 2271 from Sean McFedries of Irvine. We know Irvine - they have a sports centre named after an ice lolly - that’s the kind of knowledge you don’t get from our better read, would be overlords. Sean is a first timer and only the second writer to hail from Irvine. To be honest we are surprised that there are two people from there who can write, but these are strange times.

The Irvine debutant was Neil McAvoy who charmed us with his ‘Tharg Wogan’ in Prog 325 in 1983, so it Sean may actually be the only person who can write in the north Ayrshire backwater after all. Sean’s letter is his first but it would appear that he has been bugging Tharg for many years to get his Dad a KTT - saves buying a card I guess. This kind of  demanding letter isn’t to our taste and is akin to those kids with signs demanding footballer’s tops - stick to getting Dad six cans and a kebab Sean and save us all from your harassment of an ageing alien.

Sean is far from the ‘Super Sean' with that title going to Sean ‘Mike’ Baldwin of Brighton who had six letters printed between 2000 and 2006 in Progs 1213 to 1511, when he bowed out with a Letter of the Week.

Things aren’t going well with our communications antenna being destroyed and us having to rely on an Amstrad E-Mailer to get our copy out. Don’t worry, we won’t be silenced. The evil overlords hell-bent on our destruction will be resisted by the well-meaning and dedicated followers of this thread who will no doubt rally round and…oh dear.

The evil invaders are at the door and shoving dog dirt through the letter box, but that’s as good a signal as any to have a look at the second offering of the week from Matt Webster of Bradford. Matt is an older hand, celebrating his 8th published letter with this offering. Matt had two Letters of the Week in 2021 in Progs 2234 and 2237,so this effort breaks his streak, but maintains a reasonably consistent level of appearance that dates back to a Letter of the Week debut in 2006’s Prog 1475.

Matt’s letter is chillingly similar to that previous with another tale of a lovely Dad buying a Prog that started a lifelong obsession in the son. Did Tharg’s letter generating software hit a glitch? Matt’s  letter lacks the begging elements of his predecessor but offers addition peril “I nearly stopped  buying the Progs” he says with no conviction.

Tharg clearly loses the will to go any further with this love in and celebration of parental Prog purchasing and gives up the rest of the page to an advert for the Portsmouth Comic Con. And we’re glad he did - we’ve donned our washer woman outfit and are heading out the back door to our waiting donkey…

Stay safe and good luck to our Ukrainian readers - enjoy the £20 LETTERSENTERTAINYOU donation in lieu of any good taste.

« Last Edit: 01 March, 2022, 11:06:28 PM by Buttonman »

AlexF

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #224 on: 17 March, 2022, 02:46:35 PM »
So delightful that there's a home for people to chat about letters in to 2000AD...

...on which note, and apologies if there is in fact an entirely different thread for noting 'letters to Tharg by future 2000AD creators' - but I recently stumbled across a page in Diceman 4 (1986), not the letters page proper, mind, but the page AFTER that which is a sort of proto-ButtonMan round-up of other letters that evidently weren't good enough to run on the main letters page.

Anyway, within there are notes of praise from one 'Andrew Diggle, Croydon' and one 'Henry Flint, Exmouth' which must surely be the most top-tier double-hit of future Droids on one page...