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Messages - Colin YNWA

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This is poor Dredd... I dearly hope to return to apologetically say Ennis has hit form again... come on Ennis...

Ha! That didn't take long and given the topsy turvey nature of Ennis Dredd I'm not entirely surprised. Currently reading 'Raider' and yep here to make my apologies. I mean John Burns elevates anything he touches, but this is great stuff regardless...

...but not what I'm here to talk about really. I'm here to talk about Prog 812. Its actually not a bad Prog at all (why do I keep capitalising Prog? I mean even knowing its wrong isn't going to stop me doing it, but I should right?) Wireheads ended last week and sorry, try as I might, I just couldn't get into it. It was bloomin' awful and the sad thing for it with Revere back in the Prog just as it concluded in Prog 811, we're reminded all too sharply why real John Smith is so much better than substandard wannabe John Smith like Wireheads*.

In its place is a functional at best Future Shock and a prologue for Dead Meat, a series I'm failing to hate having back and while last time this was present it failed to impress, I'm happy to give it a second go, if memory leaves me not exactly optimistic... the biggest take home from this prologue which gives us a handy breakdown of the coming of our Veggie World (none required capitals again) is that P.U.L.S.E. is surely the worst acronymn in comics ever and boy there have been a few.

So the worst thrill in the prog moves happily to Finn, curiously when it has its best episode for a long time... well to be fair its the first in a while I'm managed to do more than skip read and I quite enjoyed it... but Jez Patrical Mills under the spell of street guru Skinner is labouring things to fuck!

So yeah the real reason I've pulled Prog 812 out to discuss is the ending of The Journal of Luke Kirby - The Nightwalker - its bloody good. The stayed tension in those final pages on the train just perfectly encapulating the fresh pacing and story style this series brings to the Prog. Its really interesting to note this is almost twice the length of the first story (really it took 4 years for it to come back, specials aside, I don't remember that!) and it really benefits from that. Conventional wisdom - well in my head at least - has it that Journals of LK is a prime example of the law of diminishing returns, but you know what I think Nightwalker is better than Summer Magic. The extra space this has to frankly not cover much more story isn't padding its effective pacing to build atmosphere.

I was surprised how rushed Summer Magic read recently, it was kinda fitting, making it feel like the rapid storytelling used in comics at the time this was set. That said I much prefered the more steady pace of this second story. Almost perfectly embodied by that sunbeam standoff in this final part. Just supreme stuff and now dimly remembered diminishing returns aside I'm now really looking forward to Steve Parkhouse getting his mitts on this strip... I think that happens next time right?

* and before anyone stops by to think I'm being snarky that genuinely isn't commentry on any current state of affairs!

Prog / Prog 2091 - Area of attack!
« on: 21 July, 2018, 09:12:58 pm »
Well that is another good Prog, with one absolute belting standout and one bait and switch missing ... I mean he really went and did it, didn't he!

Anyway we'll get to that. Dredd is brutally functional opener, its harsh and sharp artwork fitting for a story that feels so weighed down by function and technic that its lost a sense of fun and story. Still I've bought in and we'll see where we go with this.

The Order just keeps layering on the story, throwing more and more in, but doing it with a guile and energy that it never forgets its sense of fun and story.

A Terror Tale which feels a little out of time, is none the less really fun and engaging, and when it needs to be suitably creepy and why don't we have more David Hitchcock in the Prog plase?

So last week's Grey Area, the title of this two story don't seem to be the bait and switch I was expecting... though there is one panel, thrid page, third panel, that makes makes me think that its still to come and I'm really enjoying this so I'm giving Dabnett and Harrison the benefit of the doubt on this one.

But let's be honest if you've been enjoying Deadworld to this point this is the story to storm to the top of your charts this week. Bloomin' brilliant and this turn of events, assuming its not going to twisty turn on us is most welcome and opens the series up quite supremely. Just fantastic stuff.

So over all very good Prog, thank you Tharg... if you have to keep that bait and switch you owe me a little longer so be it, entertain me like this and I'll happily wait...

General / Re: Mega City Book Club - a new podcast about 2000AD books
« on: 21 July, 2018, 07:34:18 pm »
Another great podcast and just how lovely is that Fox! Gushing about the 2000ad community (nice to see he's avoided some places!) and seems genuinly surprised how well he and Conrad have been recieved, apparently oblivous to the fact that if you do something great you tend to get a good reception!
Hear, hear! And tomorrow it’s Conrad’s turn for a Shak-attack.

Yeah can't wait for that.

Help! / Re: Six Year Old Comic Fare
« on: 21 July, 2018, 06:50:30 pm »
Bone. The answer to this question is always Bone... unless its Asterix... or The Phoenix, my kids love our subscription to the Phoenix...

so the answer is always Bone... unless Asterix, or The Phoenix... or DC Superhero Girls... damnit...

... She also like the Otto Stump story when I read her that...

General / Re: Mega City Book Club - a new podcast about 2000AD books
« on: 21 July, 2018, 05:14:32 pm »
Another great podcast and just how lovely is that Fox! Gushing about the 2000ad community (nice to see he's avoided some places!) and seems genuinly surprised how well he and Conrad have been recieved, apparently oblivous to the fact that if you do something great you tend to get a good reception!

General / Re: 2018: forthcoming thrills..
« on: 21 July, 2018, 01:19:56 pm »
There is just to look forward to in both Prog 2100 and Meg 400. As for Skip Tracer I remain optimistic that after the stumble in the first series we get a little more focus on why we should care for our lead, it it lands that we could have a good thrill on our hands and Tharg must have seen something in it to have commissioned two series back to back?

Prog / Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« on: 21 July, 2018, 01:16:39 pm »
I remember Flesh, of this period, being a very rare example of a 2000AD strip which I gave up on. I usually read the prog cover to cover, even strips I don't particularly enjoy, but I found Flesh so bad that I couldn't bring myself to read it every week.

Heh, I loved it!  Just accept that everyone in it is on sanity-blocking drugs (Smileez) and just look at the gloriously drawn dinos munching on cowboys.  That's what it says on the tin after all.

I'm with you there. I know it wasn't a popular strip but I really enjoyed it and was sad when it left the Prog... though it had gone down the 7 villianous warriors route by then. Spoilers just in-case Funt Solo is trying to stay unspoiled.

Prog / Re: Prog 2090 - Transit Authority
« on: 21 July, 2018, 07:35:33 am »
I still think Harrison's best work was on Glimmer Rats.

It's a lovely thing to be sure, but in Grey Area there's a perfect marriage of Harrison's two main modes, strong  linework characterisations and crazy largescale paintscapes, and for my money the combo tops anything he's done before. Sometimes I do have to look at a page twice to understand how it should read, but when it clicks it's all clear as crystal.

Yeah his storytelling is by far his biggest weakness. I think this has improved over time, I really struggle with Glimmer Rats. I think in part its due to colouring choices. As Tordelback says once you get past that things can be clear.

Next week... next bloody week... NEXT WEEK.... I'm not sure if I'll be able to put up with Rick Edwards introducing that show again having tried to spot you FIVE TIMES just now!

General / Re: Chief Judge Cal(igula)
« on: 19 July, 2018, 09:17:59 pm »
Also lead used in paint, often used to adorn food vessels is theorised to contributing to high levels of mental illness in the Roman Empire.

Megazine / Re: Meg 398 - Meet the Strange Brigade
« on: 19 July, 2018, 09:13:06 pm »
Well the main thing for me is that The Returners - which I've loved up to now, lost me a little. I mean I understood ths events in each section but I was a little lost as to whether it was all one woman, the invunche... but was it... it was right... wasn't it? Strangely still carried along and can't wait for more... but it was ... right...

Everything else was as you were. Dredd / Razorjack high concept fun, Chopper high psychodelic fun, Delvin Waugh high drama fun and Stange Brigade high scorin' fun. I'm more than happy with the lin-up right now and looking forward to a high standard in the wrap ups next Meg, clearing the decks, the currently wonderful decks for Meg 400.

Great as all that was the highlight was the floppie. I'm loving the variety in once disposible back up. We're had a glorious mix of some classics from the archieve, some great modern classics (all be it stuff I have normally - still a sign of quality) and the interesting an innovative Nemesis 'Monograph'. This month we get a great modern story I've not read (before my time back on with the Meg) and it was a treat. Just great stuff.

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 18 July, 2018, 05:58:39 pm »

I was disappointed with Thunderdome when I first saw it as a kid, but I think only because I loved Mad Max 2 so much. ...
On a positive note I now really like Thunderdome, it holds up way better on a rewatch than I'd expected, and it really benefits from going in knowing you're not getting another Road Warrior movie.

Yeah re-watched that for the first time not too long ago and pretty much agree. While its a disappointment when you expect it to be a follow on to Road Warrior in and of itself its a pretty good movie. Full of problems but very watchable.

So I'm streaking through the 800s and its becoming a familar story. There's some good stuff, there's some okay stuff and there's some rubbish. As the good stuff (Zenith Book 4) finishes you hope for better than Wireheads and Finn coming into cover it... but just as you lose hope John Smith comes along and hope is restored.

Remember this line as I think I'll be using it again.

Anyway I come not to discuss this, rather to diss Dredd. As I've said before its been very hit and miss during Ennis' run... since issue 800 its gone for consistancy at least. Alas settling on miss may not be the way to go. So what's my beef. Well frankly the stories have been stunning flat and uninspiring, utterly devoid of anything interesting our fun. Judge Dredd has become The Clown... emphasised by Greg Staples' early art. Worse still Dredd has become that worst of 90s 2000ad tropes, the soulless, blandly aggressive hero, exposed by the lack of redemning features in the stories around him.

Now its fair to say that Dredd can be aggressive and is given to bouts of soullessness from time to time. Written too easily he can run an entire story just to punch out the witty oneliner at the end of the strip. For some reason in both 'The Marshal' and 'Innocents Aboard' the current problems with the strip just seem exemplified... then I turn to 'The Magic Mellow Out' and those problems have the added value of Mark Millar / Alan McKenzie* level humour, I mean its been building for a while. Everytime Dredd bust some perp, one (or more) of them has to pull an oversized firearm to give Ol' Joe an excuse to blow their head off... literally. But man 'The Magic Mellow Out' ... well it could have been a Robo-hunter strip....

This is poor Dredd... I dearly hope to return to apologetically say Ennis has hit form again... come on Ennis...

*I should mention Alan McKenzie provide current (post Zenith) best thrill Summer Magic, which is fine and then some.

Prog / Re: Prog 2090 - Transit Authority
« on: 17 July, 2018, 12:35:16 pm »
Dredd - ....Also I hate MC1 cits looking so dull and c20th ordinary, no colour, no simps, no crazy.

But in the context of this story I really think it worked and this is one of the great things about Dredd and MC 1. If you want it to be colourful and crazy it can be. If you want it to be dull and downbeaten it still works. Depends on the tone of the story and for me this was drop dead perfect.

General / Re: Space Spinner 2000AD
« on: 17 July, 2018, 07:50:59 am »
Well again we could get distracted by what a great podcast it was again but there are two far more significent things we need to mention.

1) How the hoopin' heck have we got to Frankie already. Pottering down the road listening to the show I was at first delighted when I heard 'Relax', but then more than a little shocked that you'd made such progress that we'd got to this*!

2) How the f**k are you so young that you had to explain the Osmonds??? Your youth disgusts me... I'm so old...

*Of course if you were being a little more on the ball you'd have played Radio Gaga instead having banned 'Relax' just as the BBC did!

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