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Messages - Colin YNWA

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Film & TV / Re: Doctor Who Series 11 Discussion
« on: Today at 01:19:32 pm »
After the chat last night I got curious and decided to straight to the horses mouth and looked at the comments on the Telegraph's website.  Dear lord is that a world of entitled hate and fear! It really was quite breathtaking.

Film & TV / Re: Doctor Who Series 11 Discussion
« on: 21 October, 2018, 07:49:40 pm »
Really enjoyed that one, really good. Okay so there were some gaps in it to get the story and themes covered in the time available  but good powerful stuff.

All the more entertaining as even with the stakes high it was all more subtle and it felt more like 'Back to the Future' than a typical Doctor Who and for that it was such fun while being tension and exciting.

Spiders in Sheffield next week - saw this one being filmed from my office window, can't wait.

Other Reviews / Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« on: 21 October, 2018, 07:46:43 am »
Prog 950 (plus)

So we hit a time of change as the Judge Dredd movie comes out and 2000ad gets the worse logo I think its ever had. A harsh, sharp, yet fussy block at the top of the page. Stuck there like some sort of over designed banner in a pro-Brexit march.

We get 8 extra pages, but nothing of consequence is added and I'm not quite sure where they go. Pictures from the Dredd movie I assume. Though to be fair by next Prog we do get an extra thrill, or at least double Dredd.

The strip content is actually on the up as well if I'm are honest, but after the first half of the year that's no metric to get excited about, its still not great but there are some real positives. We have Wagner on Dredd, by 952 we're only had one really good one in 'Megalot' but that will sort itself soon as I recall. Slaine is a fine replacement for Finn and hasn't yet started stirring down the barrel of plunging down hill... yet... Rogue Trooper grinds on alas and Urban Strike is ... well just plain curious....

I actually enjoy these early Vector 13s too, though they still make clear that the limitations of the format, which will be exposed soon I'm quite sure. At this point however they feel fun and interesting, after all there's only been 2.

Return of Rico by Pat Mill and Paul Johnson is so unnecessary. I mean sure if you'd not read the original its great and Uncle Pat does get a few neat little bits of commentry in there quite well, but beyond that it adds maybe 12 pages to the old classic, yet very little substance. Well aside from the confusion in the timeline of setting it after Cursed Earth for... reasons of adding dinosaurs to it I guess!?!

You can feel the Prog straining under the weight of its own expectations. The paper feels better, there's more of it, everything has a design makeover, though typically of this time of early PCs its all way to busy and fussy. The trouble is the comic doesn't feel significently better. It is better, but the last 6 months have been awful. Tharg has seen the Dredd movie by now, surely he knows he has to do more than this to reap any reward?

Other Reviews / Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« on: 20 October, 2018, 09:26:33 pm »
Speaking of the Middle ground the departure of Armoured Gideon and Brigand Doom left space for Mambo and Strontium Dogs to fill that space and in Prog 947 both finish.

Its funny and indicative of the problems in the first half of 1995 that these are my favourite thrills in the run they are in. I've always had a real soft spot for the Ennis into Peter Hogan run on Strontium Dogs and while it is a little drifty and meandering I still think it holds up really pretty well. Its not the old Johnny Alpha story, but that's a good thing. It needed to be different to work. And it does. I mean sure its not a patch on Strontium Dog (singular) but at least it has the courage to go in its own direction and its chock full of fun characters just like the original. The more thrilling soap opera vibe it has really works for me... alas it also means it never really reaches its destination.

Mambo is far more compact and tight. Its fun, exciting with just the right amount of intrigue and difference to work. Its far from brilliant, but damn surrounded by the dumb maschismo of Midnight Kiss, the dumb social commentry of the seemingly endless  Finn (Jez just how long does this go on for!) and the just plain dumb Rogue Trooper mash-up if seems brilliant.

So we're over half way through 1995 and we're still struggling and we get a couple of Prog filled with some fun filler. A shaky Kane Future Shock that looks just astonishing and some daft fun, which also looks great in Tracer and then we hit a spell of much needed change as Prog 950 arrives... much needed but is that need fulfilled by the change.... well the movie os here so lets not get our hopes up hey...

Prog / Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
« on: 20 October, 2018, 03:03:05 pm »
Oh and in my gush of excitment I forgot to mention how superb that cover is. Lynch is rapodly becoming an absolute favourite.

Prog / Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
« on: 20 October, 2018, 03:01:39 pm »
Well its not the perfect Prog... and I'll get to why in a sec... but damnit, damnit to hell and back this is so close. This line-up is so strong and to my amazement getting better and better each week.

Best Prog in this run to date. Dredd is superb, sharp, smart and adrenoline filled. Fiends well

Fiends: There is just something about seeing a vampire ripping a wolf in half with his bare hands that makes you know your reading a quality story!

Well its this isn't it. Well that and the introduction of Baba Yaga, so often used in comics, never with the power and effect she is here, has turned this story quite brilliantly and the odds are stacked against Constanta. The three panels as the beast and ghouls circle our 'heros' just sublime. Then a sparrow is turned into a golden stake and we get that ending. Just perfection.

Skip Tracer. Man from a strip I couldn't give two hoots about first time out to this pulse pounding, mind melting blast. What a difference, what a strip it is now. Fantastic and again what an ending.

Kingdom... arh Kingdom you are the defination of what makes a superb 2000ad strip and you show that again. Finding fresh ways to entertain, chill and thrill. So good...

All of them brilliant and yet none of them Brink (or Blink come to that). As with the Meg so many very, VERY good stories and yet somehow, inexplicably one raises above them all. In the Meg we have Lawless, in the Prog we have another episodfe very differne to that, this is a character converstion driven piece. Seeming so still, calm and steady in comparison to others in the comic BUT it does everything so well. The banter is superb and sharp, the atmosphere so ripe and close, the commentry so on the nose but fresh and engaging. The tension is quietly there and then. BANG... well not bang really is it, but the tension has realisation and its so subtle, yet utterly chilling. How does this strip stand out amongst so much genius?

So why the hell isn't this the perfect Prog, strip by strip it feels like it should be. I think the only thing its lacking is the balance of diversity. All of these strip are brilliant but there is a dark forboding tone that runs through and gives a unity to everything. It lacks that astonishing balance in difference that the perfect Prog would have...

... mind if this isn't the perfect Prog I'm more than happy to 'settle' for it, it is simply brilliant and I'd defie anyone to show me a better comic out there right now and that includes the Meg!

Film & TV / Re: Han Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
« on: 20 October, 2018, 09:41:28 am »
The thing is there are a million other possible stories to tell about a galactic smuggler and his various scraps with the law, gangsters and bandits and countless ner-do-wells.

To try to tell a single story to wrap up every line of dialogue that'd hinted at his past just feels reductive. You could have ignored all that and made it expansive.

Other Reviews / Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« on: 19 October, 2018, 07:56:37 pm »
... See also, and rather soon, Urban Strike!.

I remember thinking this was brilliantly ironic reading it back in the day - its one of the few I remember reading then - much to do with great Mike Austin art I suspect (or misremember).

Ha! 90s good is a great term, never heard that before.

Megazine / Re: Megazine 401 - Grave New World!
« on: 18 October, 2018, 09:40:49 pm »
Pretty damned fine Meg elevated by another absolutely classic episode of Lawless. I mean seriously can this series find new ways to get better? While we're seen Tharg present battles and desperate last stands countless times before, Abnett and Winslade manage to make it seem fresh, like something you've never seen before and in doing so make it terrifying and matter immensely.

Just sublime stuff.

There's lots of other good stuff to be enjoyed but in honesty it all pales compared to that.

The Dredd is solid if not astonishing. I'm really enjoying Storm Warning this time round, a much more interesting story than the first outing enhanced by some fantastic art by Broxton. I really enjoyed the first outing of Blunt and to date  this one hasn't disappointed either. Finally Torture Garden is suitably chilling and continues the absolute redemption of the Dark Judges. The reason for Death World's distinct building is explained with brilliant horror.

Good text articles and I've started the pretty decent floppie which has the bonus of being new material to me... though wish we'd get back to the stuff from the archieve... maybe its selling to well and they decided they can squeeze more trades who knows?

So the rest of the Meg is in rude health but Lawless is something else

Off Topic / Re: RIPs
« on: 18 October, 2018, 06:04:14 pm »
Anthea Bell, who translated Asterix for the English market, has died at 82.

Oh no just heard this. So sad, she was a true great of the medium and while there is no denying the talent of Goscinny as the writer of Asterix it was Bell and Hockridge and later Anthea Bell on her own that made them sing in English. I know shw did a LOT more than just the Asterix books but man those are the works for which I will always remember her.

Such a talent.

Classifieds / Re: FREE (almost) and Cheap comics!
« on: 17 October, 2018, 06:14:15 pm »
I don't really wear badges much ... so why did I feel compelled to bid for that Concrete pin with those Nexus badges?

Class that's why!

Other Reviews / Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« on: 16 October, 2018, 09:46:27 pm »
Some quick thoughts on early(ish) 1995 which I've not got to yet:

1. Roxilla is spreading his / her wings into movie reviews. It's all still very specific and self important.

2. Loving the little Shakey Kane - Beyond Belief panels... in some progs they're the best thing in there.

3. Computer generated Thargs are my least favourite Thargs

4. The cover the Prog 930 is one of my least favourite

5. But its possibly not as bad as the one to Prog 931 which tried to cash in on the whole US gold enhance cover shenanigans

6. Early computer designed Nerve Centre pages really haven't aged well have they...

7. Arh you gotta love the Tharg's first e-mail address tharg@richb.demon.co.uk  ... I wonder who set that up...

8. How long does a hook take to fall in Crusade? The time it take to chat for 66(ish) words... all of them badly written... still packs a punch mind.

9. I loved the Alphabet Man set up and the art is stunning... I worry that its leads to nowhere fast.

10. Oh yeah the cover to Prog 938 is another I really don't like... we're not in a good spell of covers here are we.

11. Paul Marshal seems to be temporally very influenced by Colin MacNeil in 'Escape from Kurt Russell'... I don't think it lasts

12. I'd also forgotten how many superficial similarities there are between that story and the 2012 film... even though others have mentioned it before.

13. Mark Grudgefather as another strip I'd forgotten comes back.

14. I'm sorry but I much prefer Nigel Dobbyn to Mark Harrison on Strontium Dog

15. Oh Jonny Kiss and The Marshall's are back... alas I do remember that one...

16. We're 5 months into the new year and still we're to have a Prog with a positive balance ... I worry about my end of year review and all this talk of recovery...

Other Reviews / Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« on: 15 October, 2018, 09:28:21 pm »
Okay so Rogie Trooper disappears after a short time, as it starts to find the most convoluted, pointless and blandly dull way of smooshing our two Rogue's together. Why oh why... well actually since it backs off quickly, alas leaving its one good thing Henry Flint behind it, that means at least Armoured Gideon gets backed up by Brigand Doom. Both strips that really define the middle ground of thrills often elevated in the 90s to top thrills by the stuff that surrounds them.

Both come to an abrupt end in Progs 935 and 936

Now lets just be clear I like both thrills. Both are different but both have much to enjoy, not least gloriously consistent art throughout. Alas both get wrapped up* within a Prog of each other and neither really gets the end it deserves.

Armoured Gideon starts off really well the start of this story 'Trading Places' see Frank mistreated... well if you think being butchered with chainsaws is mistreating... might not be the right word... anyway, dead he's cast into the Gideon and all sorts of fantastic stuff happens... and then abruptly it stops. In Prog 935. Franks thinks he wakes up outside Gideon's body but isn't and so shuts at the Collector (the chappie who throw all those forgotten 2000ad folks together in our last outing) and lickety split he's back in Frank all repaired and THE END... such a shame as up to this point it'd all been great fun.

Brigand Doom hadn't been quite as good as before. This time facing off with financial vampires, in a bit of a tired attempt to be witty and clever. Agent Nine is used as bait in what reads like a lazy story were Alan MacKenzie is getting bored but needs to do something to wrap it all up. Who knows, but vampires are shot up easily enough and. THE END.

If I'm right and this is the end for both its a real shame. Both have been good, solid strips. Not brilliant at any point. But rarely bad or dull... rarely and deserving of a better send off. They've held the middle ground during the 90s when so much around then has been rubbish. Even at the end this is absolutely brought into sharp focus, surrounded as they are by Dredd Crusade - which gets worse on every reading, Finn a strip I just don't like and Harlem Heroes which I'm barely even reading by this point.

Still hats off (three pointed or otherwise) off to these stalwarts of the early to mid 90s. Rocks standing firm as all around them crumble, or raise to higher ground.

*I say wrapped but I'm learning a lot about how poor my recollection of some of the stuff doing the rounds at the moment is. I thought there was not more Fleisher Harlem Heroes, thought previously we'd done with Millar Robo-hunter. I have to be honest before now I'd forgotten I still had a Brigand Doom story still to come. All in all I guess I'm warning you that this might not be the end of either series... but let's treat it as though I'm right.

Prog / Re: Prog 2103 - Demons of the mind
« on: 15 October, 2018, 07:57:47 pm »
"Brink", not "Blink"...

Hey look just cos you have lettered a wonderful strip called 'Brink' in this weeks Prog doesn't mean I'm not talking about that other strip called "Blink" that I'm really enjoying.

Sheech the ego on that man, shameless...

(Ha! Seamless I've so gottun away with that...)

Film & TV / Re: Doctor Who Series 11 Discussion
« on: 15 October, 2018, 12:33:17 pm »
FWIW I would have preferred the Tardis to remain elusive for a few episodes longer, with the gang hitchhiking around trying to find it or get back to Earth someone other way.

Yeah I really hoped they'd do this, think it would have been great fun. Alas not and I can see why they might have gone that way. After all its a key concept to the show and I'm assuming they want lots of new folks tuning in so best to get it established asap.

Still shame as it would have been a good setup. Mind that said the redesign now it is here is great.

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