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Messages - Tjm86

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Other Reviews / Re: Sandman TV Series
« on: 10 August, 2022, 07:33:03 PM »
I enjoyed the first dozen or so issues but, as the series wore on, Gaiman just seemed to get ever more pleased with his own cleverness whilst progressively less and less actually seemed to happen.

TBH I get what you mean.  I found the opening arcs interesting and enjoyable but after that it really was only the odd issue that seemed worth the effort until I drifted from it completely. 

As for the adaptation, so far i've only managed most of the first episode as we are in our 'grand tour of the UK' stage of the school holidays chasing kids around for their different activities (this year is 'introductory Leicester' ...).  It's interesting in that it manages to find a decent balance between being faithful to the source material without coming across as 'masturbatory' as happened with Watchmen.  Can it sustain this?  Well, we'll see I suppose.

On the casting front I'd have to agree with many of the comments.  Morpheus himself seems to benefit from a well chosen, if possibly obscure (or I just don't watch much telly any more) actor.  Hopefully next week I can find the time to sit down and catch up with the other episodes.

General / Re: Alan Grant appreciation thread
« on: 02 August, 2022, 10:37:16 PM »

Secondly Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle's Batman run, briefly with John Wagner in Detective Comics, but eventually moving to the main Batman title and earning them a launch with Shadow of the Bat. When you consider just how much Batman content there is out there its incredible to thing this Batman run is so well regarded and its my favourite - only Morrison's gets close. The way Grant and Breyfogle were able to redefine how a Batman story could work, gave him a new cast of villains, after such a long time is testament to find new ways to tell stories with classic characters.

You know, it's funny but time and again I've dipped into Detective Comics but nothing has approached the Grant / Breyfogle material.  Granted (excuse me) Breyfogle's artwork elevates anyone's material but even so it is hard to find a comparative set.  I would include the numerous reboots such as New 52 in that respect.  Whilst the Snyder / Capullo run on Batman works incredibly well, the Detective Comics run is banal to say the least.

Lets also remember his Eagle strips including House of Daemon, Doomlord, Manix and Computer Warrior.  Not to forget the Last American and Genghis Grimtoad outside of these august publications.

TL:DR - comics has lost a giant.

Off Topic / Re: RIPs
« on: 02 August, 2022, 12:04:39 PM »
The news of Nichol's passing is sad but at the same time I can't help feeling a small amount of relief.  Her health has been dwindling for some time by all accounts.  What is more depressing though has been the controversy around her conservatorship at this time.  That being the case then, as was so elegantly put up-thread ... "hailing frequencies closed ..."


Off Topic / Re: RIPs
« on: 25 July, 2022, 06:01:39 PM »
Warner's work in ST was definitely something special.  As folks say, his portrayal of Gul Madred was outstanding.  I'd forgotten about his role in Star Trek 5, mainly because I've forgotten so much of that film full stop.  Sorry.  As Gorkon in Star Trek 6 though he brought the same gravitas to the role that he did for so much of his acting career.

For me though he will always be Dillinger / Sark in Tron.  One of Disney's undervalued greats for my money, alongside The Black Hole (a film with admittedly a terrifying number of plot problems but who cares, it was fun!).  Don't care that it is basically a rehash of Wizard of Oz.  It was part of an age of SF greats on the big screen.

"You're getting brutal, Sark. Brutal and needlessly sadistic."

Off Topic / Re: Inflation and US comics
« on: 25 July, 2022, 03:48:11 PM »
Sorry Jim, I worded that badly but that was exactly the point I was angling for.  You're right, it is sterling that is tanking against the dollar*.  Not to mention that it is having a major impact on the import price and therefore the price paid in our LCS'.

Given the short to medium term prospects with the economy this doesn't look like a situation that is going to improve any time soon (if ever). 

*the trajectory of sterling against the dollar has been fairly consistent for the best part of 20 odd years.  In fact you'd have to go back to 1985 to find a time when sterling was doing as badly as right now.  To be fair since 2016 it has wavered between 1.40 and 1.20 but that has to be compared against a range of 1.40 to 2.00 of the previous decade.  Of course it could well be purely a coincidence that the referendum coincided with this change, just as it is totally coincidental that Dover is currently gridlocked on the first day of the school holidays with new customs arrangements in place.

Megazine / Re: Meg 446: Royal Blood
« on: 25 July, 2022, 02:33:25 PM »
It's a fair point.  Feels a bit at the moment like the forum has been taken over with constant strip polls.  Mind you, it keeps activity going so ...

I know what you mean about Dredd.  Considering the time given over the the storyline in recent years it does feel a bit ... meh.  Then again this is something that we've seen a lot of over the years.  Sometimes the long game doesn't play out quite as well as originally envisaged or else it is just wrapped up fairly quickly.

On the plus side, Lynch's artwork is definitely improving.  I suppose it's a bit like comparing Flint's early Rogue Trooper work with what he's producing now.  It's great to see.

It was great to see a feature on Andy Clarke as well.  I was gutted when he had to quit on Relay.  That was an interesting little series growing out of one of Philip K Dick's short stories.  There hadn't been much of an explanation as to what happened so seeing his take on events was a nice rounding out of that.  It would be nice to see him on something longer than a cover again but I get why he has made the decisions he has.  His Battle / Action cover is certainly worth it.

Off Topic / Inflation and US comics
« on: 25 July, 2022, 02:01:50 PM »
I know I'm not the only one that dabbles in American imports and I doubt this is going to come as a major surprise but .

Diamond have finally succumbed to the combined pressures to put up import prices

The 7.5% increase is towards the upper end of inflation at this moment in time but with the dollar doing as badly as it is right now it could be worse.

Personally this is going to be the final nail in the coffin.  Down to the last couple of titles but my order is now a fraction of the size for the same price it was a decade ago.  I do wonder how much damage this is going to do to an already struggling sector.

Off Topic / Re: RIPs
« on: 25 July, 2022, 01:04:33 PM »
... and now David Warner of Tron, Omen, and too many other to name ...

"we know too many of these kids ..."

Other Reviews / Re: Battle Action Special 2022
« on: 16 July, 2022, 08:25:01 PM »
Ennis has shown a real gift for War Stories and the mileage that is still in the concept.  Arguably the Millsian perspective that challenges an awful lot of the archetypes of older war stories is still present.  It would be nice to see movement towards more modern conflicts but one thing that this special ensures is the variety of perspectives needed.

Nice to see Johnny Red revitalised again.  Not just with the core Skreemer story but also with the Nina story.  Same holds for the Hellman story.  Another example of the complexities of conflict.

The Dredger strip was, for my money, the weakest strip retreading old ground of the British establishment bowing to the peccadilloes of foreign diplomats (middle eastern no less ...).  The Sarge strip was a close second in this respect, not really adding anything new.

O'neill's pot shots at the establishment for the 'Aggro' (sic) of Kids Rule OK was cleverly done and probably serves as a nice little bookend to that episode in British Comic History.  Arguably the myriad failings of the police serve as a fascinating counterpoint to the concerns generated by "that cover".  That was back in the seventies before the days of the Miners Strike, Sarah Everard and Lockdown Enforcement.

Overall though this was a cracking volume.  Possibly the only complaint I could level against it is that by producing a hardback volume like this rather than a newsstand special, the audience is somewhat diminished.  Much as I love the hardback, I'd also like to see this title revitalised for a wider audience.  Picky, I know!

News / Re: Legends of Luther Arkwright
« on: 16 July, 2022, 08:09:24 PM »
Bookplate edition from Gosh, signing today (16th).  So patience is still necessary.

Bugger that ... I WANT IT NOW!!!!!!!

... and breathe ....

Off Topic / Re: This is the News!
« on: 14 July, 2022, 12:42:45 PM »
She keeps going on about her Navy service but she was a reservist and hasn't been actively involved in several years now.  Trying to find out what role she served in seems to be a bit of a challenge too.  Closest I've been able to get is that she was stationed at HMS King Alfred in Portsmouth and has only ever been shore based.

The coyness is a little unusual in a politician.  Normally they like to blow their trumpet as loudly as possible.  There's a rather interesting little article from Portsmouth News that manages to conflate her time in the Defense role with her reservist service to give the impression that she has been actively involved in training Ukrainians.

As for the rest of the field ... oh f***!

General / Re: Forum’s Fav Thrill - Hope vs. VCs Rd 4 Heat 11
« on: 12 July, 2022, 08:17:51 AM »
You're hit, you're dead ...


Announcements / Re: The 10,000 Disasters of Dort - coming May 2023
« on: 12 July, 2022, 08:17:03 AM »
Don't recommend mine, not after all the sweat that's accumulated the last few days!

Help! / Re: What apocalypse would you recommend?
« on: 08 July, 2022, 09:04:08 PM »
If you're looking for a pulp apocalypse novel series then Jerry Ahern's "Survivalist" series might be an option.  I'm loathe to recommend it since there are a range of weaknesses but as brain candy goes it works fairly well.  Mind you, I'm looking at this issue from the point of view of a teenage recovering from a week at Pwllehli Butlins with my family and grandmother so ...

It is jingoistic to say the least.  Misogynistic might also be applicable.  All said though it requires little in the way of thought or engagement.  For all that though there is something compelling about the series.

Also ... Brin's "The Postman" is a far better novel than the film.  "O-zone" is reasonable.  Philip K Dick's "Penutlimate Truth" works well.  I've a soft spot for "Trinity's Child" by Prochnau, filmed as "By Dawn's Early Light" and does a pretty good job.

Christopher's "Death of Grass" is quite a brutal variant to the normal 'cosy catastrophe' of Wyndham.  If we're straying into this territory though I would also add in Hoyle's "Black Cloud".

Dated as it, I'd also have to include Wells' "Shape of Things to Come".  The 'history'  (novel is probably the wrong word) of coming generations makes for uncomfortable reading. Mind you, much of his output is challenging from the point of view of modern sensibilities.

Why-oh-why have I or anybody else not mentioned "Canticle for Leobowitz"?  That has to be there for sure.  Leaving aside pulp sensibilities there are so many other dimensions to it.  Not least it's reference in later episodes of Babylon 5.

Heinlein's "Farnham's Freehold" expores this territory although you may want to exercise caution regarding some of the sensibilities expressed therein.

Oh, and of course we have to include the prog's own "Strontium Dog" ...

Announcements / Rebellion 2023 offerings.
« on: 07 July, 2022, 10:03:34 AM »
Down The Tubes has started a listing for next year's Graphic Novel offerings from Rebellion. Granted provisional and no doubt subject to change.  However several on the list are definitely ones I'd be going after.

Another hardback Strontium Dog (perchance this presages an extended run covering all tales ...), the colourised Halo Jones as an Omnibus and Fiends of the Eastern Front as a 'deluxe' edition (hardcover?  please ...) running the full gamut from Ezquerra to the recent Kendal.

Pandora Perfect gets her own volume, suggesting that is a character doing well, as does the ubiquitous Case Files.  Plus assorted Treasury volumes.

Hopefully the next Trigan Empire will make an appearance as well shortly.  Certainly there is plenty here to whet the appetite.

Happy days indeed.

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