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Spoilers => Prog => : McNulty 20 October, 2018, 01:24:01 PM

: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: McNulty 20 October, 2018, 01:24:01 PM
Judge Dredd: Once again Flint knocks it out the park with his great art and action in this episode. This story is continuing to build up into a very suspenseful story. Just when you think you are making progress to working out what is going to happen, THAT happens in the final panel...

Brink: Continues to underwhelm in both artstyle and plot. Definitely not for me, but I still accept it has it fans.

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!

Skip Tracer: This got really weird, really quickly.

Kingdom: A lot of exposition in this episode. Still stellar artwork.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Eamonn Clarke 20 October, 2018, 02:17:17 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/wIk6lT8.jpg)
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Colin YNWA 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!
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Colin YNWA 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.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Geoff 20 October, 2018, 07:07:14 PM
Mmnn I'm not a fan of that cover, I really don't like the way Lynch draws the Lawmaster...

The rest of the prog just powers on, all the stories and art are great. Loving the prog at the moment!
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Frank 20 October, 2018, 08:06:15 PM
Mmnn I'm not a fan of that cover, I really don't like the way Lynch draws the Lawmaster...

The actual cover (https://i.imgur.com/fZqubtV.png) looks great without forum-blurTM. I give everyone a break on the lawmaster; like the gun, only the late, great Carlos Ezquerra* could make that original design look really good (https://i.imgur.com/Wz2EeBP.png).

Lynch is still finding his range with Dredd, MC1 and associated tech. I'd compare his current four-boxes concept for the bike to the brief period when Paul Marshall decided Dredd got his helmet from the same store as Battle Of The Planets (https://i.imgur.com/52VuZTu.png). It's somewhere he has to pass through to get where he's going.

I agree Lynch isn't there yet, Geoff, but he gives good lawmaster (https://i.imgur.com/ABIHWpX.jpg) when it counts.


* Or Mick McMahon doing Carlos Ezquerra. Everyone else is cheating angles, cropping shots, and blocking-in large areas of shadow like crazy. Real cheats, like Ben Willsher, change the whole thing and call it the MKII.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Eamonn Clarke 20 October, 2018, 08:43:20 PM
Mmnn I'm not a fan of that cover, I really don't like the way Lynch draws the Lawmaster...

The actual cover (https://i.imgur.com/fZqubtV.png) looks great without forum-blurTM.


An earlier version with different tag line, is that from the previews catalogue?
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Frank 20 October, 2018, 08:54:08 PM
The actual cover (https://i.imgur.com/fZqubtV.png) looks great without forum-blurTM.

An earlier version with different tag line, is that from the previews catalogue?

Megazine, baby.


: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Eamonn Clarke 20 October, 2018, 09:25:47 PM
The actual cover (https://i.imgur.com/fZqubtV.png) looks great without forum-blurTM.

An earlier version with different tag line, is that from the previews catalogue?

Megazine, baby.

Thanks, got it.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Geoff 20 October, 2018, 11:48:19 PM
Mmnn I'm not a fan of that cover, I really don't like the way Lynch draws the Lawmaster...

The actual cover (https://i.imgur.com/fZqubtV.png) looks great without forum-blurTM. I give everyone a break on the lawmaster; like the gun, only the late, great Carlos Ezquerra* could make that original design look really good (https://i.imgur.com/Wz2EeBP.png).

Oh yes, there's a lot about the Dredd strip that must make it difficult and time consuming to draw. The judges uniforms are very intricate, and then there's the bike/s and even the gun! Carlos made it look so easy...
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Proudhuff 23 October, 2018, 12:55:56 PM

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...


Got to disagee, I think the dark foreboding reflects our times perfectly, top proggage again Thanks Mighty One!

I don't think that cover  Lawmaster is particularly impressive or intimidating, which is really the whole point.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Magnetica 23 October, 2018, 10:22:02 PM
Am I reading the ending of Skip Tracer correctly? Did Nolan Blake just get barbecued? If so, it’s odd no-one has commented on it.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: broodblik 24 October, 2018, 04:09:15 AM
Am I reading the ending of Skip Tracer correctly? Did Nolan Blake just get barbecued? If so, it’s odd no-one has commented on it.

No it was the tech guy standing next to his brother.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: broodblik 24 October, 2018, 04:11:13 AM
Again a repeat of last week : what a great prog.

The prog for me is almost near perfect. It might not be the best balanced stories but who cares if we have these great stories.

: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Tiplodocus 24 October, 2018, 07:50:42 AM
Pah! Tablet out of charge. Won't get to download it until tonight.

I post this just to let Tharg and his droids know that this run has me chomping at the bit to read my prog again. Well done!
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Frank 24 October, 2018, 08:43:30 AM

(https://i.imgur.com/5iOrzdU.png?3) (https://i.imgur.com/tv9CLvj.png?3)


: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Frank 24 October, 2018, 12:34:11 PM
I think the dark foreboding reflects our times perfectly ...

The nights are fair drawing in. Pity Abnett couldn't have worked in a line of dialogue about the clocks going back this Sunday (https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/when-do-clocks-go-back-in-uk-daylight-savings-explained-a3969601.html).

The end of BST isn't the only shared story element between strips: two woodland confrontations where an offer is made to an implacable enemy, two hidden rooms that don't appear on any map. Although Bridge and Gita's solution to their locked room mystery won't involve BIKE CANNON TO MAXIMUM ELEVATION

Only Skip Tracer strives boldly for originality, continuing the refusal to trade in stock scenarios, characters and dialogue that's distinguished this thrill since its inception. The adventures of Kenan & Kel (https://youtu.be/jgC18L6UOKQ)* offer one of the true surviving greats of 2000ad a chance to draw characters' elbows and knees, for a change. Treasure them while they're still here.


* Peaty must be kicking himself he didn't call Nolan Damon or Marlon, instead.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: SmallBlueThing(Reborn) 24 October, 2018, 03:33:56 PM
Since prog 2100, I've been a very happy bunny and Tharg is truly spoiling us with the strippage contained. This week is no exception, with yet again there being nothing I can complain about. Well, except maybe the cover, which was a bit generic and murky.
If I had to choose a favourite story, again I'd go for Brink, with Fiends close behind. Dredd is really getting going, Kingdom is effortlessly entertaining and Skip Tracer is so improved I'm having difficulty seeing it as the same strip.

So there we go, a five for five prog in a run of five for fives. And yet I keep seeing people on Facebook bemoaning the prog not being a patch on "how it used to be". Do they even read it, I wonder?

SBT
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Proudhuff 24 October, 2018, 03:42:54 PM
So that Baba Yaga has been eating away at me... reminding me of something, and I remembered!

Uncle Lubin!

(https://astrofella.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/7-the-aeronaut.jpg?w=537&h=658)

I know, I know a lot similar, but the whole Heath Robinson/Rackham feel to her was driving me nuts!

All meant as praise btw!
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Proudhuff 24 October, 2018, 03:44:30 PM
doh! 'not a lot similar'  where's the amend button when you need it!    >:(
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Colin YNWA 24 October, 2018, 04:57:13 PM
So there we go, a five for five prog in a run of five for fives. And yet I keep seeing people on Facebook bemoaning the prog not being a patch on "how it used to be". Do they even read it, I wonder?

SBT

So often this type of thing seems to be posted by folks who have Smugly proclaimed a few posts earlier or later how they aren't sucker enough to be getting it and stopped reader when things turned in 1990 or whenever.

While I love the fact that folks get and enjoy different things in the Prog if you aren't enjoying this run maybe Tharg's organ is never going to satisfy you.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: broodblik 24 October, 2018, 05:50:06 PM
So there we go, a five for five prog in a run of five for fives. And yet I keep seeing people on Facebook bemoaning the prog not being a patch on "how it used to be". Do they even read it, I wonder?

SBT

So often this type of thing seems to be posted by folks who have Smugly proclaimed a few posts earlier or later how they aren't sucker enough to be getting it and stopped reader when things turned in 1990 or whenever.

While I love the fact that folks get and enjoy different things in the Prog if you aren't enjoying this run maybe Tharg's organ is never going to satisfy you.

Sometimes you get people who will never will be satisfied. It is always easier to complain than to complement.

For me this year overall the weekly prog has been really good, this run is the highlight of year.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Greg M. 24 October, 2018, 06:08:01 PM
While I love the fact that folks get and enjoy different things in the Prog if you aren't enjoying this run maybe Tharg's organ is never going to satisfy you.

I can't say I'm particularly enjoying this run, but Tharg's Mighty Organ has satisfied me greatly in the past. A fair bit into the past now, admittedly, so maybe I should accept that for me, the thrills have run dry. Nevertheless, I hang on, in the hope of the prog getting a few more writers whose work I can really get into.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Magnetica 24 October, 2018, 07:54:56 PM
So there we go, a five for five prog in a run of five for fives. And yet I keep seeing people on Facebook bemoaning the prog not being a patch on "how it used to be". Do they even read it, I wonder?

SBT

So often this type of thing seems to be posted by folks who have Smugly proclaimed a few posts earlier or later how they aren't sucker enough to be getting it and stopped reader when things turned in 1990 or whenever.

While I love the fact that folks get and enjoy different things in the Prog if you aren't enjoying this run maybe Tharg's organ is never going to satisfy you.

Yes totally agree. I don’t get how someone can say “the Prog’s rubbish” and “I haven’t read it in years”.

For my money, the Prog is currently as good as it has ever been.


: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Frank 24 October, 2018, 08:21:37 PM
So that Baba Yaga has been eating away at me... reminding me of something, and I remembered! Uncle Lubin!

https://astrofella.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/7-the-aeronaut.jpg?w=537&h=658

I know, I know a lot similar, but the whole Heath Robinson/Rackham feel to her was driving me nuts! All meant as praise btw!

I thought Taylor hit a new gear this week. His art's obviously great anyway, but he seemed to respond to the weirdness of Baba Yaga and the absurdity of her mixing bowl air transport and weaponised finch.

Culbard's less attention-grabbing, but his art here is effortlessly fantastic. What really stands out is his use of colour. With deft linework refined to the minimum necessary to define character and convey action, it's the balance of colours in the limited palette that draws you into the story and establishes atmosphere.

Flint* proves how indispensable to the Dredd strip he is by making an accountant, a vagrant and an octogenarian riding Mezco toys (http://www.actionfigurepics.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/SDCC-2015-Mezco-One-12-Collective-18-of-18.jpg) into Lex Luthor's lair from Superman look credible, and he manages Ezquerra's trick of making huge action scenes crammed into a few small panels seem truly epic and exciting, too.


* Blythe's a great colourist, but when you look at Titan it's difficult not to wish Henry Flint could colour all his work. Selfish sod must prefer to be able to eat and turn the heating on in Winter.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Trout 25 October, 2018, 01:25:41 AM
This run of progs is fucking superb. This week, Brink was my favourite but I enjoyed every strip.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Frank 25 October, 2018, 07:02:10 AM

Dredd: Plot twist - the Kazan clone was killed by the cat.


: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: CalHab 25 October, 2018, 07:38:16 AM
So there we go, a five for five prog in a run of five for fives. And yet I keep seeing people on Facebook bemoaning the prog not being a patch on "how it used to be". Do they even read it, I wonder?

SBT

So often this type of thing seems to be posted by folks who have Smugly proclaimed a few posts earlier or later how they aren't sucker enough to be getting it and stopped reader when things turned in 1990 or whenever.

While I love the fact that folks get and enjoy different things in the Prog if you aren't enjoying this run maybe Tharg's organ is never going to satisfy you.

This is exactly why I stopped participating in those forums (and listening to certain podcasts). These people have no opinion of any value.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: norton canes 25 October, 2018, 10:11:03 AM
Another prog, and not only do we have the same high quality strips but we're five weeks into the stories now and therefore we're getting further absorbed into the plots and they're ramping up the stakes (literally, in FOTEF-ET), so the thrill levels are rising almost exponentially. Reading the prog right now is genuinely an exhilarating experience.

Highlights? Too numerous to mention all, but: the "Someone's on for it" panel in Dredd, the bird/stake transformation in FOETF-ET (as someone else has to call it, sooner or later), the climactic twist to Skip Tracer and... Dan Abnett's dialogue. Every word of it. In fact I am tempted to award Brink TOP THRILL this week simply because he's managed to smuggle in multiple uses of the word 'foof'.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: norton canes 25 October, 2018, 10:12:02 AM
("on in for it")
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: JamesC 25 October, 2018, 12:43:38 PM
A decent prog but it would seem I'm less delighted than others.

Dredd just isn't doing it for me.
I'm getting fed up with different writers seemingly having their own Dredd continuity. Eceladus is obviously a big deal in Williams' Dredd-verse but is never mentioned in any other writer's Dredd strips. Likewise, Dirty Frank and Sensitive Klegg seem to be Rob Williams exclusive characters (to be honest, I think both are joke characters who have worn thin).
I know others are enjoying this, so fair enough, I just feel I have very little invested in Dredd these days.

Brink is excellent. So atmospheric and tense.

Fiends is pretty good. It's carried by the fantastic art. As usual with Edginton stories I like the ideas but feel the characterisation is lacking.

Skip Tracer is just there. I really can't think of much to say about it. I still have no feel for any of the characters and the world building has been very sparse.

Kingdom is great fun as always. Abnett and Elson make it look easy. 
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Proudhuff 25 October, 2018, 01:20:43 PM
Another prog, and not only do we have the same high quality strips but we're five weeks into the stories now and therefore we're getting further absorbed into the plots and they're ramping up the stakes (literally, in FOTEF-ET), so the thrill levels are rising almost exponentially. Reading the prog right now is genuinely an exhilarating experience.

This is probably why the Command Centre's server has went rogue: Thrill power overload!
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: I, Cosh 25 October, 2018, 01:55:20 PM
Definitely the best crop of thrills so far this year for me.

What a difference a Dredd makes. I really enjoyed the Titan/Enceladus storyline but I felt it came to a logical end. The follow-ups haven't done so much for me but Williams is simply a better writer than any of the other current regulars and Flint colouring Flint is artistic Mega City Nirvana.

Brink continues to be sublime. Abnett & Culbard have quietly created the most unlikely 2000AD hit. A talk-heavy cop strip set in a claustrophobic environment drawn by an artist whose primary characteristic is the amount of space he leaves in the panel.

Skip Tracer is much improved but can't help but fall short in comparison.

Fiends looks beautiful but it's not a story which has much depth or interest for me. I wonder which mysterious figure will turn out to have placed the winning bid for the diary in the last episode...

Many people think Kingdom is the best thing ever. I quite like it.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Frank 25 October, 2018, 06:11:15 PM
Williams is simply a better writer than any of the other current regulars and Flint colouring Flint is artistic Mega City Nirvana

You're far-right on the first point*, but only alt-right on the second. Which demonstrates what a versatile talent Chris Blythe is.

I'm one of the morons who are delighted for Kingdom to be a series of exquisitely rendered, dynamic action sequences punctuated by the introduction of a new character with an appalling comedy name like the ones posh dog owners insert into the lengthy titles of their mutts at Crufts**

This series has been all talking, all head. Not sure whether this is a necessary exposition dump efore the strip takes off in a new direction or if the creators have decided to wrap the strip up and are having to cram all the story they had worked out into the few episodes they have left.

Still enjoying it, just wish they were doing the talking-fighting thing Pat Mills hates (but, amusingly, uses all the time).


* Williams is evidently, demonstrably the best at putting all the words in the right order, although it would be interesting to see whether that changed if Tharg followed-up on the interest Abnett's expressed in having another crack at the main Dredd strip. For the record (as if anyone cares), I'd much prefer Abnett carry-on creating his own strips. The Small House isn't my bag, but this sort of gathering of dangling plot threads to weave a cosy continuity quilt is exactly what most of the board have been asking for whenever someone starts a WHY DON'T I LIKE 2000ad ANYMORE? (https://forums.2000ad.com/index.php?topic=44597.0) thread, so I'm happy to enjoy it as a series of jokes with occasional splatter.

** Sir Isaac Neuter, Kanye Westie, The Impossible Lightness Of Bow-wowing ... I'm hoping the next species of Aux Abnett introduces are duck-based lifeforms - Duck-E Fresh, Duckie Howser MD, Nigel Plumage - the possibilities are as obvious as they are limitless.
 
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Woolly 25 October, 2018, 06:22:37 PM
Dredd just isn't doing it for me.
I'm getting fed up with different writers seemingly having their own Dredd continuity. Enceladus is obviously a big deal in Williams' Dredd-verse but is never mentioned in any other writer's Dredd strips. Likewise, Dirty Frank and Sensitive Klegg seem to be Rob Williams exclusive characters (to be honest, I think both are joke characters who have worn thin).

I hear you.
Fully agree that Dirty Frank and Sensitive Klegg are a bit over-used, one-note joke characters. Hopefully there's a Dirty Frank revelation coming up that explains just how he's managed to continue being a Judge for all this time, and not get pensioned off to the cursed earth.

I'm also not really getting the plot: Secret Judge who lives in the walls that Dredd and Hershey already know about, is using invisible Ninja Judges that Dredd and Hershey already know about, to make assassinations that Dredd knows about and is investigating (that Hershey doesn't know about).

Is that right? And if so, why hasn't anyone just arrested Smiley and taken him in for interrogation?
I must be missing something...
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Woolly 25 October, 2018, 06:23:43 PM
Should add: Henry Flint is on fire! And I'm adoring Chris Blythe's Flint-esque colouring. Brilliant stuff!
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Frank 25 October, 2018, 07:17:50 PM
I'm adoring Chris Blythe's Flint-esque colouring

It looks like a continuation (or adaptation) of what I assumed was a bespoke mottled technique Blythe developed for Mick McMahon and Rory McConville's Lord Of The Fyreflies, from this time last year.

Blythe coloured MacNeil's art on Carroll's Echoes (https://i.imgur.com/48HOD2A.jpg) in his usual, glossy style, just a few weeks later, and I can't remember him breaking out the SpongeBlob SquarePaints since.

I thought Blythe was colouring McMahon's art the way the artist would have done himself. Maybe he's doing the same here, or maybe Blythe just thinks the approach is best-suited to a certain style of art (if so, he's right):

(https://i.imgur.com/xx1agJU.jpg?1)


: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Woolly 25 October, 2018, 07:51:39 PM
I thought Blythe was colouring McMahon's art the way the artist would have done himself. Maybe he's doing the same here, or maybe Blythe just thinks the approach is best-suited to a certain style of art (if so, he's right)

I'm guessing it's a conscious effort of the Blythe droid's to try and mix elements of Flint's colouring style with his own.
As you say, he's right to do so. It looks great!
The texture of Flint's colouring style, without the more out-there colour contrasts.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Woolly 25 October, 2018, 07:54:25 PM
Addendum: I would still prefer to have Henry Flint coloured by Henry Flint, as it's awesome, but Chris Blythe in this current style is a very close second choice!
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Tiplodocus 27 October, 2018, 11:23:02 AM
Devoured this prog and loved it. Not a bum note in it as far as I am concerned.

I'm curious as to why I'm enjoying the DREDD so much. Titan was great, Enceladus and follow-ups less so. And secret departments within the justice department became it's own sub genre. But this all comes together for me in a nice exciting package with phenomenal art.

But jeez, everybody involved in BRINK just knocks it out of the park every prog.

Skip Tracer, Kingdom and Fiends all really, really good too.

I enjoyed the previous run of progs, with The Order and Mechastophles etc, don't get me wrong.

But this run feels as if Tharg has peeked inside my head (removed that fantasy about Kelly Brook and Famke Jansen propositioning me with a tub of Vego chocolate spread), and then put the results on the (digital) page.

Thank you.
: Re: Prog 2104 - The Watchers in the Walls!
: Aaron A Aardvark 27 October, 2018, 12:02:11 PM
Getting seriously good proggage right now. Enjoying everything.