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Topics - Magnetica

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Prog / Prog 2037 - Unexpected Item in the Fragging Area
« on: 25 June, 2017, 09:27:26 am »
Cover - Grey Area.

Dredd - really nice idea but it seems to head off in a less interesting direction on the last page, which is a bit of a shame.

Brink - if you are liking this then it's good, if you're in the camp who feel it has gone off the boil, this won't change your mind. Me - I like it.

Defoe - bit of politics as ever, but there is also some action.

Grey Area - this is a strip I generally like and it is by one of my favourite writers. But I didn't really like this episode. Mr Kwukwalf was all a bit Jabba and I didn't like the way they had him speaking.

Hunted - I am rapidly losing interest.

And the is a letters page- hurrah!

Other Reviews / Read a comic for the art - Camelot 3000
« on: 12 March, 2017, 04:18:09 pm »
A while back there was a thread asking whether people read comics for the story or the art or both.

I said that I thought both were important. A lot of people said they would read something for the art alone.

So I thought I would put it to the test. My local library is well stocked with Graphic Novels and it has a copy of Camelot 3000 which is by the favourite ever artist Brian Bolland and written by Mike Barr, who I have to admit I have never heard of.

So how did I get on? A bit mixed to be honest.

I found the story to be so-so and had to force myself to read the first few chapters. The story never really became engaging of itself, but there were some nice character driven things. The best of which was Sir Tristan's desire to become a man again.

Some though were not to my taste. I found the whole Arthur - Guinevere- Lancelot triangle to be tiresome and some-what unbelievable. e.g. Arthur just announces he is going to marry Guinevere without even asking her and she just goes along with it; Arthur banishes her and Lancelot for their infidelity but literally within  half a chapter, he has summoned them back, in a very mater of that way, to deal with the alien threat and all is forgotten.

Towards the end the story just descends into a by the numbers rush to wrap everything up.

So did Bolland's art save it?

Well no...not really. In fact, and I never ever in a whole century of Sunday's let alone just a month of them, thought I would say this, I was getting a bit bored of Bolland's art  by the end and found his trade mark style of rendering everything by hatching, a bit ...well tiresome.

Part of the problem is possibly I don't think his style suits this kind of story (or maybe I just so associate him with Dredd it is hard to see him draw anything else). Another problem was the colouring was just too garish, and the cover image (of the TPB) was just so much better than the internal pages, which made you think what they could have been.

So, over all, it seems in this case, I found it to be a matter of the story dragging the art down.

Music / Avenged Sevenfold?
« on: 12 January, 2017, 11:01:47 pm »
Quick question for all you metal heads out there.

I keep getting ads on Facebook about Avenged Sevenfold and now Amazon is emailing me recommendations for them.

They are not a band I know anything about, so the question is are they any good?

As a reference point I like Metallica (which is why I think I am getting these targeted ads) plus also Iron Maiden, Guns n' Roses, Def Leppard and Faith No More.

General / Dan Dare Vol 2
« on: 30 October, 2016, 07:21:04 pm »
Pretty surprised there isn't a thread for this already - or maybe I just can't see it.

Anyway Vol 2 is up for pre-order now.

I have just ordered mine.

Must get round to finishing off Vol 1.

Prog / Prog 1987 - Time's Arrow
« on: 25 June, 2016, 01:12:54 pm »
So we are on the count down now with Dredd and Brink.

Dredd- the game is really afoot now.

Slaine - I might be in the minority but I like this.

Brink - ok going to have to go back and reread last week now.

Black Shuck - carries on as before, good stuff.

Grey Area. Not much happens - they are off back to Earth with a small surprise I guess.

Megazine / Meg 372 - Let's be Blunt
« on: 15 May, 2016, 03:20:02 pm »
Can't believe the thread hasn't been bagged already, 24 hours after getting the Meg!

Judge Dredd: Rico and Koburn continue their mission in the Cursed Earth. After all the "I can't believe they are running a cross-over between the Prog and the Meg" fuss, the stories seem to have diverged into completely separate strands. I guess they will come back together at the end.

Realm of the Damned: I thought this was getting interesting last month, but this now just leaves me cold.

Blunt. New series: offworld colony - check.  Leader not popular with his men - check. Some disaster happens and they have to turn to an outsider- check. So, so far not too original then. But hey, let's see how it develops.

Lawless. Just great. Top story telling from the Abnett droid, and great art from the Winslade droid.

Music / Synth Britannia
« on: 06 May, 2016, 08:38:18 pm »
I have just been watching the BBC Four documentary Synth Britannia. It is a nice nostalgic look at the invention of electronic music in the 80's feature bands such as Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, The Human League, Yazoo, OMD, Ultravox, Eurythmics, New Order and the Pet Shop Boys.

A reminder to me that there is more to great music than the diet of Metallica, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Manic Street Preachers I have been on lately.

Anyway, enough of that...Phil Oakey was wearing a "You have been judged" T -Shirt featuring the Dark Judges as drawn by Brian Bolland in the video to "Together in Electric Dreams".


I had never noticed that before. I do seem to vaguely recall he is (or was ) a Squaxx (?).

Music / Manic Street Preachers remastered CDs
« on: 18 April, 2016, 02:58:02 pm »
I have just discovered that one of my favourite bands, Manic Street Preachers, have been issuing re-mastered versions of their back catelogue. Just shows how out of touch I am with music these days that I only just noticed.

Anyway according to what I have read the albums now have a "cleaner" / "less raw" sound.

With an album like Generation Terrorists the "rawness" is part of the attraction IMHO.

So has anyone got these and the originals who can offer an opinion on whether it is worth getting them?

General / I can't believe the shop where I buy my Prog has closed down.
« on: 17 February, 2016, 08:02:20 pm »
Normally on a Weds I would be adding my two penneth to the Prog thread. But not this week as I discovered the shop where I normally buy my Progs to read on the tube on the way into work, has closed for good. It is WHSmith in Ealing Broadway station. Now the whole station is being given make over for Cross Rail but who knows if there will be a Smith's in it in future and whether they will stock the Prog and the Meg, as it seems to me they don't all.

This seems to be part of a trend. There used to be a number of shops where I could buy it, but they have either stopping selling it or closed down completely, both near home and near work. Indeed the only place any where near either that sells it now is WHSmiths in Waterloo, but that is twice as far a walk to my office as my normal stop. But on the plus side it always has loads of Progs and Megs and sells the Mega Collection.

Anyway bit sad as my weekly ritual for the last 25 years or so is now at an end (hopefully only temporarily).

I guess I could subscribe, but am a bit put off by the stories you see on here sometimes about mangled Progs and I am fairly fussy when it comes to the condition of my Prog.

Books & Comics / IDW Anderson - quick question
« on: 11 February, 2016, 10:46:28 pm »
Ok sorry for this, I have only just got round to reading this over a year later.

I thought it was good, certainly much better than IDW's other Dredd efforts. Great art by Carl Critchlow certainly helped. Very much like what he did in Prog 1812 on Trifecta.

Anyway I have a dumb question. Was Ashberry actually her Dad?

I thought he was because a) I expected him to be as why else show him in the first episode? and b) he definitely looked like an older version of him c) what is the very last panel about if it isn't him? But I am unsure as he doesn't acknowledge Anderson as his daughter and there is no reference to it in any of the dialogue. I can accept her not recognising him a she was only a baby when separated from him and it is made clear she had her memories suppressed.

General / Quick Question on Trifecta
« on: 31 January, 2016, 01:56:07 pm »
Oh fxxx me, it's really worth it to re-read this issue! Judge Smiley appears in Low-Life AND Simping Detective!!

Now I'm a bit confused.

Having recently re-read Trifecta in the Mega Collection I am now going back to see what the forum had to say about it at the time.

So had Judge Smiley appeared before? I don't remember it if he did - I had thought he was made up for the story, retro-actively inserted into continuity and only named as "Smiley" in Prog 1812. So how did Goaty know his name in Prog 1805?

General / Ro-Jaws memoirs - a quick question
« on: 23 January, 2016, 10:09:36 am »
Based on  the Prog review thread I have decided to re-read early Ro-busters.

I have Titan Ro-busters books 1 and 2 but they don't include Ro-Jaws memoirs. However I vaguely recall reading them at some point.

Can any-one remember if they were re-printed in an Annual or Summer Special?

(And yes I know it is available in "The Complete Ro-busters" and presumably the Nuts and Bolts hardback but that's not what I mean).

General / Reproduction issues and discussion in trades
« on: 11 January, 2016, 09:46:51 pm »
I think we probably need a separate thread on the reproduction issues. I think there are a few different things being discussed here which are wider than the Mega Collection.

1) Re-production on the Mega Collection.

Personally I am perfectly happy with it. Let's take Trifecta as an example. I think someone said the reproduction on the Simping Detective was poor. Well I have just compared it to the original Progs and it looks perfectly fine to me in terms of quality.

There is an absolutely minuscule amount of cropping of the art on the full page Henry Flint Dredd pages, presumably due to aspect ratios. I have noticed this before, but I guess it is bound to happen as the Prog has varied in aspect ratio over the years where as the Mega Collection books are all a standard size. It really makes no material difference and is only noticeable when comparing it with the Prog at a fine tooth comb level of detail.

2) Loss of quality / resolution in general.

I think IndigoPrime has done a good job explaining this one, and I accept that. To me it is all about expectations. The one that rankles with me - and I know its not a Rebellion publication - is the IDW Complete Brian Bolland Judge Dredd volume.  I bought this as I absolutely love Bolland's art and the whole point was to have a good quality copy of it.  But it seems to me it suffers from murky reproduction in places e.g. Father Earth - especially that page with the droids watching the election and isn't quite what I thought I was buying.

3) Poorly printed copies. This is a totally different thing and not fundamental to the argument as to whether a good source has been used. And as others have said Hachette are good at replacing stuff.

4) Loss of next prog text boxes.

Now this one I don't get. This surely is different to whether the available source is good quality. The Mega Collection sometimes seems to include them and in other volumes takes them out. Personally I would rather see them retained but guess it goes hand in hand with whether the logos are retained. I would guess they are retained when the original Prog had double page spreads e.g. The Cursed Earth and OZ, and are otherwise dropped.

I actually don't mind except:
- on Zenith they added something
- so long as their removal does n't crop the art work. With Zenith it didn't (well almost) but in the Mek Files, they seem to have cropped some of it "quite a lot" It is that aspect that I don't understand. Why do it? I can't see that has much to do with the quality of the available source, more a conscious decision was made at some point to crop.  Again it is about expectations:

It's also worth noting that The Mek Files aren't a 'complete ABC Warriors' series in the same vein as the Case Files and aren't listed as such - they're just nice hardcover reproductions of the main stories - so sorry if that's caused any confusion here. The Solo Missions collects one-off and sidebar stories in much the same way as the Restricted Files do for Dredd.

and that is the point - when I got the Mek Files I wanted "a nice hardcover re-production" and actually on the whole it is, just with a few examples of over cropped art work which annoys more far more than it probably should, especially as I also have the non cropped Titan volumes. (Ironically I am less bothered about the reproduction on the Black Hole).

On a separate note, I agree the Mega Collection is good value. The Trifecta TPB is twice the price and doesn't include Family Man, which is actually pretty important to it.

General / Are we in a new golden age of 2000Ad art?
« on: 21 July, 2015, 10:55:01 pm »
I have increasingly come to think we are currently in a new golden age of art in the Prog and the Meg, to match what I consider to be the original golden age.

Now I don't want to be too prescriptive about the actual Progs that original golden age spanned, but let's say it was some where around the 200s up to the early 500s (I say that so I can include Slaine the King). Newspaper period and all.

First of all I think we need a strong line up on Dredd.

Then we had Bolland, McMahon, Ron Smith, Carlos, Ian Gibson and Cam Kennedy. To me this was the period that really defined Dredd.

On the other strips we had total awesomeness from the likes of:

Belardinelli on Ace Trucking and Slaine
Brett Ewins on Anderson and Rogue Trooper
Can Kennedy on Rogue Trooper
Kev O'Neill on Nemesis
Bryan Talbot on Nemesis
McMahon on Slaine
Glenn Fabry on Slaine
Carlos on Stront
Ian Gibson on Robo-Hunter and Halo Jones
Alan Davies on Harry 20 and DR and Quinch

In the current era (lets say the last three years or so) on Dredd we have had Henry Flint, Ben Willsher, Colin MacNeil, Greg Staples and Carlos.

On the other strips there has been really great stuff from:
Carlos on Stront
INJ Culbard on Brass Sun
Simon Davies on Slaine
Tiernen Trevallion on Absalom
Simon Coleby on Jaegir
Patrick Goddard on Savage and Grey Area
Lee Carter on Indigo Prime
Edmund Bagwell on Indigo Prime
D'Israeli on Low Life and Helium

We also have Greg Staples and Alex Rowland taking cover art to new levels.

I guess nostalgia will always win (e.g. no one can ever be better than Bolland!!!) but I think the current  / recent line up of artists is just amazing.

Anyway, I was just wondering what others think about this?

(Hats off to Matt Smith for maintaining such a roster.)

Other Reviews / Mek Files Vol1 - a question on re-production
« on: 14 June, 2015, 08:38:11 pm »
I am curious about something that I have noticed in the Mek Files vol 1 -  the art of the last page of a lot of the episodes has been cropped at the bottom.

I was wondering why that was and if some-one more in the know on these things could explain?

I assume it is something to do with not having the next Prog tag lines, but to my admittedly layman's eyes, it seems unnecessary.

Still a lovely book though.

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