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Topics - Colin YNWA

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Prog / Prog 2173 - Strike One!
« on: 14 March, 2020, 09:00:47 PM »
Wait what two endings and both happy - somethings not right here.

Dredd - really enjoyed it but it felt odd. I mean the goodie / baddy got away how often does that happen?!? It was very nicely done and Jake Lynch's art is sublime but it felt a bit weird and the last page did feel a bit of a hand swipe. Very good story but compared to Kennith Neimand's other work this ending made it a feel a little off model... which actually might be a good thing of course?

Zaucer of Zilk rides off in the sunset set psychedelic mindscape family in tow. Its absolutely wonderful, if strangely unbitter sweet, just sweet. Nice... which is so un 2000ad... which actually might be a good thing of course?

Elsewhere business returns to normal. Sinister Dexter see Finny being chased by a horror movie staple, though a horror movie background and its all horribly well done.

Skip Tracer is an excellent piece of five page storytelling as Marvel's Deathlok is violently introduce to the strip... well except there's no real sense of introduction, except its not really introduced into the strip as it didn't really feel like it had any linkage. To be fair when I looked back at the end of last weeks Prog (which judging by the review thread no bugger has read!) they do set this up. So this will read fine I think in re-read or collection. Just hear it felt like it was a complete tangent. Mind as I say a very well done tangent and we'll see how it progresses as this was good.

Feral and Foe has another excellent episode of walls are raised, fates seem sealed and on the final page we get a reminder that sealed fates might not be quite as sealed as fated. Great stuff.

All in all a pretty fine Prog. Let's hope folks have something to say about it hereabouts!

Prog / Prog 2172 - Alien APB
« on: 07 March, 2020, 06:28:47 PM »
Things remain on Tharg's type form, that is to say magnificent, just not exceptional magnificence.

Dredd Neimand and Lynch to stella new (well we assume in one case and I'm sure some folk are going to come and tell me Jake Lynch has been working for Tharg for 10 years or something!) stars produce yet more stella work. Another great Dredd as the alien learns from his heritage and Dredd learns of his powers.

Sinister Dexter returns - this always makes me happy - see below - and this is a solid opening to the latest story.

Zaucer of Zilk is superb and turns in a more sober and emotion episode yet all the more entertaining for it.

Skip Tracer remains dependably solid, yet not inspiring yet. Still happy to give it time as this has (second story) be capable of great things.

Feral and Foe has another winnign episode as we are reminded of the ties that bind and our anti-heroes join a new fellowship on an already deadly mission.

Nothing bad at all, just not as much astonishing this time... well except the astonishingly good news in Tharg's Nerve Centre that we're going to get a celebration of Sinister Dexter's 25th birthday in the form of "massive arc". Can't wait and hope we get to keep the Mighty Yeowell for that one.

Prog / Prog 2171 - City Under Seige
« on: 29 February, 2020, 09:20:59 PM »
Well normal service is resumed after last weeks all ages issue and we get a sense of what a normal Prog is like after the stella line-up of late.

Dredd tells us that Kenneth Neimand  is the Dredd writer of none Wagner choice. Its another wonderful opener from him as he deftly weaves a  familar story of the lost visiter out of their depth in MC1, given too little time to do too much in a bitter, harsh and unfriendly city - almost like... well Kenny Who? Then he turns it on its head. Its like he's playing with us, but wth great stories, he's so good he's teasing us with his great tales now. The minx. Oh and Jake Lynch is aces.

Proteus Vex was denied its rightfully timed ending this week, but its still a great ending a week late. This has been a superb story and I want more. It feels there could well be more, this is a big world to explore but if that's all it'll be a very fondly remembered done in one.

Skip Tracer is swapped in for Brink and of course just about anything swopped in for Brink is going to weeken the line-up. Still its a decent enough opening but nothing to truly get our teeth into yet.

Zaucer of Zilk has another great episode and a very strong ending 'Next Prog: Tutu much!' of you punny buggers.

Feral and Foe has a corker again, I can only assume as we have another Tank, whose fate will surprise no one paying attention. Do we have to wait for the next one to come along or can this story keep up being brilliant without one? I mean its good at all time but with added Tank seems to get elevated a level or two!

So there you have it a more reasonable quality Dredd with just the four crackers and one perfectly servicable. That a Prog this strong is a step down from recent issues just goes to so how Tharg has been treating us so well of late.

Prog / Prog 2168 - Master at arms!
« on: 08 February, 2020, 09:23:19 PM »
Well as you were isn't it. The good thing is as we were was in a very very good place. Mind Brink is almost up and what will Tharg do to fill that not inconsiderable void?

Dredd - well it end all very nicely. Would have happily explored this idea a little more and the mystery could have been extended, though I'd called the 'twist' by page 2. Though of course by not extending this we have a nice tight thrilling Dredd that works perfectly well.

Brink - what more need be said things end with more comics perfection and a conclusion to come next week. Just genius on all levels.

Zaucer of Zilk remains a mapcap delight, a joy on the eye, a play with the words and a top thrill.

Proteus Vex turns and tightens its grip and background is provided and motives explored. This is brilliant and beautiful stuff.

Feral and Foe Also explore motives and does some cutting to the chase. Great, but in this line-up great feels run of the mill!

Tharg will have his work cut out topping this line-up this year.

Help! / I'm old and can't get modern TV to work
« on: 05 February, 2020, 09:28:48 PM »
Help me hive mind your my only hope.

So I finally joined the 21st century and got an Amazon Prime account to watch Amazon Video. All good. I can watch Amazon Video via wi-fi at home on laptop and my 12 inch tablet - lovely but YUCK - that's no way to watch tv and films these days. So no problem we watch iPlayer without a problem via by plugging the laptop into one of the TVs HDMI slots ... but that doesn't work with Prime on the same device and HDMI slots, a few minutes after doing so the picture breaks up and after a while becomes almost completely static and is unwatchable.

Okay thinks I its not the wi-fi speed as I can watch on other devices.

Okay thinks I its not the HDMI slots on the TV cos I can watch iPlayer through those...

...hhmmmm so thinks I maybe its some combination of the two (or three). Each not realllllyyy working well (our wi-fi isn't great just done a quick online test and I'm getting 24.7 mbps which I don't think is great, but my wife is tapping away on the other sofa) and so some lose from both that and the HDMI connection means that I can stream a lower bandwidth iPlayer (is it???) but not lovely shiny Prime via HDMI?

So anyway take a gamble and get a Fire TV stick to see if that improves things and... it doesn't. Plug it in all working fine. All set up and about 5 minutes in things start to break up and 10 minutes in its all but gone. Weird.

Tried different HDMI slots on the TV (both of which work on the laptop into TV with iPlayer). There is the option it seems to go for an ethernet adaptor for the new shiny Fire but don't want to shell more cash if I'm just being daft and missing something. Or not going to have a chance.

Any ideas am I just being thick and missing the obvious. Is it just my wi-fi connection is pants - we do have old phone cabling and we're not on the direct phone plug point as there's on power near the port into the house?

Any ideas, is an ethernet cable worth a shot?

Well just in case anyone hasn't picked this up from Thrillmail a really nice article from 'Comics Journal' - the once last bastition of comics journalism and now... well to be honest I'm not looked at it for a loing time.

ANYWAY in case you haven't read it read this. Nice evaluation of the last 10 years of Dredd and why its the best comics of the last decade.


Though if any buggers dares to tell me 'Tour of Duty' is now ten years old I'll tear ya eyes out, hear me tear ya eyes out.

Prog / Prog 2165 - Strange Daze!
« on: 18 January, 2020, 12:50:51 PM »
Bit of a thread snatch here, but just wanted to say The Paisley boy done it and done good. Would have taken this post in a different direction if it hadn't been a wonderful tribute to the sadly departed Ellie De Ville.

Never read the letters page first, but flicking through the Prog as it landed, saw this name, was curious about what he'd said and then deeply touched.

I'll return soon with a full review I hope...

Prog / Prog 2163 - Fight or Die!
« on: 04 January, 2020, 08:32:52 PM »
Well first and formost how glorious does the Prog look. Get this for a line up.

Dan Cornwell
INJ Culbard
Henry Flint
Brendan McCarthy
Richard (and Joe) Elson

Each of them utterly different, yet each of them absolutely brilliant in their own way. Just an absolute visual treat.

The thing is the stories match the visuals for quality to boot.

Dredd see a wonderfully off centre opener by Kenneth - shall we discuss who he is again - Niemand. All giggles, until that final page. This one already screams its going to be a good un.

Brink is a typically brilliant conversation that drive plot without you realising disguising such story needs behind glorious dialogue and magnificent characters. Just a masterclass.

Proteus Vex smoothers us in its gigantic realities.

While Zaucer of Zilk tickles our good bits with its glamourus fantasies

Feral and Foe might not get to those standards but it gives us action, character and enough to keep on coming back.

Tharg this is some way to kick off the year. Trouble is you've set your bar high as you come out the gate. Your challenge is to keep this wonderful stuff up for the next 48ish weeks!

Film & TV / Dracula - BBC series
« on: 02 January, 2020, 06:20:52 AM »
Did anyone watch this Steve Moffat Mark Gatiss take on the classic?

Have to be honest the trailers put me off entirely but for one reason or another found myself at a loose end last night and decided to give it a go and it was pretty good actually. Okay the 'smart comedy lines' like "You are what you eat" really jarred and pulled me out but these were few and far between.

The rest was quite excellent. It was a visual treat, creepy when it needed to be and downright terrifying at times. Much gorier than I was expecting to. On a couple of occasions genuinely horrific.

The performances were fantastic too. Full credit to John Heffernan as a wonderful Jonathan Harker who looked and seemed to feel like me as I return to work this morning. Dolly Wells was also superb as a new take on Van Helsing.

Overall an absolute trimuph and can't wait to see the rest.

General / Dabnett and ...errr... Pinslade talk Lawless
« on: 12 December, 2019, 01:34:16 PM »

There's some great stuff in this interview. Most important of all they have no plans to end this series anytime soon!


I could hug them tightly while weepin' with joy... but then the police would get involved again wouldn't they. One of my... if not my absolute ... favourite thingsTharg is pumping out at the moment.

When do we get lush oversized hardcover collections is the only thing I have left to care about.

Prog / Prog 2157 - Red Army!
« on: 09 November, 2019, 08:10:36 PM »
So its the small things that make a difference.

Dredd - Okay this is probably just me, and I don't know what I expected, but Dredd didn't completely stick the landing. Everything finished perfectly satisfactorily. The commentry on Dredd as the survivors flew back was just wonderful. The end reveal allowed a legacy without tainting a record, which was really neat. The art was stunning... but for some reason - and I think it was simply that this has been so good - I greedily wanted more. I wanted this to amaze me and turn on a sixpence ... or something. Instead I got what I should have expected a gloriously crafted masterwork with nice resolution and a great character moment.

Defoe - Well I'll be I see improvement. I'll be honest I've almost entirely dropped off the story by this point but I think the art is much improved this week. Last time I whined and cried for the art to express moments of calm and quiet when required and here we get this. Its has all the talent but dialled back enough to allow it to be appreciated. You know what it might be as simple as more panel boarders?? One really striing moment is the cutout. Now it has the same problems as the art to date. Too  much going on to really be able to pull anything useful out but in this context it looked like a 17th Century cutout of a spaceship would in my minds eye and the splash of colour was very effective.

Not going to say I liked this I didn't but was very happy to be able to appreciate the art this time out.

Everything else as you were sir (or madam).

Brink is a character masterclass. For folks who complain about talking head we get a very clear lesson in its not just the words, this strip is as much about what is conveyed in the art and here it is masterful.

Hope - might just be a cliche baddie being bad to a bunch of this up til then baddy peers but jeepers creepers its done well.

Deadworld kinda spins off on one but I enjoyed it and its really comics turned up to 11. But a good eleven.

Its a great Prog and has the Art Stars Winner Star Scan - which looks wonderful but for me doesn't quite have the impact and imagination of a couple of the entries but its hard not to be bowled over by the technic

AND wonderful confirmation that Full Tilt Boogie is heading our way in Thrills of the Future.

Film & TV / His Dark Materials - BBC series
« on: 04 November, 2019, 09:26:47 PM »
Anyone watching this?

I generally avoid adaptions as I feel the compromises to convert a book (or more specifically comic) to film or telly aren't necessary as we have the book or comic. That said I do make exceptions and His Dark Materials has me quite excited. Mainly as I've read this recently to my daughter. I didn't really enjoy reading it to her if I'm honest. Not that its not a great story it certainly is. Just that reading it out loud isn't the most pleasent thing. All the words felt so big and awkward in mouth and it was a bit of a struggle to get through for me, due to reading it outloud. She loved it however.

So knowing she was excited about this and giving me the chance to enjoy it just as a story was I pretty up for this.

Alas it was the very definition of the problem I have with such things. It looked great. Just not my great. Prime example being the Gyptians. Who looked cool, and perfect for how they should... just not how they should in my minds eye. The show was pretty slavish to the book, yet this just served to emphasis the differences. The extended beginning felt clumsy. It would have been great to have been bold enough to throw the viewer right into Lyra sneaking into the room to watch The Master et al.

Ruth Wilson doesn't work as Mrs Coulter either for me yet. She lacks the easy dark charm I'm after. I thought Dafne Keen was great as Lyra on the other hand. Real star for me was the lad who played Roger. For some reason he just worked for me.

All in all while it will no doubt have considerable problems and I'm very interested to see how they deal with its central theme as things develop into series 2 and 3 - I'm glad the BBC (all be it considerably aided by big US companies) can still do this type of lush family entertainment.

Prog / Prog 2155 - Dark Angels!
« on: 26 October, 2019, 08:25:31 PM »
Well its really as you were again. I'd be expecting a very quiet Prog review thread this week, as is often the case in times of plenty, were it not for the masterclass in Dredd continuing to weave plot threads, ideas and family questions into the mix. Its just an absolute delight and one I feel when finished, however that might happen - doesn't the Next Prog suggest somethings! - this read back will give so much more. That's on the basis of it giving so, so much already!

Defoe bleeds across pages and it hurts my eyes. Stuart Moore is clearly an incredible talent but he could learn a lesson or teo from Brink that so often less is more. Its not just INJ Culbards' great strenght in this strip, focusing the read on all that is important in each panel just so expertly while somehow keeping the whole thing looking so lively and alive. Its what Dabnett is doing with the story. So little happens, yet so much occurs.

Hope is brilliant and The Fall of Deadworld is comics turned to 11.

Oh and even though we knew it was coming just seeing the Thrills of the future makes me smile. It makes me remember with all the Prog has at the moment, there is so much more and that the House of Tharg is just a wonderful place to hang out in.

Prog / Prog 2154 - Combat Shock!
« on: 19 October, 2019, 06:00:55 PM »
As you were  - which is a very good thing.

Dredd see more revelations and horrors. This is utterly gripping and wonderfully realised.

Defoe ... well it has words and pictures so it has a place here I guess... just none of them have an impact on me in any cohesive or emotional way.

Brink is just the opposite, everything about this is about the quiet and sometimes less than quiet impact. Just so well excecuted. The transition between pages 1 and 2 just needs to be used as a lesson to all storytellers.

Hope is brilliant and dark and tense and fantastic.

Fall of Deadworld is over the top meladrama of the very best kind.

So as I say almost exactly as we were. 4 for 5 and those 4 make it feel like a five for... reviewing the Prog these days is getting a bit samey, but what a good samey.

Prog / Prog 2153 - All Hail El Presidente
« on: 12 October, 2019, 05:47:56 PM »
Well what can you say, as you were really and that's a magnificent 4 for 5 worth a 5 for 5 the four are so good.

And its all behind a cover to die for. Quite how Colin MacNeil manages to get so much quiet human arrogance into that metal manic is a little beyond me.

The Dredd story itself is a glorious character piece that drives the plot forward but really examines Dredd. Its feels like the subtlest new reader story. Everything you need to know about Dredd the man in a seemingly easy six pages. And MacNeil is as good here as he is on the cover.

Defoe has the same issues for me as before. Damnit I want to love this art as it has so much to offer.

Brink is a little like Dredd in that it drives the story forward while laying our character out via quiet conversation. This is what Brink does so very well. Trick you into thinking your reading some exposition heavy talking heads piece but giving you so much more.

The Fall of Deadworld doesn't do that - it blasts it in your face front and centre. And as the Russians land stakes raise even higher. Great stuff.

As is Hope - Under Fire which plays a cliche - oh that magic it'll cost ya ya know. Cliche it might be played well it certainly is. Like when Johnny Cash covers Nick Cave. You may have heard it before by someone else and loved it then but somehow he finds a way to play it better. And this is played very well indeed. There also a panel bottom of page three that I'd swear (probably wrongly) is a tribute to Joe Kubert. Brilliant.

Letters and a competition round up a magnificent Prog. Thank you my lovely droids.

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