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Topics - Colin YNWA

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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.

News / Ennis writing Rat Pack for Battle Special
« on: 10 October, 2019, 12:52:09 pm »
Not had a chance to read this as rushing to a meeting but the headlines makes it a keeper and worth sharing...


I'm assuming this is wonderful news. Could someone read it and fill me in!

Prog / Prog 2152 - Watch the world burn!
« on: 06 October, 2019, 09:27:17 am »
Behind a magnificent Cliff Robinson cover lies a Prog on the ground work being laid out over the last couple of weeks.

Dredd is just magnificent. The fragile diplomacy providing a veil over motives as thin as a golden spray job. Quite now much character Wagner and MacNeil are able to imbue into our robotic dictator is wonderful to behold. Yet another masterclass from these two as we get the added bonus on Dredd slipping of to... well we'll see...

Defoe has lost me already alas and a low point in this otherwise stella Prog.

Brink I was speaking of masterclasses before and here's one in how to do an exposition dump, with only a tiny pretense of being anything other than that and make it compelling reading all the same. Adore the exhausted last page as well. Also nice touch having us look in through the HSD logo on that title panel. Should I be reading more into the fact it reversed other than that's our point of view?

Hope Under Fire is brutal and brilliant in equal measure.

The Fall of Deadworld is brutal and brilliant in equal measure.

Another 4 out of 5 but those 4 make it feel like a five-for.

Prog / Prog 2146 - Law in Motion
« on: 24 August, 2019, 06:54:31 pm »
What a difference a week can make hey.

Dredd, well if I was disappointed with the ending of the otherwise superb 'Control' the beginning The Fall of Barbarbara Grimm by Mike Caroll and Nick Dyer is quite brilliant. Okay so there's the old panel where the otherwise wonderful Dyer overworks the cross hatching, but that aside wow. I'm reminded of the awful closing in that I felt reading the Block protection racket story in my Prog slog recently.

Sinister Dexter remains fantastic, that opening panel is just great.

Similarly Indigo Prime remains superb, so full of invention.

3riller - Red Road is a blasting, kinetic opener. Its thrilling and while I've not much of a clue about the background yet I'm drawn in. As ever with 3riller its all in how it builds from here though.

Jaegir cranks it back up to the Max with a wonderful episode. Though  do think medical staff in any Sci-fi / action scenario seriously need to some self defense training.

In summary 5 out of 5 Prog. Now that ain't bad is it!

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