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Messages - Buttonman

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1
Announcements / Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« on: 27 January, 2021, 04:59:43 PM »

Splutter! What? Another letters page only two weeks after the last? Looks like those Bill Gates nanobots that are taking over the nation have  enlivened the nation’s letter writing habits. Our last digestion of the letters page was an unqualified success (read : unsuccessful) with 1002 reads. OK most of them were us correcting the many typos, but it’s still more reads than our blog gets by about 1000 or so. The country is clearly so bereft of anything worthwhile to watch/eat/abuse, that they have gone to the only safe haven left - a self indulgent review of a letters page driven by puns rather than anything even approaching worthwhile criticism. So let’s stick with that!

Prog 2216
gives us a full page six pack from the Mighty One and although there aren’t many familiar faces, at least it’s a few newbies to muse over before declaring them rubbish and the olden days, when Heroclix came falling through our door, were much better.

We lead off with the only really familiar face on Show, Kevin Foakes of that London. Kevin is a 2000ad lifer having had his first letter published in Prog 557 back in 1988. He lived in Reigate Surrey then, before moving to The Smoke to realise his dream of becoming a full time letter writer. And what a successful career it’s been, with a total of 9 letters now his showing in return for only 30 wasted years. He was last seen in Meg 394 in 2018 and has a 6:3 Prog to Meg ratio. His Letter of the Week here is his second after claiming the glory for the first time in Prog 1733.

Kevin is a fan of the art and waxes lyrical about all five stories scoring high on his ‘Thrillometer‘. Maybe he could explain ‘Proteus Vex’ to us?  The boffins at Bletchley Park would have trouble with that one! He gives great marks to all the artists and notes that “Will Simpson back on Dredd was a surprise too”. Hmm, that sounds not so much like a backhanded compliment as a barefaced ‘What the hell is this?” - good socks though.

Matthew Ellis of Bedford is up next, adding another player to the ongoing squabble of ‘Who is the Elite Ellis?’. Charles of that clan leads on 5 and was last seen on Prog 2133 in 2019. One time leader Warren Ellis still sits on his 2 from Progs 207 and 282, and he also boasts a profile in Prog 220. It’s not clear why he stopped writing after a promising start - maybe lost his writing talent? Matthew has a long way to go to catch up with the all Bedford champion, the wonderfully named Debbie Maddams who has been stuck on 5 since her last outing in Prog 1105 in 1988, when she was awarded the Letter of the Week laurels.

Matthew  tells Tharg he’s doing a “good job” - must be the all plastic cups diet. Matthew is also a fan of the art and says Will Simpson is getting into his groove after working on ‘Game of Thrones’. We all worked on that too - what a mess. The letter construction here is poor , with Matthew’s highlight actually being two things - what a howler. He may have reviewed his letter late in the day and thought it lacked in content, so a three further bon mots are thrown onto a busy last paragraph. Overall : Adequate job.

Some people have a common first name and others a familiar second name. Ian James of Shrewsbury manages both, making our data trawl through The Beast’s archive a right old chore. Have some consideration people - get a name like ‘Maddams’ and make our searching easier. The Beast has 204 ’Ians’ and 382 ‘James’ and it took us the best part of 30 seconds to filter that down to this Ian’s 2 entries. His first was in Prog 2180 in 2020 and this effort ties him for the all Shrewsbury title with Chris ‘Not a’ Payne who had his brief spurt of glory in Progs 992 and 1014.

Ian wastes a paragraph telling us why he isn’t writing before gushing about the opening offerings of 2021. He’s obviously been finishing off the Bailleys as he compares the current Dredd offering with the classic ‘Crazy batty and Little Mo’ and says he welcomes visits from anyone from the Doghouse - he’s barking mad with that opinion! He leaves his letter open for Tharg to promote some coming attractions and the Green God doesn’t disappoint.

More Ian excitement next in the shape of Ian Scott of Cambridge. This offering extends Cambridge’s lead over varsity rivals Oxford to 61 to 48. Eat that Matthew Pinsent! Ian has had a 20 year absence from the letters page with his first offerings displayed in Meg 156 and Prog 1130, both in 1999, before this latest outing, his third overall. 20 years lost - hope he wasn’t wasting his time raising a family and having a career!

Ian’s brief letter is a thank you for ‘Survival Geeks’ which we agree was a good strip and a neat conclusion to a story that didn’t outstay its welcome. Cough <Sinister Dexter> cough. He says that the Xmas Prog was “pretty special”, unlike his letter which was pretty unremarkable, but a nice thought all the same.

David Weir of Bristol, who may have used to play for Rangers, shows up next in his debut offering. The ‘Weir’ clan are poorly represented on The Beast, with the only other of their name to make the grade being Stephen (good name) of  Prog 852 fame. David hails from Bristol which has a better pedigree than the Weirs, offering 146 total letters - more than Oxford and Cambridge combined - so much for education!

David moans about the postal delays which we covered in our last edition. He says the Dictators of Zrag may have been responsible - more likely it was due to the work experience boy chucking the Progs in the bin so he could go home early to sniff glue, but we’ll take David’s theory under advisement.  He also waffles on about his ‘thrill sucked cognition circuits’ - that normally costs extra, especially over the holidays.

We finish off with a letter headed “Never better” - hardly seems likely, given no PA2 postcodes are in sight. Actually the first five letters are all from English writers and this one from ‘email’ saves us from a Sassenach full house. Wait a minute, hoots mon, this writer Peter Brockwell has one previous appearance on The Beast when he lived in…Milton Keynes! It’s official - Tharg hates the Jocks, Taffs and Paddies! For shame. Still we really should start writing in again to at least give him the chance to delete our emails, unread! Peter’s previous printed prose came in Prog 2045 in 2017.

He gets the longest letter of the page award, a full 12cm of gushing and gratitude that is hard to dislike. It is really heartfelt, if perhaps a bit too positive - we need some moaning to keep us going in these dark days - it’s the British way.

Right that’s our lot. A good letters page that was all thanks and praise and a bright light against a landscape of 100,000 dead and a closed Greggs. It’s hoped we can get back to the petty gripes and funny criticisms soon, but for now this is what we need. Everything is good. Keep believing!

2
Announcements / Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« on: 15 January, 2021, 07:56:34 PM »
We live to give!

Unless it's money, in which case you can piss off!

3
Announcements / Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« on: 13 January, 2021, 07:42:06 PM »
How could we deny such a lovely request?!

Firstly, your place on the all time greats list has been confirmed and you have been granted the Beast Identifier code of ((( - don't see this as a row of sad faces, more like three Pringles. The updated chart is below - sorry it's a bit squeewiff - it's bigger than a single snip now!


As for your own efforts your list is below. The Beast records what was published so no retro name changes are allowed!


4
Announcements / Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« on: 13 January, 2021, 07:23:02 PM »
Wonderful! Real time letter attribution! The Beast shall be duly updated with your wandering locations and indeed name.

Any time I've been printed the prize is normally there before the issue in which the letter appears. Bit of a spoiler really! Given the Progs are a month late I think the prizes will be similarly affected. Probably at least a month before your copy of 'Red razors' hits the mat!

5
Announcements / Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« on: 13 January, 2021, 06:48:50 PM »

And we’re back and it’s a big Happy, er, 13th January from all of us here at Beast Towers. Alas normal service was provided by the Royal Mail who decided that two weeks into the New Year was the best time to deliver the Christmas Prog to our eager hands. This one always has letters, not least to allow that Lego man in Norway to parade his wares. Thanks to Simon at the subs department who refunded our money and provided a digital copy the very day before the actual Prog arrived. By this time we’d been fleeced £8.50 for a copy on eBay! The ‘Buttonman Beast’ copy has been returned to the Nerve Centre - hopefully a collector’s piece for some young subber or some potential DNA evidence, if nothing else.

Anyway enough of our Prog locating travails, let’s get right to the slightly stale letters which will be reheated by puns and poor banter.

First up with the Letter of the Week, is familiar face Steev Hopper. Steev will he hopping happy with this, his third top ranked offering and possibly his 10th overall. As all Beast devotees know the 10th offering awards a Beast identifier code but is our ‘Steev’ the same as the ‘Steve Hopper’ of Dublin and Plymouth who has two entries in the Beast codex in Progs 836 and Meg 191? If Steev could present evidence including a note from his parent or guardian we will consider his admission to the Pantheon of Champions.

Steev’s letter is what we in the letters community refer to as a ’shooty in’ . Every letter writer and his dog and his dog’s friend will have sent Tharg a note congratulating him on a near seamless service during the pandemic. Although that did include ‘The Order’ and some questionable postal choices, the service has been great and it was an obvious topic for letter submission. To be fair, Steev’s effort is decent. Steev has enjoyed ‘The Out’ and ‘Hook-Jaw’ and thanks Tharg for not running some second rate strips or old reprints. These points are up for debate, but they are well made and come from a position of honesty and  one of ‘I want a graphic novel this bad’.

Next up we get double teamed by David and Stephanie Walker of Exeter. This couple can boast ten Beast entries between them but alas , no Beast Code can be awarded at present. Stephanie had sole credit in her Prog 2136 effort, so we have individual scores of 8.5 to David and 1.5 to Stephanie. If this decision causes marital discord, so be it. No doubt this will be the Exeter Chiefs talking point at their breakfast bar or indeed pillows. David’s 8.5 includes an entry from Prog 314 when he was in Derby - is this the same scriber? We say nay, unless evidence can be provided to the contrary.

The letter is a bit strange in that it has co-signatories but has the frequent use of ‘I’. Is this a fly attempt to get two prizes from the verdant one? If the personal pronouns don’t show up the fallacy of the joint signature, the content surely does - two people to say to give someone a pat on the back about a shark tale? The ten-year old daughter could have managed this on her own, and maybe she did!

Stan Wilks of Barnstaple next, with his first effort to see print. It’s also the first letter from Barnstaple and the first letter from a ‘Stan’. Stan’s a name we don’t see much of any more - a bit like Ethelred or Adolf. There has been one other ‘Wilks’ in the shape of Matt who holds the Wilks crown with his mighty two from Progs 1026 and 1073 from the halcyon days of 1997.

Stan likes an adjective, with ‘zarjaz’, ‘scintillating’ and ‘unexpected’ all making early appearances in his flowery, uninventive and laboured letter. He goes on to say ‘Hook-Jaw is ‘tight’, ‘gorgeous’ and ‘intriguing’ . He ends by showing he likes American things now by saying the creators have “hit a home run”. Gee-Whiz that’s fierce commentary!

Another newbie next in the shape of Chris Allen of Thailand. Chris claims to have had a letter printed in Prog 578 and The Beast can corroborate this claim. He was living in Rugby then in the far off days of 1988, when lady-boys and green curries would be the subjects of a madman’s dreams. This is also the first letter on the list from Thailand, although there have been loads of ‘Allens’ and  a mighty 275 ‘Chris’ or ‘Christopher’s.

Chris starts in annoying fashion with a ‘Howzit going’ followed by an insult to our Emerald Editor. His letter is a trip through his attic as he recounts his one time letter glory and about his receipt of an original Pat Mills script. We just hope Pat doesn’t catch wind of this unauthorised use of his characters and writing. Chris should probably send a cheque, just to be sure.

Good first name, Stephen Parry next from e-mailland. This is Stephen’s fourth appearance with the previous three giving his location as ‘Birmingham’. Don’t hide your roots Stephen , you have Duran Duran and Barry off ‘Auf Wiedersehen Pet’ to be proud of. Stephen’s first appearance was in Prog 1976 in 2016 and he now has half the total of ‘Parry’ leader Na (Nigel) who’s 8th and whose last appearance to date was in Prog 2124 in 2019.

Stephen talks up the ‘Regened’ issues which is probably a wise move if you want to see print. He likes Abelard Snazz stories - don’t we all, but the Dillon/Moore ones surely? He closes by giving a big shout out to the letterers, calling them ‘unsung heroes’. He also throws in the colourists as an afterthought too - what about the printer and the guy who forgets to deliver the issue for a month ? They deserve something too!

Not long now. Luther Davies next and we wished we watched the show as  there are probably some puns to be had. <looks at Wikipedia> Luther Elbas his way onto the page with a Ruth(Wilson)less  attack on correct numbering that will make many readers (Mark) Cross. His structure is poor as he starts with offering a double but ends up with a three-bagger; each more positive than the last - it’ll never catch on.

Luther is from e-mailland also but we know he lives, or used to live, in Chipping Norton possibly alongside Jeremy Clarkson. In that vein his letter is like a rocket ship driven by a maniac - on steroids!

Last up is the familiar Norwegian family gathering of David, Oskar and Feliks Rees who celebrate their 11th entry on the Beast all-time table and cement their /// identifier code - they are only participants who have added to their tally this issue. David first appeared in a Letter of the Week offering in 2010’s Prog 1677 and the family’s Lego and model offerings have been a staple of the Christmas issue since 2014. That’s seven Christmases in a row and at this rate they are only 89 festive seasons away from hitting the top slot (jointly).

In true 2020 style their offering this year is a digital one, rather than an actual build. It’s pretty nice but we’d prefer something solid that we could break by Boxing Day, or by Valentine’s Day if it was delivered by Royal Mail.

Overall a jolly festive offering of seven letters that brightened a dull mid January day. This was the first letters sighting in 10 Progs and an untold number of Megs so let’s hope Tharg’s New Year resolution is to get the letters page back to being a weekly offering.

Happy (Chinese) New Year!

6
General / Re: Prog drought!
« on: 11 January, 2021, 11:41:43 PM »
I got 2214 yesterday and finally Christmas Prog 2212 today! Only because I paid over the odds on eBay for it! Subs refunded the issue and sent a link for the digital copy to me as they have none to send out, which was good service - can't control what happens once the Royal Mail get hold of it. Hopefully a one off as missed my Christmas Prog, port and mince pies!

7
Off Topic / Re: 500 Days of Slimmer - and Some Other Crap Too...
« on: 01 January, 2021, 02:24:40 AM »
Well here we are, finally in 2021. 2020 was like a bum wipe that never seemed to end, despite the mountain of toilet paper we filled out the garage with during several panic buying sprees. More importantly I hit 50 on April 1st , so there are only three further instalments of this thread to come! Oh and Happy New Year!

Just when it was starting to develop too, with people finally coming on board having gorged on everything X-Hamster has to offer.

No weight update this month as Christmas was always going to be a bust. I was actually OK and the family’s agreement to do a secret Santa only meant that the chocolate haul was markedly down this year. Yay! I haven’t checked but I suspect I’ve added a pound or two to the already behind schedule 15 stone. With three months to go, 13 should be achievable at a push. I will be the belle of the ball at my 50th party, in my man cave with just the wife to marvel at me getting back into the 32” waist jeans!

There was also nothing to report on the letters front although I understand that there was a double page spread in the Christmas issue. Alas, I’ve still to receive that one so we had a blank month on the LETTERSENTERTAINYOU publishing schedule. I also didn’t write in at all as all my comics were at least a week late and the early bird catches all the published letter worms unfortunately.

Things did progress on the Movie blog front with The Definite Article Blog hitting the target 250 reviews 3 months early. 7 December entries took us over the line with Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen being the surprise pick of the month. I plan to upset my reader by mothballing this blog as it was a lot easier than I thought. My TV planner, Amazon Prime and Netflix watch lists are all jammed up with ‘The …’ films. If I was a better planner I’d do a themed month of animals or something but instead I’m going to watch stuff because I want to and not because of some self imposed challenge.

Over on the ‘W’ blog, five reviews saw us to 344 entries meaning that this should be cleared off by next month’s update. Pick of a runtish litter was the Austrian entry for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars What We Wanted

Which was pretty good but a bit depressing.

The steps average fell a bit to 11,938 but the gym is shut again and have you seen the weather? I have maintained a 10k minimum for each day for a further month and know the streets 2 miles in all directions like the back of my hand.

Nothing back from Tipping Point and there are still no Munros in my council area.

I am planning for a dry January (after celebrating the Rangers win on the 2nd) and will cut out all the rubbish as well as most bread and milk in my tea. A fun month awaits.

I hope you are all doing well?

8
Prog / Re: Prog 2212 - Elecrtifying 100 page Xmas Issue!
« on: 23 December, 2020, 04:42:27 PM »
The automated response I received said they were closed between the 23rd and 5th January. If you ain't got it now you a'int getting it this year!

9
Prog / Re: Prog 2212 - Elecrtifying 100 page Xmas Issue!
« on: 23 December, 2020, 03:09:13 PM »
No sign of this issue at the Paisley Wastes. Was going to send the subs droid a note today - is this still missing in a lot of places. Has anything been said about the delays?

10
Classifieds / Re: 2020 Mega City Book Club Xmas charity raffle!
« on: 13 December, 2020, 09:24:11 PM »
Woohoo I won a prize! Thanks Eamonn, you truly are Board Santa.  :D

Me too! A great effort from Eamonn and a cracking total raised.

11
General / Re: Dredd epics ranked
« on: 02 December, 2020, 05:36:35 PM »
Following! They could make this a bit simpler!

Sign in to Blogger.
In the left menu, click Reading list .
In the top right, click Manage reading list .
Click Add.
Type the URL of the blog you want to follow.
Click Next.
Choose whether to follow publicly or anonymously.
Click Follow.

12
Classifieds / Re: 2020 Mega City Book Club Xmas charity raffle!
« on: 02 December, 2020, 01:10:00 PM »
Seasonal bump for this worthwhile endeavour - I've got mine!

13
General / Re: Dredd epics ranked
« on: 02 December, 2020, 09:47:53 AM »
Great stuff Alex - will follow with interest.

How do you subscribe? The suscribe(atom) button just leads me to a page with loads of text.

Apocalypse War for the win!

14
Off Topic / Re: 500 Days of Slimmer - and Some Other Crap Too...
« on: 01 December, 2020, 03:40:54 PM »

Nah - the advent calendar needs a 2000AD connection.  What's the 2000AD version of slave girl Leia?  Durham Red?  Anderson sexily waking up having had a nightmare and walking around in a silky nightie?*


I wonder if silky nighties are Justice Department issue for Psi-Judges?

Anything by Ian Gibson and you can sign me up!

15
Off Topic / Re: 500 Days of Slimmer - and Some Other Crap Too...
« on: 01 December, 2020, 03:39:28 PM »
Don't forget if you are hitting the gym alot weight lose might not go down but you BMI might be improving as you are turning into a ripped adonis and muscle has weight?

I say this with absolutely no real knowledge but with a reassuring smile!

I mostly just run at the gym - try to do about 10k in an hour - I like the smooth surface and regular pace - and no hills (unless you want them) potholes or dog shit.

I would say I am slightly more toned and clothes are fitting better - muscle does weigh more than fat!

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