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Messages - The Amstor Computer

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Other Reviews / Re: THE ANGRY PLANET: Fleetway Files 001
« on: 17 December, 2020, 03:11:26 PM »
Really happy to hear such positive feedback on this, and it's great to see Hebden and Belardinelli's work getting reassessed when read as a whole - I think Angry Planet is a great little read, and while it has the "Hang on, we're folding Tornado into 2000AD in *how* many issues?" rushed wrap-up and it wanders a touch toward the end, it's a tale that holds up well and it's a shame that it never continued on into "Mars Force" in 2000AD.

The response to this first collection has been great, and David's got me at work on the repro for the next collection - Goodall and Blasco's "The Indestructible Man" - so I'd hope the next release will be out early 2021. After that, we'll see what David finds in his trawl through the archives, what readers would like to see and what Rebellion have plans for and we'll take it from there!

Books & Comics / Re: 'The Angry Planet' collection from Hibernia
« on: 07 December, 2020, 04:59:29 PM »
Really lovely to hear favourable comparisons to both Rebellion and the classic Titan collections - the printing on Tornado was not the best, so a lot of work went into trying to get everything looking as good as possible.

re: the colour spreads. As David says, they are reproduced here in B&W but not just a simple greyscale conversion - each of the three spreads was stripped of colour, then the linework was restored as best as possible to give what I hope will look like the original B&W art Belardinelli would have supplied to the Tornado editorial team. I take the point re: including colour spreads, but it just wasn't possible on this particular release and I hope that the work that has gone into presenting those spreads in clean B&W will go some way to compensating for that (definitely no quick & easy greyscale conversions on this one - I reckon it was around five days work on each DPS!)

Prog / Re: Prog 2209 - Bad Blood!
« on: 04 December, 2020, 03:09:33 PM »
What gets modern Hookjaw off the proverbial fishing tackle is that the original strip is pivotal to the whole endeavour: Action's Hookjaw is cast as a part of the 'belief' in the Hookjaw 'myth' that is at the core of the current setup. It's less a tired reworking and more an expansion that incorporates the original as part of the 'truth' (much like Gaiman's Sandman and Moore's Swampie - although I may be stretching an analogy a teensy bit too far there).

...which would be an argument again for Pat reading some of the stuff he's criticising instead of basing his opinions on a quick scan through the contents, the title or whatever one of his Twitter followers fires his way. I suspect he'd still be anti-Hookjaw, but perhaps he'd have a better understanding of what the team on it were aiming for (and perhaps even appreciate it, as I think it's one of the more intelligent and thoughtful attempts to revisit a classic strip in recent 2000AD history).

General / Re: Fleetway Files - The next step for Hibernia Comics
« on: 30 November, 2020, 07:02:05 PM »
Thanks for sharing, Colin! We'd hoped to get it released sooner, but lockdown slowed things down early in the year, then the repro work turned out to be a bit more time-consuming than expected. The printers did a great job of turning the project around quickly after receiving the files though.

Looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks of this one - Tornado's printing and paper stock was a tough beast to deal with and I hope we've done Massimo's art justice in the processing and clean-up!

Prog / Re: Prog 2209 - Bad Blood!
« on: 28 November, 2020, 11:06:52 AM »
My copy of 2208 finally arrived this Wednesday along with the new Meg, but 2209 is nowhere to be seen. I'm going to chase up if there's no sign of it on Monday as it will then be nearly a week past the date it was on the shelves. No trace of prog 2210 either, but given how the last couple of months have gone I'm not expecting it until Tuesday or Wednesday next week at the earliest.

General / Re: Fleetway Files - The next step for Hibernia Comics
« on: 27 November, 2020, 09:38:50 AM »
Suggestions for future collections are very welcome! Work wrapped on Angry Planet a wee while back and it should be ready for release soon, and I'm busy processing raw scans of The Indestructible Man for David right now (must be the only comic where an immortal former captain of the Royal Cavalry under Pharaoh Rameses II takes on a robot reindeer!) so it's the perfect time to bombard him with ideas for what you'd like to see next  :D

General / Re: Summer of Love - Milligan & McCarthy
« on: 26 November, 2020, 09:35:50 AM »
This was published alongside Pat Mills and Glen Fabry's SCATHA, and suffered the same fate (seven published and the eighth half done).

I'm trying to recall the name of the newspaper they were in - it was a very short lived Sunday paper in '88 I believe.

Both Scatha and the first episode of The Masquer, a roleplaying-comic along the lines of Diceman, were reprinted by Hibernia in Beyond 2000AD. All seven episodes of Scatha, plus the eighth which just exists as inks with no lettering/title AFAIK, are included, but IIRC Fabry said that ten episodes had been completed, so there may be more somewhere out there.

The editors of the News on Sunday's colour/comic section were trying to piggyback off the explosion in interest in comics at the time (I think this was hot on the heels of Watchmen et al) and they were clear that they wanted specific creators from the prog for it. They referenced Slaine, Halo Jones and Sooner or Later in interviews IIRC, and I think it's clear from Scatha and Summer of Love that they were looking for their own version of particular strips, rather than just something new from the creators behind them.

Really interesting curiosity.

Prog / Re: Prog 2208 - The Powers of London!
« on: 21 November, 2020, 05:22:52 PM »
"My comic is late, which is diabolical even though I wouldn't have time to read it yet anyway. I demand compensation from the people whose fault it isn't. I will have my vengeance, in this world or the next!"

Ha! :D

I think everyone knows Rebellion isn't at fault here, so this more just spitballing about whether there's anything they could/should do given that the post situation doesn't seem to be getting any better.

Prog / Re: Prog 2208 - The Powers of London!
« on: 21 November, 2020, 03:12:48 PM »
That sounds good.  I did email them yesterday but got no reply.  Is there a specific address I can forward it onto the subs team?

There was a specific subs email at one point, but every time I've contacted them recently it's been through the contact form on the website. Response times have varied from same-day to four days later, and I think it's simply a case of how busy they are that week.

Prog / Re: Prog 2208 - The Powers of London!
« on: 21 November, 2020, 02:54:18 PM »
Still no prog or Meg. It’s been a long time since it was this late.

I realise it’s not their fault, but it would be nice if they could provide a digital prog for paper subscribers.

This is the fourth time in the last couple of months that my prog has been late - and by late, I'm talking a couple of days past the day it hits the newsagent, rather than just "it didn't arrive the Saturday before". I've twice had to ask the subs team to send new copies as two progs simply didn't arrive at all, one after two weeks of waiting for it. It's the worst the subs service has been since I started subscribing back in the early '00s, and while it's clearly a postal issue I think the subs team are considering ways to manage it - last time a prog went missing, the subs team sent a replacement and offered to unlock the digital prog for me until it arrived. Something like that (if it could be set up simply, and not open to abuse) would be a nice gesture for physical subs who are experiencing regular delays.

General / Re: Forthcoming Thrills - 2021
« on: 16 October, 2020, 04:25:37 PM »
There's presumably a Universe out there where Rebellion released the bulk of these Treasury books first, and then started The Vigilant, once the reprints of these half-forgotten characters were mostly back in print...  We're in the bizarro version, where they did it the other way around.

There's a degree of cart before horse going on, but given that the team on The Vigilant all seem up for the idea of continuing it, I suppose there's nothing stopping Rebellion from revisiting the strip once more of these archive releases are out there.

I guess there was a strong argument for trying something like The Vigilant first - it sends out a signal that Rebellion are invested in making use of the archive as more than a nostalgic reprint factory, and that they believe the characters have potential for modern audiences - but I think it might have been a bit more effective with a little more room to breathe and a little more archive material out there first. Difficult balancing act, though, and I don't envy Rebellion's editorial crew trying to manage the prog and Meg and their respective graphic novel/prose lines, as well as Treasury releases and "New Archive" material like the Smash, Cor/Buster, Misty/Scream specials etc.

Help! / Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
« on: 08 October, 2020, 01:24:58 PM »
Not to mention that, as I understand it, DCT have a pretty impressive library of original art and other material. That wasn't the case for the holdings Rebellion acquired where I believe pretty much all of that kind of material was long-gone and Rebellion are obliged to work from the printed comics for reprinting.

DCT are a huge part of British comic history and it's an enormous shame they don't seem to have much interest in doing anything to recognise that.

Help! / Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
« on: 08 October, 2020, 12:49:28 PM »
I mean what are the actors really going to sue for? A few hundred pounds?

Probably, yes.  The scenario you describe is literally the kind of opportunistic exploitation that industry standard contracts are there to prevent.  The actors' union would pursue a case on principle, not how much profit was involved.

Probably worth pointing out here that for many of the photo stories in Eagle, models would include people the photographer knew and could rope in (for example, I believe the photographer on "Thunderbolt and Smokey" knew a teacher at a school and got the OK to shoot there and to have the kids from the school as extras for the strip), IPC staff (Sid Bicknell appears in Doomlord, along with security guards and other staffers) as well as jobbing actors on the books of agencies like Ugly and Photopix (Michael Segal appears briefly in Doomlord, with Mike Mungarvan starring etc.). There's even a Thames TV reporter in one Doomlord segment, along with some random passers-by wrangled in by Gary Compton, the photographer.

There likely won't be contracts for any of the dozens and dozens of people involved, and the jobbing actors probably would have been found and paid through the agencies they were signed up with, and I'd be surprised if there were any kind of reprint/future usage rights set out. I'm not sure whether that simplifies or complicates the situation for reprints, but that's roughly where I understand things are with how the photo strips were produced.   

Worth noting though that there have been several collections of girls' photo-strips (My Guy etc.) reprinted in recent years, with strips featuring far more famous actors and celebs, and I don't believe they've fallen foul of anyone.

Megazine / Re: Meg 424 - Thirty Megnificent Years
« on: 17 September, 2020, 10:00:07 AM »
Another article on what the meg could have been:


I find the concept of "Bad Company" quite interesting

There's some stuff in that article that looks very familiar, as well as a couple of pieces of art that I am pretty certain appeared for the first time like that in "Fantastic Adventures" (the Helltrekker design sketch and the Badlander art stand out, as I worked on scans of both to prepare them for print, and the Badlander piece in particular had to be assembled from multiple scans).


Help! / Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
« on: 11 September, 2020, 10:11:45 PM »
Tower King is a minor classic — I think Hebden’s script would probably have looked a lot less impressive paired with a lesser artist than Ortiz, but House of Dæmon is a stone cold classic, pairing some utterly lovely Ortiz art with Wagner/Grant in their pumping-out-quality-scripts-all-the-time phase. The sheer pace that they turn over ideas in the short page count per episode seems to inspire Ortiz, who moves seamlessly from genre to genre.

Yes, Daemon is fantastic - aside from the conclusion, which felt as though it had perhaps been cut short and/or hacked about by editorial, it's a rollicking tale. It opens almost as a gothic romance, then spends the rest of the run shifting from horror, to adventure yarn, to comedy, to the kind of absurd horror Wagner/Grant would go on to perfect in The Thirteenth Floor (and it's hard not to see Daemon as a "dry run" of sorts for Max), taking in Vietnam war tales and others along the way. Brilliant stuff.

I never knew that Baikie was the artist. That will explain why I loved the strip. I assume that FM Candor is the dynamic duo of Wagner/Grant.

Double damn the Dan Dare Corporation

I think (though may be incorrect, as it's been a long time since I asked him on FB) that Bloodfang may have been Wagner alone. Regardless, it's a fun little dinosaur-POV tale, coupled with some cracking B&W linework from Baikie.

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