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Messages - AlexF

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Megazine / Re: Meg 409 - The Death of Dominion?
« on: 24 June, 2019, 12:26:29 pm »
So on a Thrillcast a while back James Peaty was trailing Diamond Dogs, suggesting it was going to take a look at at different side of Brit Cit. And yes, while technically we haven't seen the future Isle of Dogs before (and it does look v. cool under Warren Pleece's pens), I'm a bit unclear what's different about having grumpy senior Judge Armitage and spunky rookie Judge Treasure Steel being our protagonists.

Sorry, I've already forgotten those characters' real names.

Obviously not fair to pass judgement after just the opening episode, but I do hope this strays a lot further from UK crime movie whatnot.

Suggestions / Re: Collected Tharg Strips
« on: 24 June, 2019, 12:00:36 pm »
Count me out! I have some fondness for the Tharg strips when they turned up once every few years and were mostly about behind the scenes droid shenanigans, but the ones where he speed-dials Thatcher and beats up aliens did nothing for me, even as a 10-year-old. I don't mind them turning up when I'm reading old progs but wouldn't go anywhere near a complete collection...

That said, I'd be quite keen on a floppy that charts the history of Tharg, including snippets of some of those stories from the Prog, but moreso anecdotes from MacManus about dressing up, and lots of bits of art showing Tharg over the years from the Nerve Centre / House ads. There's something about the artists picked to illustrate Tharg that acts as a bit of a 'what's the tone 2000AD is trying to set just now' stand-in.

We've had Henry Flint's Tharg for quite a few years now, and it's a great Tharg, but I'm ready for someone new to take on the mantle. Simon Davis, perhaps..?

Megazine / Re: Meg 409 - The Death of Dominion?
« on: 19 June, 2019, 01:21:02 pm »
Personally I couldn't imagine a more fitting punishment for Judge Death than trapping him in a box with only a collection of life-affirming poetry for company, all delivered in a seriously beautiful final page! A staggeringly well-earned story beat from messers Hine & Percival. Am curious to see if any of it will seep into Death's philosophy going forward...

General / Re: Oh no not another re-read thread (progs 336 to 729)
« on: 18 June, 2019, 11:32:37 am »
That actually is an astute and interesting observation about lettering! One would almost think you had a personal stake in said artform.
Personally I never got tired of seeing Rogue's Biochip speech balloons with their little semicircle cut-outs, even when the stories were getting less fun those always gave me a smile.

Other Reviews / Re: 2019 Sci-Fi Special: A Tribute to Carlos Ezquerra
« on: 18 June, 2019, 11:15:39 am »
Spector is insanely good. So much fun to see Wagner writing a robot protagonist and largely being on his (its?) side. No one does comedy 'robots pretending to sound human' dialogue quite like J. Wagner, although usually he's doing it to show how annoying they are.

I'd love to know what the man really thinks about the increasing presence of AI in real life. Does he fear it, welcome it, or just enjoy it as a source of comedic inspiration for his stories?

I'm also curious to know if he still hasn't watched RoboCop. Spector is to Robocop as Robocop is to Judge Dredd - discuss.

As for artists, I wonder if Tharg might consider PJ Holden - he's got great form at filling up panels with near-future fun, and he's got the requisite comedy chops, in my opinion. Not saying MacNeil and Coleby couldn't do a cracking job, but I do associate them both more with moody/atmospheric stories, and less with comedy procedurals. Or coming more out of left-field, how about Fay Dalton? Wasn't that long ago folk were bemoaning a lack of thrills that would match her style, and just maybe Spector is it..?

Well gosh dammit if you don't make a compelling case for 1999 as 2000AD's best year, even though I'd never have picked it out just from an off-the-top-of-my-head sample. I was going to criticise it for not having enough variety of thrills, but frankly that's exactly what the old Golden Age was like, and that surely suffered from the long, slow and steady decline of Rogue Trooper.

Nikolai Dante and Sinister Dexter are both very good, aren't they, even if for entirely different reasons. I do think there's a case to be made that the one-off funny SinDex episodes were better than the one-off funny Dredds - and typically had more interesting art - in this period, anyway.

You know, if you're looking for controversial opinions on this thread.

General / Re: Space Spinner 2000AD
« on: 07 June, 2019, 03:51:48 pm »
Best Art: always a tough choice, but I'm going with Massimo Belardinelli, specifically for the Doppelgarp, which is stuffed full of deliriously manic goings-on. Plus, although we will get more from Massimo over the next couple of years, this is the last time we'll get him in every Prog all the time.
But I'm feeling bad for not calling out Ian Gibson's work on Halo Jones III.

Best Writing: since they wrote something like 3/4 of all stories for this entire year, it has to be Wagner and Grant! But specifically I'll give it to them for Judge Dredd. 1986 is, for me, the best year of fun, inventive, witty, and occasionally moving one-off Dredd tales.

Best Overall Thrill: no question, Strontium Dog RAGE! - what more need be said?

Best Month: May. My fave one-off Dredd, It Pays to be Mental, plus the start of the supremely gorgeous 'Possessed' story for Anderson, and the good opening bits of both Sooner or Later and Bad City Blue. Not to mention the kick-off to Rage!

Best Overall Year: The dead weight of the Garpetbaggers was holding me back, but looking at the list of all-time great thrills in 1986, I have call it as Tharg's best year yet.

General / Re: Do John Wagner & Carlos Ezquerra own Judge Dredd?
« on: 21 May, 2019, 11:28:02 am »
Frank, I continue to admire your Frankness, and I do actually think you've made the ghost of a good point, buried in the hyperbole of an attention-grabbing thread-head.

You've made one mistake, though - the Abnett/Flint/Williams VCs was both longer in episode count and superior in thrill-power to the original run! For me it's a rare example of a revival/reboot/continuation by a new creative team that was genuinely worth all of our time.

Anyone with solutions to the problem of how to arrange fair pay for both creators (always noble and impoverished!) in publishers (always evil and loaded!) in a capitalist world, good luck! I'm sure there's a Future Shock story in there at least...

Suggestions / Re: What, no Action! reprints?
« on: 21 May, 2019, 11:12:05 am »
Although Action is an important part of 2000AD's history, the stories weren't that great really.

I feared this might be the case!
Is there mileage in, perhaps, a bagged mini-trade with the Megazine, that reprints a handful of individual episodes of some key stories, interspersed with some comics history articles about the impact of the comic at the time - you know, a bit like Matt Smith's excellent Nemesis treatise (or whatever he called it)?

So who DID collect up Hookjaw a bunch of years ago..? I fear my copy is stuck in a box in my attic so not easy to check just now. Anyway, that strip at least is every bit as good as Shako!, and, for me, better even than Flesh...

Suggestions / What, no Action! reprints?
« on: 20 May, 2019, 12:12:43 pm »
Now I'm sure this question has been answered somewhere before, but in amongst all the many goodies being collected for the first time by Rebellion's Treasury wing, why haven't they reprinted anything from Action! yet?
It's always being touted as the precursor to 2000AD,and surely they must own the rights as part of the giant bundle. No?

I know Hookjaw has been collected by Hibernia (the edition I have, and lovely it is too), and I think again by Titan comics, and I gather that's by far the best strip from Action, but what of the rest? I've long wanted to read Dredger, Kids Rule OK and Death Game 1999 in particular, and I can't be alone in this, can I?
Is it just that these stories aren't really good enough to merit the reprint treatment, or is there some rights issue going on?

News / Re: Strontium Dog Without Wagner or Ezquerra
« on: 16 May, 2019, 12:51:24 pm »
Assuming that the question on the table is whether or not to continue telling the story of Johnny Alpha, what actually is the status quo of Strontium Dog as things stand?

He's come back to life, and more or less worked through his emotional issues about being dead for a while. His current best buddy Middenface is more or less surviving as a recovering alcoholic. He seems to be working for the SD Agency again, and has lately taken Wulf's son under his wing as a bounty-hunter in training.

Are we essentially back to where things were at the beginning of StarLord - i.e. telling tales of Bounty Hunting on frontier worlds, with the occasional trip to future Britain where everything is super racist against mutants? 'cos that's fine and all, but I kinda want a writer who'd dare to explore more world-building stuff about human-mutant relations on Earth (and around the galaxy) etc...

Basically, I want more 'Strontium Dog as war comics', less 'Strontium Dog as wild west comics'. On balance, I'll take what I'm given!

News / Re: Strontium Dog Without Wagner or Ezquerra
« on: 15 May, 2019, 02:30:53 pm »
Strong second for Phil Winslade as a fella would could definitely bring something new and yet respectful to the Johnny Alpha table. Assuming Alan Grant isn't interested in tackling the writing duties (and if he is, I hope he decides to resurrect Feral just for the sake of a cheeky dig at Wagner :D), are there perhaps any new voices from the pages of Dogbreath who might just be ready for the big stage..?

I note no one seems to be sad about the new Durham Red strips continuing, with good work from Worley, Willsher and Carter. Is that not, in a way, a continuation of Strontium Dog?

News / Re: New 2000 AD creators blog
« on: 15 May, 2019, 02:23:34 pm »
Another long delay, but I hope this one's worth the wait - partly slow because I had a lot to say, and wanted to get it right, inasmuch as that's possible with no less a legend than...

John Hicklenton


Prog / Re: Prog 2130 - 2000ad Regened
« on: 14 May, 2019, 03:41:41 pm »
I know this Prog was technically aimed at my children rather than me, but I enjoyed it much more than I expected, and it's the first new Prog in a while that I will actually bother to re-read soon because it has piqued my interest. For what it's worth, my children a) aren't really into 2000AD at the moment (sad for me!) and b)  if they were, I'd be getting them to look at the regular Prog as well as the Regene version, as I suspect they'd find as much story and art to enjoy in one as the other. 

General / Re: how to do a prog slog
« on: 14 May, 2019, 03:11:19 pm »
I have a strong suspicion that the way to do a Prog Slog is NOT to read the Annuals! And maybe not the Specials, either - although there are bound to be some exceptions at some point, where there are key chapters in the sagas of Rogue Trooper and Tyranny Rex to name two examples.

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