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Messages - Funt Solo

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 406
1
General / Re: Oh no not another re-read thread (progs 336 to 729)
« on: 17 June, 2019, 10:39:39 pm »
Wait - is Book III the one where Mek-Quake's brain has been transplanted into a gargantuan robot who battles another giant robot (Torque-Armada) into submission during the siege of Yggdrasil (the world tree)?  I love that book: it got the centre-spread colour pages (back when that was important) and made great use of them.

Still: just because I loved it doesn't mean everyone has to. 


2
Pussyfoot 5 was indeed short-lived and (at least up to 2014) consisted of only two series (both of which were reprinted in the Meg 281 floppy): Fast Breeder (1184-1188) and Alien Sex Fiend (1251-1256).

I found Missionary Man to be very hit and miss (story-wise) but often a showcase for great art.


3
Prog / Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« on: 17 June, 2019, 10:29:17 pm »
I'm jealous of your logo.

 :) I was jealous of the Letters Us Entertain You logo.

4
Prog / Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« on: 17 June, 2019, 06:52:58 pm »


2014 (Mid Year Cement)

As the longer thrills of the 2nd quarter (Slaine and Outlier) finish up, and the scheduling for a prog 1900 jump-on starts to kick in, we get a mix of Tharg's [F]illers (which, to be fair, are often REALLY good), vari-sized Dredds, some shorter thrills (Grey Area & Sinister Dexter) and the return of Indigo Prime.

A selection of those, in order of most to least thrilling...


Judge Dredd: The Heart is a Lonely Klegg Hunter
(1888-1889)
Script: Rob Williams
Art: Chris Weston
Colours: Michael Dowling
Letters: Annie Parkhouse


Non-Wagner Dredd sometimes suffers by comparison, but here's the proof that it can be done, and done blindingly well.  We follow a day in the life of Sensitive Klegg (a periodically recurring character) and find that things aren't going well for him and seem to be getting worse - even to the extent that he might be in danger of giving in to his baser desires.

This is not just a beautiful tale by Rob Williams, but sublimely realized by the real treat of Chris Weston on art duties.  Here's a thrill that makes us feel bad for all the non-Squaxx out there who just don't get to experience it.




Tharg's 3rillers: Colony
(1880-1882)
Script: Kek-W
Art: Vince Locke
Colours: Adam Brown
Letters: Ellie De Ville


A cross between John Carpenter's The Thing and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Colony is set in the harsh world of a soviet gulag.  It's a blend of bleak dystopian hardships and pulp sci-fi one liners ("T-They're all over me!  Imperialists from outer space!") that works really well in this short format. 




Indigo Prime: Perfect Day
(1880-1887)
Script: John Smith
Art: Lee Carter
Letters: Simon Bowland


You can't accuse it of being dull - either in terms of action or art (and Lee Carter's art is beyond compare), but Indigo Prime suffers from a sense of impenetrability which seems as if it's probably deliberate (no spoon-feeding here) yet also perhaps a side effect of having such a large cast spread out over multiple realities.

Not to spoil the plot but there's a blend of Nazis and dark gods that sets up a cliffhanger threat (so that this entire series is just a preamble): which might set one to think that it's an easy fix for Indigo Prime - just shut down the reality that's having the problem - but then only Smith knows how this multiverse operates, so perhaps it's some kind of omni-threat. (Most thrills don't involve us asking questions this bizarre.)

While trying to follow the dimensional shenanigans, it was jarring to accept the switch to Monty Python level comedy with OAP combat robot pilots complaining about their lumbago and absent-mindedly wondering if they left the oven on (whilst still trying to care about the fate of the IP operatives who are in mortal danger). 

Summary: it's beautiful to look at but sometimes frustrating to follow.




Judge Dredd: Shooters Night
(1879-1882)
Script: John Wagner
Art: John McCrea
Colours: Chris Blythe
Letters: Annie Parkhouse


The ambiguity of the missing titular apostrophe drives the plot forward as Dredd attempts to solve a case and thereby stop a planned mass shooting.  Generally the art serves the tale well, but there are a couple of confusing compositions (like a sudden draw down at the end of the second episode that seems to come out of nowhere, or an entire page framed against Dredd confronting a perfectly well perp that was bleeding out in a previous frame).

Summary: a great build up with a tricky third-act that is hampered by some unusual storytelling.




Grey Area: Nearer My God To Thee
(1884-1888)
Script: Dan Abnett
Art: Mark Harrison
Letters: Annie Parkhouse


New employee Birdy, having started a sexual relationship with her line manager (Adam Bulliet), is finding it difficult to adjust when he gets a promotion to head of department.  She becomes increasingly jealous as a new and glamerous female CEO (Lyra Hallard) seems to be taking up a lot of Adam's time.  Birdy becomes convinced that they're having an affair and (despite planning to keep their relationship a secret from the rest of the team) she spends a lot of her work day complaining to her colleagues about feeling sidelined.

When Adam finds out about her continual jealous digs to colleagues he decides to resolve the problem by passionately kissing Birdy in front of all the other employees, then expletively berating her ("Now get your shit in order...") before getting on with the day's business (of nuking an interplanetary god-being intent on the destruction of Earth).

The series ends on a cliffhanger, as we don't know whether Birdy will attain feminist enlightenment, lodge a complaint with HR or feel economically and societally restrained to continue in the role of subserviant chattel.  (Plus, it seems as if the team might have died in a nuclear inferno.)




---

One line mini-reviews:

Judge Dredd: A Night in Sylvia Plath - a jolly romp featuring Walter and Mrs Gunderson.
Judge Dredd: Traumatown - a solid 5-part thrill reminscent of The Haunting of Sector House 9.
Terror Tales: Done Deal - an exceptionally wrought setting (high-rise, working class) with a despairing twist.
Tharg's 3rillers: In Seconds Flat - fun, fast moving time twister that's as dumb as a bag of hammers.
Future Shocks: The Name of the Law - an intriguing tale of dark assistance hampered by a smelly closet reveal.
Tharg's Time Twisters: Burping Hitler - uhm ... there's something distasteful about making Hitler fun.
Sinister Dexter: The Generican Dream: Congo - Sin & Dex continue to circle endlessly around Moses Tanenbaum.
Judge Dredd: Student Bodies - a mean-spirited tale of mutie prejudice with a gloomy resolution.
Tharg's 3rillers: Voodoo Planet - unrelenting horror and the elimination of hope makes for a bit of a bummer. 

5
Off Topic / Re: Squaxx Telling Jokes
« on: 13 June, 2019, 10:12:29 pm »
What do you call a man with 20 rabbits up his bum?

Warren

6
Film & TV / Re: Swamp Thing cancelled
« on: 13 June, 2019, 10:10:27 pm »

7
Film & TV / Re: Swamp Thing cancelled
« on: 13 June, 2019, 02:24:18 am »
As an Irish man, I dream of having a lover who grows spuds out of their body for my sexual gratification. And pisses whiskey.

[Starts taping on tatties and drinking a bottle of malt.]  You asked for it...

8
Prog / Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« on: 13 June, 2019, 02:16:24 am »
2014 (2nd Quarter Kick-Off)

A really strong line up of thrills (three of the old guard, one new and one spin-off) feels fresh after the previous quarter languished too heavily in the past.

The cover of prog 1874 lines them up for us: Slaine, Dredd, Sinister Dexter, Outlier and Jaegir.  In order of most to least thrilling...


Judge Dredd: Mega-City Confidential
(1874-1878)
Script: John Wagner
Art: Colin MacNeil
Colours: Chris Blythe
Letters: Annie Parkhouse


A beautifully wrought thriller from Wagner in which he deftly juggles the Justice Department as fascist surveillance operation with Dredd as partly just a cog in the machine.

Colin MacNeil renders a noirish nightmare where almost everything is framed askew and Justice is a dark silhouette preying on the citizens.

The only bittersweet part of such a top notch thrill is the knowledge that Wagner is writing less and less Dredd: nobody else can quite grasp the blend of cop procedural and noir nuance that is modern Wagner Dredd.

 


Slaine: The Brutania Chronicles: Book One: A Simple Killing
(1874-1886)
Script: Pat Mills
Art: Simon Davis
Letters: Ellie De Ville


Slaine returns with mutton chops and beard, looking a bit more middle-aged than in previous incarnations and therby providing a sense of time (in a tale that has sometimes seemed stuck in a cycle).  The drune lords and their skull sword troops are back as a threat, and Slaine finds himself on a quest to save Sinead (a recent aquaintance) from their evil clutches.

The art from Simon Davis is absolutely belting, and Mills does a good job of keeping the action moving (even if, a bit like the norse myths, his Slaine tales lack some continuity).  There are also hilarious moments, like when a nonchalantly peeing giant asks Slaine if he is stuck because he hasn't run away yet.  It's really difficult to choose an image to show, because the art throughout is just a joy, but here's Slaine panicking as Sinead is infected by evil magic that turns her into a twisted version of a mermaid:




Jaegir: Strigoi
(1874-1879)
Script: Gordon Rennie
Art: Simon Coleby
Colours: Len O'Grady
Letters: Simon Bowland


Just when you thought it was safe to take off the chem mask, Kapiten-Inspector Atalia Jaegir of the Nordland State Security Police suddenly kicks back open the door to the Rogue-verse with a darkly atmospheric horror story about once proud warriors mutating into homicidal monsters.

Historically, we've been bereft of a series set in this universe since The 86ers (2009), so this was unexpected and a great surprise.  Simon Coleby does a (spookily) beautiful job of bringing it to life, whether rendering Nort hoppers against leaden skies or enraged bears in gloomy forests.  Top thrill!




Outlier
(1874-1883)
Script: T.C. Eglington
Art: Karl Richardson
Letters: Annie Parkhouse


This sci-fi thriller has us following Carcer, a sort of intergalactic private eye (with magic ... eyes), who finds himself up against an unstoppable hi-tech assassin bent on revenge.  Because of the back-story, the only flaw here is that the protagonist takes something of a back seat and serves more as a mugaffin than a hero.  That's probably fine if this is just a one-off thrill: but it would be difficult to see why we'd want the follow-up adventures of Carcer.

Karl Richardson does an amazing job of depicting all the intergalactic mayhem and body-morping.




Sinister Dexter: The Generican Dream: Gun Shy
(1874-1879)
Script: Dan Abnett
Art: Smudge
Letters: Ellie De Ville


A strained allegory, increasingly forced puns and shallow characters mostly fail to land and so struggle to propel this shaggy dog story as it stupidly wags from scene to scene.

I'm not sure what can be done to revive Sinister Dexter: it used to be quite compelling - and one of the key characters was the city of Downlode.  But then the Moses plot got stretched out over years of drip-fed plotting, bringing in and then dismantling multiple dimensions until it felt like it had truly run its course.  Now it feels like the tail end of Ace Trucking: running on fumes.


9
General / Re: Space Spinner 2000AD
« on: 11 June, 2019, 01:04:11 am »
1986 - a tricky year, with some sense of slowdown.

Best Art: Judge Dredd, Riders On The Storm
Brendan McCarthy does Dredd.  Surreal, exciting, fresh: and it works.

Best Writing: Judge Dredd, Letter From A Democrat
The sense that something's wrong with Justice Department.  It's like the strip matures right here.

Best Overall Thrill: The Ballad Of Halo Jones, Book Three
Just hands down the best thrill in the prog for the entire year.  It's up against Rage: but Rage is comparatively one-note, and drags a bit at 21 episodes.  Halo Jones has gravity and leaves you wanting more.

Honorable Mentions:

Judge Dredd, The Warlord: Cam Kennedy doing the good stuff on a taught supernatural thriller.
Strontium Dog, Rage: a bitter tragedy, a bleak western.
Anderson Psi Division, The Possessed: amazing work from Brett Ewins.
Nemesis the Warlock Book Six, Torquemurder: Bryan Talbot lifts up a bizarre fantasy.
Metalzoic: Kevin O'Neill and a unique concept from Mills.
Judge Dredd, Atlantis: Brit-Cit judges and more gorgeous art from McCarthy.

10
Film & TV / Re: Game of Thrones: the last series [SPOILERS]
« on: 10 June, 2019, 10:26:44 pm »
I agree with the comments that those who thought Daenerys' actions were out of character hadn't been paying attention. She had definitely done bad stuff before.

One of my colleagues was upset with the direction the show took with Daenerys, and they said "I might as well just chuck my action figure in the trash now".  (I know: adult throws toys away in churlish fit.)

I think this is telling because (for my colleague) Daenerys had become their hero, and when your hero goes off and bombs Dresden it's uncomfortable.  In that regard, the show's way more (subtly) subversive than Starship Troopers in that it succeeded in making a lot of the audience fall in love with a tyrant.

The fact that she decides to take out the civilian population is foreshadowed in an earlier episode when she makes the argument to Tyrion that they should have overthrown Cersei themselves.  She's already blaming them as complicit: as enemies.

11
Links / Re: Youtube Gold
« on: 06 June, 2019, 03:27:08 am »
One of the hosts of the incredibly popular and successfull youtube channel/pop culture media empire Collider threw an extraordinarily childish and unprofessional on-air wobbly the other day, all because he didn't get invited to the opening of the Star Wars Disneyland attraction, and it's an absolute doozy - literally a 40 year old man throwing a very public tantrum because he didn't get to go to Disneyland while other, less popular (so in his mind less deserving) pop culture reporters did:

https://youtu.be/X7vSb7zWoB8

Things then get even more excruciating as he goes on to have a blazing row with his producer after he, in a sulk, refuses to cover the park opening on the show he is hosting and even threatens to walk off:

https://youtu.be/S0c2yStVC3A

12
Off Topic / Re: Basic Argumentation, And The Causing Of Offence
« on: 06 June, 2019, 01:20:30 am »
I've heard of Slipknot, so they must be better.

13
Off Topic / Re: Basic Argumentation, And The Causing Of Offence
« on: 05 June, 2019, 04:50:40 pm »
then why is it so hard to say "No, not you"…?

This seems to be the crux of the dilemma. So (without rancor, and hoping that you don't mind) I think I have an answer that satisfies me.  (And yes, I'm deliberately answering a stated rhetorical question.)

SIP said "I don't see it as constructive to call individuals out on a public forum".  So, he doesn't want to identify individuals.  If you are ON THE LIST, then he doesn't want to identify you.  If you are not ON THE LIST, then he doesn't want to narrow down the potential contents of the list by excluding you.

It's like "What did you get me for Xmas?"  I'm not telling you.  "Is it a bike?"  I'm not telling you.  "So, it's a bike?"  I'm not telling you.  "It's definitely a bike!"  I didn't say that ... [ad infinitum]

14
Film & TV / Re: Good Omens Series
« on: 05 June, 2019, 04:41:46 pm »
Oh yeah - I was coding up some stuff whilst half-watching half-listening to the episode and that blew my mind a bit.  I couldn't figure out if the episode had skipped or if time had warped ... it just turned out to be an intro the length of a normal tv show.

++Threadjacking Interlude++
Talking of long intros...

15
Off Topic / Re: Basic Argumentation, And The Causing Of Offence
« on: 05 June, 2019, 04:21:47 pm »
Catch yourself on.  "Weaselly" isn't neutral terminology - it's loaded.  You see, if you'd said he was being "evasive", then at least you'd have been being polite (although still calling into question his motives).  Once he (politely) clarified his motives, you basically called him a liar.  (He also specifically asked that you not refer to him as a weasel, but you chose to ignore him and repeat the insult.)

As for the "ignore" function: I never use it. 

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