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Messages - Frank

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 559
1
Off Topic / Re: Threadjacking!
« on: 19 October, 2019, 08:28:05 pm »
In gaming news, Blizzard fail to recognize that they've modeled their logic on the totalitarian government of the novel 1984. The controversy (in case you missed it) is that they banned a competition player (Blitzchung) for saying a slogan about the Hong Kong situation. He said: "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time".

But Blizzard's response is some of the finest double-think you could drum up. Try to get your head around it:

Quote
Every Voice Matters, and we strongly encourage everyone in our community to share their viewpoints in the many places available to express themselves. However, the official broadcast needs to be about the tournament and to be a place where all are welcome.

I read this as "Because every voice matters, you must not make any statements." Or "Someone somewhere may be offended, so we can ban you for saying anything and then later say you broke the rules." Or "Your voice is important, but not here."

The NBA are going through the same thing. There's just too much money in China to make pissing them off viable.

It's Xi Jinping's world; we just live in it.







A South Park episode which got the show banned in China has been screened on the streets of Hong Kong in protest.

The show’s recent season 23 episode Band In China, which explores how Hollywood shapes its content to avoid offending Chinese government censors, led to South Park being completely removed from the Chinese internet.

Following attention around the episode, pictures have been shared on social media of Band In China being shown on a projector screen in Hong Kong’s Sham Shui Po district. It’s unclear who set up the screening.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone are nearing what's likely to be a rich deal for the streaming rights to South Park.

Numerous companies are bidding for exclusive U.S. streaming rights to the full library, with sources confirming to The Hollywood Reporter the potential price tag of up to $500 million.

The eye-popping deal offers a considerable windfall for the show's creators, who had previously negotiated "points" in the series. Parker and Stone created South Park while in college together at the University of Colorado Boulder.  LINK & LINK




2
Books & Comics / Re: Rok the God Kickstarter
« on: 19 October, 2019, 05:05:10 pm »
Wagner just announced the new shirt sponsors will be Laser Tools. Not sure if they make tools that are lasers or tools for making lasers

Wagner and Cornwell have shared images of the shirt sponsorship and announced new tiers of the Kickstarter giving you - yes, YOU - the reader, the chance to feature as a character in the finished book.

Support the Kickstarter here:  LINK

Get your hands on the free 22 page preview comic here: LINK



3
Books & Comics / Re: New Comic Book Day Megathread
« on: 19 October, 2019, 03:13:39 pm »
Quote from: Frank
If TordelBack's identification of Time as the unifying theme in Alan Moore's corpus ...

Good job you're here to remember these things for me Sauchie lad, 'cos that's ringing no bells! Unless it was really smart, in which case, yes, yes that was me.

I remain, Sir, your obedient servant.



4
Events / Re: Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2019
« on: 19 October, 2019, 03:05:38 pm »
Rob Williams saying he regretted the way he'd killed off Gunther ...

 


Small House, Trifecta and Injection ...

Enceladus/Titan? Insurrection (Abnett, not Williams). You're a sphinx, laddie, but thanks for the (cryptic) match report. Ennis has always struck me as a decent sort.



5
Books & Comics / Re: New Comic Book Day Megathread
« on: 19 October, 2019, 09:01:58 am »
If TordelBack's identification of Time as the unifying theme in Alan Moore's corpus can be applied to John Wagner's writing, I'm saying Big W's central concern is Automata. Robots who think, act and/or think they are human and, even more interestingly, vice versa.

One of the 'things that went over your head' moments that I got from the early Spacespinner podcasts (besides Dan Dare's genocidal tendencies) was that Dredd has been robo-racist since day one. Doesn't matter whether they're slaughtering cits or kissing his boots, his contempt has been open. I defy anyone to come up with an example that goes beyond 'grudging respect'!

The Complete Judge Dredd reprinted Robot War just a few months before the debut of Mechanismo, so the themes and characterisation were maybe more apparent.

I've drifted away from Green Lantern, too. I've never enjoyed Morrison's franchise superhero work, so that's less of a surprise, but it's still sad to see how far his star has fallen. To be fair, I feel the same about Al Ewing's acclaimed Immortal Hulk most months, but he throws in a clever idea just often enough to make me think twice.



6
Books & Comics / Re: Thrillpower Overload: the missing chapters
« on: 18 October, 2019, 08:00:30 pm »




'With his long, flowing locks, Cal was clearly based on Pat Mills* - who had long, red hair.

It was an act of pure revenge on Brian's part, using his art to get his own back on Pat, who was such a control freak.

Pat had to have his finger on everything and Brian got really pissed off. Pat would often ring Brian, agonising over the artwork and using up Brian's valuable time.

They normally got on like a house on fire, but it all got too much for Brian and that's why he drew Cal to look like Pat.

Mills was furious when he found out and had Cal's look changed. It was hilariously funny to those of us in the know at the time'


Jack Adrian, quoted in Judge Dredd: The Mega-History (1995), by Colin M Jarman & Peter Acton


DOUBLE DUNT


A rare glimpse of Sixgun, the Garth Ennis & Will Simpson cowboy strip that was advertised as appearing in the short-lived Revolver, but never saw the light of day.

Thanks to Will Simpson for sharing. He describes the strip as an early version of something Ennis would go on to do better later in his career, which presumably means Ennis recycled some ideas from Sixgun for Preacher in the same way elements of his Hellblazer run were reworked to provide the origin of Jesse's VOICE.





* In the same publication, Bolland claims the script specified Cal should look like John Hurt in I, Clavdivs, but that he hadn't seen that show so based Cal on Hurt's character in The Naked Civil Servant instead. Bolland claims the reason he hadn't seen I, Claudius was he didn't have a TV at the time, although Naked Civil Servant was only broadcast a year earlier, so who can say where the truth lies?

7
Books & Comics / Re: New Comic Book Day Megathread
« on: 18 October, 2019, 05:57:47 pm »
Funnily enough, the awfulness of this scene didn't even register too strongly - I think I was already bored at that stage!

That lower-case lettering is a brave stylistic choice. Trying to keep with the Bat-related theme (i), I only just read Wagner & Ezquerra's Batmanator story in Legends Of The Dark Knight #101, which made an interesting companion piece to the former's current Dredd storyline (ii)

If TordelBack's identification of Time as the unifying theme in Alan Moore's corpus can be applied to John Wagner's writing, I'm saying Big W's central concern is Automata. Robots who think, act and/or think they are human and, even more interestingly, vice versa.

An actual new comic (iii) I've been reading is Coffin Bound (Image), by Dan Watters (iv) and Dani (v). Dani's the perfect midpoint between Sin City era Miller and Carol Swain, which means she handles the character work and dialogue scenes as well as the guns, boobs and vintage autos as wide as oil tankers barreling along desert highways.

What interests me is Watters' writing style. I remember Dawson's Creek supremo Kevin Williamson explaining the reason the characters didn't speak like real teenagers was because his When Harry Met Sally dialogue expressed how their hearts would speak (vi). Watters appears to be doing something similar, but for gimp-masked elemental spirits.

While the plot and visuals can be enjoyed as an action movie, everyone - from the sidekick with a birdcage for a head to self-skinning strippers - speaks in a heightened cod-Shakesperian register, making existential digressions while disgorging the contents of their TEC-9s, like Damon Runyan's mock-eloquent low life characters in a John Woo movie.

It's a really fun contrast - even if I'm not sure whether the cringey sixth-form philosophical digressions are deliberately comic or not - and a great way to put meat on the bones of straightforward action and plotting. It's an approach I could see working well in the context of action-oriented 2000ad stories like Andi Ewington's recent 3riller, which leave some readers feeling short-changed.


(i) ... but ignoring the 'new' descriptor in the thread title. The comic was new to me, at least.

(ii) ... and Spektor, now I come to think of it.

(iii) in the sense that it's not 20 years old

(iv) whose ancestors, presumably, were Glaswegian

(v) whose parents ran out of ink before they could complete her birth certificate

(vi) no, really

8
Off Topic / Re: Threadjacking!
« on: 17 October, 2019, 07:03:17 pm »
In gaming news, Blizzard fail to recognize that they've modeled their logic on the totalitarian government of the novel 1984. The controversy (in case you missed it) is that they banned a competition player (Blitzchung) for saying a slogan about the Hong Kong situation. He said: "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time".

But Blizzard's response is some of the finest double-think you could drum up. Try to get your head around it:

Quote
Every Voice Matters, and we strongly encourage everyone in our community to share their viewpoints in the many places available to express themselves. However, the official broadcast needs to be about the tournament and to be a place where all are welcome.

I read this as "Because every voice matters, you must not make any statements." Or "Someone somewhere may be offended, so we can ban you for saying anything and then later say you broke the rules." Or "Your voice is important, but not here."

The NBA are going through the same thing. There's just too much money in China to make pissing them off viable.

It's Xi Jinping's world; we just live in it.



9
IIRC, there are several pages in Book III - maybe a whole episode? - that the Biz did s/s rather than the usual half up, which is why the lettering suddenly got bigger. In the unlikely event somebody reunited all the originals for an artist's edition, that would be make for an odd moment in the book!

Interesting; thanks. Just two pages, as far as I can see:





10
Prog / Re: Prog 2153 - All Hail El Presidente
« on: 16 October, 2019, 06:24:08 pm »



BLUE BALLS


MacNeil's probably had enough praise to last him a lifetime, but his art this episode is some of the most beautiful work I've seen in more than thirty years of exceptional storytelling.

At Wagner's talk in Dundee, he gestured to Cam Kennedy and MacNeil, sitting beside him, and said if he knew they or Carlos were drawing a strip he could relax and type a script direction like TAKE A PAGE OR TWO AND DO US SOMETHING NICE.

I can imagine something similar featured in this week's Word doc, during Dredd's journey to the Humanista camp. MacNeil's bold inking style turns out to be ideally suited to natural forms, whether that's tortured tree bark, jaguars, mangrove swamp or those huge underground caverns that feature in nature documentaries about the Yucatan peninsula.

Also worthy of a mention in dispatches is MacNeil and Wagner's fellow shortbread and tartan teatowel lover, SK Moore, who appears to have relaxed and learned to trust that his excellent line art will work on its own considerable merits.

Moore's previous tryout for Defoe employed a bolder, woodcut style. I wonder if the previous episodes' Photoshoppery was maybe the result of an insecurity that he needed to offer something more? He needn't have worried, because the balance struck here between the filigreed draughtsman's plan of the Albion and the more graphic shapes relying on sharp contrast between black and white to describe form is masterful.

On this trajectory, Moore's on course to rendezvous with Trevallion and Culbard in the orbit of the untouchable D'Israeli amid the constellation of Tharg's universe reserved for stylists who will never draw Slaine but can be trusted to create compelling fantasy worlds with distinctive tech and grotesque characters.




 

11
I really think we must be reaching saturation point with some of these re-releases. The pool of potential customers who are even aware of something like Slaine is relatively small, and when you factor in the fact that most of them probably own at least one version already, there can't be much of a market out there.

Mills said his royalty statement showed Tharg pocketing £2587.30 from Hachette's Horned God.

Whether you assume Tharg was on 10, 50 or 90 percent from Hachette, that's only a few thousand sales for a two quid book that was advertised on telly and available in more newsagents and comic shops than 2000ad.

A few thousand sales of Tharg's own version (at 20 quid) wouldn't be nothing, but you have to assume it's going to sell significantly less*


* Since I quoted figures provided by 2000ad's bridge-burning founding genius, he'd want me to point out that he and the Biz are on 5% each from reprints - so, depending on which of the assumptions above are correct, the cheque El Posthombre drops off at Casa Gaffer could be a few hundred quid or even less than the Hachette payday

12
Film & TV / Re: Scorsese makes Joker movie - or The Death of Culture
« on: 16 October, 2019, 10:12:02 am »
Caught Crispin Glover's thoughts on it all - very interesting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qWdoHBmTJM

I haven't seen all of the Marvel movies, but it seems difficult to argue that Thor: Ragnarok, for example, is legitimising US foreign policy*

Glover, presumably, has the Avengers movies in mind, which provide an easy analogue for the last 80 years of calamitous and often self-defeating interventionism.

But then you have Cap 2: ARE WE THE BADDIES? and Tony Stark 3's prescient observation that we were all hatin' on a trust fund fantasist wanking to CD-ROM porn in a cave while the real threat to democracy came from tech bros in Northern California** 


* Although Professor Bear could do so easily. Anything that depicts superior strength as conferring moral superiority is problematic, I suppose. But that's quite vague and applies to everything except Woody Allen movies, which have problems of their own.

** At the time, I thought Guy Pearce's ugly nerd who gives himself a makeover and becomes a preening, hate-fueled narcissist obsessed with literal and metaphorical power was just a generic villain. Then I read about Elon Musk.

13
Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 13 October, 2019, 12:26:02 pm »
Netflix’s Apostle

or, as all the cool kids are calling it ...


WELSH BONE TOMAHAWK


See also: The Wickermen Of Harlech. I was interested in this as overspill from the Dredd3D covfefe, it being directed by Gareth Evans, the Indonesian filmmaker with the Welshest name since Ivor Pitclosure (i)

Despite the Welsh setting, Evans retains the key creative collaborators from his Raid movies, which might explain the off-centre feel of the film. That's most apparent in fight scenes, where the established tone of naturalism suddenly gives way to genre stylisation.

One of the many documentaries on Texas Chainsaw features a filmmaker remembering the panic he felt when he realised the kids who made the movie he was watching didn't know the rules of cinema - which meant anything could happen.

That's how I felt here - you can't do that to X; they've been established as a goodie - and Stevens, in particular, suffers more indignities than agents commonly allow films to inflict on male leads. Stevens makes choices regarding mannerisms that are maybe brave (ii)

The Children Of The Corn mythology's (mostly) left unexplained, which is good, but taking the same approach to the physical infrastructure of the colony - the tunnel system underpinning it - makes for some odd transitions at first.

Those sudden transitions from one world to another reflect the nature of the film. One minute you're in a Victorian detective story, then suddenly you're watching From Usk Till Dawn (or Se7ern), which makes the storytelling feel a little uneven.

That jumble of ideas and narrative shunts (iii) mean The Apostle feels like a first film, although one that looks absolutely fantastic and is otherwise very well made. On that basis, I'm keen to see what Evans & Co do next and would recommend this to fans of the horror genre(s), but maybe not The Raid.
 

Netflix





(i) The Land Of His Fathers flung money at this - in the form of tax breaks, I assume - so Victorian Wales is a picture postcard and the valleys never more green. That and the casting of Stevens might see Netflix's algorithm pimp this to Downton fans, which would be a hoot.

(ii) in the Sir Humphrey sense

(iii) The music, too. The score's great, but the diagetic music is very much what Indonesian composers imagine Welsh Victorians might play - guitar-led variations on the zydeco or bluegrass they've heard in Westerns, rather than the popular ballads, folk or music hall and austere instrumentation Britons of that period suffered.

14
Film & TV / Re: Scorsese makes Joker movie - or The Death of Culture
« on: 12 October, 2019, 09:50:51 pm »
... to say it's low art in Kareem's case

As he makes clear, Kareem loves Marvel movies. He says he pities Scorsese for never experiencing them.

Like I say, I think your problem is with the terms he adopts*


* I'm not sure I like them either - specifically, the binary opposition they imply. But I don't think anyone would seriously argue with the definitions he provides - just the (apparent) linguistic privileging of one over the other. As KAJ says in his brilliant piece, the very best films - his examples are The Third Man, The Godfather, 2001 and Chinatown - are a mixture of both.

15
Film & TV / Re: Scorsese makes Joker movie - or The Death of Culture
« on: 12 October, 2019, 09:33:18 pm »
The idea that Marvel films are not 'cinema' is the issue some have with the sentiment. Cinema's origins are rooted in populist entertainment – films that were very rudimentary and centred around the basic thrill of the illusion but looked down upon by the literati as not being 'art'.

It was later film practitioners and their critics films who elevated it to café society but the basic entertainment aspect of cinema does not go away and it's no less of a theme-park ride than it was when Martin Scorsese was a nipper watching Epics, Westerns and B-movies which, as a practioner and critic himself, he now eulogises.

Regret posting that Scorsese quote. This board is no place for old men who think everything was better when they were young.



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