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Author Topic: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread  (Read 110381 times)

Funt Solo

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #840 on: 02 October, 2019, 10:18:23 pm »
I loved 13/Thirteen - a real favorite.

I really wanted Bec & Kawl to work, but never really engaged that strongly with it.

I wish Tor Cyan had remained as a side character in Mercy Heights, and that there'd been no explanation as to why he looked like a G.I., or that if there had to be an origin story it would have nothing to do with Rogue Trooper. 

So many hospital dramas abandoned...
fate amenable to change

AlexF

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #841 on: 14 October, 2019, 11:10:44 am »
Yeah, Sci Fi hospital dramas really ought to work in 2000AD - I wonder if the problem is that no writers in a position to deliver such a strip have actually worked as medical professionals or even in a hospital setting - I think it's one of those things where you need a bit of real-world knowledge to bring a story to life.

Anyway, on to Prog 1300 and beyond - thrills are going to start ramping up, I'm sure of it!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #842 on: 18 October, 2019, 09:32:08 pm »


Sorry I've been away so long, not quite sure how that happened I only read Walt Simonson's Orion and three weeks seems to have past anyway back to business...

Anyway, on to Prog 1300 and beyond - thrills are going to start ramping up, I'm sure of it!

Damn right they do. Okay so I could bleat on and on about how I don't like it when we only have three thrills, but that'll get tired quickly during these times I suspect. So can we just accept that I think a good launch Prog is all about showing the strength of the Prog through its diversity and move on can we...

oh you have... okay ...

Anyway the three thrills in Prog 1300 are absolute stonkers. Dredd's 'Blood and Duty' by our current Dredd providers Wagner and MacNeil show us just how long they have been at the very top of their game. This is just brilliant. Wagner doing his still and socially impedent Joe this time facing his greatest fear family affection. Its masterful and neatly resolves an issue discussed somewhere in these parts recently just how did Rico have a young daughter if he'd be serving 20 on Titan. Just classic stuff.

As to be honest Wagner and Ezquerra's Roadhouse openning. Tight fine action, buoyed by tight fine dialogue and wonderfully lack there of when needed and then we fall into a world of... well we'll get to that.

These stalwards are joined by a new thrill... well of course its not as VCs comes back after.... well a very long time 20 plus years. Now I'll say it here and be done I'm assuming if you look back to the early days of this thread you'll see I'm that rarest of beasts a non-fan of the first VCs story. This return however is something I've really been looking forward to as I recall Dabnett makes it an absolute delight and this opener suggest I won't be disappointed. Okay so this strip is so associated in my mind with Anthony Williams that I forgot that Henry Flint did this first story (pretty unforgivable I know) that seeing his glorious art was quite a shock and once I'd settled into it a very nice one of course. This strip just goes to show that you can hand a strip onto totally new creators and they can both keep it in the vein of the original but us it in very different ways. This time giving it tight plotting and characters!

Anyway what a lovely return to the Prog and with another example of handing a strip to new creators and them making it an utter success joins this line up next time as Grennie and Staz Johnson start a run on Rogue Trooper I remember far more fondly than the original. So up and up and ... well yes Bison but maybe I'll talk more about that in a bit but boy the openner to that is hard reading!

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #843 on: 20 October, 2019, 09:14:49 pm »
Just a quickie, issue 1305 in a nice little two parter by Grennie called 'Give me liberty' (block declares independance) we get reference to he who can't be named Sc*j*.

So the forum is creeping into life in the Prog. Certainly the first time I've noticed...I think... cool.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #844 on: 22 October, 2019, 09:25:50 pm »


Haven't done one of these for a while but its time for some quick thoughts on the run up to 1313

1. Roadhouse is a pretty good, but not great Strontium Dog

2. But why did it look weird in black and white? Black and white Carlos is great... but this looked weird to my eyes for some reason?

3. NuOldRogue wasn't as good as I remember. Think this run of shorts sets up plot lines that will see Grennie Trooper find its feet. Its just not there yet

4. Simon Coleby is back in the Prog after a very long time (or it certainly feels like it)

5. This art is in a very weird place between the early very different stuff and the new magnifcent stuff... its kinda cluttered at this point.

6. NuVCs is a lot short than I remember (and the Henry Flint art) but its solid, gripping and tight. I enjoyed this ... but a bit like NuOldRogue not quite as much as I remember. I think this one develops also.

7. Its not all nostaglia thrills there's Bison too...

8. Its not as bad as the first episode made it appear it would be...

9.... but its still pretty bad. Placing a 90s 2000ad male macho charmless dick hero into a female's body does not make them interesting.

10. Placing a 90s 2000ad female macho charmless dick of a villian into a man body does not make them interesting... essentially the gender swopping might have been a good way to take a story.... just not this story. So utterly lacking in character.

11. There so great Dredd during this time I'm particularly fond of A Tree Grows in Elia Kazan in Prog 1302, though maybe Siku's art isn't the most appropriate.

12. Mind we get Mike McMahon back in Prog 1308's Voice Off... not the best story alas.

13. Steve Parkhouse on Sinister Dexter = WAYHEY

14. The rest of Sinister Dexter is pretty fun here too.

15. Scrap is a bit weird... not in the interesting way I just don't quite know what to make of it. Which I think can be said for a lot of early Spurrioso work for Tharg.

16. I forgot to mention Staz Johnson on Rogue Trooper. I think he does an astonishing job on the episodes he does. At times you see the Gibbons, at times you see the Wilson, at times you see the Ewins but you also always see the Johnson (giggle) an astonishing balancing act.

17.... there's almost certainly a 17 but I'm getting a bit bored now.

18. If you've made it this far I imagine you are to... so we go and do something else... I might get some ice cream...

This has been a solid run of Progs. Maybe not quite living up to the expectation set in 1300 and 1301 but solidly entertaining all the same... not the final run of the year... with I think a bit of a fav of mine starting and I think some solid back up... lets see if we can end the year in a high (seas).

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #845 on: 23 October, 2019, 10:07:59 pm »


Matt Smith - the writers Andy Diggle?

A wee while ago I commented how though I have significent issues with Andy Diggles time as Tharg's little helper the one crowning trimpuh its diffiuclt to ignore is the raft of fresh artistic blood he brought to the Prog. His brief tenure was an incredible period of new artistic talent.

The question I'm now forming in my mind based on Prog 1313 is whether Matt Smith is going to do the same thing with writers. Already in his sort time tending to Tharg's ever need we're seen Si Spurrioso steps up from Future Shocks (and the like). Al Ewing is given to us. Then in Prog 1313 we get a one two hit.

Firstly Rob Williams makes his bow with a ... well slighty disorientating opening part to Asylum. Things gets better after this and I think maybe we're meant to be a bit exposed and wondering here. But hey ROB WILLIAMS everyone.

An altogether more confident debut is made by Ian Edginton. Now I believe our Edge had been working on US comics and so maybe its no surprise its such an accomplished start. But wow the opening to Red Seas is fantastic (and it gets better) and lets be honest as I've said before if the first story you flop in front of Tharg to serve his organ is call 'Red Seas - Under the Banner of King Death' you know the pitch is in and its all gravey from there. Just a brilliant title and its all before Pirates of the Caribeen. This is one of my all time fav thrills and its a magnificent start.

Anyway much to talk about coming out of the all new thrills 1313. but I'll come back to lap at Thargs thrill teat later. For now we are on a watching brief to see if Matt Smith brings more ecribes our way.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #846 on: 25 October, 2019, 09:25:35 pm »


So there we have it 2002 ends with a very solid line up. The debut writer's stories continue as they started really... well okay Red Seas does just an effortlessly confident fully formed strip that capture hijink, high adventure and Devil may care* just wonderfully. Its such a great story and the art by the Mighty Yeowell if sublime.

Asylum finds firmer ground, but at times it feels well trodden. There one episode in the middle there that is very Nemesis, or more Torquemada I suppose. At times it spins off a little, but never too far. The art by Boo Cook is a little fussy at this stage for my tastes but I see why people love it.

All this is supported by some very nice Wagner Dredd, ability assisted by GRennie finding his Dredd voice quite nicely. There a very silly and deeply entertaining Sinister Dexter story that I have a soft spot as or dastardly duo blast off with Billi and a detailed space pilot into deep space hi-jinks.

There's that word again. Hi-jinks is a good word to describe the last few issues of 2002. Everything seems to have relaxed a little and to be enjoying itself. That's not to say its disposible, just fun and thrilling...

...maybe Past Imperfect takes that relaxation a little too far coming across as lazy. The concept of a twist in history its consequences just makes for slightly predictable stuff and another attempt by Tharg to put a spin on the one off that just feels to restrict things a little too much for its own good.

But its barely important enough to put a dampener on this lovely end to the year.

And so there we are end of the year, which can only mean one thing next time...

*[Normalfontsize] And indeed he did, didn't he [\Normalfontsize]

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #847 on: 26 October, 2019, 05:43:40 pm »


2002 - The same different hands

Let's look through the 'Last Year Predictions' shaped window shall we.

Quote
As I recall 2002 will be another mixed bag as Matt Smith finds his mojo. I think Dante all but leaves us and they'll be some rough with the smooth. Mind have to say recent 'Thrill of the Future' give me hope that this might not be as rocky as I remember it in my old addled noggin. Lets find out together huh.

I'm getting good at this prediction game as I think I got that pretty spot on. Its still a bit rocky, but not as rocky as 2001. Which is pretty impressive when you consider the change in Tharg's little helpers, from David 'Give the man a break he did a great job' Bishop, to Andy 'Well it wasn't all that great but man look at the artist talent he brought in' Diggle, to Matt 'Developing into the greatest wielder of Tharg's Organ ever' Smith. There's been a change in owner from someone who didn't care, to Rebellion who have cared as much as most of us.... and are minted so can prove it! A change in location came with that from London to Oxford.

That's a lot to deal with so while 1999 was a Zenith as David 'See above' Bishop just found the magic formula and got the Prog singing, a slight bit of upheaval is to be expected. That said the transition from Andy 'See above' Diggle to Matt 'You got it by now' Smith is actually very smooth and feels more like a continuation of growth and development.

The artist stable well and truly bolstered, Matt Smith seems to focus on getting fresh writing talent in, or making more use of those with their feet already in the door. The strips could be said to call a little too much on the safety net of nostgalia. Rogue back, VCs back, Bad Company back, but that is understandable. Matt is pretty young at this point, but uses these old time favourites to actually provide a good foundation to launch an exciting number of fantastic new strips. Shakara and Red Seas being the most notable. There is also a nice trend on multiple episode single run stories which really adds to the spice.

This mix is helpful as both Wagner Dredd and Dante are less present than previous years. Mind Matt Smith has the good sense to call Sinister Dexter back up to regular duty. The mix in 2002 is just so exciting and energetic. Of course there's some absolute clunkers in there, but in a mix like this, in the year of thrills that provides that's so much more acceptable than the previous year...

... you know the more I type the more I think that its not just a steady period of growth and development its a step change and 2002 is a real stride forward. A confident first step from a new head of Thrills.

As for a look ahead. Well I'm expecting 2003 to be much of the same. The thrills of the future of late emphasis that. VCs (with Anthony Williams as expected in my mind!) alongside Callabistics Inc. We'll still have limited Dante (I think) but Sinister Dexter will do a stirling shift. There's a few multi-part one offs I think are coming, so I fully expect the same exciting energetic mix, peppered with missteps it will be easy to forgive.

I'm really excited to find out and so without much more a do I'd better get to the nerd cave and dig into that rich 2003 vein. Thanks 2002 its been fun... but I think 2003 will really get the size and shape of things right quickly...

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #848 on: 27 October, 2019, 08:05:56 am »
Size matters

2003 has already disappointed. When digging them out the nerdcave I fully expected them to have swelled to full and proper size. Sure maybe a little shorter but it the width that makes them feel so much more substancial when in hand. Alas Tharg's Organ 2003 continues to be slighty disappointing in size. Still its want you do with it I guess.

broodblik

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #849 on: 27 October, 2019, 08:19:11 am »
This is the point from where I have over time purchased all the digital versions. Even the size on the digital versions just did not work for me  :D

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #850 on: 27 October, 2019, 09:21:55 pm »


Prog 1323

whow what's all this skipping Prog 2003ad... well yes and here's why. Its a fine Prog, lots of content and most of it good, but its just that, its just a Prog. Where as Prog 2000ad, 2001ad and 2002ad felt more like annuals, big special things, typically with an old long lost thrill or two returning, Prog 2003ad truly became the annual Prog of the future the launch of the new year with all its thril... well hold on it doesn't even do that.

In Prog 2003 are:

Dredd - Start of Aliens cross over Incubus
VCs - Wonderful one off
Rogue Trooper - decent world building one off
Slaine - Starting the first book of invasion
Sinister Dexter - Text short story - one off
Nikolai Dante - First part of Hell and High Water but curiously a prologue that serves as a one off if needed
Caballistics Inc - New thrill which I've no doubt I'll be talking more about in the future
Banzai Battalion - One off
Some lovely text filler

So while both Sinister Dexter and Nikolai Dante will appear next week, Dante even carrying on the story in this issue, only three of the stories really spring forward from here. Its a great solid Prog much like the annuals of old... and I've said that before haven't I and I'm contradicting myself from above. Its infact really like the annuals of old in that its like a Now record pulling together all the hits from last year, rather than a greatest hits from the past.

Now by the time we get to Prog 1323 the first batch of thrills is truly in full swing and we learn a little about setting things up for the future something rotten (or just plain rotten in some folks eyes...).

Incubus is we can now see as the disposible fun it is. Caballistics Inc is referencing Doctor Who and settling in fine. Slaine 'Moloch' is reminding me that where as many see this as the redemption of Slaine for me it still doesn't work... I might come back to talk about this shortly. Dante 'Hell and Highwater' is quickly shaping into the mini-classic I don't think many recognise it as, again very possibly more soon.

And then we get Sinister Dexter in a bit of a favourite of mine. 'Relode' as our gun totting murder monarchs blast into a Downlode of the past via a lovely Asterix tribute. Now why is this significent well in this 15 year older Downlode we still have Holy Mose Tanenbaum and this will come back to haunt our anti-heroes in ways that will be fascinating... well to me at least.

I love the whole alternative Moses stuff and I think the long form storytelling it crafts works really well. I'm in a minority. Now I've whittered about this in the past when I wrote a series of 'articles' for ECBT 2000ad before it became entirely belly aching* about Sinister Dexter BUT I doubt anyone remembers that nonsense. So I will be using this current platform for me whittering to note how often the required details of that storyline are recapped, to kinda prove a point - to no one but myself no doubt, this is a self absorbed re-read after all.

So yeah while I will be getting distracted and in some way Prog 1323 is a more significent Prog to me than Prog 2003ad none of that really matters. What really matters is that the year starts off with a very, very strong line up.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #851 on: 28 October, 2019, 09:28:53 pm »


I probably shouldn't do this, as while its good to analyse and think about what's good about a strip, its not healthy to think too closely about why you don't enjoy something. Its best just to let these things go... but in reading Prog 1324 I was really struck by my issues with Slaine 'Book of Invasions' for some reason. So I'll share and repent later.

Firstly I'm just no convinced by the art. Clint Langley is clearly impressive, however to my eye nothing hangs together. Nothing seems to connect. Moments are caught but don't flow together or move. In this episode there's a violent and passionate battle between Slaine and Moloch ... but it doesn't convince or have the energy it deserves. I also have an issue by how over designed and shiney all the characters are. I've said it before everyone looks like they are from a Games Workshop poster.

I find it curious as the same artist using the same style I adore on ABC Warriors. Which just goes to show being a talented artist isn't enough, you need to be an artist on the right strip for you... or more specifically of course for your audience as these things are just so subjective.

So moving on from the art I have other significent issues with the script to. The same combat, the same visceral fight has the tension shattered by the Marvelesque combat dialogue. As Moloch just has to prove just how bad he is. I mean his design makes him look soooo bad, do this words need to over emphasise. Its as if Unca Pat doesn't trust his audience. In this example its all the more frustrating by the number of wordless panels that seem to get what's needed. But rather than create balance and space here they seem to throw focus on how needless the rest is.

Now I'm quite sure Nemesis and Torquemada to exactly that as well. The difference. Well first if Torq and Nemie have done it before, very often can't Pat Mills, maestro that he can be, do something different here. In Nemesis I role with it so convinced by the meladrama and characters. Here the same thing and it grates and infuriates. Of course it also highlights the subjective pleasure in story and scripting as well.

Pat Mills sticks with his tropes so often and while he doesn't do any of this laboured politicing here he will in this series as I recall and he plays another of his tricks as well.

Slaine defeats Moloch and thus the story is in a corner. Moloch is the big bad and so can't simply be defeated and so there some really cod hand waving to move things on. Pat Mills so capable of craft and guile, of wit and imagination simple goes for.

"We should kill him."
"We can't there's rules"
"Oh okay, so like we can't"
"Oh no you can't if you break the rules the Fomorians will be pissed and take over the world"
"What they're not trying that any..."
"No, no rules and we can't"
"I mean we just had to fight a bloody great battle against them and..."
"No no can't make them angry, bad form"

And so off he goes. Now I get pissed when folks call things 'lazy writing' I mean who am I to say what effort or otherwise has gone into something... but if I was ever to sight an example....

...but again I'm sure there are similar examples in stories I love.

Finally we get the forboding at the end. I mean its all so forboding. Niamh has the chills (well she should bloody well put some clothes on then - as should Slaine, they'll both catch their deaths) cos the big badly has been released and that will lead to terrible thing... or so she feels in her bones.

What the big baddy has been released - for whatever reason - and that makes you think something bad will happen... really, what really.... Jez don't ram it down our throats okay. Again it feels as if Pat Mills doesn't trust us here and just goes for such a hamfisted and direct way of pushing information at us, at trying to force emotional impact instead of crafting it.

Anyway sorry about that, I hope you'll forgive my negativity. It unnecessary but it just struck me so hard when reading this one I wanted to get it out. Why this episode of this series I don't know but I think for two reasons. Firstly these are two creators whose work I can love in other stories and so I found my reaction here really interesting.Secondly who cares about my opinion as I think for many this is a really redemptive story for Slaine and so I'm interested in why I don't find it so. Finally I'm a mean spirited bitter old goat so sulk it up.... oh actually... no please don't... come back.... please....

Tjm86

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #852 on: 29 October, 2019, 08:07:40 am »
TBH Colin I think you pretty much nail my issues with Slaine.  It doesn't really seem to say anything new or fresh, rehashes the same ideas over and over again without really going anywhere.

I'm also in agreement on the art front.  Langley is an astounding artist and produces some fascinating work but for me it is too dense.  I struggle to follow his narrative logic which doesn't help when he is trying to make Mills' writing work.  That said, I do also have difficulties with his ABC work as well.  As a cover artist he is perfect.  It's one of the reasons I'm struggling with the most recent series of Defoe, the artwork makes the reader work too hard.

I wonder if part of this is a prejudice borne of years reading Tooth.  When you consider the artists that we have had down through the years (Bolland, Ezquerra, Gibbons, Gibson, McMahon, Wilson, Dillon, Smith, Jock, Coleby, Adlard, .... and this is just scratching the surface) their artwork has tended to do a lot of the lifting for the reader.  Even when they have been more experimental they have still retained that core need to support the reader.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not adverse to the variety that we are exposed to.  Nor do I view artists as static.  Jake Lynch is a prime example for me.  I couldn't get beside his work on Orlok but his more recent Dredd work is, for me, some of the best in the prog / meg at present.  I also agree with your point on artist to story matching.  Holden's work on the recent Traitor General story really did not work for me but I thought it was a perfect match for Counterfeit Girl.  Others may disagree and I respect their positions.

TordelBack

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #853 on: 29 October, 2019, 06:17:54 pm »
  Holden's work on the recent Traitor General story really did not work for me but I thought it was a perfect match for Counterfeit Girl. 

I agree,  PJ would indeed be a perfect match for Counterfeit Girl; alas he didn't draw it,  that was Rufus and Dom Regan.

Colin YNWA

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Re: The completely self absorbed 2000ad re-read thread
« Reply #854 on: 01 November, 2019, 09:24:33 pm »


Some quick thoughts while Dredd vs Aliens has been rambling

1. Sinister Dexter Relode finishes well and sets up so much as Moses (alternative) plots for a future (ours)

2. That laboured bit of forshadowing I mentioned last time only takes one Prog to materialise and is very unshocking alas.

3. Dredd fighting an alien atop a train and sticking a flare into its gapping maul is the highlight of Dredd vs Aliens for me.

4. I took a while to warm to Caballistics Inc first time round and this time as Going Underground ends I see why. Its solid but the scheming bad guys in the team are a little hamfisted

5. The schemes in Dante Hell and Highwater are fantastic though

6. I'm no fan of Bec and Kawl at all I'm afraid.

7. Anthony Williams is perfect for V.C.s and the opening story of this run 'Look on the Bright Side' sets a series of glorious shorts.

8. The introduction of Mr Bones in part 8 of Incubus (Dredd vs Aliens) just shows that they have been throwing things at this story which ultimately no one knows quite how to make work

9. The end of Dante - Hell and Highwater sets up a wonderful potential, yet has a curious gap about the fate of Dante's wards that I know gets resolved but I wonder if it felt so at the time this came out. Still bit of a trimuph this one.

10. I thought we were done with Tales of Telguuth and I'll be honest these latter stories with art from Jon Haward make me wish we had.

11. Atavar II goes even more hard Sci-fi (maybe I never really get the distinction between types of sci-fi that seem so important to some in these parts) as it starts and I must admit I find a delight.

12. By Prog 1330 Incubus has turned into an Aliens invading Hall of Justice story for... reasons I guess.

13. And by Prog 1331 Mechanismos turn up... for reasons I guess.

14. Caballistics Inc returns as well, and doesn't feel very different yet. Its good, not great at this point, but Dredd dragging and ToT aside this is a solid line-up

15. By Prog 1334 I even dare to suggest that Henry Flint is getting bored with Dredd vs Aliens

16. I finally have more points that Incubus has parts. A LOVELY Jock cover (I have the Aliens dropping on Dredd one) and three stories wrapping up big... but Inclubus just seems to force a tired ending out. V.C.s drops a great cliffhanger as does Atavar II so they make up the weight.

And with that we get our first relaunch of 2003 - which I'll get to after this sceduled break.