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Author Topic: Thrill-Coma 2010  (Read 17092 times)

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #120 on: 20 July, 2019, 09:18:54 pm »
His new stuff is absolutely outstanding; and I can't get enough of it. More Craddock, please, Tharg.

I don’t think that’s the sentence you meant to type…
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JayzusB.Christ

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #121 on: 21 July, 2019, 06:04:00 pm »
His new stuff is absolutely outstanding; and I can't get enough of it. More Craddock, please, Tharg.

I don’t think that’s the sentence you meant to type…


 :lol:

Oops...
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Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #122 on: 20 September, 2019, 05:05:07 am »


2015 (1st Quarter)

In order of most to least thrilling...

Judge Dredd: Dark Justice
(p2015-1921)
Script: John Wagner
Art: Greg Staples
Letters: Annie Parkhouse


The art by Greg Staples is just top drawer, out of this world, banana-balls amazing, as the four Dark Judges wreak havoc once again. It's a good story, essentially trapping Dredd, Anderson's daughter and their foes in a colony ship out in space and seeing what happens.

There are some issues in terms of the amount of knowledge expected of a long-term reader: like where Judge Death has been, why his cohort were in a wine bottle and the fact that one of the characters in the story is actually PJ Maybe. Seems tricky if a new reader needs a PHD in Dreddverse lore just to figure out what's happening. To be fair, there is an attempt to fill in some of the background in a clever bit of Basil Exposition from Anderson's daughter.

Thematically, it's difficult sometimes to marry the out and out horror of Judge Fear executing a child with the deadpan quips from an Arnie-u-like Dredd: "Hang around!" he exclaims as he hangs Mortis on a meathook. "The sentence is ... corn mash!" he shouts as he throws Judge Fire into a threshing machine. The Dark Judges have suffered sometimes from switching from terrible nightmares into vaudeville routines (see: Judgement on Gotham), and this doesn't help with that.

Perhaps, then, it's just as well that this is an eleven-episode smash and grab. That art, though...

     


Survival Geeks: Steampunk'd
(1918-1923)
Script: Emma Beeby & Gordon Rennie
Art: Neil Googe
Colours: Gary Caldwell
Letters: Simon Bowland


First appearing in the best of the Tharg's 3rillers to date in 2013, a full series of this is very welcome: it's basically a bunch of youthful geeks in an out of control house-sized Tardis.

The characters provide a great balance of motivations, from stoner ennui to scientific enquiry, and the character of other-dimensional Evan provides a sort of Lord Flashheart-style veiled antagonist to drag everyone into trouble.

There's so much here to enjoy, so that just beyond the foreground battle between giant MechaZilla and Cthulhu (a la King of Tokyo), there's a lot to be thrilled at in the idea that we've missed a bunch of adventures since we last saw the characters (see the "End of World Scenarios Visited" in the final episode). Oh, and Sam wins...




The Order
(p2015-1922)
Script: Kek-W
Art: John Burns
Letters: Annie Parkhouse


In medieval Europe a young warrior woman seeks information on her missing father, only to discover his old friends are a gang of ancient adventurers whose task is to stop evil worm-things from invading Earth from another dimension.

Each of the gang has specialties (like a pet wolf, or being good with firearms, or hallucinating an actually useful spirit guide), but the stand out is Ritterstahl, a robotic Knight's head that can be attached to corpses to hitch a (smelly, decomposing) ride. If I had one criticism it would be that there were perhaps a few too many "WURRRRMS!"




Savage, Book Nine: Grinders
(p2015-1923)
Script: Pat Mills
Art: Patrick Goddard
Letters: Ellie De Ville


It's pretty amazing that the character of Bill Savage went from being the opening thrill of the comic, then latterly an object of satire in Tharg's Head Revisited ('86) and Armoured Gideon's The Collector ('94) before resurfacing as Savage in 2004's Taking Liberties. There's a piece here where Bill looks back over his career as a freedom fighter, and there's the definite sense that he enjoys fighting: it's what he's good at - and he truly is savage.

Now, in its ninth series, we're post Volgan occupation of Britain and more strongly than ever tied into the wider Millsverse as we learn how
Howard Quartz became the brain in a robot body that we first met in Ro-Busters (in 1978's Starlord).

On the plus side, tales of body hacks and drone oppression are modern themes, expertly realized by Patrick Goddard. On the down-side, leaving the design of Quartz in place as using 1970s style phones seems anachronistic. We get to move on in some ways but perhaps wallow too much in the past in others. Is it tied to a desire from the author not to create new characters?




Orlok, Agent of East-Meg One: Eurozoned
(1912-1917)
Script: Arthur Wyatt
Art: Jake Lynch
Letters: Simon Bowland


Quite an arresting story has Orlok betray his masters for a pouch of diamonds, which leads to the title of the strip changing in the second episode to Orlok, Agent of East-Meg One Himself. Given that he's always been totes loyal, it's a development in need of investigation.

The art is a bit hit and miss, with sketchy giving in to messy in places and an incongruous visual homage to Princess Leia's donut hairstyle. Most distracting is a two-page sequence that upsets the rules of comic story-telling by screwing with the standard panel layout. When the reader is forced to have to figure out what the fnord's going on with the panel layout, you've pretty effectively removed them from their flow state:




Ulysses Sweet, Maniac For Hire: Psycho Therapist
(p2015-1917)
Script: Guy Adams
Art: Paul Marshall
Greytones: Chris Blythe
Letters: Ellie De Ville


A low-brow, gross-out attempt at broad humor that's effectively a series of oddball assassins failing to kill Sweet over and over again until the end, which is thankfully only seven episodes from the beginning. Why, Tharg? Just why? So many underpants. So much gross sexual stuff. So much stupid. Why does a flamethrower disintegrate someone's head in a nanosecond? Why does a pistol round decapitate someone?

Like the previous series, there's the sense that this was hilarious down at the pub, but we shouldn't need three pints with chasers and a lobotomy to be able to enjoy the comic. Big Dave was the height of good taste and intellectual wit compared to an assassin couple who are constantly shagging in a onesie. I wish the main character would just die, and whoever the villains are would win.

Next time Viz and Brain Damage have a baby: please don't adopt it.

fate amenable to change

Frank

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #123 on: 20 September, 2019, 01:36:56 pm »
Anderson's daughter

ARF!


Anderson's daughter is good friends with Orlok's son, Kazan's clone, Vienna, Rico 2, America Beeny, The Hitman's Daughter, and Giant's son (who was himself Giant's son)

broodblik

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #124 on: 20 September, 2019, 02:58:23 pm »
I must agree on your take on Ulysses Sweet, Funt. My question is just why does this strip exists ? I find it the worst since the "fabulous" run of Big Dave.

dweezil2

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #125 on: 20 September, 2019, 03:22:56 pm »
I must be in the minority (moronity?) as I actually enjoyed Ulysses Sweet and was sad of its seemingly premature demise.
It felt like a natural evolution of D.R & Quinch to me in the sense of anarchic storytelling and subversion of genre.
But there's no accounting for taste, I liked Big Dave too! :lol:

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #126 on: 20 September, 2019, 04:52:06 pm »
I liked Ulysess Sweet too. Knockabout fun that offered something a bit different to anything else at the time.

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #127 on: 20 September, 2019, 07:12:35 pm »
This is why I love 2000 AD: there's something for everyone. And the art on Sweet was great, the storytelling top notch, dialogue well written, the characterization true to itself: a really top quality product (that wasn't my favorite).
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Dandontdare

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #128 on: 20 September, 2019, 09:28:26 pm »
I must be in the minority (moronity?) as I actually enjoyed Ulysses Sweet and was sad of its seemingly premature demise.
It felt like a natural evolution of D.R & Quinch to me in the sense of anarchic storytelling and subversion of genre.

This comment made me realise who Ulysses reminds me of - he's basically Pulger!

DrJomster

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #129 on: 20 September, 2019, 10:50:26 pm »
Was Dark Justice really 2015? Time flies!
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TordelBack

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #130 on: 21 September, 2019, 10:17:50 am »
I must be in the minority (moronity?) as I actually enjoyed Ulysses Sweet and was sad of its seemingly premature demise.
It felt like a natural evolution of D.R & Quinch to me in the sense of anarchic storytelling and subversion of genre.

This comment made me realise who Ulysses reminds me of - he's basically Pulger!

Good take! I enjoyed Sweet too, the first of the new stories more than the second. Top Marshall art and bad-natured silliness.

dweezil2

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #131 on: 21 September, 2019, 12:24:00 pm »
I must be in the minority (moronity?) as I actually enjoyed Ulysses Sweet and was sad of its seemingly premature demise.
It felt like a natural evolution of D.R & Quinch to me in the sense of anarchic storytelling and subversion of genre.

This comment made me realise who Ulysses reminds me of - he's basically Pulger!

Good take! I enjoyed Sweet too, the first of the new stories more than the second. Top Marshall art and bad-natured silliness.

Glad to here that I'm not the only one to have responded to it favourably!  :)

Tjm86

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #132 on: 21 September, 2019, 12:52:21 pm »
...  Time flies!

Thought that was 1989?  No?

TordelBack

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #133 on: 21 September, 2019, 12:58:36 pm »

Funt Solo

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Re: Thrill-Coma 2010
« Reply #134 on: 13 October, 2019, 11:43:09 pm »


2015 (2nd Quarter)

A really solid phase for old Tooth with every thrill a production of the highest standard. Scripts are one thing, but check out the artists we've got here - a jump-on cover to prog 1924 by Brian "Be Still My Beating Heart" Bolland, Carlos Ezquerra on Stront, Richard Elson, Henry Flint, Simon Davis and Jake Lynch. Scoop your jaw from the floor, Dear Reader. Scoop.

In (very tight) order of most to least thrilling...


Judge Dredd: Breaking Bud
(1929-1933)
Script: John Wagner, Art: Richard Elson, Letters: Annie Parkhouse


A sequel to 2014's Dead Zone (M350-M355), at the end of which a hi-tech, weaponized stealth bracelet from the future has fallen into the hands of the Justice Department. It allows the wearer to teleport, turn invisible, force people to tell the truth and also serves as a disintegrator (just in case those other powers don't quite cut it).

This, then, is the tale of a citizen who's had enough of being beaten down by a society that doesn't care, and suddenly finds himself in the position of being able to do something about it. Seemingly effortless procedual work from Wagner, supported by top notch art from Richard Elson marks this out as a top thrill. 




Slaine: The Brutania Chronicles, Book Two - Primordial
(1924-1936)
Script: Pat Mills, Art: Simon Davis, Letters: Ellie De Ville


Slaine has rescued Sinead from the Drune lords, but her spirit is broken and she's been purposefully addicted to opium, which speaks to the wider theme of this Book as being one of spirituality and mental health. The Drunes serve as reverse psychologists: rather than trying to cure people they seek to enhance mental illness and have their victims serve them as reliant puppets. It's pretty deep and delves far back into the saga: all the way to the death of Slaine's mother, and how that has shaped him.

I could see a frustration here if it's read as an action thriller: not that there isn't any action - it's knee deep in gore - but ultimately Slaine ends up pretty much where he started after a lot of running around. There's two key things I love here: one is the stupendous painted art by Simon Davis and the other is that it's thought-provoking. An entire episode is pretty much given over to Slaine trying to deal with Sinead's depression. (It could have been a bit more progressive if Slaine had been rescued by Sinead, but you can't have everything.)




Grey Area: [The Homeworld Arc, sequence 1]
(1924-1931)
Script: Dan Abnett, Art: Mark Harrison, Letters: Annie Parkhouse


I've consistently rated Grey Area as least thrilling in all my Thrill Coma posts so far: five for five, it's always been at the bottom of the pack. And people have been telling me it's got legs, that there's something there I'm either missing or haven't got to yet. I wasn't convinced - but here it's definitely turned a corner.

All they had to do to get my attention was get out of their own Grey Area and into the G.A. of the Harmonious Free, an inwards-focussed alien race who don't believe there's a giant god-star on the way to devouring their planet because they just don't, like, feel it, man.

Through a sequence of tales (Another Day on the Job, Just Routine Questions, Locked In & Talk Down) we get the situation laid out with a vein of dark humour and some crazy-beautiful art from Mark Harrison. The only bum note is that there's no explanation for how the main characters we've been following suddenly know so much about the god-star network and feeding mechanism: it feels like something that happened to them, so I'm not sure how they figured out the how (rather than just the what).



Extra points for Birdy and Bulliet's relationship not being mentioned at all, even once, but there's still a scene where guys look at naked women in showers and go "phwoarrr". Talking of Carry On...


Strontium Dog: The Stix Fix [or Carry On in North Korea]
(1924-1933)
Script: John Wagner, Art: Carlos Ezquerra, Letters: Simon Bowland


If the question is how racist can you be and still get published in 2000 AD in 2015, this does a good job of answering it. Comedy Koreans who can't speak English properly: check! They also eat dog: check! They're paranoid about being short: check! A central joke is their hilarious naming conventions: check! Blakee Pentax from 1982 has nothing on this. (Don't get me started on the sexual politics.)

Despite Wagner trying his best to outdo Team America and Jim Davidson (and Darkie's Mob), there's quite a strong tale in here of crosses and double-crosses as Alpha tries to solve a case and find his own way to freedom.




Orlok, Agent of East-Meg One: The Rasputin Caper [or Carry On Down Under]
(1924-1929)
Script: Arthur Wyatt, Art: Jake Lynch, Letters: Ellie De Ville


It's an odd mix of motifs: the ruthless determination of Orlok (the straight guy) played out against giant spider-themed codpieces and broad, very thinly-veiled homages to Tank Girl, Crocodile Dundee and Mad Max. Plot-wise it's chase the McGuffin, which takes the form of a psychic who can sense the future of places: but when that future is too hard to bear, the tragedy is that nobody believes him.




Judge Dredd: Enceladus, New Life
(1924-1928)
Script: Rob Williams, Art: Henry Flint, Letters: Annie Parkhouse


Stylistically powerfully delivered, but confusingly told: we're back with the invincible Aimee Nixon and her demented hatred for Mega-City One. I've never bought it, thematically, so for me it falls flat (more Star Trek: Nemesis than Wrath of Khan).

There are some chilling, dramatic moments, and an even frostier postscript that suggests worse trouble to come...

fate amenable to change