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Messages - norton canes

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Proteus Vex is on an upward trajectory (and was pretty damn good to start with!) but Kingdom was out of the traps like a whippet (did we ever see an Aux whippet?) and never let up.


Prog / Re: Prog 2281 - Guilt Trip
« on: 20 May, 2022, 11:08:47 AM »
Almost feels like I'm being uncomplimentary to the last few years of Tharg's organ but this line-up is one of the noteworthy times when all five strips are absolutely firing on full power. 'An Honest Man' is giving us the very best from all droids involved, with so much to pick out; apart from the artistic touches mentioned above I also love the card-playing lizards, the precisely-dissected corpses and what I presume are 40/50 shilling labels on the alcohol tanks. And the corpse-swill tanks are just glorious. Hope takes a lovely surreal turn, as it usually does when sorcery is cast. Brink... I mean, never mind coffee, who doesn't love a final page that graphically illustrates a giant eyeball emerging from the cleaved brain tissue of a dead man's open skull? Also, it's a nice touch that the apartment windows are coloured solid cyan as a synthetic attempt to resemble the sky. Dexter is just a joy to read (as well as being visually great now the Bettin and Soffe droids are giving it some consistency) - it may not be Dan Abnett's most inventive work but he's making a great effort of creating these little mini-stories. And Fiends remains an utter blast, of course.

Harlem Heroes all the way

Prog / Re: Prog 2281 - Guilt Trip
« on: 12 May, 2022, 08:48:12 AM »
5 great stories, all hugely entertaining in their own way. Top stuff, Tharg

Yep, that just about sums it up perfectly. Good to have Sinister Dexter back.

I guess it's in match-ups like this one has to decide whether it's permissible to cherry-pick the best era from a particular story. I've decided... no. Therefore: Dan Dare

The Alienist. Hoping the Rennie, Beeby and Coveney collective can give us at least a concluding chapter (and hopefully plenty more!)

Prog / Re: Prog 2279 - Past Crimes
« on: 28 April, 2022, 11:43:04 AM »
Only real problem is the cover. Its a fine cover BUT if you look at it quickly (or quint) the colouring makes Dredd shoulder pad look like his chin and he appears to have a Desperate Dan jaw. Once seen it can't be unseen I'm afraid

Heh, true.

So, 'The Citadel' ends. Obviously lots of discussion here and on Tjm86's excellent dedicated thread, don't really have time to comprehensively collect my thoughts on it, so excuse the bullet points

  • I'll go along with the consensus that it's been a great story which maybe hasn't lived up to its game-changer billing
  • Wait - Semper's tracking device was designed to "warn the Sovs off"? Even when they had the real Dredd in their sights?
  • Why wouldn't the Judges want the people to know that the Sovs were producing Dredd clones? You'd think it would be a priority to get that knowledge out there. And why such a problem that Dredd killed one?
  • Despite John Wagner's claims that it's a one-and-done, I'm guessing it's the start of a big theme for 2000 AD's 50th. Watch me get proved spectacularly wrong!
Lovely stuff in Brink - the close-up on Bardot's eye, obviously, but my favourite panel is the one with the passers-by on the second page - artists enjoy portraying future fashions but what I love about this is that different characters are all sporting the same scale pattern tattoo. Obviously the current trend on Ludmilla habitat!

More noir freakiness in Hope, though it is slightly disconcerting that Tiff Crize is morphing into Ian McKellen. It's about time we had a Hope cover, isn't it? Fiends is an agreeable read, with some lovely expression work from the Trevallion droid.

TOP THRILL though without a doubt is 'Relict' (n. - "a thing which has survived from an earlier period or in a primitive form", didn't know that!), which really harks back (ironically) to the creepy, unsettling Future Shocks of the very early progs, proving that a discomforting denouement is more satisfying than a trite twist. Although it's not quite as good as my Thought Bubble idea. Oh well.

General / Re: Forthcoming Thrills - 2022
« on: 24 April, 2022, 10:24:32 AM »
Sounds great. As long as none of the songs are by The Beatles.

Prog / Re: Prog 2278 - Descend Into The Dark...
« on: 20 April, 2022, 09:00:51 PM »
Sure I'll talk abut the other strips later but for now, just want to say that this prog's Brink is about the best thing in 2000 AD ever

Prog / Re: Prog 2276 - House of the Unholy
« on: 14 April, 2022, 09:26:00 AM »
I guess. Although he is on death row, so you'd excuse him for padding it out a bit :)

Prog / Re: Prog 2276 - House of the Unholy
« on: 12 April, 2022, 08:58:26 PM »
Yeah this is a bit of a golden line-up of thrills and they're all firing on afterburners.

They may not have been strictly relevant to the plot or the final outcome but those first few weeks of 'The Citadel', far from being extraneous were actually a vital part of building up the grim sense of foreboding, I think. And here's where it all pays off, with named characters despatched in an instant, horrible scenes in the torture chamber and what will surely become a classic Dredd panel, in crimson with bullet casings flying and the couldn't-be-more-Wagneresque quip "I've heard he can be quite fierce". Beautiful stuff - now, it'll be made or broken by the quality of the twist...

Hope comes back with a bang and a cinematic five pages that are quick to read but make a lasting impression. Anyone able to enlighten me  - what's a 'Baby Rub' bar? And why should it be like 'Coal on fire'? That Intestinauts centrespread is glorious, of course, and the story ups its peril content to great effect. "Knivess!" Fiends comes good with five pages of supernatural skirmish and Brink, apart from being brilliant as ever, seems perfectly placed at the end of the prog, slowing the pace while maintaining the high thrill-content.

Overall everything just seemed fresh and fantastic in this prog - and the next one's out tomorrow! Happy days!

Prog / Re: Prog 2275 - Dive, Dive, Dive!
« on: 12 April, 2022, 08:33:05 PM »
Back from holiday and a second dose of COVID, finally got a chance to pick up progs 2275 and 76 today so I've had a bumper catch-up

'The Citadel' may be a slow burner but it picks up momentum now the postbox has been reached (so to speak) and ends with a mighty final frame. Kingmaker rounds off a meadering third chapter by appositely going off on another tangent. Intestinauts treads the fine line between slapstick and drama very nicely, Fiends serves up neat shocks and the first couple of pages of Brink bring some sinister vibes back into the mix after a few weeks of straightup investigations. 

Survival Geeks, for sure.

Prog / Re: Prog 2274 - Beneath the Remains
« on: 24 March, 2022, 09:15:43 AM »
Unusually the two TOP THRILLS this week aren't any of the stories. First is Cliff Robinson's immaculate cover. Beautiful angle, excellently drawn characters, good monster, and exemplary logo deconstruction. Let's see other art droids given license to mess around with the logo! And no, I don't think it does need a tag line (though thankfully this one is more low-key than most) - at least, not the usual slightly clumsy double tag line. Maybe it would make more sense to condense the tag lines and include the strip titles on the cover instead?

Anyway... the other TOP THRILL is Buttonman's Lettersentertainyou. That counts, right?!

As for the strips themselves, Proteus Vex cements its place as the best of the year so far, while Kingmaker, Fiends and Brink all go off on intriguing tangents, and it's first class stuff in The Citadel, where Dredd continues to stamp his authority.

Announcements / Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« on: 24 March, 2022, 09:10:59 AM »
You're really pushing the envelope with this one

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