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Messages - norton canes

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Prog / Re: Prog 2235 - Interdimensional Enforcers
« on: 11 June, 2021, 11:48:02 AM »
Ah right, thanks.

Prog / Re: Prog 2235 - Interdimensional Enforcers
« on: 11 June, 2021, 11:26:43 AM »
'Brief Encounter': Where the twist is, there's no twist (!), just a satisfying vignette depecting the futility of resistance to the Judges. It almost serves as a counterpoint to pretty much every other Dredd tale the Niemand droid has scripted over the past few years. And I'm not going to say Dylan Teague's artwork is demonstrably better than anything else in the prog this week but it certainly has an immaculate completeness to it. There's some sort of competition going on among the art droids with the shoulder pad thing though, yeah..?

Mechastopheles: The fact that the titular mecha has 'almost limitless depths' is a new turn, isn't it? I suppose it does mean that more interesting characters and storylines can be packed into the story without having to resort to giant-mecha-on-giant-demon combat action every week.

Department K: Falls a bit flat this week, sadly, with some run-of-the-mill storytelling. Have we heard of 'Locusts' in this (or any other Dredd-verse strip) before? They don't seem to be the first thing that springs to mind when something's described as 'tall as a mountain'.

Feral & Foe: Just fantastic, every panel.

Chimpsky's Law: Takes a bit of a sideways turn this week - will these many family members be involved in the plot, or were their introductions simply there for comedy value? Should be fun finding out.


Prog / Re: Prog 2234: Plummet of the Ape
« on: 04 June, 2021, 11:17:21 AM »
This is a great line-up of strips that bodes well for the next few weeks (though talking of Bode I presume Feral & Foe will be bowing out soon). 

'Adios, Rowdy Yates': Great old-school knockabout stuff from the Weston brothers (what? oh) with some lovely touches like the dignitary taken out by the ricochet and Dredd's mangled respirator at the end. Would it be churlish to ask why Dredd thought he could survive the block's demolition? Probably.

Mechastopheles: Apart from his being generally brilliant, I've noticed that across all his strips, the Rennie droid really knows how to sell an opening instalment; and this is no exception, hurtling from the fantastic trio of imps, to the Broken Crowns, to a majestically rendered sea battle (Boo Cook was an inspired choice as replacement artist) and finally the titular mecha itself... and still finding a spare frame to fill in the backstory! Exquisite... absolutely exquisite.

Department K: I have to admit I didn't really pay this much attention on its Regened appearances, but I'm very much liking what I'm reading here. And let's face it, art courtesy of top-tier art droid Dan Cornwell is never gonna hold a strip back, is it. Although I don't think this is the first time the Staring Championships have been interrupted by a furry starfish...

Feral & Foe: One of the things I love about Dan Abnett's scripts is that even in a five-page instalment where not a great deal happens, there's still something worth reading in every frame. Just a little joke, or a turn of phrase, or something to give a character colour. They're never just treading water.

Chimpsky's Law: Freed of any need to crowbar Dredd into the story, this absolutely shines. Special mention to the gorgeous little tableaux of the run-down apartment interior on the third page.

I can honestly say that I'm really looking forward to the next instalments of all four back-up stories, and great as 2000 AD is, that's not always true. As the time-honoured phrase goes: good proggage.

Prog / Re: Prog 2233:Regened - Ready to face the law?
« on: 26 May, 2021, 10:48:42 PM »
Okay, cards on the table... I wasn't sure whether or not to get this, not being a fan of the Regened progs (or more accurately, recognising I'm not in the target demographic). So I had a peruse in Smiths, and it started well - Lynch on Dredd, perhaps this is worth getting after all - then I saw the wordsearch. And that was it, I bailed.

However, reading the positive comments in the thread here, I think I might reconsider and procure myself a copy.

Prog / Re: Prog 2232 - A Small Sacrifice?
« on: 20 May, 2021, 05:58:15 PM »

Prog / Re: Prog 2231 - Take Cover, Citizens!
« on: 17 May, 2021, 02:53:15 PM »
Almost forgot to post!

Er... all good, really! Lovely prog - magnificent art and script on Dredd (+cover), Thistlebone as engrossing as ever, laffs in Infesties, a well-written (if slightly overcomplicated) Future Shock and the QC on Feral & Foe is not, I think it's fair to say, lacking.


Prog / Re: Prog 2230 - Takin' Care Of Business
« on: 06 May, 2021, 10:35:51 AM »
Infestinauts (and cover): Damn, those little botty-bots look great! Funny how a story about micro-mechanicals  that operate up the fundament can be so ripe with possibilities. Looking forward to plenty more passage-pounding droid-on-'roid action.

Plus - 'prog-rock noodler'?! You need to bone up on your post-punk electronic bands, Tharg!

'A Penitent Man': I guess it's a case of 'justice reserved' for Kerubo and we'll be catching up in the hopefully not too distant. Weird how the drama of the stand-off was undercut by that panel of Kerubo actually whistling a cartoon quaver like something from the Beano.

Liked the terse dialogue. Helped the tension. Very Wagner. Very Styx.

Thistlebone: Possibly the most 'really needs to be read in collected form' 2000 AD strip ever. I got the window leading shadows on Seema's face thing but it might have helped if we'd actually seen some leading on the windows. Any ideas what "Ghuukdi... syh... pluh" might mean?

Deadworld: I thought it stuck the dismount pretty well, though those last couple of panels were a bit vague.

Feral & Foe: "Once a mercenary for hire... now a warrior in search of his soul!" Looking forward to the Krod spin-off.

Prog / Re: Prog 2229 - Crunch Point!
« on: 29 April, 2021, 10:47:05 AM »
Cover: Lovely stuff, glad it was rescued from obscurity. The bullet hole in the shoulder pad is a great touch. Was it a near miss or a flesh wound? Perhaps that explains the bared teeth...

'A Penitent Man': A brilliant story that would have graced any era of Dredd. The scale of the SJS droids does indeed elevate them. The exchange between Asher and the droids on the first page is a fantastic example of how to give extra value to an already tremendous story - just a little moment that helps bring it to life. You know how occasionally - very occasionally, I should say - strips in the prog don't completely fire up the thrill-circuits? Often it's not down to some intrinsic flaw, but because little things like this don't happen. 'Value Added Material', I think they call it.

Anyone else getting a Go West vibe off that huge wrench?

Feral & Foe: Love it. And it's great that in the middle of all the smutty innuendo we get a poignant moment where Krodgun wonders whether he really has lost his soul. Excellent.

Deadworld: Absolutely one of the best Visions so far

Thistlebone: Some great ideas (and artwork of course), all still rather hampered by the rather humdrum nature of Seema's investigation

'Regarding Henry': I did slightly lost as it went on, but McCann is an arrestingly literate writer and I'd love to see what he'd come up with for a full series.

Prog / Re: Prog 2228 - The Slayer & The Slain
« on: 22 April, 2021, 06:39:54 PM »
I suppose he could be persuaded to write some more, but it would be a big axe.

Prog / Re: Prog 2228 - The Slayer & The Slain
« on: 22 April, 2021, 04:39:38 PM »
Yeah, Meltdown Man was 48 instalments of genius bookended by a trite set-up and resolution. The original run of Invasion concluded pretty abruptly too, didn't it? A standard episode that ended with the US forces arriving all of a sudden to oust the Volgans.

Prog / Re: Prog 2228 - The Slayer & The Slain
« on: 22 April, 2021, 03:39:29 PM »
Maybe the next sketch competition should be 'Finish a current 2000 AD strip in one frame'...

Prog / Re: Prog 2228 - The Slayer & The Slain
« on: 22 April, 2021, 01:56:13 PM »

Prog / Re: Prog 2228 - The Slayer & The Slain
« on: 22 April, 2021, 01:53:27 PM »
Great cover. Took me a moment to realize it's not ink but the contents of his nose that Ukko is dribbling into Slaine's face.

'A Penitent Man' rattles along absorbingly. Love the economic crispness of the Niemand droid's prose, and Foster's artwork shines again, particularly the SJS agent left in an undignified pose with their foot caught in a ceiling strap. And does Lester's design owe something to the Power Tower maintenance droids in Father Earth? Thistlebone is definitely starting to flourish and I find myself looking forward to the increasingly bizarre images Simon Davis has cooked up for the final panel. Feral & Foe was as enjoyable a read as ever, and though Chorus and the Ring didn't really have me hooked, I've read verse.

I think that's everything, isn't it?

Oh yeah, almost forgot Slaine, LOL! I wonder what revisions were made to this final episode in the end? Just the addition of the final page? It would be nice to find out one day. Interesting decision to give it an open ending, particularly given Tharg's pointed claim that it's only the end of the 'latest' instalment. Maybe the behind-the-scenes fracas will eventually simmer down and... hmm, perhaps not. Anyway I'm surprised no-one's mentioned Jock's sensational Star-Scan, which more than the delayed denouement actually made me feel a little sad that everyone's favourite warped warrior has graced the prog for the last time.

Prog / Re: Prog 2227 - Skeleton Crew
« on: 17 April, 2021, 09:41:50 AM »
Thanks - I should have remembered Fairfax actually, he was front and centre in Cursed, the first chapter I was on board for.

I wonder if script droids see questions like mine and throw up their diodes in despair... "Aaargh! How can he not know? He was the main character!"

Prog / Re: Prog 2227 - Skeleton Crew
« on: 15 April, 2021, 10:58:17 AM »
Two fantastic stories bookending three there-or-there-abouts.

'Slow burn' is a phrase that's been used a lot here recently to describe a few strips but it certainly applies to the noir-ish suspense of 'A Penitent Man'. Has the Niemand droid been catching up with the BBC's rotten cop smash 'Line of Duty' recently, I wonder? Excellent work from Tom Foster as ever, from the low-lit shooting range scenes (Buell's mouth in the third frame of page two is totally Bolland) to the final skirmish (is it Asher or the fleeing perp taking a bullet at the end there?). Plus, extra oil rations to whoever was responsible for 'SPAK'. Absolutely nothing slow-burn about Feral & Foe, which fizzes like a sparkler. Again, no complaints for me about the meta-level stuff - if a line's funny then put it in, however it works. Oh and full marks for the Elson droid's cover. 

So what of the filling between the delicious bread in this week's prog sandwich? I think it's fair to say that if they invented a candle which burned as slowly as Thistlebone, I wouldn't be making many visits to the candle shop. Can't deny that's a striking final frame though. Deadworld, not as gruesome as recent Visions, and unfortunately my recollection of the backstory isn't up to scratch - who's Fairfax? Finally, Chorus & The Ring... 3riller or filler? Frustratingly it just needs something extra to elevate it to the former category.

I shudder to think what the Facebook reference is in this week's Damage Report.

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