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Messages - norton canes

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1
Prog / Re: Prog 2241 - Menace of the Multiverse
« on: 22 July, 2021, 11:11:01 AM »
NTWICJ: Brilliantly written, it almost goes without saying; seems a bit of a patchwork plot-wise but I'm sure it'll all come together

Skip Tracer: So dry. Needs daring, needs humour, needs quirks and twists, needs... something

Department K: This would be perfect for the Regened issues, and that's not damning it with faint praise - it's really good, but for me it doesn't quite suit the regular prog.

Sinister: Well, we've certainly taken the long route to get to that punchline. Please, Tharg, give this an extended run and let it attain come critical mass.

Aquila: Excellent stuff, with a gruesome little moment that's made more distressing by its suddenness


'Judge Dredd: The Musical', huh? Shades of Robo-Hunter's 'Play It Again, Sam'?

2
General / Re: The Science of Judge Dredd
« on: 19 July, 2021, 10:56:41 AM »
Did anyone ever buy the idea that heat seeker shells had to be clamped to the end of the barrel and were propelled by firing a regular bullet into them? Surely a bullet emerging from the barrel is just going to destroy anything that's stuck to the end?

Plus, heat seeking may have been hot tech back in the late 70's but nowadays I'm sure a manoeuvrable projectile would be better off locking onto its target through shape/face recognition.

3
Prog / Re: Prog 2240 - In with a bullet!
« on: 19 July, 2021, 09:07:50 AM »
The cover is none more 90s, but not in a  good way for me.

To continue my contrarian streak, I'll say Skip Tracer hits  new low for me in this episode - It's already a Fleischeresque strip, but making the main character a total arsehole just pushes it completely into Junker territory - Denying a child is his, shouting at the mom and generally being a dick about the situation.  Doesnt help that Nomrod reminds me of Fleischers version of Artie Gruber.  Also there's a weird emphasis on the last panel of page 1 "HER name is Eden" - as if Nolan had referredto the child as a "he", which he doesnt. 

Aquila is fine even with a bit of casual homophobia to add to the 90s vibe from the cover and Fleischery ST (and yes, I'm aware that makes the character homophobic rather than the strip, but even so - not quite Ducky from Millar Robohunter, but not sure its a good look for the main protagonists sidekickto be the one expressing it?

Dept K is not really grabbing, but Chimpsky is good, if only wrapping up in a way that wasnt entirely unexpected.

But that Dredd is a super smashing great enough return to the 80s to overlook the 90s stylings elsewhere

Just going to echo all this, it sums up my opinion pretty well, would probably add the obligatory kudos to the Cornwell droid for its stunning artwork.

4
Other Reviews / Re: 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 2021
« on: 10 July, 2021, 12:19:59 PM »
As for the special overall... it's a nice conceit that works well in the first few chapters but loses its way slightly towards the end - 'All Will Be Judged' is a bit by-numbers and 'Apotheosis' perhaps devolves into too much of a slug-fest. The highlights are definitely Tom Foster's brilliantly gangly Chopper (I know), having Robin Smith back, and Neil Googe's turn on Hondo-Cit.

5
Other Reviews / Re: 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 2021
« on: 10 July, 2021, 11:48:44 AM »
Not sure I'd agree that Anderson is 'sexualised' anywhere here. I mean perhaps you could say she was sitting provocatively astride her bike in her first frame in 'All Will Be Judged' but this is comics, characters are allowed a little licence to strike a mildly racy pose now and again. As for the aging thing; well, Anna Morozova's artwork (and the colouring of Pippa Bowland) leaves every characters' face pretty smooth, and Anderson certainly isn't depicted as a juve, so I reckon there's plenty of scope to imagine she's all of her, what, 60-odd years, factoring in some 22nd century anti-aging methods. In fact my main issue with Morozova's depiction is that the long face doesn't make her look quite like Anderson at all... but there you go.

6
Heh, I haven't visited this thread in ages (sorry, only because I rarely venture into the 'Other Reviews' section) and when I do it's just in time for The Simon Roy Dredd. So I'll just say that as a fan of Prophet I was thrilled to see Simon (or should I call him 'the Roy droid'?) take on a Dredd, and for me the results were fantastic. Did he get the styling of the Judges quite right? Perhaps not, but his realisations of the aliens and their tech more than made up for it. Besides, how many great art droids have turned in slightly 'off' work on their first Dredds, only to go on and nail it after a few progs? The only shame was that Roy couldn't come back and do a few more.

That cover is a bit pants though.

7
Prog / Re: Prog 2239 - High-Speed Summary Justice!
« on: 08 July, 2021, 09:54:25 AM »
Very much carrying the quality through from last week, excellent.

Lovely mischievous wrap to 'Removal Man' - as has been mentioned, Justice Department were on top of the case throughout and it was only a matter of how much carnage Bickford could cause before they hauled him in. Aquila was tons of fun (I'm sure there used to be another 2000 AD strip about a warrior from antiquity... what was it called... no, it's gone) and Department K really blossomed with a great instalment brought to life by phenomenal art and colours from the Cornwell and O'Grady droids. Five pages of soothing Skip Tracer AMSR and a cracking Chimpsky round off a wonderful prog.

And that cover! Wow, wow, wow.

8
Prog / Re: Prog 2238 - Dead stop!
« on: 01 July, 2021, 10:28:56 AM »
'Removal Man' - An absolute scripting masterclass by the master himself. I mean 'Upton O'Good. U-P-T-O-N. That's Right', come on. And in that final panel, Colin MacNeil makes Bickford look like a macabre cross between Reg Varney and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's Child Catcher.

Aquila

What a way to start a thrill, sneaking into hell, stopped by titans and hordes of undead. I meaning talk about opening big!

I said a few weeks ago when the latest chapter of Mechastopheles kicked off that the Rennie Droid was a master of the opening instalment, and this only bolsters my claim.

Department K

slips further up the Thrill Pole by bursting out its full remit. Going full on hyper-real Kirby style. Just fantastic. Then brought gloriously crashing back down the little character piece with Blackberry. Some folks don't seem to be getting on with this thrill

I'll confess to have been ambivalent over it so far but this instalment does the simple things well and is all the better for it. And I still can't help laughing every time I see Dan Cornwell's starfish people.

Skip Tracer - And heck this prog has got me in a good mood 'cause I like this too; I mean, it's five pages of pulp SF with some superb art and colours, I'm cool with that.

Chimpsky's Law - Rounds off a solid 5/5 prog with a panel that's surely a tribute to Wile E. Coyote's equation-covered blueprints in the Roadrunner cartoons. Nice!


I see there's another graduate from the school of 3rillers coming up...

9
Prog / Re: Prog 2237 - Demons of the Deep
« on: 24 June, 2021, 10:26:14 AM »
Oh, the cover! You know, that pencilled version might have looked even more striking, especially given the story's Renaissance theme.

10
Prog / Re: Prog 2237 - Demons of the Deep
« on: 24 June, 2021, 10:24:25 AM »
Shame it's not possible to tweak the Rennie droid's operating mode so he can deliver regular 10-part stories. These four instalments have been welcome and enjoyable but ultimately add to the pantheon of intermittent strips that are hard to follow with extended absences. Or if a droid is already working at capacity, perhaps it would be better for mini-chapters such as this to be self-contained stories, more along the lines of Visions of Deadworld?

I mean say what you like about Skip Tracer (okay perhaps not) but at least it's reliable and the chapters don't come to an abrupt halt. And this week is a great introductory episode, actually!

Lovely stuff again in Chimpsky, and Dredd is gloriously dark. As for Department K - got an idea about that, but I might save it for an attempt at the letters page...

11
General / Re: Things that went over your head...
« on: 21 June, 2021, 08:53:16 PM »
Nice!

12
General / Re: Things that went over your head...
« on: 21 June, 2021, 05:06:33 PM »
Is Meltdown Man a play on Piltdown Man..?

13
Prog / Re: Prog 2236 - A view to a kill!
« on: 17 June, 2021, 10:13:29 AM »
Cover: I think it's the Teague droid's trademark hatching lines, rather than whiskers, across Dredd's face. But overall, just how cool does Dredd look, for a character designed 45 years ago? Refined and revised organically over the years, every artist bringing a little evolution of their own, and still looking as coolly futuristic as ever.

'Removal Man': "Shove a pair of joke teeth in", "Nimby unit", "childbirth might give her veins", "Kentucky wastes", "the munce line"... genius.

Mechastopheles: Glorious underwater scenes, and the story rattles on with the Rennie droid's custom flair

Department K: Yeah, I'd say Dan Cornwell's art is the big draw here - the starfish suits, the pet, the little floating jellyfish, that final page panel... wonderful stuff 

Chimpsky's Law: Loving this, even though I wasn't expecting Chimpsky's solo outing to be an out-and-out comic tale. I could look at PJ Holden's chimp faces all day.

Feral & Foe: Short, sharp, delivers - all good to me. 

as long as the creative duo visit Kingdom on their way to the next run out

Yes!

14
Prog / Re: Prog 2235 - Interdimensional Enforcers
« on: 11 June, 2021, 11:48:02 AM »
Ah right, thanks.

15
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.


 

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