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Topics - AlexF

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Other Reviews / The most intesne review of Shako you'll ever read
« on: 24 August, 2021, 04:55:51 PM »
Has anyone already posted a link to this article from Shelfdust?

It's nomainally a review of Shako, and it's extraordinary.

Be warned, it's very long, and is only a little bit about Shako. It's mostly an examination of the impact of that time US senators decided to censor horror comics. Still a carcking read, though. Wish I could write reviews like that!

General / The Matt Smith years
« on: 23 March, 2021, 10:49:21 AM »
Quick everyone - what's your favourite Prog from the Matt Smith era of 2000AD (That's listed, officially, as Progs 1274 - today)? He's getting dangerously close to having 1,000 Progs under his belt!

I'm hoping that some of the regular posters here only begun reading the Prog in that time, so their memories of the last 18 years of 2000AD may be that much stronger than my own.

Just to kick things off, some of my top contenders:
1322, 1357, 1502, 1513, 1556, 1631, 1644, 1675, 1760, 1807/1808 (aka the Prog where Trifecta kicked in...), 1845, 1874, 1941, 1969, 2027, 2098, 2137, 2157...

I'll be honest, with the clockwork use of 'jumping on Progs' in this time, there are typically stretches of 5-10 Progs where the contents is basically the same - in those cases I've plumped for my favourite cover. But it's an embarrassment of riches overall - I've only managed to narrow it down to three!

Classifieds / Wanted: Prog 2015 print edition
« on: 29 December, 2020, 04:08:32 PM »
No, not the one with Kingmaker on the cover, the Xmas end-of-year Prog from 2104, with Judge Death's badge on the cover and episode 1 of Dark Justice on the inside.

Seems to be out of stock in print everywhere I can think to look.

Will pay reasonable price + postage to London!

General / Dredd epics ranked
« on: 02 December, 2020, 09:15:53 AM »
This blog has just gone live today:

Mostly for my own amusement, but also because even Judge Dredd doesn't have enough of an internet presence for my tastes. There are websites out there that run down short lists of 'essential Dredd stories', and clearly the people behind them know what they're talking about.
https://io9.gizmodo.com/top-11-essential-judge-dredd-stories-5944097 (a chronological list)
https://vocal.media/geeks/top-10-judge-dredd-stories (plays a little fast and loose with the idea of a single storyline)
https://www.scifinow.co.uk/top-tens/top-10-best-judge-dredd-comic-book-stories/ (best of the bunch I reckon)

But they tend to skew too heavily towards the older epics, and more to the point, why stop at 11 when you easily classify more than 50 stories as 'epic' - in length, if not in brilliance?
Anyway, 3 new posts per week will get us through my ranking by the New Year. My Number 1 won't be much of a surprise, but just maybe the rest of the Top 10 will be...

Books & Comics / Alan Dean Foster
« on: 25 November, 2020, 09:08:31 AM »
Speaking of much-loved creators being screwed over by corporate overlords*, have you guys seen this:

Proper outrageous!

*without wishing to turn this into another thread about Mills vs Big 1 again.

General / It's Dredd, but...
« on: 20 October, 2020, 09:18:29 AM »
So on the Niemand Tapes there's mention of the fact that Megatropolis is a rare example of doing an 'Elseworlds' Dredd strip. There was that one Dredd 'Alternity' Mega Special which is mainly memorable for Simon Jacob doing Dredd as a medieval knight on horseback (and Barnes 'n Hairsine on Dredd of Drokk Green is kinda fun). You can read these in the Restrcited Files 4, should you be intrigued.

But my memory is that right around the time the Megazine got going, there was something of a glut of strips that more or less took the idea of 'the best (and least corrupt) Cop in town' and plonked it down in a variety of settings, to varying degrees of success...

Dredd in Brit-Cit: Armitage
Dredd in Cal-Hab: MacBrayne
Dredd in Hondo City: Shimura/Inaba
Dredd in the Afterlife at the end times: Canon Fodder
Dredd as a sheep in Vegan Europe: Inspector Raam
Dredd in Eco-Hell New York: Trashman Trask

For my money, it's Trashman Trask who is the most Dreddlike, and I'm surely doing a disservice to the creators involved. But the way these characters were advertised, on the other hand...

Any more for any more?

Books & Comics / John Wyndham
« on: 01 October, 2020, 11:14:47 AM »
Just finished reading the Chryslaids with my 10 year-olds. Quite hard work but they liked it, found the evil future society deeply upsetting, as they should!
Now, Wyndham was def. a big deal in UK sci-fi, certainly for children, but it's only now that I noticed quite how much an influence this specific story may have had on Pat Mills re Nemesis the Warlock (it's all about religious zealots rooting out 'deviations') and on John Wagner re Strontium Dog (the mutants in this story all have minor but obvious physical deformities and are shunned by norms, and the odd few have mental powers...)

I kind of assume the book was so well-known in the late 70s that people just took these connections for granted but this specific book seems to have fallen out of fashion nowadays, it's all Triffids and Cuckoos.

General / The nastiest, goriest, most horribile EVER aka Ban this sick filth
« on: 28 September, 2020, 02:36:54 PM »
Fresh off a re-read of Aquila from the Ultiamte Collection, I noticed that the story Charon's Mercy is a strong contender for the nastiest story ever to see print in 2000AD, and that's got to be saying something. The bad guy is a torturer who takes his work to a level that is best described as Human Centipede meets Martyrs. Rennie's descriptions and Davidson's art leave literally nothing to the imagination.

Somehow at the time I didn't notice it, perhaps more struck by yet another nice nod to Blackhawk (by the end of that story, our Hero had half his face sort-of melt; in this story half his face/body are skinned), but it really is strong stuff.

Not complaining! But it did make me wonder if anything has been nastier? I mean, the tradition of torturers in the Prog goes back at least as far as The Fink and Great Uncle Baal, and gorey body horror art goes back all the way to the Visible Man (not to mention dinos and bears munching on people), but Aquila goes that extra mile...

John Wagner turned my stomach some with The Skinning Room and Ratfink; Simon Davis merits consideration for his work on Stone Island, and surely John Smith has to be in the conversation.

What say you?

General / Judge Dredd reading order
« on: 24 August, 2020, 05:32:45 PM »
Partly inspired by Pioneer's thread about recent Dredd stories he's missed, I've had a go at whittling down a bare bones 'what Dredd stories do you have to read to make sense of what's going on from one epic to the next?'
It's a long list, so I've split it into chunks, with so-called mega-epics listed in italics.
I've also included various Anderson and Low Life stories that I think are necessary, and I've tried to keep track of all the stories that show status quo changes for long-running villains Judge Death, Orlok and PJ Maybe.

Phase 1: Dredd's World (Progs 1-86)
Judge Whitey
New You
Statue of Judgement
Robots / Robot War
Academy of Law
Return of Rico
Luna 1
First Luna Olympics
Return to Mega City 1
The Cursed Earth

Phase 2: Mega City 1 (Progs 87-275)
Judge Cal
Judge Minty
Judge Death
The Judge Child
The Fink
Pirates of the Black Atlantic
Unamerican Graffiti
Judge Death Lives
Block Mania
Apocalypse War

Phase 3: Rebuilding (Progs 276-450)
Destiny's Angels
Question of Judgement/Error of Judgement/Case for Treatment
City of the Damned
Anderson, Psi Division: the Four Dark Judges
Midnight Surfer

Phase 4: Around the World (Progs 451-630)
The Warlord / a Chief Judge Resigns
Letter from a Democrat
Anderson, Psi Division: Hour of the Wolf
PJ Maybe, Age 13 / 14
Anderson, Psi Division: Triad
Confeshuns of PJ Maybe

Phase 5: The world turned Upside Down (Progs 631-712)
The Shooting Match
Young Giant
The Dead Man
Theatre of Death
Wot I did during Necropolis

Phase 6: The muscled years (Progs 713-915; Megs 1.1 – 2.60)
The Devil you know / Twilight's last gleaming
Judgement Day
Anderson, Psi Division: Reasons to be Cheerful / The Jesus Syndrome
Mechanismo I / II [Meg]
PJ and the Mock-Choc Factory
Anderson, Psi Division: Childhood's End [Meg]
Purgatory / Inferno
Mechanismo III [Meg]
Conspiracy of Silence
Prologue/Tenth Planet/Wilderlands [Meg]

Phase 7: under new management (Progs 916-1160; Megs 2.61-3.60)
Farewell to the Chief / The Candidates
Bad Frendz
The Cal Files
The Pit
America II [Meg]
Worst of Frendz
Beyond the Call of Duty
The Scorpion Dance
Doomsday [Meg]
Volt Face

Phase 8: Family (Progs 1161-1450; Megs 3.61-240)
The Cal Legacy
Blood Cadets
All new adventures of PJ Maybe / Gunga Dinsdale / Heart of
Sector House
Judge Death: My Name is Death
Sin City (aka Satan's Island)
Blood and Duty
Judge Death: Wilderness Days [Meg]
The Trial of Orlok
The Satanist
Brothers of the Blood
Lowlife: Paranoia
Terror / Total War
After the Bombs
Six [Meg]
The Monsterus Mashinashuns of PJ Maybe
Blood Trails
Matters of Life and Death

Phase 9: Regime change (Progs 1451-1780; Megs 241-320)
Class of '79 (Prog 2006)
The Simping Detective 2 (Megs 234-239)
Cadet [Meg]
The Connection
The Streets of Dan Francisco
The Gingerbread Man
Mutants in Mega-City 1
The Facility / Secret of Mutant Camp 5
Mind Games
The Spirit of Christmas (Prog 2008)
Lowlife: War without Bloodshed [Meg]
Emphatically Evil
(Wot I did for Chrissmass)
The Edgar Case
Low Life: Creation
ToD: The Talented Mayor Ambrose
ToD: Mega City Justice

Phase 10: things get worse... and somehow worse again (Progs 1781-1990; Megs 321-380)
Lowlife: Hostile Takeover / the Deal
Further Dasterdly Deeds of PJ Maybe
Day of Chaos: Nadia
DoC: Fourth Faction
DoC: The Assassination List
DoC: Eve of Destruction
DoC: Tea for Two
DoC: Wot I did during...
Chaos Day

The Days After
The Bean Counter
Family Man
Bullet to King Four
Simping Detective: Jokers to the Right / LowLife:Suadade / The Cold Deck / Trifecta
Dark Justice
Orlok: Agent of East Meg 1
Enceladus I
Blood of Emeralds
Enceladus II
Terror Rising
Serial Serial
Grindstone Cowboys
The Lion's Den

From the Ashes

Phase 11: new normal? (Progs 1991-2200; Megs 381-425)
Carousel [Meg]
Act of Grud
Ape Escape [Meg]
Dark Justice: Dominion [Meg]
Krong Island [Meg]
Dark Justice: Contagion [Meg]
The Small House
Machine Law
The Red Queen [Meg]
End Times

In the final stages I've included the Harry Heston stuff as that's building up into a long ongoing storyline in the Megazine. I've also ignored a bunch of Michael Carroll scripted stuff that will probably turn out to be 'essential' if he ever gets back to his 'Sovs in Mega City 2' stories, his 'MC1 Psi Judge hidden as Chief of Texas City' story or indeed his 'secret gangsters inflitrating Justice Dept' stories - which could all erupt into one mega mega-epic all at once if the mood takes him.

I have a list that's at least twice as long as this one, picking up on more threads, more long-running side characters and such. But the point is really to make the number of stories you 'have' to read be as short as possible! At which I have failed.

Classifieds / Top Cop Swap Shop?
« on: 03 March, 2020, 11:00:43 AM »
Hey forum people
Is anyone interested in a straight up exchange of goods? Specifically, I would post out my copy of the Rebellion edition of Trifecta, and you would post out to me your copy of the Judge Dredd Mega Collection Trifecta.

Why would anyone do this? Well, I'd be sacrificing the super cool Henry Flint lenticular cover, and a bunch of concept art sketches, promo material and such for the sake of getting the edition that has the article in the back, and perhaps more crucially the reprint of 'Family Man', which wasn't included in the Rebellion edition (although it does include the Trifecta prologue, 'Bullet to King Four').

Any takers?

Off Topic / Comics or opera? U decide
« on: 29 July, 2019, 11:14:04 AM »
Following a story on the BBC today about UK petitions, I found this one:

which calls for the government to fund comics in the UK to the same level as opera.
If everyone signs it who reads 2000AD, the Phoenix, the Beano, Commando and all the Panini Marvel/DC reprints...

...it'll probably still fall short of the 100,000 signatures needed to force Parliament to at least consider the proposal. Still, fun to see actual politics being used as a way to keep comics going!

I'm also tickled by the idea of comparing comics to opera. I guess both are examples of arts that were once genuine mass-market entertainments that have ended up being incredibly niche and prohibitively expensive.

Suggestions / What, no Action! reprints?
« on: 20 May, 2019, 12:12:43 PM »
Now I'm sure this question has been answered somewhere before, but in amongst all the many goodies being collected for the first time by Rebellion's Treasury wing, why haven't they reprinted anything from Action! yet?
It's always being touted as the precursor to 2000AD,and surely they must own the rights as part of the giant bundle. No?

I know Hookjaw has been collected by Hibernia (the edition I have, and lovely it is too), and I think again by Titan comics, and I gather that's by far the best strip from Action, but what of the rest? I've long wanted to read Dredger, Kids Rule OK and Death Game 1999 in particular, and I can't be alone in this, can I?
Is it just that these stories aren't really good enough to merit the reprint treatment, or is there some rights issue going on?

General / Drokk!! - a rival to SpaceSpinner 2000??
« on: 06 February, 2019, 08:36:01 AM »
Word is, there's a new podcast in town, reviewing all of Judge Dredd, in order.
Details to be found here:
- but you have to the end. (or download the episode and fast forward by about 2 hours!)

It's being co-hosted by comics/pop-culture journalist Graeme MacMillan, who's appeared on the Thrillcast at least twice already, so it's in good hands. (Wait, What?, his main podcast, is bizarrely entertaining and listenable, despite the general rambling tone. I guess it's down to the chemistry with his co-host, which is on the same level of infectious as Fox 'n Conrad.

Apparently it kicks off next week...

Frankly, what has me most excited are the comments at the bottom of the above-linked post, in which their American listeners get very excited to find out more about Dredd.

Who'd have thought that the best way to promote the joys of 2000AD, a silent comic, would be via podcast, an auditory-only experience...

Other Reviews / Complete Future Shocks
« on: 14 June, 2018, 12:22:47 PM »
I'm definitely buying the Complete Future Shocks when I get paid at the end of the month, but I'm curious to know what the remit of the book (and, I hope, ongoing reprint series!) is. As with Dredd Case Files 1, I'm expecting the first half to be nigh unreadable and the second half to be super amazing.

I'm assuming it'll cover everything that ran under the 'Tharg's Future Shocks' banner, but I note that it includes the first Abelaard Snazz story, which was a Ro-Jaws Robo Tale.
In my dream world, this 'Complete' collection would go on to include all Robo-Tales, Time Tiwsters, Terror Tales, Past Imperfects and whatever else I've forgotten. But will it include some of those one-off stories that just had their own title and weren't technically called 'Future Shocks'?

It's an editorial minefield! Someone get Keith Richardson onto the Thrillcast quick to explain his rationale...

(frankly I'd settle for a 'Future Shocks - restricted files' volume to cover all these later if that's the way it goes. Tharg is so close to literally reprinting every strip ever published that he might as well just go whole hog.)

Books & Comics / The Motherless Oven
« on: 20 June, 2017, 10:47:08 AM »
Just finished reading this utterly bonkers comic by Rob Davis. Anyone else had a go?

It's the weirdest metaphor for teenage life in 1970s/80s Britain I could hope to imagine, and wouldn't be out of place in 2000AD.

All the children have a deathday - the date they're going to die. Their parents are mechanical contraptions. All devices, from tin openers to teapots are known as gods. The weatherclock is the most important, as it warns you when it's about to start raining knives. The streets are ruled by marauding gangs of teen rock bands. There are a handful of scary OAP humans who seem to be in charge of everything.

I can't form coherent thoughts about it, but I loved it. There seems to be a sequel, too, so i'll have to hunt for that.

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