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Author Topic: The Letters Beast - Online!  (Read 35057 times)

Funt Solo

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #165 on: 04 May, 2021, 08:30:34 PM »
Frodsham has a candle shop - that’s run by Bob Carolgees! I wonder if they have a means of putting out the candles at night? Probably a snuffer rather than a highly flammable puppet dog , we’d imagine,

Dear Lettersentertainyou,

Welcome back! Shurely Bob would get Spit to accurately exterminate those candle flames with a few well-aimed gobbets of doggy-flem? Also - I was disappointed that you didn't find some way to combine Chowder and Cheshire into an amusing bon mot. Grade: B - very well done!

Yours and suchlike,

Funt Bernard Solo
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Buttonman

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #166 on: 04 May, 2021, 09:01:31 PM »
I did allude to the dog spitting out the candles - sorry if that was not clear!

Cheshire /Chowder is a step too far for this punsmith!

Thanks for the 'B' ya dirty great B!

I, Cosh

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #167 on: 05 May, 2021, 01:49:12 PM »
I did allude to the dog spitting out the candles - sorry if that was not clear!
It was not. It was certainly the joke your reader was waiting for but all that blether about "highly flammable puppet dog" seemed to imply Bob would be stuffing the candles up its arse!
We never really die.

Buttonman

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #168 on: 05 May, 2021, 03:02:32 PM »
The more insightful reader would have gleaned from my text that the suggestion was that the puppet dog would indeed extinguish the candles with his trademark spit but such an endeavour would be unwise due to its synthetic nature and the proximity of naked flames.

You should just be happy that I did not bring in the other Frodsham worthies Daniel Craig and Gary Barlow - plenty of equally dubious material to be had out of that pair!

Funt Solo

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #169 on: 05 May, 2021, 03:47:50 PM »
"The more insightful reader" ... this reminds me of searching for gold at the end of our most recent rainbow.
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Funt Solo

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #170 on: 05 May, 2021, 03:55:41 PM »
...all that blether about "highly flammable puppet dog" seemed to imply Bob would be stuffing the candles up its arse!

I'm not sure, but that might have been part of the woefully conceived (and thankfully short-lived) adult-Tiswas show OTT, from 1982. For our younger readers ... I don't know - go and mope about something.
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Dounreay

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #171 on: 05 May, 2021, 07:22:37 PM »
So what's that? Nine star letters for me so far? See lads, it's not how big it is, it's what you do with it that counts.

Funt Solo

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #172 on: 05 May, 2021, 07:49:09 PM »
I need to check the core rulebook but I'm fairly sure that having a radioactive c*ck is considered cheating.
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Buttonman

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #173 on: 29 May, 2021, 05:23:22 PM »

It was a sad day at Beast Towers when we learned of the passing of Dave ‘Bolt-01’ Evans or ‘EEE’ as he was known on the database.

Dave was in with the DNA of The Letters Beast Database and was part of the initial conception and of the first draft of the project, which eventually catalogued every piece of reader content in our favourite comics. He volunteered to take a batch of 100 Progs and add the details of all letter writers and drawing providers to a spreadsheet that could be plugged into the monster that became the database of all 2000ad reader content published in 2000ad and the Judge Dredd Megazine.

He didn’t have to get involved; he was busy with a multitude of other projects, but something about the idea tickled him and appealed to his nerdy fan instincts. His contributions were however greater than some admin work, Dave was a celebrated letter writer in his own right, attaining the lofty rank of 29th=  on the all-time list, with his score of 12 letters printed.

His dozen letters appeared in the years between 2002 and 2008, with 9 gracing the Prog and 3 in the Megazine. He was first sighted in Prog 1316 and followed this up with the Letter of the Week in 2003’s Prog 1365. He first appearance in the Megazine was in Meg 251 in 2006 and he had follow up appearances in Megs 259 and 274.

2004 saw two letters in Progs 1383 and 1391 from the Birmingham wordsmith before a single appearance was made in 2006, in Prog 1501. Better was to follow in the next two years when Dave saw 4 letters see print in 2007/08 in Progs 1527, 1547, 1574 and 1592.

12 letters in 7 years is a good hit rate and, had he persevered, he could have been a top ten letter writer. Dave however moved on to other things - creating comics, encouraging writers and artists and rearing his loving family. We’re sure it was a tough choice, but probably the correct one!

We have raised a glass to Dave many times and will continue to do so. As long as letters are printed Dave will be remembered as a creator of and as contributor to the 2000ad and Megazine Letters Database or ‘The Beast’ as it is commonly known. Round these parts anyway.

Rest easy Dave, your writing is done and you will not be forgotten.

Richard

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #174 on: 30 May, 2021, 11:22:27 AM »
A nice tribute.

Buttonman

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #175 on: 02 June, 2021, 09:51:36 PM »
Thank you Richard.


Aaaand we’re back for more. Still waiting on our second jab but we’re sure she’ll call back soon and tell us where our wallet is as well. We’re still at Level 3 Letters excitement, so let’s dive straight into the sexy sextet that made up the Prog 2234Input page.

First up is Matt ‘Spider-Man’ Webster of Bradford who spins his sixth yarn in a career that started with a Letter of the Week outing in Prog 1380. He has had three letters in the Prog, all of which have achieved top billing. His 3 Megazine letters in issues 219, 243 and 249 were probably less well received.

His letter here starts with an outright lie when he says it has been “about 20 years since I sent a letter in to 2000ad”. The fact is Matt had a letter printed in Prog 1475 in 2006, a mere 15 years ago! We hope Tharg sends the Rigellian hotshots round for that whopper! Matt’s letter is a billet-doux to Slaine and he takes us on an unwelcome trip down memory lane where axes are swung and environmental issues discussed. He says he thought 2000ad was a ‘specialist fantasy magazine’ but he’s way off on that front  - look at least two shelves higher Matt!

Old hand Ashley Beeching of Ashford now who celebrates his quarter century with his usual puff piece. To be fair, he does discuss a previous letter and we have to celebrate any letters based debate. Ashley wants to ”disagree with (the previous letter writer’s) opinion in the strongest terms possible“. What’s this? ‘Points of View’?  He likes the flowery Slaine art and will complain in the strongest terms about anyone who doesn’t. Well we’re complaining in the strongest terms about Ashley’s lack of tolerance and indeed his letter writing style!

Ashley has taken worse from better than us in a long career that began in 1996 in Prog 1008. He has a 14/11 split in favour of the Megazine but can boast only one Letter of the Week from Prog 2222. His latest letter takes him up to position 9th= on the all time Beast chart although he’s technically only a top 11 writer due to ties.

Off to the land of the rising sun now in the company of the exotic sounding Chris Doherty of Japan in what may be his first letter - we do have a Chris Doherty from Berkshire on the list who displayed his ‘Dredd Hat Photo’ in Prog 1681. Could they be one and the same? He falls afoul of the 10,000 mile rule, but we are happy to review his case on receipt of evidence and the £25 fee. Japan is well represented on the Beast database with 73 entries. On closer inspection this is less impressive as most of them were from second rate, er, place, letter writer Floyd Kermode. Our trawling did reveal that letters from Japan were printed in consecutive Progs 1341, 1342 and 1343 from Tim Ashten, Daryl Johnston and Floyd himself. Coincidence or conspiracy? Who cares really?

We hope Chris didn’t spend a lot of Yen on posting in his letter which says ‘How can brilliant art be unsuited?’ Well I wouldn’t want Tracy Emin making our bed or having Mondrian paint our cat but at least he has passion and, critically, reads the letters page as his lambasting of poor old punch bag of the week Marcus will attest.

We get  a trip to Whalley World next with our new friend Pete W. Whalley of Lancs. Pete is a new scribe and the first Whalley to see print. Excitingly we have had two writers from Whalley, which is a village in Lancashire…where Pete lives! Could it be Pete Whalley lives in Whalley or is it just Pete from Whalley Lancs. and the letterbot got confused? We suspect the latter. Maybe other Whalley writers Andrew Taylor (Prog 120) and Kenny Kaxter (Prog 634) could ask about for us?

Pete provides the standard ‘lost but found’ buffet, returning to the Prog to lap up the 'Four Horseman’ Dredd saga. Surprised he stayed on. He may just be easy pleased, as he sees ‘A Penitent Man’ as an “all-time Dredd classic”. We agree it was decent, good even, but an all-time classic? It was hardly ‘Finger of Suspicion’ or even ‘Twin Blocks‘.

Nearly done as Finchy would say, and to celebrate we have a new entrant to the Beast Halls of Glory. Step forward Paul Tapner of Poole and collect your Beast code of }}} for attaining your tenth letter credit. Paul’s road to glory has been long, with his first letter seeing print back in Prog 1109 in 1998. That’s over 20 years - or 30 if you go by Matt Webster’s metrics. Paul joins three other fledgling writers at the bottom of the Beast ladder in 36th= position. It only up from here Paul!

Paul’s letter sets out to be a brave criticism of ‘Feral & Foe’ but he pulls most of his punches, taking the blame for his not liking the strip on himself. He says it is ‘nice’ and ‘good’ but underneath this faint praise is an undercurrent of dislike. He says it is too knowing. We hate it when things are like that, don’t you agree loyal reader? He finishes by saying ‘there’s always one’ in self deprecating tones. Don’t put yourself down Paul; we couldn’t follow it either!

Last up this outing is Grant Smillie Face from Bearsden. Most people would have just said ‘Glasgow’ but Bearsden people like you to know they’re from Bearsden, don’t you know. Fur coat, no knickers we bet! Grant may have the post code but he doesn’t have the letters with this being his first offering to see print. There aren’t that many Smillie people with Robert of Pukstone the only other to bother the scorers as he did  in Prog 218, with his exciting image of a ‘Murdering Mantis SD Agent’.

Grant doesn’t have anything of his own to offer so he ropes in his daughter to do a cross stitch Dredd based on a Jock cover. We’re hoping she gets the prize for this effort. Grant hopes the cross stitch will warm the hear of most squaxx - well if it’s going to work on this one you’d better wrap it around our cardio defibrillator .

Overall this was a decent Input age crammed with six letters - one more than normal for those maths boffins out there. The content was varied as was the mix of writers which is the perfect recipe for spam fritters or something.

See you again in 4-5 weeks!

dweezil2

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #176 on: 02 June, 2021, 10:59:04 PM »
Only top 11, due to ties?!!!
Sounds like I seriously need to up my game!
Though, I've always fancied myself as a bit of a Barry Took, so I'll take "Points Of View" as a compliment!!!!  :lol:

Buttonman

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #177 on: 03 June, 2021, 11:32:21 PM »
Barry Took? Showing your age there - I was in the Wogan or Anne Robinson era myself.

Actually, Barry was my first too...

Buttonman

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #178 on: 23 June, 2021, 11:04:13 AM »

Well, we’ve struggled back to get this issue out with only minor delays due to our recent participation in the All Europe Letters Blog Championships. Our regular reader will sympathise at our slaying at the hands of the Croatian blog ’Pismo Mrlja’ but at least we have that nothing each win against the English ’Tally-ho It’s Letters’ newsletter’ to keep us warm.

This 4 letter offering in Prog 2237 came with almost indecent haste after the last outing  in Prog 2234. At this rate we’ll be one a week by the time Scotland win the Euros.

The page opened up in familiar fashion with Matt ‘The Web-slinger’ Webster  of Bradford in the Letter of the Week berth,  just as he was in Prog 2234! There’s something fishy going on here, with this being Matt’s 4th letter of the Week out of 4 Prog entries. He also has 3 Meg letters giving him a total of 7 in a career dating back to 2004’s Prog 1380.

The letter is a bit of fun and, to be fair, it does concern letters so we have to be keen on that. Matt goes all meta and references is own letter and how poor it was. Sadly this Blog missed out  on an exclusive and didn’t spot the ‘Simon’ error. To be fair we were probably drunk. The letter did raise a smile and name checked a few ‘Simon’ creator droids. Tharg’s response doesn’t make much sense and we suspect he was riffing on that ‘Not the Nine O’ Clock News’ sketch where everyone in a factory was called ‘Bob’ and the joke was ‘hand Built by Roberts’. That was a pun on ‘robots’ - not sure where Tharg was going with his. As it’s the flavour of the week, the Beast boasts 167 ‘Simons’ with Mr Gardener on 6 and a Mr Spurrier (who he?) on 11 the market leaders.

Let’s talk about Kevin Etheridge of Surrey next, who celebrates his second published effort here following his Prog 2136 debut in 2019. The Beast Boasts 114 ‘Kevins’ with Mr Barry the leader of this pack with his 16 offerings, the last of which was in 2017’s Meg 390.

Kevin’s letter relates to the ‘Regened’ issue and he’s largely positive about it, although the Anderson comment that the strip “moved quickly to its conclusion" is the most damning of faint praise. He suggests the criticism of the Regened Progs was down to the ‘frustration of long term readers’ which suggests they are a bunch of old dinosaurs incapable of embracing anything new. We’re going to write to the Daily Express to complain about this generalisation as soon as we’ve finished this Werther’s Original! Kevin’s solution is to have a ‘half and half’ Prog which is a great idea - that way no one will be happy!

A long and Chitty letter now from new writer Tom Chitty of Emailland. The Beast has digested a lot of Toms in its time, with Messrs Cotton and Fisher both riding high on 7 each, with the former last seen in Prog 1612 in 2008 and the latter in Meg 175 in 2000. There is also a Proudfoot in there, with a feeble 21 but most of those are disallowed on account of being rubbish. This Tom was last seen in Meg 234 in 2012, around the same time that he last saw his hair!

Tom manages the rare feat of a full column letter - which could have done with a bit of editing. He starts poorly by saying he’s writing to defend Slaine before saying he found it dull. With friends like Tom you won’t have to look far for a kick in the nuts! The letter rambles on at a meandering pace and makes a lot of references to ‘other Terrans’ and comments on various strips without making anything approaching an insightful point. In fact we weren’t really clear what the point being made was, and finished the letter feeling less informed on Tom’s opinions  than when we started. Still he got a stream of consciousness published and gave us all food for thought - that we quickly spewed up.

Another new writer to finish the page in the shape of Fiachra Delea of Ireland. These are two names that haven’t troubled The Beast before, although Ireland can boats an impressive 706 entries overall. The Irish Taoiseah of the Typewriter is Richard Kavanagh who has a mighty 30, but was last seen way back in Prog 1946 in 2015.

Fiachra is another fan of Slaine and is a bit more consistent with her praise than Tom Chitty. Her  letter reads well and has a nice flow, offering several interesting takes and arguments to support her position. We remain unconvinced however! She mentions the sometimes forgotten Angela (Angie surely) Kincaid as a co-creator of the strip and clearly has a love for the character which she articulates well in what is our ‘Letter of the Week’.

A decent offering this outing with sadly only 4 letters seeing print due to Tom Chitty hogging the whole middle of the page. It was a bit Slaine-centric overall, but two new writers bodes well for the letters community as does the increased frequency of Input page publications.

Catch you next time!

Proudhuff

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Re: The Letters Beast - Online!
« Reply #179 on: 26 June, 2021, 12:48:10 PM »
I'll let you know I have loverly hair mostly growing everywhere it shouldn't
DDT did a job on me