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Topics - Barrington Boots

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Prog / Prog 2215: Fire From Above
« on: 18 January, 2021, 11:37:34 AM »
After moaning about the last couple of Progs, I was keen to take this one in a more measured manner when it dropped through the letterbox bright and early this morning, and a (reasonably) quiet morning at work meant I've been able to read it. Here we go!

Dredd. Not enjoying this story at all I'm afraid. Everything seems tremendously contrived and it lacks any wackiness or any interesting hook to draw me in. Will Simpson's painted art isn't working for me either - at its best it can be tremendously atmospheric but here I find it awkward and messy and what's more I can't shake the negative connotations it brings back to me of reading terrible 90s comics. Nice bit of graffiti on the side of the shipping container thing Dredd and the others are sealed up in though.

Slaine Dragons attack and Slaines new magic Dad talks them into killing themselves. Try as I might to appreciate what might be our last take on the character, this is just dreadful. Looking for positives it's far from the worst Slaine story I've read and it still looks just amazing. The dragons themselves are a real highlight.

Durham Red More time for this now I'm understanding the story more as a Precinct-13 style siege. It's one of those episodes where a lot happens, but nothing also happens in terms of moving the plot forward, which is fine because the plot is 'fighting'. I do like Ben Willsher's designs.

Proteus Vex Top thrill again. Once again there is a lot of dialogue but unlike, say, Slaine it feels interesting and fully realised. I haven't got much of a clue what is happening but I assume this is intentional. Little weird touches in the art like the guys on the bridge of the ship are great, and Midnight is becoming the star of this strip: she's a good foil to the stoic Vex.

Hershey Why is anyone training Frank to be a boxer when he only has one eye? Minor niggle but when you're negatively disposed towards the strip anyway these things crop up. Digging a lot of the art, especially the facial expressions , but it all just still feels wrong.

Cool cover though!

Music / Albums of the Year 2020
« on: 19 November, 2020, 11:44:12 AM »
Despite almost everything else being awful 2020 has been a good year for music for me - one of the benefits of 8 months working at home is that I've had time to explore new releases and really get into a lot of new music whereas in previous years I've got a bit jaded and struggled to get into more than a couple of records.

I think my 2020 top ten in terms of pure enjoyment (in no order) would be:

Magic Sword - Endless
Temple of Void - The World That Was (topical title on this one!)
Wayfarer - A Romance with Violence
Eternal Champion - Ravening Iron
Just Before Dawn - An Army at Dawn
Black Royal - Firebride
Lord Vigo - Danse De Noir
Paradise Lost - Obsidian
Villagers of Ionna City - Age of Acquarius
The Wizar'd - Subterranean Exile

I've also enjoyed the new stuff by Ulver, Moscow Death Brigade, We are Magonia, Bergeton, Graceless, Ectoplague, Elay Arson..

With music being highly subjective and emotive I don't expect anyones choices to align with mine, but I'm interested to hear what fellow Squaxx's favourite records of 2020 were and I'll totally listen to them if I can.

Prog / Prog 2207: Welcome to the Clownshow
« on: 10 November, 2020, 01:04:38 PM »
Welcome to the awesome show more like. Saturday Prog for me again, some kind of 2020 record that.

Dredd - Back on track with another cool story from Kenneth Niemand who is knocking it out of the park this year. The Simp thing can sometimes feel a bit overdone but this is a good twist on it. Loved Daisy's petals refelecting her mood.

Stickleback - Completely mental. Really digging it.

Skip Tracer - Best Skip story so far. It's hard to review as it just sort of keeps rolling along at the same pace, but I'm finding it a very nostalgic in it's pacing like progs of old and that's a good thing. Those bad guys really need to stop falling for the same gate trick.

Fiends - Still gets better every week. It seems like there's a new idea every episode. I love the dialogue in this story especially. I really liked the difference between the three kisses...I've seen someone comparing it to Mignola and I think it does have some of that magic.

Hookjaw -I was wrong to be cynical over the reveal last episode, this is still great. Looks grotesque and beautiful. I think it's told in a very horror - cinematic way and I can imagine watching this on a VHS. Next week promises to be absolute carnage.
Also: I'd wear one of those derpy Hookjaw shirts we keep seeing.

Cool cover by Chris Robinson. This prog ruled.

Prog / Prog 2205: Hanging By Thread!
« on: 26 October, 2020, 11:11:17 AM »
Saturday Prog for me! Joyous.

Dredd - after a good start last week everything wraps up quickly in a trite and uninteresting fashion. Lovely art from Dan Cornwell, otherwise didn't enjoy this at all. Sorry. Also Dredd himself is totally useless in this story.

Stickleback - Mainly a talky setup episode. Looks great at ever. Having re-read all the previous story I'm really into this again now.

Skip Tracer - Still think this is the best Skip Tracer outing yet and I think the pacing is key here. It's starting to feel more like an old school thrill to me.

Fiends - Gets better every week. Best thing in the Prog atm for me, both for art and writing. I like the guy questioning the existence of trolls and dragons and talking wolves yet happily accepting vampires. More and more I am doubting the veracity of the narrator but this is terrific.

Hookjaw - Suitably gory but not sure how I feel about the reveal in this episode. Reserving judgement.

Great cover by Dylan Teague.

Off Topic / Working From Home
« on: 25 September, 2020, 10:54:06 AM »
Anyone else doing a lot more of this? How are you finding it?

I did it for almost 8 years in my job prior to the current one and I've got the mindset already, so it's been an easy transition for me: I'm not missing my commute and I can wear my own clothes, listen to my own music and I've grown my beard out like a wizard. A lot of my colleagues are struggling though, especially those with less home space and / or children, which has made me rethink if it's the holy grail of working practice that I thought it was for everyone...

Welcome to the board / Hello
« on: 08 September, 2020, 12:52:32 PM »

I've been lurking here since around about the time of Trifecta. I was a lapsed reader who chose exactly the right time to pick up a copy of the prog for a train journey... 8 years ago? Argh.

This is almost the only online forum I read nowdays, and the only one I felt happy signing up to. Although I was actually inspired to sign up to comment on a post about Napalm Death.

Hope to be a worthwhile contributor here!

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