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Messages - Funt Solo

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Prog / Re: Prog 2280 - High-Octane Sci-Fi Action!
« on: 07 May, 2022, 05:50:12 PM »
...I don't want to spend £20 on them each year really.

I entirely appreciate your point about not wanting to purchase things you don't want to read. However, I'm a spreadsheet geek so I have to point out that you're not spending 20 quid a year on Regened: because your subscription is heavily subsidized.

In 2021, if you paid individually for each prog, it would have cost 168.84GBP. (Or 144.88 if you skipped the Regened issues.) But a yearly sub for the physical prog is only 120.

You could still argue that the Regened are somehow diluting your cost per page, but if you calculate that on the sub rate, the cost of the Regened issues is a theoretical 14.12.

The trouble is, arguing that ditching the Regened issues would reduce the cost of your (already heavily reduced) sub is like arguing that ditching the floppy would reduce the cost of the Megazine. There's a commonly held belief that it wouldn't, actually - instead just making the Meg impossible to produce. Maybe ditching the Regened off subs would make the prog non-profitable to produce?

Summary: there's a lot we don't know about the costing involved, but one can't accurately claim to be getting half-inched out of 20 quid when you've been given a 48.84 discount (and a *free* gift).


Positive (altruistic) ways forward:

1. Think about the investment in the future viability of the comic you love.
2. Gift your Regened issues  - it could be to a child you know (yours, niece, nephew etc.) or that you don't (school library, local library, next door neighbor, charity shop etc.)
3. Think of the Regened as a creative hotbed where people can learn the craft - 2000 AD is one of the cornerstones of the UK comics' industry - but a lot of the content is tied into existing, proven creators. The Regened issues give other creatives a chance to get their foot in the door and keep the whole thing going.


Final thought: my post up-thread is how I felt about reading those stories, and I didn't think they were great. But - I can never get as far as saying it shouldn't exist or that it shouldn't be part of my sub. It would be quite perverse if I was to turn around to all of these hard working creatives who're trying their best to produce a great product and say their effort wasn't worth my time. The art is way beyond anything I could hope to conjure with my current set of abilities, and I've never had a comic script published, and I've never edited a comic (or lettered one, or colored one). Reading it and criticizing it is the easy part - and I've only been able to do that for the last couple of decades thanks to Rebellion's business nous. I'll never have faith in yer gods, but I do have some in 2000 AD.

Prog / Re: Prog 2280 - High-Octane Sci-Fi Action!
« on: 07 May, 2022, 05:23:59 PM »
Also I'm not convinced that children really want to spend their free time reading comics about school.

Harry Potter?

Whenever anyone mentions HP, I'm contractually obliged to tell me HP joke:

Hagrid on 'shrooms: "You're a lizard, Harry!"

General / Re: Now I Know My ABCs...
« on: 07 May, 2022, 04:49:33 AM »

   Stories section:
      Lowborn High               
      Tharg's 3rillers
      Tharg's Future Shocks
      Tharg's Terror Tales
      The Unteachables
   Dreddverse section:
      Cadet Dredd

Rare occasion, JBC, where I’m voting for the art. I rate Sooner or Later highly, but the Simon Davis droid is a god striding the earth, with brushes.

Prog / Re: Prog 2280 - High-Octane Sci-Fi Action!
« on: 06 May, 2022, 01:06:34 AM »
Cadet Dredd: Red Medicine – definitely on the Trade Federation side of the "is it exciting as a plot?" fence. I know it says "All Ages Issue" on the front, but I assumed it meant younger: references to Babe Ruth were old when I was young. Cadet Dredd suffers from the template - Dredd isn't in charge because he's always subordinate to a mentor figure (but not the *same* mentor figure, so there's no room for character development), and he has to team up with Rico, and Rico has to say bad things to foreshadow his later corruption. I think there was a missed opportunity in this slot to do something more like "The Academy of Law": exploring the various recruits within the (contemporary) Academy, rather than being glued to Dredd's past.

Lowborn High – Kitchen sink Hogwarts? Wychdusk joins the recent ranks of Parsing Crimes Against Humanity, alongside Skip Tracer's Consociation (although the latter is actually a word). It feels like there are missing panels between the 9th and 10th pages. This shows a bit of promise, but I don't really dig the Harry Potter template so, for that reason, it falls flat.

Future Shock: Smart Home – tricky third act. I don't really understand the impact of the end. Rosie escapes, right? That's it? She's taken over Rose 2? Why's she obsessed with partying all of a sudden? It started out she wanted to know who she was, but that's never resolved.

The Unteachables – I love the title - partly because of that Channel 4 docu-series a couple of decades ago about the potential of students whose behavior or situation have shunted them almost out of the education system. I like the art, and the chutzpah - but the story doesn't make much sense, and I say that as someone who willingly accepts light sabers, sky surfing and giant ants.  Also - seems like there's missing panels between pages 6 and 7.

Chopper: What Goes Up – I think I said it all last time - but I find it very difficult to accept the transformation from the disaffected teenager original character to this happy go lucky Billy Whizz clone. For that reason, this is a chore to read - I need to force myself to do it out of loyalty to the prog. You know, there is room in an "all ages issue" for a genuine story about young people who aren't constantly happy.


Summary - it's a really poor issue for me. Just nothing here that's a thrill to read. Sorry, Joko - I want to support the Regened issues, but they need better material. If they're successful, market-wise, then that's all good - and I suppose they'll continue, but - whoo - they're tough to love and just feel generally substandard next to the regular prog.


Flipside - I'm a bit of an old codger, so what do I know? The nine-year old mini-Solo walked in when I was reading the Regened and it was open at the last page of Unteachables and the first page of Chopper - and she was like "YEAH! BOOOIIIINNNG! Cool!" and then chortling at "Arthur! Have you built yourself a laser cannon?"

So, the Regened prog feels like it's not for me because it really isn't for me. Do the next generation a favor, and give you Regened issues to them.

Ampney Crucis

Tricky decision here, because I have a lot of love for The Stainless Steel Rat. But it's Shakara - and that's partly down to managing to keep the interest and quality over five series.

General / Re: Now I Know My ABCs...
« on: 05 May, 2022, 01:34:54 PM »
Actually, a lot of that is already done. See the dreddverse section, and the Judge… entry. I only did characters that recur (and not all of them) or spun out into their own series.

General / Re: Now I Know My ABCs...
« on: 05 May, 2022, 05:24:12 AM »

   Stories section:
      Droid Life
      Hawk the Slayer
      The Order
      Proteus Vex
   Dreddverse section:
      Judge Dredd | 2022
      [Judge Logan]
   Features section:
      New Comics

...I can’t remember anything about SH.

It's that one that riffs on history a bit by setting up hated celebrity-killer (read that how you like) Charles Manson and (I think) Timothy Leary (of "turn on, tune in, drop out" fame) as weird sort of psychic super-magicians without capes. But the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Some great Irving art on offer - and it probably deserves a re-read - it definitely checks the wtf is this box.

Tricky vote here - on the one hand I'm trying to differentiate between Mean as a supporting character, and his own solo outings (data here). Up against that is the controversial Storming Heaven - which still feels like a high concept somewhat in search of a better realization.

Yeah - it's Mean Machine, partly for Travels With Muh Shrink and Son of Mean. The thing is, even the one-offs are often gold.

"Nobody votes for me lessen I sez they can!"

I am enjoying Kingmaker as well - although sometimes the larger combat scenes go a bit Mark Harrison with all the glowing helmets. (Caveat: I enjoy the work of Leigh Gallagher and Mark Harrison, but sometimes things get a bit confusing. On the other hand, it's very dynamic work.)  I imagine if the concept (LOTR meets space opera) didn't float your boat, it would be a difficult thrill to love. I've never been able to even slightly smirk at Space Balls (while being a big fan of, say, Blazing Saddles).

Anyway, this one's an easy win for The Alienist - even if it's just for that melty-head seance scene. We need the next installment of this one, Tharg. (The fact that ST is still in the running produced the same "huh?" feelings I get every time another series appears in the prog. At some point, flogging a dead horse crosses over from pointless to revolting to surely there's a law against this?)

From this amazing web site, I'm seeing Ring My Bell in the 1993 Yearbook by Grant & Ezquerra.

Film & TV / Re: Paramount Plus To Launch in UK.
« on: 03 May, 2022, 07:22:38 PM »
I don't have time for more than one sub at a time.

We exhausted Prime after a while and have since been ignoring its desperate insults about how stupid I am not to re-subscribe. Really, waiting a couple of days more for things to arrive (they often arrive a couple of days early, frankly), or waiting until I want enough items to get free delivery isn't much of a burden. I still feel dirty supporting the Empire de Bezos as he flies himself around in space and builds super-yachts bigger than small hamlets while his employees are forced to piss into plastic bottles and visit the dystopian nachtmare of the AmaZen booth. If he could, he'd go full Soylent Green on anyone who didn't meet his ever-increasing productivity targets. So, you know, not to guilt-trip you or anything, but if you're paying for Prime you're sticking needles into voodoo dolls of the working class.

I was going to talk about the other sub services but I've depressed the shit out of myself and need to go and get some therapy...

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