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Topics - Tjm86

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Events / 2000ad Ultimate in Cardiff
« on: 01 November, 2019, 06:00:44 PM »
I was in Troutmark earlier today and noticed that they had about a dozen or so Ultimate Collection books still sealed.  Can't remember all of them off top of my head but I know Meltdown Man, Rogue Trooper, Ace Trucking and one of the Stront volumes was there.  They were asking £10 each if anyone is after any of those. 

Off Topic / Child of the Political Thread: Project Fear On Steroids.
« on: 24 September, 2019, 07:48:52 PM »
So I was thinking about the absolute chaos and mayhem that is the political scene in the UK, the sort of situation that makes the most insane, off-the-wall, horrifying post apocalyptic scenario to grace Sci-Fi seem fairly innocuous by comparison.  It struck me that all of the catastrophising of the referendum campaign and "Project Fear" really did fail to demonstrate the sort of imagination that British politicians seem to have brought to the challenge of completely and utterly screwing up the UK so perhaps we could have a go and see if we could come up with a better version.  So this is my first, admittedly rushed attempt:

Three years on from the referendum and the UK is now ruled by an unelected PM, opposed by an incompetent opposition and in charge (very loosely) of a parliament over which he has no majority, no authority and a track record of losing votes.  To top it off he has now been judged as having acted unlawfully over the proroguing of Parliament and forced to return from the UN to face a very British Coup.  So what next for Alex Johnson?

He returns to deliver a major tantrum to parliament, the EU decides that enough is enough and the UK no longer has a functional government so they will unilaterally suspend Article 50, Faragists attempt a coup to depose parliament and establish Nigel as the President of the Potato Republic of Britannia which fails but forces the UN to step in with a peacekeeping force since the British Armed Forces and Constabulary have collapsed.  All MP's are automatically barred from holding public office and the Queen is forced to hold a Constitutional Convention to establish a written Constitution, parliamentary reform, an independent disciplinary panel for MP's and an elected second chamber.

Off Topic / The Progmuda Triangle
« on: 21 September, 2019, 07:04:58 PM »
Hmmm.  Saturday evening and no sign of this week's "jumping on" prog, 2150.  Is it just us with a posties holiday or, in the absence of a review thread, is this more widespread?  Been a while since this problem hit.

General / Nemesis the Early Heresies
« on: 03 September, 2019, 06:18:34 PM »
Okay, so quick show of hands, how many of us are able to resist the latest sumptuous hardback reprint of the first 4 Nemesis books?


Classifieds / Prog 1849 - the double facepalm thread.
« on: 31 May, 2019, 03:12:58 PM »
Well, sometimes one really is not enough, is it?  Strontium71 expedited delivery of the one I asked for but to quote James Kirk, I "keep missing the target!"  Turns out the one I asked after is the one I already have so here I am, muppet like, trying again.

So prog 1849 cover 2 (the SLAINE cover) is what I am actually trying to track down.  If anyone does happen to have one they are willing to part with then please let me know.  In the meantime I'm going to go and find somewhere to live down the ignominy!   :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[

Classifieds / Prog 1849 Cover 1
« on: 28 May, 2019, 09:56:04 AM »
I'm after a copy of Prog 1849 cover 1, the Moloch cover if anyone has one going begging.

Tried all the usual channels without much success so far.  If anyone is able to help t'would be appreciated.

Prog / Prog 2132 - Bringer of War
« on: 18 May, 2019, 12:43:54 PM »
Jon Davis-Hunt's cover is quality for sure.  Setting out the stall for a quality read. 

McConville's Dredd casts our mind back a loooong way to an early Hot-dog run as he explores the implications of events on Justice Dept.  The surprise though is who is back on art duties, another blast from the past:  Siku.  A very welcome return and an interesting comparison with former work.

Scarlet Traces continues this theme of returns and ratchets up the action.  It rattles along at an incredible pace and packs a lot in.  As always, D'israeli's artwork is outstanding.

Max Normal may well change the pace but not the quality.  Secrets revealed and threats dispensed.  Holden's art suits the tale well.

3rillers starts to move the story into familiar territory.  Corcoran continues to do a quality job that stands well against the roster of artists he is up against.  Whether Peatty can land the story well remains to be seen but so far it has made for one of the better 3rillers.

Kingmaker rounds out the prog with a return to the hard core action.  After the revelations of recent weeks its boots to balls as Edginton and Gallagher crank things up.

Thrills of the Future touts the return of Indigo Prime with Carter on art duties again.  So all round lots to enjoy and to look forward to.

Prog / Prog 2131 - The Ape of Good Hope
« on: 11 May, 2019, 07:17:04 PM »
This week gives an interesting read.  Dredd is quite an apposite tale considering some of the issues we’ve seen this week.  The world according to Chimpsky certainly takes on a different reading in light of the Danny Baker faux pas.  Holden’s artwork definitely holds up to the situation.  “I’m fluent in fascist” has to be the go-to line of the strip though.  Lots of interesting ideas in this one as a one-off.

Scarlet Traces draws us into the earlier tales.  Love the old beeb test cards.  As always d’israeli’s art is something to admire.  An exposition heavy episode to be sure but lots to like.

Normal has never been a character that has done much for me but this strip is certainly enjoyable enough.  Once again though I find myself wondering if this was not better suited to the meg.  Giving over so much of the prog to Dreddworld kind of negates the purpose of the magazine for me.  Mind, this is just being pedantic.

3rillers starts off well enough.  Certainly can’t fault Corcoran’s artwork and Peaty throws together some interesting ideas.  This is one of a few that has got me intrigued from the off.  There are a number of directions in which this can be taken but it is by no means clear which one Peaty is going to go for.  Considering the title it is nice to find one of these that tantilises.

Kingmaker certainly seems to run the risk of living too much up to its title although given Gallagher’s artwork it is tempting to be a little forgiving.  Observations about similarities to plot twists in Brass Sun don’t help though.

So overall a perfectly serviceable prog.  Not exactly awe inspiring but the beauty of tooth is that even when it is not exactly firing on all cylinders it tends to leave its American counterparts in the shade.

Not entirely sure I agree with the Star Letter this week regarding the Long Game and I’m still trying to work out the Falk pun in Droid life.

Books & Comics / Musing About Signed Comics
« on: 28 February, 2019, 12:25:44 PM »
Read this recently over on Multiversity.     It got me thinking about some of the changes I've noticed in the last few years when it comes to Tooth.  Perhaps it is just where my prog / meg collection is complete, there is little on the American front that I find particularly appealing and I'm happy to just pick at GN's depending on what is about.  So Eamonn's charity auctions over the last few years have opened this up as a new avenue which may mean that I'm now paying a bit more attention.

What I'm noticing then is that there seems a bit of a peculiarly evolving market here.  As Eamonn's auctions have become more popular (at least so it seems), so too others have begun moving in.  The difference though seems to be in terms of what is being charged from the off.  One vendor that has been pushing quite a bit of stuff from the Enniskellin marts tends to put quite a premium on their offerings.  It is quite common to see theirs starting at the £50 mark (but not often shifting).  Several signed annuals have been initially listed in excess of £100 before that was slowly whittled down by disinterest.  One vendor who tried to flip a couple of d'Israeli / Edington signed progs from Eamonn seems to have finally given it up as a lost cause.  That said, quite a few FCBD progs have been doing the rounds for a while.  So it seems that there is growing awareness of the financial potential even if it isn't quite fully materialising as yet.

It is probably going to be quite a while before back progs see a significant premium being added due to creator signatures.  Mind you, I'm wondering about my run of Judge Death lives with covers signed by Bolland, Dillon, Gibbons and McMahon.  Gibbons has signed my first Robo Hunter and Halo Jones and a couple of Ezquerra covers have his and Wagner's signatures on them.  Quite a few of these are courtesy of Eamonn but Lawgiver last year provided a welcome opportunity to personally meet with a number of these luminaries.  My wife keeps telling me that I need to leave details of value in case anything happens to me since she wouldn't have the first clue.  Not sure how that might work though.

Suggestions / Art of Past Masters.
« on: 26 January, 2019, 11:45:44 AM »
The obituary in this week's prog reminded me of a singular truth about Ron Smith; the sheer diversity of his artwork over his career.  We have volumes for so many of the greats of the early years of Tooth but I was getting to think that a showcase of Smith's work over his career would be something to treasure.  Accompanied by a biography, recollections from colleagues and commentary from past and present professionals would surely be both a fitting tribute to the man. 

The same could be said of Ezquerra, Belardinelli and Dillon.  I was going to suggest Ewins as well but it turns out one already exists.  Perhaps Mr Mackenzie could be persuaded to contribute similar works.  That said, the Twins volume appears to be paperback.  A hardback special edition?  Such a series would surely be something to cherish, no?

Ah, guess I'll have to just dream ...

Prog / Prog 2116 - Freak Out
« on: 26 January, 2019, 11:35:49 AM »
Culbard's cover is superb and certainly a contender for cover of the year in my book.  Eminently suitable too considering the length of Brink this week; a full 10 pages of insanity.  As so many have observed in this corner of the inter web, Brink has most assuredly been a highlight as it has evolved (or devolved depending on how you want to view it).

3rillers and Skip Tracer are the lowlights of the prog but even then that is only off the back of the competition.  Marshall's art serves the story well but as has been observed, it is hard to invest in the characters or the events that limp gamely on.  Perhaps it will hold together as a single unified piece?  Maybe it would have stood a better chance had it not been run against some of the strips this week.

3rillers at least tries to move things forward but this one feels a little too compressed.  There are loads of ideas in it, albeit several lifted from a Gaiman novel, but I'm not entirely certain if Jon or Adelphi is supposed to be the central character.  Had Murphy been given a longer run at this it would have been interesting to see what a 10 / 12 parter would have been like.  Austen's art suits it well mind which might go a long way towards explaining why it is appealing so well.

Dredd though ...  A Wagner / Macneil Dredd to boot!  Even though there is a sense in which the outcome is inevitable there is enough here to destabilise expectations.  The contrast between Randy's condescension and Harvey's respect puts Dredd's concerns in an ambiguous place.  Logan's defence of the decision together with his own ambivalence make for an interesting step too, as does his reaction to Dredd's revelation.  Only two episodes in and Wagner once again gives a masterclass in pacing, revelation and characterisation in the world of Dredd.  Considering that this is due to run until March, forthcoming weeks look to be a real delight for us.

Prog / Prog 2112 - Assault and Battery
« on: 28 December, 2018, 03:44:23 PM »
IIRC mods are a bit coy about the New Year's prog being spoken about too much so I'm going to exercise caution here.  That said, 'twas a nice surprise on the door mat this morning.  Granted it does mean another extended wait for 2113 but glass half full and all that.

Trevallion's cover is sublime, I have to say.  Lots to enjoy inside although Dredd does seem like a lot of work for the punchline.  Some nice ideas in the 3riller but these seem to be quite hit and miss.  Wait and see.  In ascending order for the remainder of the prog then; Skip Trace, Fiends, Brink.  The latter could do with being embargoed in terms of discussion until it lands on stands but lots going on.

So if 2019 is going to be the year British 'civilisation' finally crumbles, at least Tooth will be seeing it out in style if this is anything to go by.

News / Dredd - Final Judgement 'Special' Edition
« on: 07 November, 2018, 05:11:02 PM »
The news of this dropping in my in box sent me scurrying for the shop.  Limited edition 200 print run, Signed Jock Prints.  I was within a hairs breadth of banging in an order.  Then it hit me ....


I can appreciate the standard edition being paperback but come on, special edition?  So the colorised Charley's War, the Mazeworld 'special edition', ... paperback.  El Mestizo, 13th Floor .... hardback.

I've no objection to paperback editions but would like the option.  I can appreciate that demand might not make it viable but there doesn't seem to be much in the way of rhyme or reason.   :(

Other Reviews / Musings on The Small House.
« on: 03 November, 2018, 06:55:13 PM »
“When the archetypes, tropes, stage settings, stages, and other props of fiction grow boring and you lose enthusiasm for using them, your writing inevitably reveals this loss. The tropes and archetypes lose their mythic power and become mere clichés.”  Geoff Hart http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/house.shtml

   Rob Williams’ latest Dredd tale is slowly evolving into an interesting beast, living up to the promise that “There is a very big moment in Dredd’s world coming.” [Rob Williams prog 2100].  For some the thought of conspiracies within Justice Dept smell of cliché and such ideas have been done to death in popular media in recent years.  The team that Dredd has pulled around him; an architect, an insane Wally Squad Judge, an Accountant and a street judge certainly fail to fit most models of a crack team.  Up against the mysterious Smiley and his team of Enceladus Energy Empowered Ninja Judges and without the sanction of Hershey the team certainly seem in a challenging place.  Perhaps what is more of interest is whether this tale will prove Hart’s argument that “re-examining the roles of flagging props can reinvigorate them. [which] happens whenever an author looks deep into a literary device, discovers why it still holds meaning for them, and refreshes interest in that literary device by evoking its essence in an entirely new way.”  Is Justice Dept and Mega City One, is Dredd himself, that literary device that is being reinvigorated?

   History features large in this tale.  The history between Dredd and Hershey.  Dredd’s pivotal role in the history of Mega City One.  Smiley’s hidden role in the same history, his invisible hand that we were first introduced to in Trifecta.  Chief Judges of history; Cal and McGruder.  Frank’s pre-Wally squad history with Smiley.  Dredd’s old foe Kazan’s aging, decaying clone.  Political challengers to the judicial system in Blondel Dupre.  Against all this ultimately looming large, locked away behind cryptography, the file for 2103; the year after Dredd and Hershey returned from the Krysler Expedition.  A year of seemingly inconsequential cases and a looming threat that ultimately evolved into all-out war with East Meg One.  It seems that the weight of those years is evolving a physical reality for Dredd, pressing down hard on him.  The question of his role in the actions that has outraged him, that sent him once before into the Cursed Earth in response to how he saw Justice Dept developing.

   Dredd has been here before, questioning his place, the role of Justice Dept, of the reign of the Judges.  Kraken puzzled over his annotated note on “the Big Lie”.  Dredd shared his misgivings with his mentor.  He commented previously on the tactics the Judges use to maintain their rule.  Yet this was before the encounter with the Father of Justice, Fargo, once more.  How much do Fargo’s words haunt him?  How much does his lie to Hershey bother him?  For Fargo to judge what had grown out of his works so harshly could hardly have washed off him so cleanly.  Now though Dredd does not have a mentor with whom to share his thoughts.  Moreover the circle of trust has drawn ever smaller and even that has been infiltrated.  Kazan may well have served as a foil but at the same time he also lay out small nuggets of wisdom for Dredd to mull over in his barbs.  Now even that has been taken away.

   So what is the ‘Small House’ of the title?  Is it Dredd’s world, Mega City One?  The once sprawling metropolis that dominated the whole Eastern Seaboard now reduced by war, terror and plague?  Is it Justice Dept?  The previously indomitable judicial force now reeling from the events of the past forty years?  Is it Smiley’s humble abode?  The hidden dining room that he inhabits, hidden behind the walls of the Grand Hall?  Or is it all of the above?

   Returning again to Hart, it is worth considering his observation that “what kind of living space the house is, and what it says about the inhabitants” is pertinent here.  Once more history figures here.  Smiley’s house is redolent with historical iconography.  The flight of ducks on the wall would likely be a familiar figure to more aged readers.  The dining room arrangement of Smiley’s house, so mundane and familiar.  The old fireplace, the gas lamps and sideboard.  All of a similar historical era.  Just like Smiley himself, both a name and character from literary history.  The quintessential spymaster always slightly removed from officialdom in his duties and actions and yet intricately linked.  Everything about him points to the past.

   In respect of Dredd, the question of house or home becomes a compelling one.  Everything seems to be pointing to a perturbation.  Everything Dredd has come to know and believe is being increasingly challenged.  His own ‘father’ has questioned the home Dredd has come to know and love.  It is the source of his identity, of his very being.  His commitment to justice has always been unwavering but his commitment to Justice Dept has been measured against this standard.  It is hard to imagine the conflict that such tension must provoke.  Doubtless it is only his training, upbringing and experience that has enabled him to weather it.  What then when the instability that has been introduced slowly grows into something greater?

   Is this what is at the heart of Williams’ latest exploration of Dredd and his world?  In disturbing the very centre of Dredd’s being, upending his world and his relationship with the other inhabitants an opportunity exists to redefine Justice Dept, its relationship with its citizens and the way in which the city is run.  Is this at the back of the reference to Blondel Dupre and the fact that the Judges are Fascists?  Are the seeds Fargo planted in Dredd’s mind about to bear fruit? It would certainly be interesting to see how a world in which Dredd and his fellow Judges find themselves in a completely different relationship with the citizens they rule over would develop.

Prog / Prog 2106 - End Times
« on: 03 November, 2018, 11:40:12 AM »
Just finished reading Dredd and simply had to stop dead.  Even after last week's WTF moment, this week takes it up a step.  I reckon Flint's perfectly captured the majority of readers'  response to Dredd's words to Hershey.

This Dredd looks like it might be shaping up to be a serious game changer.  I can't see a way to discuss this without spoiling it for folks but I reckon it needs it.

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