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Messages - Grant Goggans

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News / Re: Michael Fleisher
« on: 16 March, 2018, 01:50:49 AM »
I was very pleasantly surprised to learn just how interesting his work for American publishers was.  He scripted the original Shade the Changing Man in collaboration with Steve Ditko's plots, and also did some of The Creeper with Ditko under the same "Marvel-style" writing.  These were seriously entertaining comics, and it's a shame that his 2000 AD work wasn't... but you can see why the Tharg of the day wanted Fleisher to work for the weekly.

Off Topic / Re: The Wombles in Breakfast on Pluto
« on: 13 November, 2017, 08:25:05 AM »
Ha!  When my youngest son was three years old, we took him to see characters from the PBS Kids spelling show Super Why, which he loved.  It didn't occur to me that the tiny characters from the screen would turn into these enormous, horrifying things looming over him.  He was petrified!

Thanks, everyone, I'll take it that the park was a figment of Neil Jordan's imagination.

Off Topic / The Wombles in Breakfast on Pluto
« on: 12 November, 2017, 03:33:04 AM »
Help me, Hive Mind, Google is useless.

In the 2005 film Breakfast on Pluto, which is set in the mid-seventies, a character played by Cillian Murphy gets a job working at a Wombles-themed fun park.  Was this actually a real place in London?  Stranger things did happen in that decade - there was an HR Pufnstuf-themed fun park in Atlanta in 1976 - but I'd like to confirm that it was a real attraction and not just made up for the movie.

Prog / Re: Prog 2054 - Me & My Shadow
« on: 26 October, 2017, 07:17:27 PM »
Well, unlike you wonderful-but-cynical, cynical people, I punched the air.  And I bet part six of the story is going to be great.

Prog / Prog 2054 - Me & My Shadow
« on: 21 October, 2017, 02:19:25 AM »
It wasn't just me, was it?

All of you other old and creaky readers, when you read this, you were five pages into part five of Indigo Prime and you were drawing connections in your mind to the very, very violent climax of Killing Time, right?  You were back in your mind's eye to someplace around prog 744.  You were twenty-five years or so younger, weren't you?  Time turned back.  I was working at a call center in Athens GA, where I wish I was still. (In Athens, not the call center.)  Then I turned the page.  Remember how violent that was?  Remember how you didn't believe this was happening to the heroes of the story?  Remember how you turned the page?  The other pages?

My.  I haven't enjoyed six pages of any comic that much in a very, very long time.

McMahon back on Dredd, too!  Happy times.

Prog / Re: Prog 2050 - Epic Thrills!
« on: 08 October, 2017, 01:52:08 AM »
The best possible outcome, of course, is that John Smith is very busy with other projects / work / retirement in Tahiti / advising Mycroft Holmes / spending the fortunes of a long-lost rich relative, and has no time for comics.

Or no interest.  Nobody ever said that a script droid would be obliged to work in this business indefinitely churning out scripts for our entertainment.

Without a statement, it's easy to assume a creative type having a Gibson/McKenzie/G. Morrison disagreement with editorial (because it's happened so often), but it's not necessary.  Until we hear otherwise, I choose to believe that Smith has passed the baton and is busy doing something else.

Prog / Re: Prog 2050 - Epic Thrills!
« on: 07 October, 2017, 10:21:32 PM »
I'll be the odd one out then.

I'd prefer that Smith be Indigo Prime's writer, but I'd also prefer that Indigo Prime have the permanent second slot next to Dredd, with fifty episodes a year.  I have lots of impractical preferences.

I love the way that Smith crafted IP's return, with almost all the characters we knew from the 1990s either ignored or moved to the background.  So I was very pleased to see Harry/Jerry Foundation come back.

I hate the bad feeling that I have about this.  It feels badly like when Ian Gibson gave up on Robo-Hunter, so Tharg called Anthony Williams to draw the last fifteen pages.

I want to ignore that feeling.  I want Indigo Prime back, for good, regularly.  It may be selfish of me, but I don't really care any longer.  As I mentioned here once before, my life's not a really happy one these days, and I take my pleasure where I can because I have very little of it.

If "A Dying Art" is 12 pages of Smith and 48 of Kek-W, *I'll take it* because I adore Indigo Prime.  I did become emotionally invested in the concept, somehow, which doesn't make a lot of sense considering how emotionally cold and distant this concept is.  I think it's one of the most wonderful concepts in comics, and I hope Kek-W gets to carry it on for years and years to come.

I hope he introduces all sorts of new characters and worlds, and reintroduces classic characters like Almaranda, Fervent, and Lobe when the time's right.  I hope he writes a whole pile of one-shots and two-parters to develop his concepts like I contend we should have seen over the last six years, dropped in like Future Shocks or in the year-end progs.

I hope John Smith is well, retired on some beach somewhere, healthy and wealthy and wonderful.

But I don't know John Smith, and the weird magic of his creation has seen me through some really tough times.  I love Indigo Prime, irrationally, and hope it continues forever.  Knock us dead, Kek-W.

General / Re: Not sure if it's me or the prog...
« on: 14 July, 2017, 06:30:23 PM »
Also, where is John Smith? He kept me reading almost single-handedly (no sick joke intended) through the murky days of the 90s.

I just noticed in the October 2017 solicits (progs 2051-54) that the new Indigo Prime is credited to Smith, Kek-W, and Lee Carter.

Smith's never had a co-writer before, has he?  Between this and passing the reins of Devlin Waugh, I hope everything's okay with him.

General / Re: Not sure if it's me or the prog...
« on: 06 July, 2017, 10:49:14 PM »
I think it's only about 10% the prog.   :lol:

No, in my case, I posted here several years ago that my interest was waning and the main cause, then, of my thrill-circuits depleting was this endless series of 40-episode stories that take five years or more to tell.  I wish that when a creator pitched a series and Tharg accepted it, they'd work out how many episodes/stories this idea had.  Is this a Dante with hundreds of episodes before a grand finale, something open-ended with new characters like Sin Dex or Slaine, or something that's got a finite end after four 10-week stories.

Just about everything Tharg has commissioned for years has been the latter, and there's nothing wrong with that.  I just wish that instead of scheduling 40 episodes as ten weeks on, fifty weeks off, ten weeks on, just make it a 40-week run.  By the time something like Outlier or The Order comes back, I have forgotten the previous stuff.

Absalom?  There should be a couple of hundred episodes of that by now.  If this forthcoming story is his final appearance, it should have run three or four years ago.

The other 90% is probably me.

I haven't talked about this much, but I've suffered for years with major depression, and the last three-ish years have been worse and worse for me.  I'm very happy to receive 2000 AD each week.  It's one of the things that brings a little smile and a nice break, but for many years I've been reading each five-page episode almost in isolation from even the others in the present story, never mind the series as a whole.  I'm just not able to focus like I was.  Consequently, I probably enjoy Brink less than anybody else.  I can certainly imagine that being far more interesting in big, satisfying chunks.

I'm sure the hellish state of world politics, as mentioned earlier, has a lot to do with it.  One hammer-blow after another in my life over the last few years has a lot more.  2000 AD used to be one of about twenty things that really excited me, now I'm down to pretty much two: watching old TV with my son and hiking.  We moved to Tennessee for a change and a great job opportunity for my wife which did not pan out.  It's been a gigantic clusterfuck, basically, and I've been out of full-time work for more than a year.  Maybe if things turn around, and maybe if the government doesn't ruin my health care and triple my cost for therapy, I'll start to love 2000 AD again.

I'm glad that Indigo Prime is coming back.  I'm looking forward to that, but at the same time it's tempered with the sad reality that it will only be for about eight weeks, and then there will probably be another three-year break before we see another story.  I wish it was alongside Dredd in every issue for about nine months every year.  That would really charge my circuits again.

News / Re: Strontium Dog Fan Film
« on: 29 May, 2017, 02:19:26 AM »
That was incredibly entertaining.  Thanks to everyone involved for the hard work.  It was worth it.

Suggestions / Re: More Ampney Crucis Investigates?
« on: 29 May, 2017, 02:12:55 AM »
Once this Slaine epic finally ends, I'm seriously hoping that Betegusian bampot of an editor chains Davis to his desk for a big, weird 20-part adventure.  And that we get a second print edition of his stories in 2018.

General / Re: Are there any really bad 2000ad strips?
« on: 20 March, 2017, 07:57:10 AM »

I loathe Millar's Dredd and RoboHunter as much as the next guy, but... Big Dave is pretty funny, his 'Long Distance Calls' is a favourite Future Shock of mine...

That was a Tale From Beyond Science, and it remains my favorite thing that Millar ever wrote.

Mother Earth remains my least favorite 2000 AD series, but the '90s Harlem Heroes, Bison, and Stalag 666 are pretty close behind.

Oh, I've loved Rumpole for many years.  WGBH started the Mystery! anthology series specifically to accommodate it and give it a showcase in the US, because it didn't quite fit with their existing Masterpiece Theatre anthology.  (That was the 70s.  These days, of course, the programs have merged, "2000 AD and Starlord"-style.)  I'm not aware of Minder even being offered to American stations by Lionheart or other agents, much less shown anywhere here.  All of Rumpole was shown on Mystery! and has long been available on R1 DVD, along with Mortimer's novelizations and follow-up novels.

The Minder set I got has ten series and the feature-length specials.  There is a "Terry only" set of series 1-7 which for some reason doesn't have the specials and which cost £5 more on Amazon.

Thanks for the insight, everyone.  It's a fun series, and I'm looking forward to watching some more episodes this weekend.

Film & TV / Hive mind help! Legal tender and an old episode of Minder
« on: 02 March, 2017, 04:20:20 PM »
Help me, Hive Mind, your currency has confounded me.

I picked up the complete box set of Minder for a ridiculously low price a couple of months ago and finally sat down to start watching them.  I've read about it for years, but never seen it. I loved the first episode - Arthur Daley is a brilliant character! - but the second, shown in 1979, baffled me.

Here's the situation: A fellow fresh out of a four-year prison sentence needs some minding and decoy assistance so he can retrieve a buried £50,000 without old goons finding him.  The character, Stubbs, gets the box in the end, and, with four other characters in the room, distributes the money.  Terry and Arthur get a couple of hundred for their trouble, and then go out for a drink.

Terry guilts Arthur into buying the drinks, and Arthur tries to pay with some of the recovered notes.  But the barman won't take them.  The notes are £1 Series C notes, as seen on page 19 of this helpful Bank of England PDF ( http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/Documents/withdrawnrefguide.pdf ) and are no longer legal tender.  They were withdrawn over the summer.  They'll have to go to the "Bank of England," fill out forms, and trade them in.  Arthur just dumps about £200 in the charity jar.

Okay, so the ex-con might not have heard about the change in notes while he was in prison, but how did this totally escape the other four people in the room?  Not one of them says "Oh, wait, those are old notes."  Terry and Arthur seem to have never heard of this problem at all; the barman explains it to them.  This can't have been some sneaky thing the government pulled.  Surely this was on the news and every bank had signs up for weeks... so surely the audience watching at home in November 1979 would have instantly seen the problem when the cash was revealed, right?

Which leads to the next question.  Arthur and Terry still have about £200 and they just dump it.  Why not... take it to a bank to trade it in?  I got from the conversation that it has to be a (or the?) Bank of England, and not a Lloyds branch, but... they're in London, not some remote island.  This would just take a couple of hours.  Even if somebody demanded "Why didn't you turn this money in before now?", that would easily be answered by "Had it saved in a trunk in the shed, and forgot about it."

So what should have been a twist ending didn't make much sense.  Since American currency almost never gets retired - "wheat pennies" from the 1930s routinely show up as change - I've never experienced this but I can't fathom why the characters were surprised.

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